Handing the National Rifle Association more ammo Wednesday, House Republicans rammed through a measure to allow licensed gun owners to carry concealed weapons across state lines.
The bill was the first decisive action taken on guns in Congress since the Oct. 1 Las Vegas shooting that killed 58 and the Nov. 5 mass murder of 26 Texas churchgoers — and it drew instant condemnation from New York officials.
“You put New Yorkers at risk . . .. Who is going to pay the price for that? It’s not going to be the legislators in D.C. It’s going to be us, in the No. 1 terrorist target in the world,” Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. said.
He predicted “chaos” if the measure makes it through the Senate and is signed into law by President Trump.
“How are police officers supposed to figure out at 3 o’clock in the morning who is lawfully in possession of gun in New York City and who is not?” Vance said.
Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance, Jr., at podium, was joined by NYPD Deputy Commissioner Benjamin Tucker (3rd from left) and Bronx DA Darcel Clark (3rd from right), during a news conference on the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act (CCRA) on Wednesday in Manhattan,
Gov. Cuomo was equally vitriolic about the measure, which could essentially nullify New York’s gun laws — among the most stringent in the nation — by allowing residents from states with more lax regulations to bring weapons here.
“This legislation would let individuals from out of state convicted of certain crimes carry hidden, loaded weapons in New York, in violation of New York’s much better, safer law.
“Only the NRA could propose something so ill-considered, dangerous and vile,” Cuomo said.
Concealed-carry permits are issued in New York only after extensive background checks and all applicants must go before a judge, who signs off on the final decision.
The bill allows licensed gun owners to bring their concealed weapons across state lines.
(JASON REDMOND/AFP/Getty Images)
The measure passed in the House largely along party lines: 231 Republicans in favor versus 198 Democrats against. The bill also boosted the background check system — something Democrats want, but said they could not support if it meant also approving concealed carry.
Six centrist Democrats broke rank, however, to vote for the measure, which has long been on the wish list of the megapowerful NRA.
Democratic Reps. Sanford Bishop of Georgia, Kurt Schrader of Oregon, Vicente Gonzalez and Henry Cuellar, both of Texas, Collin Peterson of Minnesota and Ron Kind of Wisconsin all cast “aye” votes.
Fourteen House Republicans also defied Speaker Paul Ryan to vote no — among them Staten Island’s Dan Donovan and Pete King of Long Island.
Victims of the Texas church shooting
“This bill will put cops’ lives at risk. It will put civilian lives at risk and it’s absolutely indefensible,” King said.
The measure got through the House because the “NRA and the gun organizations strongly supported it,” he said. He also noted that some of the 14 Republicans who opposed it did so because they felt it didn’t go far enough in easing gun restrictions.
Ultimately, King said, “This is going to make it a lot easier for bad guys to get guns into the state.”
The measure will now head to the Senate — where Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said he is ready to take down the deep-pocketed gun lobbyists.
The “concealed carry reciprocity” law was a priority of the National Rifle Association. Pictured is NRA honcho Wayne LaPierre.
(John Gress/Getty Images)
“I have a message for the NRA: I will fight tooth and nail to ensure the effort to eviscerate New York’s common-sense gun laws is dead on arrival in the Senate,” he said.
“I will help lead the fight to beat back this dangerous effort by NRA lobbyists and puppets looking to put a bull’s-eye on our city,” Schumer said. It would turn America into the Wild West, he said, adding, “We must stop this madness.”
Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-Conn.), who represents Newtown, Conn., where 20 first-graders and six educators were fatally shot in 2012, said the bill would undermine states’ rights.
“It’s unspeakable that this is Congress’ response to the worst gun tragedies in American history,” she said.
Maniac Stephen Paddock killed 58 outside the Mandalay Hotel (background) in Las Vegas on Oct. 1.
(MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), who was shot in the head in 2011, denounced the House action.
“I’m angry that when this country is begging for courage from our leaders, they are responding with cowardice,” she said.
A spokesman for Mayor de Blasio described the vote as a disgrace.
“Republicans in Congress have openly done the NRA’s dirty work, placing the gun lobby’s radical ideology ahead of the lives of New Yorkers and our police officers,” spokesman Austin Finan said.
But one upstate New York lawmaker embraced the vote outcome and used it to fund-raise.
“The left will stop at nothing to criminalize our nation’s law-abiding gun owners … anyone who voted against national concealed carry reciprocity today also voted to put their radical agenda ahead of your constitutional freedoms,” wrote Rep. Chris Collins (R-Erie County), the first member of Congress to back President Trump.
With News Wire Services
With Kenneth Lovett
Source: Ny Daily News