Press Releases

Feinstein: Concealed Carry Gun Bills ‘Dangerous’

New GAO report demonstrates reciprocity gun legislation would endanger lives of citizens, law enforcement

Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today released the results of a new GAO study she requested on concealed carry legislation that underscores the dangers of gun reciprocity legislation introduced in the Senate. The bills require states to recognize gun permits issued by other states, including those with weaker gun control policies.

The two concealed carry reciprocity bills (S. 2188, S. 2213) require nearly every state to accept the concealed carry gun permits issued by other states—regardless of the permit standards in either state. Senator Feinstein has placed a hold on this legislation.

“The GAO report sheds new light on state policies and practices for issuing and revoking concealed carry permits,” said Senator Feinstein. “The findings confirm my long-standing view that legislation designed to force nearly every state to accept concealed carry permits issued by other states would put the lives of Californians and other Americans at risk.”

The report found that a permit seeker who could not qualify for a permit in one state (due to a disqualifying offense such as a violent crime) could simply apply for a permit in another state that has less stringent requirements and accepts nonresident permit applications. That permit would be valid in other states. The report also found that since most states’ criminal databases are not connected, it is nearly impossible for authorities to determine immediately if one of its permit holders commits a crime in another state.

“This kind of legislation is dangerous to law enforcement and harmful to the public. The expansion of these laws chips away at gun safety standards and undermines states’ rights. I hope that this report will lead Congress to soundly reject this misguided legislation,” Senator Feinstein added.

Concealed carry reciprocity legislation is opposed by major national law enforcement organizations including the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the Major Cities Chiefs Association.

Senator Feinstein wrote the Federal Assault Weapons Ban, which was enacted as part of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 and expired in 2004. The landmark ban applied to the manufacture and sale of 19 types of military-style assault weapons, including UZIs and AK-47s.

Download the full report here.