u-s-army-corps-of-engineers
President Donald Trump has committed to eliminating Gun Free Zones. He cannot eliminate the Gun Free School Zones Act by himself. It will take Congressional or Court action. But he can eliminate Gun Free Zones on military bases and in recruitment offices.

He can eliminate Gun Free Zones on lands managed by the Army Corps of Engineers. Donald Trump will be the Commander in Chief. The Army Corps of Engineers is a federal agency in the Department of Defense. It is commanded by a Lieutenant General (three star), Todd T. Semonite. General Semonite is under the command of Donald Trump.

President Trump can order the Army Corps of Engineers to eliminate its regulatory ban on the exercise of the Second Amendment on the lands that it administers.

Regulations cannot be changed instantly. There are procedures to be followed. President Trump can issue an executive order that the Corps of Engineers remove the ban on weapons on the land it administers, requiring the Corps to make the changes in accordance with existing law. A problem with this method is that a new administration could reverse the rule just as easily.

Another method available to President Trump: a negotiated Court settlement. The ban on possession of weapons on land administered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is being challenged in the Courts. Court cases in both the Ninth Circuit and in the Eleventh Circuit are active. A Trump administration could order the Corps of Engineers to negotiate a Court sanctioned settlement that would prohibit the Corps of Engineers from violating the Second Amendment again. Such Court sanctioned agreements have long been used to create law without congressional approval, law that is impossible to remove by regulatory means.

Additionally, President Trump can support Legislative removal of the Corps’ authority to regulate in this area, as they did for National Parks lands. Idaho Senator Mike Crapo has introduced legislation to remove federal infringements on Second Amendment rights from lands controlled by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps). From the press release:

The bill seeks to make firearm regulations consistent across federal lands by allowing law-abiding citizens to carry firearms on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) property. Under current law, a person may carry a concealed weapon in a National Park or Refuge as long as individuals comply with the firearm laws of the park’s home state. However, the same rights are not extended to Americans who hunt, camp or fish on land owned by the Corps, effectively denying them of their Second Amendment freedoms guaranteed under the Constitution when on Corps lands.

This legislation has been introduced for the last three sessions of Congress but has been bottled up by Harry Reid in the Senate and the Obama administration. Congressional removal of the Army Corps of Engineers’ ban has significant support and could be enacted during a Trump administration. A removal of similar bans on National Park lands was enacted during the Obama administration. It has been an unqualified success.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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18 Responses to President Trump Can Eliminate Gun Free Zones in the Army Corps of Engineers

  1. Alternatively, Trump could simply issue a presidential pardon EVERY SINGLE TIME anyone is charged with this violation. And pardon anyone already convicted. All it would take is a request from the charged individual or their attorney.

    Faced with the absolute uselessness of attempting to enforce this unconstitutional law it is likely the Corps would stop wasting their time, resources and money. Maybe.

    • “Faced with the absolute uselessness of attempting to enforce this unconstitutional law it is likely the Corps would stop wasting their time, resources and money. Maybe.”

      Maybe being the key word. Many of us have heard the saying, “You might beat the rap, but you won’t beat the ride.” Even if our President is guaranteed to pardon any conviction for carrying on Corps lands, the accused will still be arrested, possibly spend time in jail, have to post bail, and pay an attorney to start their defense and write the letter requesting a pardon.

      Needless to say, that is a pretty big loss of time and money for the accused.

    • The pardon alternative is interesting in that it identifies yet another route. However, the OP is most illustrative. Clearly, the pardon, like the executive order, is only as good as the individual sitting in the oval office. Both have a use; but it is mostly in signaling the sitting President’s pleasure in an immediately-effective way.
      I like the OP’s analysis. It seems to illustrate a layered approach. Looks like the negotiated settlement ought to be done first, preferably in multiple circuits. Next, the President adds an executive order to extend the desired conclusion of the issue to all circuits. Last, the President asks the Congress to make the decision permanent via legislation. All Congresscritters who are willing to go-along with the program can explain their votes to their objecting constituents. ‘Yes, I too had some reservations. However, inasmuch as the Courts decided, and the President decided, it seemed that the orderly way of resolving the issue was for Congress to pass legislation.’ In a district or State where opposition to guns is not universal, the constituents are likely to accept this explanation.
      Now, when the President turns-over the gun-controllers will wish to try to roll-back all these layers. But, they will find it difficult to do so. They will first have to try to negotiate deals with their gun-rights-supporting colleagues. Then, get the new President to go along (he may be sympathetic, but not willing to use political capital without demanding a price). And, then, it’s back to Court which is expensive for both sides. When the issue is – as in this case – out-of-site and out-of-mind, the Antis won’t want to bother. The gun-controllers won’t care enough about Army Corps land that is only used by hunters and a few other back-packers. It’s not Yellowstone where families go.

  2. I was hoping that would be on the radar as well.

    The Army Corps of Engineers manage some really nice chunks of land. I may or may not have had the pleasure of visiting two or three such locations several years ago. And, if I was actually visiting such locations, I may or may not have been carrying a firearm.

    It would be nice to visit such locations in the future without possible legal sanctions for the “crime” of having an effective self-defense tool.

  3. I have an even better idea.

    Require the Corps of Engineers and all other Federal agencies to turn over all lands back to the states unless those lands are dedicated to national defense.

    The Feds don’t need to be the largest landholder in the country. Want smaller government? Start with the land.

  4. It’s been a week and he’s not even settled on a cabinet yet. I would not put too much on the table until certain positions are filled by the senate.

  5. Get rid of the ban on firearms inside buildings in national parks too. It sucks to carry in Yellowstone just to have to put your gun in your trunk at every visitors center.

  6. I want a lift on the ban on carrying guns on military bases, I live on one and it’s really annoying packing it unloaded in a box inaccessible to the driver until i get off base, then pull over and arm up. And every single time I come back on base it must be unloaded, in a box, inaccessible to the driver AND I have to declare it, provide registration paperwork, gate guard needs to “inspect” it…it’s really, really, annoying. Turns a 20 minute trip to target into an hour ordeal. 》grumpy face 《

  7. As the push for removing the gun ban on military bases moves forward I hope this extends to affiliated agencies that may or may not be based on military bases.

  8. What?!!! All the anti-Trump lying assholes said he wasn’t pro 2A…how’s that shit sandwich tasting your bastards?

  9. Ass wipe Tramp, sorry Trump, is not president YET get with the program. Trump can request the the military drop the gun free zones, but the military makes the decision.

    • Didn’t Al Capone one say something like: ‘You can get much more with a kind word and an executive order than you can get with a kind word alone.’ ? It went something like that if memory serves.
      The President has to ask nicely and solicit advice from the military. Nevertheless, these are merely pleasantries. If it’s a lawful order and doesn’t require Congressional funding then I think he is empowered to call the shot.
      There may be political consequences. However, this topic doesn’t suggest any but the most remote such consequences. What could happen? A general doesn’t vote to re-elect the President in the next election? Nobody cares enough about keeping Army Corps land gun-free to make a President Trump pay a price.

  10. $100 says won’t happen.

    It’ll be “we’re looking at that” and “makes engineers great again”

    Then he’ll make a deal withSchumer on something.

  11. I would love to se this happen ASAP. I photograph Bald Eagles on Army Corps land on the Mississippi river in the winter time.

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