For six years I lived in constant fear of a stalker. He harassed me, in person and online, at all hours of the day and night. I notified police and made several reports. A judge granted me a protective order. But still, the stalking and harassment continued. I truly felt all alone. He was slowly taking my life from me. It wasn’t until the death threats began that I knew I had to take matters into my own hands. I got a gun.
Today, I am one of nearly 730,000 concealed carry permit holders in Indiana. Carrying a firearm is my best protection in a dangerous world. But, carrying a concealed firearm for self-defense can be difficult because of the current confusing patchwork of state and local laws.
A bill in the United States Senate, S446, the Constitutional Concealed Carry Act of 2017, would eliminate that confusing patchwork of laws by requiring all states to honor each other’s valid permits. I am urging Senator Joe Donnelly to support this important legislation in the Senate. His vote is critical to our ability to protect and defend ourselves when we travel. As a percentage of the adult population, Indiana has more concealed carry permit holders than any other state in the country. Currently, permit holders from all 50 states can travel through Indiana and have their permits honored. But, when Indiana permit holders leave the state — 18 states refuse to honor our right to self-defense, including our neighbor Illinois. Not very neighborly, is it?
This is unacceptable. We know that threats to our personal safety don’t end at the state border. It is common sense, and more importantly, it respects the Constitution, to honor the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens in every state.
National reciprocity is part of America’s 30-year experience with Right-to-Carry legislation, which has been a resounding public safety success. Across the country, violent crime rates have plummeted as the number of concealed carry permits has soared. Today more than 16 million Americans have permits.