Congressman Steve Cohen

Representing the 9th District of Tennessee

Congressman Cohen Votes Against Concealed Carry Reciprocity

December 6, 2017
Press Release
Says using weakest state laws to override more restrictive ones is “crazy”

WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) Wednesday voted against H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, which passed the House on a vote of 231 to 198. See his remarks during the floor debate here. He later released the following statement:

Just a month after the mass shooting of 26 in Texas and two months after a gunman killed 58 in Las Vegas, the House majority’s response is to override state laws with reasonable restrictions on the concealed carrying of handguns. Beyond the incomprehensible tone deafness of this action, it ignores the very states’ rights Republicans so often cling to – except when the National Rifle Association tells them not to,” Cohen said.

Thirty-four states and the District of Columbia, including Tennessee, require residents to be at least 21 to receive a concealed carry handgun permit. This bill would allow permit holders from states allowing concealed carry at younger ages to, in essence, violate more restrictive states’ laws. I support concealed carry laws and was the sponsor of Tennessee’s when I was in the state senate, but I think state laws that are more restrictive should be respected.”

The Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, on whose board of directors Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich serves, opposes the bill, saying that undermining state and municipal laws will increase danger to police officers.

The National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence also opposes the bill.