U.S. Rep. Rush Holt (NJ-12) today addressed the U.S. House of Representatives to oppose H.R. 822, the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011, which would override state gun control laws by allowing anyone who possesses a concealed carry permit in any state to carry their concealed weapon across state lines.
Opponents of the bill include Sen. Frank Lautenberg (NJ), who recently called on President Barack Obama to issue a veto threat against the legislation.
A video of Holt's remarks is available online, and the text follows below:
"Mr. Speaker, this is another great example of legislation in search of a problem. Driven by the ideological fervor of its sponsors rather than by any practical approach to safety, H. R. 822 would amend existing federal law to establish a national standard for carrying concealed firearms. As the sponsors well know, these matters have long been the province of the states. It is fascinating how quickly the majority ignores the 10th Amendment when the gun lobby comes calling. Why needlessly create a conflict -- or should I say, a shoot-out -- between the 2nd and the 10th Amendments?
"Passage of the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of 2004, which I voted for and which permits qualified law enforcement officers to carry concealed firearms across states, makes this essentially redundant and unnecessary. The bill before us would have the effect of overriding New Jersey's own laws in this area, which police officers and hunters and other citizens tell me work well and help keep our citizens safe. Ask our law enforcement officers. They will tell you, New Jerseyans live well within our gun safety laws. We don't need more lax laws.
"Others have said this today, but maybe it's worth repeating: this body should be focused on creating jobs, not passing ideologically-driven, special-interest legislation that will endanger the public safety, subvert the constitutional order, and go against the interests and the declared recommendations of law enforcement officers all across the U.S."