Dear Mr. President,
On behalf of the more than 550,000 members of the U.S. Concealed Carry Association (USCCA) and the more than 500 employees at our Wisconsin headquarters and around the country, I am writing in response to your recent call for “commonsense gun law reforms.”
While we can agree that there are several “commonsense” and long overdue changes needed to our nation’s gun laws, we firmly believe that the path forward should be focused on supporting and protecting responsible, law-abiding Americans — not criminalizing and punishing them.
Troubling Commonsense Gun Laws
Sadly, the anti-gun proposals you have laid out thus far, both as a candidate and in your recent February 14 statement, would do virtually nothing to reduce crime or help more Americans keep their families safe. It’s deeply troubling to witness you using the solemn anniversary of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting to advocate for new gun laws that — even had they been in place three years ago — would have done nothing to stop those heinous murders. You called on Congress to pass a law requiring “universal background checks” but pointedly failed to note that the murderer purchased his firearm legally and passed a background check.
Further, your proposal last year to impose a new tax on millions of gun owners would disproportionately harm working-class Americans who can least afford it during these difficult economic times. Lower-income Americans should not be forced to choose between protecting their families and breaking the law or handing over their firearms to the government and leaving their homes unprotected.
If you are truly interested in advocating for commonsense gun law reforms that are grounded in reality rather than anti-gun political ideology, we urge you to consider a new path with the goal of keeping Americans safe by ensuring they can protect their families and loved ones at all times. It has been demonstrated time and again that criminals, by definition, have no respect for our laws, and so the focus should be on supporting those law-abiding Americans who choose to protect.
National Reciprocity Is Commonsense
The fundamental right to protect oneself and one’s family appeals to ALL Americans and cuts through party lines. We see that every day at the U.S. Concealed Carry Association, where we proudly have hundreds of thousands of members from all across the political spectrum.
In the past year, nearly 5 million new gun owners have joined the more than 100 million Americans who already own guns. Record numbers of Americans have been purchasing firearms to keep themselves and their loved ones safe, and the number of gun owners seeking self-defense education and training is at an all-time high. Women and minorities are now leading the way as the fastest-growing groups of concealed carry permit holders in the country as well as in membership at the USCCA.
Each of these responsible, law-abiding Americans has stepped forward to take responsibility for protecting his or her loved ones in an increasingly chaotic world. Yet our government’s antiquated patchwork of concealed carry laws is putting them at risk. How is it “commonsense” that a law-abiding American who has passed a background check and is legally allowed to carry a firearm in Virginia is subject to arrest and imprisonment if he or she steps foot over the state line into Maryland? How is it “commonsense” to tell parents that they should avoid air travel during the COVID-19 pandemic and travel by car with their families, if necessary, but they’re not allowed to protect themselves depending on which states they drive through?
In short, there is nothing “commonsense” about America’s patchwork of concealed carry laws, and that is why we need national concealed carry reciprocity — where state-issued concealed carry permits are treated just like driver’s licenses.
Support Responsible Citizens
The U.S. Concealed Carry Association exists to help responsible Americans avoid danger, save lives and keep their families safe. And we believe that our elected leaders in Washington have an incredible obligation to pursue these same goals. That’s why Congress and your administration should support the most responsible citizens of this nation — concealed carry permit holders — and help ensure they can protect themselves and their families at all times.
National concealed carry reciprocity — not higher taxes or more stringent regulations on already responsible gun owners, and certainly not removing the means by which those responsible gun owners can defend themselves and their loved ones — is a truly “commonsense” reform that will help more Americans keep their families safe. We urge you to support it.
USCCA President and Founder
Show Your Support for National Concealed Carry Reciprocity
Sign the petition that shows Americans from all over this great nation support national reciprocity. Allowing responsible gun owners to carry across state lines is commonsense.