Will a Trump-backed bill bring guns to NYC? Both sides of the issue look to Congress to decide

Could a campaign promise of President-elect Donald Trump make it easier for tourists to carry concealed weapons in New York and New Jersey? That's a question many gun control advocates are now asking in the wake of Trump's election victory.

It's also a topic that advocates for gun ownership say may solve problems in surprising ways.

A bill that's up for a vote in the new Republican-controlled Congress would allow people who legally own handguns in any U.S. state to carry those weapons with them to any other state, despite those other states' handgun laws. In other words, a person coming from a state with much less restrictive gun laws could legally carry their gun into New York, which has some of the country's strictest gun laws.

Trump supports the change in the law.

Lance Dashefsky, a Manhattan-based certified handgun instructor, said the bill's passage "definitely is possible."

He said one thing would be of utmost importance if the proposed bill were to become law.

"There are some states where training is not required," Dashefsky said in an interview at an indoor gun range in Chelsea. "And therein lies an issue."

He said the situation is "not unlike a driver's license," where there are "different laws for each state," but where drivers from out-of-state can still drive in any state.

However, unlike the case for driver's licenses, education and training is not necessarily required in many states in order to legally possess a handgun.

In at least seven states, there are no requirements for gun ownership other than a background check. Under the proposed law, legal gun owners from those states would be able to legally carry their firearms in New York and New Jersey.

"States have different standards," said Adam Skaggs of the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, a gun safety advocacy group. "Some let you carry if you're a convicted felon. This [proposed law] would make it national. That's why it's dangerous."

Skaggs said the gun bill Trump supports is not only about our region.

"This interferes with basic states' rights to keep communities safe," Skaggs said. "We'll put this before the American people and see what happens."

That sort of wait-and-see approach is the same one that Dashefsky, the firearms instructor and gun use advocate, is also using as the bill makes its way to Congress early in the new year.

"I don't think it's going to turn New York City into the Wild West," Dashefsky said. "I hope not. We'll see how it turns out."