This guest post is contributed by Rebecca Gray, who writes for background checks. She welcomes your comments at her email id: GrayRebecca14@gmail.com.
Gun rights issues come and go from the public spotlight, as violent episodes illuminate gun culture in America. Unfortunately, as quickly as gun violence is recognized as a crucial social topic, concerns seem to fade into the background, during incident-free periods. A school shooting or other gun-related atrocity starts the dialog and fervent discussions between pundits, lawmakers and police officials, only for it to slip from public focus before anything is actually done about it.
At issue is the intensely divided sphere of public influence, which decries gun crime and doggedly protects gun rights at the same time. There is no question a problem is at hand, yet legislators and staunch gun rights advocates continue to defend the status quo. Until we open our minds to serious reform, the proliferation of guns across U.S. society will continue to serve as a license to kill for criminals and accidental shooters defining the national gun culture.
State and Federal Influences
The proliferation of legal concealed-carry accommodations includes a vast majority of states as permit providers, with each jurisdiction maintaining its own set of laws. Depending on the requirements imposed, some states hardly restrict access to concealed carry permits, issuing most as a matter of course. A few states do maintain stringent standards, which limits access for certain members of society, even requiring gun owners to define their need for concealed weapons.
Despite the call for federal gun control and shifts in national attitudes about gun violence, states play crucial roles in legislating and enforcing gun rights. And while it is important to protect Constitutional freedoms, states need to fill the gap between Constitutional provisions and real-life outcomes seen on the streets. Combined with stand your ground laws on the books in some states, reckless concealed carry practices hold the potential for escalating violence. As a result, states that aren't active enough preventing guns from getting into the wrong hands actually contribute to the problem of gun violence more than they help solve it.
The National Rifle Association remains firmly committed to reciprocity and universal federal gun laws regulating gun rights across state lines. Though currently on the books in all 50 states, concealed carry laws vary according to jurisdiction, so travelers carrying firearms must do due diligence to ensure they are acting in accordance with state statutes. NRA proposals, on the other hand, would standardize laws across states, even going as far as creating federal laws to codify the national standard.
Gun rights advocates justify the proposed change by arguing the universality of crime, which can occur at any time and place. According to the NRA, gun owners should not be forced to sacrifice safety and security just to travel across state borders. Unfortunately, standardizing gun laws would be a step backward for public safety, because such a proposal would naturally pander to the lowest possible standard. As a result, the federal conceal carry law would account for the lowest common denominator, compromising the strict licensure policies adopted by other states committed to curbing gun violence.