Momentum and Support For A National Concealed Gun Carry Reciprocity Law May Too Difficult To “Shoot Down”

The outcome of the November 8th congressional and presidential elections has the NRA boasting that it is confident that it and other pro gun groups can now force a federal carry reciprocity law.  Actually, the Trump people had already formed a “Second Amendment Coalition,” including members of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Active before he was elected.  Chaired by Donald Trump, Jr. and composed of 63 “co chairs,” the group stands ready to protect and expand gun-owners interests.

As I understand it, concealed carry is allowed in all 50 states and the District of Columbia but to different degrees.  In effect, should legislation requiring reciprocity be enacted, those states with the most stringent requirements would be subverted by the states with the most lenient regulations.  A January 2015 report by” Everytown for Gun Safety” said that reciprocity not only interferes with states’ rights but more dangerously, “some states do thorough criminal background checks on applicants, while other states have such ineffective permitting systems that they inadvertently issue permits to felons.“  Read entire report here.

A bill passed the House last Congress and another almost made it through the Senate.  Rep.  Richard Hudson (R-NC) introduced a bill on January 3rd 2017 in the House and similar legislation will be introduced in the Senate soon.   We citizens in the  Metropolitan Washington area already witnessed nail-biting days last year when the Virginia Assembly passed   legislation to recognize permits from all other 49 states, no matter how low their standards.s  Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe promised to sign the legislation into law, a slap in the face of Attorney General Mark Herring, who was attempting to do the opposite and provoking gun violence prevention groups to lash out at the Governor, warning the legislation would “allow out-of-state stalkers, individuals convicted of violent misdemeanor offenses, those with serious juvenile offenses, on their record, and other violent individuals to carry concealed handguns in the Commonwealth with impunity.”  Though ultimately a compromise was signed into law which would still recognize other states’ permits, language was changed to make it illegal for someone under a permanent protective order to possess a firearm.  Gun safety groups were only marginally satisfied.

There are, of course, lots of “known unknowns” at this time, but any legislation enacted into law is sure to make its way eventually to the SCOTUS.  We must insist that Minority Leader Senator Charles Schumer stand steadfast on his pledge to fight against any Trump Supreme Court nominee “unless it’s someone Democrats can support.”  (Rachel Maddow Show, January 3, 2017)  Support for a federal carry reciprocity law must be included as a reason Democrats cannot support such a nominee, who must be “shot down” – figuratively, of course, not literally.
Shelly S. Livingston

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