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    Finally, A Bill Worth Supporting!

    Published: Tuesday, April 29, 2003

    While most new laws emanating from Washington, D.C., these days tend to take freedoms away from us, there is one bill currently in the U.S. House of Representatives that deserves the full support of every American. The bill is numbered H.R. 990 and is titled the "Secure Access to Firearms Enhancement (SAFE) Act of 2003." The bill's chief sponsor is John Hostettler (R-8th/IN).

    What the bill does is reciprocate state Carry Concealed Weapons (CCW) permits in much the same way that driver's licenses are reciprocated state to state. In other words, a person who has a Concealed Carry permit in one state would be legally allowed to carry his concealed weapon in other states.

    The actual wording of the bill is as follows:

    "Notwithstanding any provision of the law of any State or political subdivision thereof, a person who is not prohibited by Federal law from possessing, transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm, and is--

    (1) carrying a valid license or permit which is issued pursuant to the law of any State and which permits the person to carry a concealed firearm; or

    (2) otherwise entitled to carry a concealed firearm in and pursuant to the law of the State of the person's residence, may carry in any State a concealed firearm in accordance with the terms of the license or with the laws of the State of the person's residence, subject to the laws of the State in which the firearm is carried concerning specific types of locations in which firearms may not be carried."

    Currently, the bill has 22 co-sponsors. I want to encourage my readers to contact their representative and encourage him or her to become a co-sponsor of this important bill. The freedom to possess and carry a firearm is consistent with the Second Amendment and should never be denied by law.

    In fact, it should not even be necessary to obtain a permit to carry a firearm, as this freedom is duly recognized by the U.S. Constitution as an unalienable, God-given right. However, the only state in the Union that recognizes this right by allowing its citizens to carry firearms without a license is Vermont. This is one reason why Vermont has one of the lowest crime rates in the country.

    However, as long as obtaining CCW permits is the only manner in which citizens may legally carry concealed weapons, it only makes sense that we be allowed to freely carry weapons when visiting states outside our residence. In fact, out-of-state visitors are often primary targets of criminals, because they know most visitors will be unarmed in compliance with those state laws restricting such carry. Therefore, this law will doubtless save the lives of countless law-abiding people.

    Contact your House member today, and encourage them to support H. R. 990. And while you're at it, give the White House a call. Let's see if President Bush will get behind this bill.

    © Chuck Baldwin

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