Manhattan DA: National Reciprocity ‘Is a Gift’ to the Islamic State

FILE - In this Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013 file photo, a Glock representative explains features of the Glock 37 Gen 4 .45 caliber pistol at the 35th annual SHOT Show, in Las Vegas. After struggling to sway both state and federal lawmakers, proponents of expanding background checks for gun sales …
AP Photo/Julie Jacobson, File

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. used an August 23 CNN op-ed to claim national reciprocity for law-abiding citizens “is a gift” to the Islamic State.

He suggests the Islamic State must certainly support national reciprocity because it would allow them to “purchase multiple handguns at a gun show, take those guns into Manhattan and carry them, fully loaded, into Times Square.” He lamented that nothing they did would “be a crime until they started shooting.”

A couple of points need to be made: First, Vance’s scenario is false. National reciprocity has nothing to do with buying guns, period. Secondly, even if his scenario were true, why would Islamic State members go through all this trouble when they have already demonstrated how easily they can buy guns via background checks and waiting periods, then use those guns to attack innocents?

Remember the New York bombing suspect who got into a gunfight with police in September 2016? He acquired his gun via a background check and allegedly carried it into the city without waiting for national reciprocity to be passed.

Or how about the Orlando Pulse attacker — yes, the one who called 911 after the attack began and said he “[pledged] Allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi of the Islamic state.” He acquired his guns via background checks and a waiting period then killed 49 people in a gun-free zone without waiting for national reciprocity to pass.

The same can be said of the December 2, 2015, San Bernardino attackers. CNN reported the terrorist duo acquired their handguns via background checks. They circumvented gun control to acquire their rifles — proving the impotence of gun laws — then killed 14 people in a gun-free zone without waiting for national reciprocity to pass.

The point is simple — individuals loyal to the ideas of the Islamic State have not needed national reciprocity to take life after life in the United States. And it should be noted that the common denominator in their attacks have been gun-free victim zones, like Orlando and San Bernardino, or cities where the people are virtually disarmed via strict gun control, i.e., New York City.

Seen in this light, national reciprocity is not legislation to be feared but legislation to be embraced. After all, who wants to be unarmed the next time an Islamic State loyalist opens fire on innocents with a gun he acquired via background checks and waiting periods?

AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at


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