Dear Member of Congress,
As the Washington gun lobby tries to force every state to let non-residents carry concealed, loaded guns in their communities, we thought you should know more about the relationship between this potential new federal mandate and Trayvon Martin's tragic death.
The bottom line: If Congress imposes "national reciprocity" for concealed carry permits, Trayvon's shooter would be able to carry hidden, loaded guns in 49 states out of 50. And there's nothing your state's police could do about it.
George Zimmerman had been arrested for an altercation with a police officer, had a protective order entered against him for domestic violence, and had called 911 fully 46 times to complain about "suspicious activity" – including kids playing in the street.
Nevertheless, he held a valid Florida permit to carry a hidden, loaded gun. And Florida police had no authority to revoke it.
Unlike Florida, at least 23 states currently give police discretion to deny a concealed carry permit if the applicant has an arrest record or pattern of behavior that suggests that he would be a threat to others.
But in a brazen display of callousness – just days after Trayvon Martin was killed – gun lobby extremists and their allies in Congress- led by Senators Begich, Manchin, Thune and Vitter- have introduced bills that would override those laws and force every other state to honor George Zimmerman's concealed carry permit. Only Illinois – which doesn't allow concealed carrying – would be exempted (for now).
Forced reciprocity is opposed by more than 625 mayors, many national, regional and state law enforcement organizations, a coalition of more than 30 national religious groups, a coalition of 56 domestic violence victim advocacy organizations; the American Prosecutors Association; attorney generals; faith leaders, and many others who care about states' rights and public safety.
For more information, including a comprehensive list of opponents, please see www.ourlivesourlaws.org and www.maig.org
Mayors Against Illegal Guns