The House of Representatives is on the cusp of combining one modest gun safety measure with another that will endanger public health.

"Concealed Carry Reciprocity" (HB38) is a radical bill that would allow people with dangerous histories to carry loaded, hidden handguns across the country. Moreover, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity is a poison pill, and adding it to the "Fix NICS Act" imperils the best chance we've had of passing common sense gun safety legislation in a decade.


The FIX NICS Act (SB2135) gives incentives to federal agencies and states to improve their reporting of records into the National Instant Criminal Background Check System — and hold them accountable if they don't.

The House Judiciary Committee passed the "Fix NICS Act" with a large bipartisan majority and the Senate version has already earned enough bipartisan support to overcome a filibuster in the Senate.

Concealed carry reciprocity is the gun lobby's top priority legislation. It would eviscerate state gun laws and make it easy for people with dangerous histories and no training to carry hidden, loaded guns in public across the country. It is dangerous and irresponsible, and we oppose it, regardless of whether it's on its own or whether it's combined with the "Fix NICS Act."

Sen. Justin Ready, R-District 5, spoke to WBAL (Nov. 27) and said: "it seems counter-intuitive to say that guns make people safe... ." Yes, Senator, here's a reason it sounds counter-intuitive to say that "guns make people safe," which is that it is not true.

The claim that gun ownership stops crime is common in the U.S. and that belief drives laws that make it easy to own and keep firearms. This country has the highest rate of gun ownership in the developed world. If more guns made us safer, we'd be the safest country on the planet. Instead, we have the highest rate of gun deaths.

Combining these bills will be sacrificing actual progress for public safety in order to undermine state gun laws across the country. It is outrageous and unacceptable to combine these two separate proposals, and doom this good bill to failure. Congress should reject this, and instead allow a clean vote on the "Fix NICS Act" without "concealed carry reciprocity."

Lou Wolf


The writer is the Carroll County local lead for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.