Mayor Bloomberg and Booker fight for tougher gun laws
CRAIG D. FRAZIER Special to the AmNews | 11/2/2011, 6:12 p.m.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg is one of 600 Republican, Democratic and independent U.S. mayors who have called on the Senate to reject efforts by gun lobbyists that support legislation that would override state laws determining who can carry concealed, loaded weapons in public places.
The legislation, the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act (H.R. 822), was marked up by the House Judiciary Committee last week and is expected to be approved by the House as early as this week.
The legislation would force nearly every state to recognize permits to carry hidden, loaded weapons issued by any other state, even if the carrier would not qualify for a local permit.
The Mayors Against Illegal Guns coalition sent an open letter to Majority Leader Harry Reid and members of the Senate strongly opposing the gun lobby's attempt to strip cities and states of their authority to set minimum standards for concealed carrying.
"States and cities across the country have always had the authority to decide whether some people are just too dangerous to carry a loaded, hidden gun in public," said coalition co-chair Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. "This bill would take away that authority and force states to allow out-of-state permit holders who have records of domestic violence, have certain misdemeanor convictions or haven't completed basic gun safety training to carry loaded guns in public. When it comes to public safety, Congress has no business telling states, cities and police how to do their jobs."
New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker, a member of the coalition Mayors Against Illegal Guns, released a video calling the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act "insane" policy that puts civilians and police officers at risk.
"We cannot have a situation where Congress passes a law and the next thing you know, people are showing up in your community with hidden weapons that you, your state legislature, your mayors don't want to have happen," Booker told reporters.