Pittsburgh chief joins opposition to concealed carry gun law expansion

The chief joined 472 police officials from around the country in urging Congress not to pass legislation the group says would undermine states' concealed-carry laws


By Wes Venteicher
The Tribune-Review

PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh Police Chief Scott Schubert joined 472 police officials from around the country in urging Congress not to pass legislation the group says would undermine states' concealed-carry laws.

The proposal would allow any person who is legally allowed to carry a concealed weapon in one state to carry the weapon in any other state. Under current law, states maintain reciprocity agreements with one another that govern where people can travel with concealed weapons.

“This legislation is a dangerous encroachment on individual state efforts to protect public safety, and it would effectively nullify duly enacted state laws and hamper law enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence,” the International Association of Chiefs of Police wrote in a Thursday letter to congressional leaders.

Concealed carry laws vary widely from state to state. In Pennsylvania, residents must be at least 21 and undergo a sheriff's investigation and state and federal background checks to obtain a license. Some states don't require a permit.

The bill's supporters say current laws create a confusing patchwork of laws that are difficult for legal carriers to navigate. The House has passed the proposal, H.R. 38, and a Senate version has been referred to a committee. The NRA supports the bill.

The law enforcement officers said that with the change, they “could not confirm whether an individual is carrying a weapon legally or creating a risk to public safety.”

Seventeen active and retired officers in Pennsylvania signed the letter, along with officials from departments large and small from around the country. Schubert was one of only two signers from Southwestern Pennsylvania, along with Sgt. Kenneth Ranalli, a Pennsylvania State Police officer from Pittsburgh.

©2018 The Tribune-Review (Greensburg, Pa.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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