Dear Mr. Dodge,
Thank you for contacting me with your comments regarding concealed carry
laws and reciprocity agreements. I appreciate hearing from you on this
Under existing law, the authority to issue concealed carry permits for
firearms falls within state jurisdiction. Washington State is a
"shall-issue" state, meaning that residents who meet the necessary
criteria (e.g. at least 21 years of age) shall be issued a concealed
carry permit upon request. Currently, each state decides what
out-of-state permits it will honor. This is done via reciprocity and
recognition agreements. In Washington State, the concealed carry permits
of other states receive reciprocity only if the licensing state: (1)
does not issue permits to individuals under the age of 21, and (2)
requires mandatory fingerprint-based background checks of criminal and
mental health history (RCW 9.41.073).
On February 18, 2011, Representative Cliff Stearns (R-FL) introduced the
National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011 (H.R. 822) in the U.S.
House of Representatives. This proposed legislation was passed out of
the House of Representatives and has been referred to the Senate
Committee on the Judiciary, where it is awaiting further review. If
enacted, this legislation would amend the federal criminal code to
authorize a person with a valid permit to carry a concealed firearm
issued by one state to carry a concealed handgun in another state in
accordance with that state's restrictions. The legislation would not
apply to those prohibited from possessing, transporting, or receiving
firearms under federal law.
As your Senator, you can be assured that I will work to protect the
legitimate rights of law-abiding American gun-owners, while continuing
to support responsible gun control legislation to reduce crime and make
our communities safer. I believe both of these goals are important and
can be simultaneously accomplished through common-sense gun laws and
stricter enforcement of existing laws.
Thank you again for contacting me to share your thoughts on this matter.
You may also be interested in signing up for periodic updates for
Washington State residents. If you are interested in subscribing to this
update, please visit my website at http://cantwell.senate.gov. Please do
not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of further
United States Senator
For future correspondence with my office, please visit my website at
Dear Mr. Dodge:
Thank you for contacting me with your concerns regarding military
detention. It is good to hear from you.
As you know, in the aftermath of the attacks of September 11, 2001, the
Bush administration devised a new detention system outside of
established legal structures of the U.S. criminal justice system and
military courts-martial. Through legislation and a series of
high-profile Supreme Court rulings, both Congress and the federal
judiciary took action to clarify and limit parts of the Bush
administration's detention programs.
Although President Obama has taken some important steps toward the fair
and humane treatment of detainees, I believe much more work has yet to
be done. I continue to support closing the detention center at
Guantanamo Bay and the ability of the Administration to try terror
suspects in the U.S. federal court system. The federal courts are
well-equipped to handle these complex and difficult cases-since 2006,
federal courts have successfully tried over 300 terrorism suspects while
military commissions have tried only three.
I strongly support giving our military and intelligence agencies the
tools they need to protect our nation and our servicemembers. I
understand some evidence against detainees may be too sensitive to
national security to be presented in civilian court or may be tainted
due to harsh interrogation techniques. Right now, the Secretary of
Defense and the Attorney General can decide whether to use a military
tribunal or a federal court. I believe the Obama administration should
continue to have the flexibility to decide on a case-by-case basis, and
I opposed Republican amendments during consideration of the National
Defense Authorization Act that would strip the President of this
Please be assured that I will keep your views on this important topic in
mind during the 112th Congress. If you would like to know more about my
work in the United States Senate, please feel free to sign up for my
weekly updates at http://murray.senate.gov/updates/
y.senate.gov%2fupdates%2f> . Thank you again for contacting me and
please keep in touch.
United States Senator
Note to Congressional staff & elected officials reading this: this letter was sent through Contact-Congress features on OpenCongress.org, a free public resource website, but in the future we seek to compel the U.S. Congress to adopt fully open technology for constituent communications. For more information how your office can better handle public feedback through an open API and open standards, contact us -- even today, there are significantly more efficient and responsive ways for our elected officials to receive email feedback than the status quo of individual webforms. For greater public accountability in government, we must make the process of writing one's members of Congress more accessible and empowering. Looking ahead, we will release more data from Contact-Congress letters and Congressional response rates back into the public commons. This will result in a new open data source on bills & issues people care about, as well as encourage best practices in constituent communications and make it possible to grade members of Congress on their responsiveness & citizen satisfaction.