A bill in Congress that would let visitors to New York walk around with concealed guns is making the city's police commissioner uneasy. NY1's Dean Meminger filed the following report.
A North Carolina congressman says licensed gun owners from any state should be able to walk around New York City, and any other city, with their guns.
Republican Richard Hudson wants gun licenses treated like drivers' licenses.
"When I drive to D.C. from my home in Concord, when I get to the Virginia state line, I don't have to stop and take a new driver’s test. The state of Virginia recognizes my license," Hudson said.
Hudson has introduced a bill in Congress to make a concealed gun carry license from any state valid in every state.
But the thought of out-of-state visitors packing heat in the city makes NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill uneasy.
"I don't think there is any reason for anybody to bring a gun into New York City," O'Neill said.
"Gun violence in New York City, it is low," he added. "Last year, we had under 1,000 shootings. That happens as a result of the hard work not only of the men and women in the NYPD, but everybody in this city. We don't need any more guns in this city."
New York has some of the nation's toughest gun laws. Licenses to carry a concealed handgun are hard to get. Applicants must demonstrate a valid reason to pack heat.
The NYPD says the overwhelming majority of illegal guns it confiscates where bought in places with lax gun laws, usually in the south, then smuggled into the city.
When asked what message he would give to lawmakers across the country who may have to vote on this bill, O'Neill said, "The message is, look at New York as a model and be guided by what we do."
Gun control advocate John Feinblatt agrees.
"Take Florida, for example. We could be sitting here and get on the phone and actually apply for a license in Florida without ever stepping foot in the state," Feinblatt said.
The National Rifle Association says Hudson's proposal makse sense because people never know when they have to defend themselves.
"The problem is, law-abiding citizens are made into criminals because they cross an imaginary state line," Hudson said.
The bill has 158 co-sponsors in the House. Its fate is unclear. But Hudson says he's encouraged because President Donald Trump campaigned on people's right to carry in all states.