Dear Mr. Reynolds:
Thank you for contacting me regarding the Respecting States’ Rights and Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, S. 3207. Like you, I believe the right to bear arms is enshrined in our Constitution.
While I have long been a proponent of keeping guns out of the hands of criminals, you may be pleased to know that I have successfully fought to create new opportunities for law abiding citizens to exercise their right to use guns. For example in November 2007, I secured federal money to expand the scarce hunting grounds in New York State by creating a financial incentive for private landowners to allow hunters access to their property.
While I respect the Second Amendment to the Constitution, I believe that we have a collective interest in keeping guns out of the hands of those who want to harm the innocent. I believe we can strike a reasonable balance. However, the appropriate balance may not be the same in every part of the country, where different communities face different law enforcement realities or challenges. Regulations that are sensible in Brooklyn may be overly restrictive in Buffalo, and vice-versa.
The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act would require any state that issues a concealed carry permit to recognize permits issued by other states. In other words, an individual from a state with more permissive concealed carry laws than New York could bring their firearm into our state with no restrictions. The bill has not yet come up for consideration in the Senate, but when it does I will work with my colleagues to protect the rights of gun owners while respecting the rights of each state to determine how best to protect its citizens.
Thank you for contacting me about this important issue. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can ever be of assistance to you on this, or any other matter.
Charles E. Schumer
United States Senator
S. 3207: Respecting States Rights and Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2008