In October, 52-year old grandmother Diane McIntire was the victim of an attempted kidnapping. She had just parked at a mall in Moline, Illinois when a man with a large butcher knife came up to her car door. He sliced her arm below the elbow and told Diane he was kidnapping her. He said if the police came, they would both die that day.
But what the kidnapper didn’t know was that Diane had a concealed carry permit from the state of Illinois and kept a pistol in her console.
When the kidnapper was distracted, she grabbed it. The tables had turned. Diane told the man that if he came a step closer, she would shoot him. The kidnapper retreated to a nearby house and Diane drove off safely in her car to call the police. "The grace of God is what saved me, and the sense to have calm, and have my weapon,” Diane said later to a news outlet.
Stories like these—where a person with a concealed carry permit saved their own life and those of other people—are not hard to come by. All 50 states already allow for some form of concealed carry and they have been proven to increase public safety. A 2013 study in Applied Economic Letters found that between 1980 and 2009, “states with more restrictive concealed carry laws had gun-related murder rates that were 10 percent higher.” Additionally, a 2013 survey of 15,000 current and retired police officers found that 90 percent of them support the concealed carry of guns by civilians.
However, there is a great deal of confusion in current law—especially when people with concealed carry firearms cross state lines. Today, the House will consider legislation sponsored by Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC) to clarify the law and protect residents of concealed carry states. The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act simplifies this matter by ensuring that people with a state-issued concealed carry license or permit, or people from states that do not require a permit to carry a concealed firearm as long as the individual follows the laws of that state.
CURBING GUN VIOLENCE
The House is committed to protecting the safety of the public by making sure that firearms never fall into criminal hands. No person with a serious criminal background can purchase or possess a firearm, and certainly not carry one in a concealed manner. That’s illegal and will remain illegal under the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act.
The House will also consider the Fix NICS Act, sponsored by Rep. John Culberson (R-TX). This legislation ensures that the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), the federal database administered by the FBI, is strengthened so that people with a criminal background can never buy a firearm. The legislation penalizes federal agencies that fail to report relevant criminal records to the FBI and directs federal funds to make sure domestic violence records are accurately reported to the FBI.
One final thing: We all somberly remember the Las Vegas massacre, where a gunman killed 58 people and wounded hundreds more. He utilized a bump stock, a device that attaches to a semi-automatic gun that uses recoil energy to simulate a fully automatic gun—which have been illegal for a long time. Speaker Ryan has repeatedly spoken about the possibility of regulating bump stocks.
Yesterday, the Justice Department announced it will promulgate a regulation identifying whether bump stocks will fall into the definition of "machineguns," which are banned under federal law. This legislation will require the Bureau of Justice Statistics to conduct a study of bump stocks and report to Congress in 180 days. This will include reporting the number of times a bump stock has been used in the commission of a crime in the United States. It will help Congress remain informed as we consider next steps.
House Republicans are absolutely committed to protecting Second Amendment rights and curbing gun violence in this country.