Congressional Dems launch drive to bring handgun licensing to more states
By Chris Eger
Connecticut Democrat Elizabeth Esty’s proposal to expand handgun licensing programs has the early backing of numerous gun control groups. (Photo: Esty’s office)
A group of Democrats from states that require licenses to purchase or own handguns is looking to take the concept nationwide.
The sponsored legislation, H.R.5490, would promote handgun licensing programs in states by means of a federal grant program. Introduced last week by lawmakers from Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland and North Carolina, the proponents argue that requiring a person to obtain a permit before they can buy a pistol or revolver saves lives.
“Research shows that permit to purchase laws are effective and prevent guns from getting into the hands of dangerous individuals. In my home state of Connecticut, permit to purchase laws worked to reduce firearm homicides by 40 percent,” said U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-Conn. “The Handgun Purchaser Licensing Act is one step forward we can take to make our communities safer while respecting the rights of law-abiding gun owners.”
Under the guidelines of H.R.5490, the Department of Justice would establish a grant program for local, state, and tribal governments to develop and evaluation of handgun purchaser licensing requirements. As a minimum, such programs would require that applicants be at least