Nearly a month ago, a gunman killed 26 people in a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas — many of them children.
And this week, House Republicans passed a bill that would essentially make it easier for gun owners with a concealed carry permit in one state to carry a hidden weapon into another state, regardless of that state’s gun laws.
The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act passed in a 231-198 vote. Fourteen Republicans opposed it and six Democrats voted in favor of the legislation.
If the bill passes into law, it would not only make it easier for people to carry concealed guns along state lines, but also help a person living in a state with strict gun control regulations get a permit from a state with less stringent rules and use it easily at home.
Lindsay Nichols, federal policy director at the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, explained to HuffPost how disastrous the consequences of the legislation could be in the long run.
“Domestic violence victims often flee to other states,” Nichols stated. “This bill would embolden many abusers who currently cannot carry a gun to cross state lines armed to continue the abuse.”
The National Rifle Association, of course, is celebrating, calling the bill a “watershed moment."
Chris Cox, director of the gun lobby, described it as a “30-year movement” that aims to make it easier for more Americans to carry weapons across state lines.
It's a shame that Republicans have handed a gift to the NRA not only just weeks after two major mass shootings but also so close to the fifth anniversary of the Sandy Hook school shooting that resulted in the deaths of 20 children and 6 teachers.
“I don’t know that putting the NRA’s agenda on the floor of the House is the right way to mark five years since Sandy Hook,” Sen. Chris Murphy, a gun control advocate from Newtown, Connecticut, told the Guardian. “It is heartbreaking to think as we come up to the fifth anniversary of Newtown, Republicans in the House are pushing through a bill to make our country less safe.”