I am responding to Mr. Harris's letter regarding my recent letter on House Bill HR 38 addressing universal concealed carry (Mailbag, Jan. 19).

Currently, every state has provisions for concealed carry, typically left to the discretion of the county sheriffs of each state. As noted in my previous letter, HR 38 would permit law abiding citizens (key words), who possess a state issued carry permit, to legally carry concealed in every other state in the United States.

For those readers who don't understand the process of obtaining a permit, the applicant must attend classroom study on firearms, demonstrate proficiency with a firearm, submit to fingerprinting, have their picture taken, and submit to a background check. I believe this process is analogous to receiving a drivers license, i.e. the applicant reads the manual, practices driving skills, takes the driving exam, and is issued a license. Unlike the concealed carry permit however, the driver's license is recognized in every state (as well as foreign countries).

My point and the point of HB 38 is a concealed carry permit should also be recognized in every state. Where Mr. Harris ignores reality is on two fronts. First of all, criminals already carry weapons regardless of laws forbidding it. Secondly, for Pelosi to equate law abiding citizens to criminals is lunacy.

I believe its accurate to say that your first line of defense against crime is you, not law enforcement. Law abiding citizens should have the right to defend themselves within the limits of the law.

Larry Ciaffoni

Albany (Jan. 21)

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