WASHINGTON, D.C. Today, the Human Rights Campaign urged Members of Congress to vote "no" on H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017. The bill, which has been identified as high priority legislation by the National Rifle Association ( NRA ), would allow people who are prohibited from getting a concealed carry permit in a state with strong gun laws to apply for a permit in a state with weaker laws. This includes convicted stalkers, domestic abusers, people convicted of violent crimes, and people with no training or experience firing a gun.
"Congress should be putting forward legislation that addresses the epidemic of gun violence not pandering to long-standing pet projects of the NRA," said David Stacy, HRC Government Affairs Director. "States have taken the important step of passing common-sense gun policies in the face of inaction by Congress. This ill-conceived bill would undermine state laws and greatly weaken local law enforcement's ability to serve their community. HRC is proud to join gun safety advocates in opposing this dangerous proposal."
Last year, 49 people — most of them LGBTQ and Latinx — were killed in a mass shooting in Orlando. While this incident gained national attention, the LGBTQ community is consistently the target of bias-motivated violence, as evidenced by the FBI's recent release of hate crimes statistics for 2016. The volatile combination of animosity towards the LGBTQ community and lack of strong laws to prevent gun violence exacerbates the dangers faced by LGBTQ people. Reasonable gun violence prevention measures are part of the solution to bias-motivated violence.
Following the tragedy in Orlando, HRC's Board of Directors adopted a resolution recommended by HRC President Chad Griffin that addresses both the epidemic of hate that has fueled anti-LGBTQ-motivated murder, assault and discrimination as well as common-sense gun violence prevention policies that would help keep the LGBTQ community safe. The resolution established HRC's organizational position that the safety of LGBTQ people in the United States requires the adoption of common-sense gun violence prevention measures, including limiting access to assault-style rifles, expanding background checks, and limiting the ability for suspected terrorists, and those with a history of domestic abuse to access guns.