With 2017 now past, it’s time to turn our eyes to 2018 and all that it holds in store. While there’s no doubt that 2018 holds a lot of promise in a variety of ways, it also almost certainly holds plenty of battles that must be fought when it comes to protecting our Second Amendment rights. For gun rights proponents, here are the biggest issues we need to keep a watch on heading into 2018.
Getting States to Honor the Reciprocity Act
In 2017, Congress took a big step toward protecting the Second Amendment rights of American citizens by passing the Reciprocity Act. The Reciprocity Act dictates that states must honor concealed carry permits regardless of the state that they were issued in. Before the Reciprocity Act, a state such as New Jersey – which does not recognize out-of-state permits – could arrest a citizen who is carrying a concealed weapon with a permit issued outside the state of New Jersey and subject them to a 3.5 year minimum prison sentence.
The Reciprocity Act is a huge step in keeping atrocities such as this from happening and securing the rights of Americans to defend themselves no matter which state they are in., However, the bill still has a lot of opponents, and there are sure to be some important court battles in the near future that will be instrumental in ensuring it is upheld by all states.
Gun Rights for Medical Marijuana Cardholders
In a move that is highly questionable from both a legal and logical standpoint, the ATF has deemed it illegal for medical marijuana cardholders to purchase a firearm. New to the background check that firearm dealers must conduct is the question of whether the applicant uses marijuana. If the answer is yes, then a sale cannot take place.
Of course, the reality is that medical marijuana cardholders do not present any more danger than someone who consumes alcohol, someone who is on prescription drugs, or any other citizen, for that matter, and denying them the right to own firearms is unprecedented and unconstitutional. With more and more states moving to legalize marijuana, something must be done to prevent the ATF from using marijuana’s legalization as an excuse to restrict Second Amendment rights.
Avoiding Complacency Heading into the Midterms
When Donald Trump won the 2016 election and immediately moved to fill the courts with conservative, pro-gun judges, many gun rights activists breathed a sigh of relief. It seemed, for a while at least, that the gun grabbers had been knocked back decades in their efforts to restrict the Second Amendment. However, while we may have won the last battle, the war is far from over.
Taking control of the courts was huge for gun rights, however, Congress is every bit as powerful as the courts when it comes to protecting (or eliminating) gun rights, and headed into 2018, Congress is very much up for grabs. To make matters worse, gun control activists are currently grossly outspending gun rights activists.
The gun control group realized they were dealt a heavy blow in 2016 and 2017, and there’s nothing more dangerous than a cornered animal. While gun rights activists are relaxing, gun control activists are out fighting tooth and nail. It’s essential, then, for us to realize that there is still a lot to be lost and a lot to be gained. If we hope to secure Second Amendment rights for generations to come, we can’t sit back on recent victories and expect them to remain forever.
Heading into the 2018 midterms and beyond, gun rights supporters must continue to fight as hard as they always have with their voices, their votes, and their pocketbooks. It’s an unfortunate reality that 2017’s many victories have made us complacent, and when it comes to protecting our right to own firearms there is nothing more dangerous than complacency.
2017 was a great year for American freedom, and the potential certainly exists for us to continue winning key battles in 2018 and beyond. Winning those battles, though, starts by recognizing that they exist, then doing whatever it takes to ensure that preservation of freedom is always the outcome. With all of that said, here’s to the success we had in 2017 and the battles we must continue to fight in 2018.
~ American Gun News