House weighs Republican bill easing gun restrictions

Seth Perlman  AP

Seth Perlman AP

The bill passed mostly along party lines, 231-198, with six Democrats supporting it.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler of NY, the senior Democrat on the Judiciary panel, said it was a cynical maneuver created to force Democrats to vote against the background check measure.

Gun owners who support the GOP bill say their rights to carry a gun shouldn't end at state borders and that the new concealed carry rule protects them from civil suits.

"Ten states refuse to recognize any out-of-state concealed carry permits, and many more refuse to recognize out-of-state concealed carry permits unless certain conditions are met", the letter read. "I don't think that right should be undermined simply because I travel to another state".

U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), who is the co-author of the bipartisan Fix NICS Act, called the bill "a bad, risky idea".

The NRA had fiercely lobbied for its passing.

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"We are in the thick of the legislative process and a so-called 'pro-gun group, ' which is nothing more than a fundraising entity, is spreading lies about the FIX NICS legislation that was attached to the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act", Lars Dalseide, a spokesperson for the NRA's Institute for Legislative Action, told the Washington Free Beacon. Currently, 13 states do not require a permit to carry a firearm: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming. Hudson said, [National reciprocity] won't increase crime.

Esty said Republicans are catering to gun industry lobbyists by combining a bill on background checks with one making it easier to carry concealed guns across state lines.

Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-Conn., called the bill an attempt to undermine states' rights, "hamstring law enforcement and allow unsafe criminals to walk around with hidden guns anywhere and at any time".

The reciprocity bill doesn't set a national standard for concealed carry or ease background checks.

"Thoughts & prayers alone will not prevent the next horrific tragedy".

Authorities in NY and Los Angeles, as well as activists in Morristown and across New Jersey, contend the measure will increase risks for police and make it easy for gun owners from places with lax gun laws, like West Virginia, to secretly tote weapons here, where restrictions are stricter. "This is not the kind of leadership our nation deserves", Giffords tweeted at Republican Rep. Darrell Issa in just one of almost 40 responses she had sent out.

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The National Rifle Association on Wednesday criticized misinformation being spread about a gun background check system improvement act it supports.

House GOP leaders plan to pair the concealed carry bill with a separate measure that aims to shore up the federal background check system. The devices allow semi-automatic rifles to fire almost as fast an automatic rifle.

The acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said the agency expects to regulate bump-stock devices and could end up banning them.

Hastings predicted the measure was "going nowhere" in the Senate, where Republicans control the chamber but would need backing from eight Democrats to avoid a filibuster.

"I was pleased to help the House pass this important 2nd Amendment bill today and hope the Senate acts swiftly to send it to the president's desk", Stefanik said. He has a bipartisan bill on that issue with Connecticut Sen.

When the House considers the measure, it is likely to be combined with popular legislation to tighten reporting requirements and penalties to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

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