In a recent NRA-ILA article about the Stossel documentary that the NRA Institute for Legislative Action suggests supports the need for national concealed carry reciprocity, Tilem & Associates senior partner Peter H. Tilem was quoted and described as a criminal lawyer who represents tourists accused of “innocently violating New York’s gun control laws. ” The Stossel Documentary can be seen here.
Mr. Tilem regularly represents those who travel from other States with firearms and who get arrested for violating New York’s draconian and complex gun laws. The John Stossel documentary was based on the story of two of Mr. Tilem’s clients who were arrested at Queens, New York airports one with a gun and one with a magazine which New York law calls a high-capacity ammunition feeding device.
The NRA-ILA article goes on to describe the Stossel documentary in some depth including describing the stories of the two tourists from Georgia who were arrested and the interviews of Mr. Tilem and and Mr. Ryan, the Chief Assistant District Attorney in Queens who is in charge of the prosecution of these cases. Both Laguardia and Kennedy airports, two of the busiest airports in the country are located within the jurisdiction of the Queens District Attorney’s Office.
The purposes of the article is to call attention to a bill that is pending in both the Senate and the House called generally the National Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act. In the Senate, Senate Bill 446 is formally entitled the “Constitutional Concealed Carry Act of 2017” and has 37 cosponsors. The House Bill, H.R. 38 is formally entitled the “Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017” and has 209 cosponsors.
A review of the John Stossel documentary and the stories of Trish and Avi will make it abundantly clear why this national legislation is necessary. Avi and Trish and thousands of law abiding citizens like them are arrested in States like New York even though they follow the complex rules for travelling with firearms set forth on the TSA website and by the airline. Even though they have innocently violated the law and even though they have concealed carry licenses from their home state and have passed stringent fingerprint background checks they are arrested and thrown in jail.
The reason that National Concealed Carry is necessary is because the irresponsible New York gun laws and the irresponsible enforcement of those laws has made it necessary.
While critics of National Concealed Carry will raise the specter of gun violence as the reason not to permit national reciprocity, those outdated and overused arguments have been made each time gun laws are relaxed in anyway and to the contrary, evidence has shown that more guns in society has resulted in less gun crime, not more. Yet compare that speculative and hollow threat against the very real and horrible injustice playing out every week in New York and other states for people like Avi and Trish and the thousands like them. Lets not forget that there are people like Avi and Trish who may not have the resources to hire a law firm like this one to beat these types of serious gun felonies and who may end up in the New York criminal justice abyss.