Some parts of the gun control debate have lost steam. They always do. Partly, that is because Democrats and liberals care a lot less about guns than conservatives. They really have nothing to lose in the fight.
The other reason is because all of their arguments are stupid, and without heated emotional reactionism, they really have nothing to talk about when it comes to guns.
As the heat dies, those of us on the side of logic need to pounce. We thought we had a good chance to pass national concealed carry reciprocity, but it died in the Senate. That battle is getting new legs. Here’s what you need to know.
You might remember that Republicans were celebrating back in December. The reciprocity bill passed in the House by a wide margin, and it looked like Congress might be willing to deliver us a few wins on the back of the tax cuts. And then, everything stalled. The Senate was unable to push the bill forward. They couldn’t even get all of the Republicans in the Senate to back the bill.
It was attached to Fix NICS as an attempt to leverage it through the Democrat stonewall, but they just kept delaying. Fix NICS was finally shuffled into the omnibus that passed in March, and it seemed like concealed carry reciprocity was dead in the water.
This is a bill that has huge support across the country and was backed by more than 30 states. That’s almost enough to pass an amendment. Yet, Congress decided that their interests are more important than the interests of the people (again), and we are still stuck with fragmented carry laws that only serve to hurt law-abiding citizens.
The New Effort
Thankfully, the majority of Congress isn’t responsible for this failure, and a new effort is trying to pass reciprocity. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith from Mississippi is the latest to add her name to the cosponsor list. This brings the number of cosponsors up to 40. Remember, it takes 60 votes to pass a filibuster, and we can safely assume that the Democrats will filibuster this bill. That means 9 Democrats will have to cross party lines, and that is where things get tricky.
The latest version of the reciprocity bill is in effect identical to the one that was dropped in March. Efforts to get Democrats to pass it in a bundle deal with other negotiated items failed, so now we have to wonder what Republicans can and will offer the Democratic Senators to push through one of the most important pieces of gun legislation on the table. As tough as things are, there is a ticking clock. Historically speaking, Republicans are likely to lose a lot of seats in the House and Senate this November. If we’re going to see reciprocity pass, it has to be soon.
Why it Matters
You know the obvious parts. Concealed carry is the best deterrent for violent crime we have. Permit holders are the most law abiding group of citizens in the country (even above federal law enforcement). That aside, there are underlying issues tied to reciprocity that are arguably more important. The fragmented, state-controlled nature of carry permits currently represents the greatest threat to the 2nd Amendment, and not just because states like California are infringing on rights with impunity.
The most common crime committed by concealed carry holders is violating carry laws in other states. This group of extremely lawful people regularly gets caught in traps of wildly changing gun laws that even BAR-certified lawyers struggle to manage. Innocent people are put in jail on a daily basis because of this mess. Even worse, the statistics are used to attack the integrity of permit holders and argue against them. Simply put, liberal states use confusing laws to attack good people, throw them in jail and then justify further infringing on their rights.
The easy way to break this feedback loop is to grant any citizen who abides by the laws of their states immunity across the rest of the country. It’s simple legislation, and it is more than harmless. Reciprocity stands to reduce crime rates everywhere, and it is the single easiest way to make all of America safer.
We’ve reached a pivotal moment in this fight. It’s time to contact your Senators and demand that they follow the will of the people. If we really want to make America as great as it has ever been, we need to guarantee the freedom and autonomy of her citizens.
~ American Gun News