NY Daily News Editorial
Tuesday, July 21st 2009, 4:00 AM
The pistols-for-everyone-everywhere crowd in Washington has engineered diabolical legislation that would blow gaping holes in New York's gun control laws. The measure must be stopped.
Republican Sen. John Thune wants Americans across the country to be able to carry concealed weapons, including Americans who live in, work in or visit this city and state. That's apparently the way of life, and death, in his beloved South Dakota.
But what flies in Sioux Falls, population 150,000, or capital city Pierre, population 14,000, does not make it in the world's safest big city, population 8.4 million, where the police have saved thousands from gun deaths by vigorously enforcing weapons laws.
Thoroughly distorting the legislative process, Thune has attached a pro-gun amendment to a defense authorization bill. It would let anyone granted a concealed carry permit by any state carry a concealed handgun in any other state that issues such permits.
Which New York does. But not all concealed carry permits are created equal. New York has some of the strictest rules in the country, and it doesn't have reciprocal agreements with other states that allow visitors to bring guns across the state line.
The Thune amendment would gut those safeguards. Anyone meeting the laxest standards of federal law - including people with misdemeanor convictions, long arrest records or alcohol abuse problems - would be able to walk the city streets packing heat. The NYPD could do nothing.
Not only that, New Yorkers denied a local permit could go to any of the 21 states that give concealed carry permits to nonresidents. They'd then be free to bring mayhem back home.
The NYPD and the 400-member, bipartisan group Mayors Against Illegal Guns, among others, are opposed to the Thune amendment. Mayor Bloomberg is working to stop it. But even with a 60-vote majority, Senate Democrats are not sure that they have enough votes to defeat the measure, given the ranks of Dems from traditionally Republican, gun-loving states.
New York's best hope is for Sen. Chuck Schumer and others to pressure Thune to withdraw the amendment. Failing that, Schumer says he will filibuster.
Whatever it takes. The Thune amendment must be shot down, [by any means necessary].