In early February, amidst the flurry of proposed legislation in response to the tragedy in Newtown, Conn., I contacted my congressman, Gerry Connolly. I reached out to Rep. Connolly (D-Dist. 11) to express my concern with a proposal from his Democrat colleague, Jim Moran. Rep. Moran (D-Dist. 8) is the sponsor of HR 21, the so-called NRA Members’ Gun Safety Act of 2013. Most attention given to this legislation is on its granting the Attorney General the authority to deny anyone suspected of terrorism the right to own a firearm.
One only need reference the Wikipedia entry on the many false positives with the “No-Fly List” to understand why. However, my specific concern was with Title V of the bill, which requires individuals seeking a conceal carry permit to demonstrate “good cause” for requesting such a permit. This begs the question of what is good cause. I contacted Congressman Connolly asking for his stance on this specific section of the bill. I also urged him not to support the legislation. In late March, still not having received a response, I contacted Mr. Connolly’s office. I was shocked when the staff assistant that answered my call acknowledged receiving my correspondence and even provided the date it was received, but said they’ve just been too busy to send a response. I told her that having contacted my federal representatives in both the House and the Senate many times in the past, including Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Dist. 10), my previous Congressman, I always received a timely response. I added that having interned in Congress myself, I understood that responding to constituents was always a priority. As of mid-April, Mr. Connolly still has not replied. So in addition to wondering what some in Congress might consider a good cause for a conceal carry permit, I am also left to ponder what Congressman Connolly considers a good cause for responding to his constituents.