By John M. Snyder
Recent FBI reports show a four-year drop in violent crime. This correlates with the popularity and enactment of state concealed laws.
According to FBI statistics, murder dropped 4.2 percent last year from the previous year. Robberies dropped 10 percent and rapes five percent.
Over the past 25 years, there has been an increase in the number of states that allow qualified citizens to carry concealed firearms. Forty-nine states permit this in one way or the other. Only Illinois does not.
What’s needed is a law to allow a man or woman who has a state issued permit to carry a concealed firearm in one state to carry in other states. This could reduce further the rates of violent crime. Criminals generally don’t want to attack armed citizens.
This would be similar to the current reciprocity that allows an individual with a license to operate an automobile in one state to drive his or her car in other states.
The idea meets with the approval of the nation’s law enforcement command officers. A survey of American chiefs of police and sheriffs conducted by the National Association of Chiefs of Police (NACOP) shows this. Seventy-nine percent think general national recognition of CCW permits issued by a state would facilitate the crime-fighting potential of the professional law enforcement community.
Seventy-four percent of the command officers think qualified, law-abiding armed citizens can be of assistance to the professional law enforcement community in promoting justice and reducing criminal activity.
Fortunately, there is a bill in Congress, H.R. 822, by Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL), the proposed National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act. This would allow Americans who hold state-issued permits to carry concealed firearms to carry their guns across state lines.
Congressman Stearns has been proposing similar legislation for a decade or so. There are over 240 bi-partisan cosponsors of the bill, which Rep. Stearns introduced this year with Rep. Heath Shuler (D-NC). Recently, the House Judiciary’s Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security held a public hearing on H.R. 822, a first for Rep. Stearns’ proposal.
H.R. 822 enjoys a lot of public and congressional support,” said Snyder. “Citizens who believe in the right to keep and bear arms can take action. Citizens who want to see violent crime take an even further nose dive can take action. Now is the time for American citizen-voters to contact their Representative, both of their Senators and the White House to demand positive action of H.R. 822 as soon as possible.