In keeping with its long-standing position supporting enhanced control of firearms through legislation at the national, state, and local levels, the National Jewish Community Relations Advisory Council (NJCRAC) urges strong opposition to recent state level legislative initiatives which would allow the carrying of concealed deadly weapons. Such legislation will not protect American citizens from violence. Rather, these initiatives have the strong potential to further endanger security by increasing the ease of access to handguns and other concealed weapons. Moreover, such measures would make detection of individuals carrying guns into public places, such as courts, airports, and schools, all the more difficult for law enforcement officials.

The use of illegal handguns alone kills over 24,000 Americans each year, and guns are a leading cause of death for teenage youth. It is now estimated that 13 American children die every day as victims of gun-related violence.

The NJCRAC Policy and Guidelines for Addressing the Causes and Prevention of Crime and Violence, adopted June 12, 1995, supports strong federal, state, and local measures to control and reduce the manufacture, sale and possession of handguns and other non-sporting firearms and ammunition, improved regulation of interstate sales of weapons, and community efforts to reduce the quantity of guns and ammunition available on the streets. Permitting the possession of concealed weapons increases the potential for the unchecked proliferation of dangerous weapons, especially handguns, making them more readily available for use by individuals when provoked, and heightens the risk of increased criminal activity and violence.

The NJCRAC therefore calls upon legislators at all levels of government, and all community leaders and public officials concerned with controlling crime, to oppose strongly any proposals to permit the carrying of concealed deadly weapons.

-end-

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