She hasn't even been sworn in as Pennsylvania's new attorney general, but Kathleen Kane is wasting no time taking a position on one thorny national issue - gun control.
Kane, a Democrat who won by a huge margin on Nov. 6, has signed on to a letter with eight sitting attorneys general asking U.S. Senate leadership to kill two pieces of legislation that would mandate reciprocity on concealed carry laws.
Led by New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman, the coalition said it wants the Senate to reject the so-called "National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act" and Respecting States Rights and Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act."
In its letter the coaltion says the law would force states to abandon their own gun laws by allowing out-of-state visitors to carry concealed firearms based on their home state's laws rather than those of the state they are entering.
They said the bill would restrict their states' ability to control who may or may not carry concealed weapons within their borders, undermine the ability of police to verify the validity of gun permits, and allow gun traffickers to more easily bring illegal guns into their respective states.
Pennsylvania has formal reciprocity agreements with 18 states.
“These two bills would force states to recognize concealed carry permits issued by any other states, even those with poor oversight and weaker permitting standards,” the attorneys general wrote. “These bills would create a lowest common denominator approach to public safety that would endanger police and make it more difficult to prosecute gun traffickers.”
In addition to New York and Pennsylvania, states cosigning the letter to the Senate leadership are California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada and Oregon.
A 2010 study by Mayors Against Illegal Guns showed that nearly half of the guns that crossed state lines before being recovered in crimes came from just ten states, most with comparatively weak gun laws.
Kane, became the first woman and first Democrat elected as Pennsylvania attorney general when she trounced her challenger, Republican David Freed, last month. She is scheduled to be sworn in on Jan. 15.
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