Sunday, December 24, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews
So far this year, there have been 10 murders in Maywood, five more than took place in 2016, according to Maywood Police Chief Valdimir Talley.
The chief said that he believes pending federal gun legislation designed to make it easier to carry concealed firearms across state lines would only exacerbate the village’s violent crime problem.
“There’s no reason a town of 24,000 people should have 10 murders,” Talley said during a phone interview earlier this week in which he addressed the fatal shooting that took place inside Maywood Grocery, 1115 Madison St., on Dec. 19.
Anthony Morris, 37, of Maywood, was killed and a woman was wounded during the shooting, which happened at around 11:03 a.m., according to police. Talley said that the woman was with her 6-year-old son at the time.
“A 6-year-old was nearly shot,” Talley said. “Whoever did this should go to prison for a very long time.”
Talley said that detectives were canvassing the area, interviewing potential witnesses and checking surveillance footage from cameras near the crime scene. So far, he said, police have no one in custody and aren’t clear what the motive for the killing may have been.
Talley said that the proposed Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, which recently passed the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 231 to 198, could make shooting crimes like the one that happened on Dec. 19 even likelier occurrences.
Daniel Webster, the director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, recently wrote in a column for The Hill that currently, “each state has its own rules about the legal requirements for who can carry concealed firearms and which carry permits, if any, they honor from other states.”
Under the new federally-mandated concealed carry reciprocity, Webster notes, states such as Illinois, which requires residents to obtain a concealed carry license from the State Police, “would be required to honor a permit granted by states such as Utah, which grants permits without discretion or safety tests, even to out-of-state residents.”
Webster adds that the “bill would allow residents from the 12 states where there are no requirements whatsoever for legal gun owners to carry concealed firearms to carry concealed guns in the other 38 states that normally require permits.”
Supporters of the bill argue that it protects the Constitutional rights of law-abiding gun owners across state lines.
Opponents, like Webster, say that the legislation is a gift to the National Rifle Association despite the concerns of average citizens. According to a national survey conducted by the Center for Gun Policy and Research, 83 percent of gun owners support stronger safety standards for concealed carrying.
Talley, a member of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), said that he stands with the organization in opposing the proposed legislation.
According to a statement released by NOBLE on Dec. 19, if enacted into law, the legislation “has the potential to create several unintended consequences specific to vulnerable populations across this country.”
Clarence E. Cox, III, NOBLE’s national president, said that the “threats associated with the passage” of the law “are vast.”
“Allowing the concealed carry transport of firearms across state lines puts many women and young children in inherent danger as evidenced by the rise in domestic violence and partner abuse,” Cox said.
“Additionally, because concealed carry reciprocity creates a loophole that allows individuals to actively avoid criminal background checks (a typical necessity in obtaining a gun),” he added, “this legislation would potentially allow those unqualified to purchase guns an opportunity to do so.”
Now that the House has voted on the proposed law, it will go before the Senate for a vote.
The law would potentially allow “people to carry hidden guns in every state with no permit, no training, and no background checks,” Cox said.
Talley echoed Cox’s concerns and agreed with him that the law could unduly jeopardize the safety of officers and civilians.
“It undermines local public safety decisions and puts police officers at risk,” Cox said of the proposal.
“States attorneys across the country have also deemed the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act unconstitutional,” he said. “This legislation is wrought with greatly disturbing consequences and will only increase the amount of gun-related crimes across the country.”
According to Webster, research “shows that gun violence rates increase over time when laws regulating concealed gun carrying are substantially weakened.”
In their statement, NOBLE explained that the legislation would also be costly to state and local governments, since law enforcement departments would have to provide more training to teach officers “how to respond to out-of-state guests claiming a right to carry under the laws of distant states.
“There’s no national database of concealed carry permits like there is for driver’s licenses, so if Congress passed the legislation, states would be forced to create new and costly tools for police who encounter nonresidents with hidden guns,” according to NOBLE’s statement. “This cost would be monumental and outside of the budget of most local policing entities.” VFP
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