As we noted in an earlier post, I’ve been selected as a co-chair of President-elect Donald Trump’s Second Amendment Coalition team. Our next President is surrounding himself with a lot of good people to help guide his firearms policy in the new administration. So far, the signs are good. With a Republican-controlled House and Senate, and more than a few Democrats who are pro-gun, I’m looking forward to advancing and expanding our 2A rights with meaningful legislation in the new year and beyond.
As the Executive Director of Guns Save Life here in Illinois, I’ve been learning lobbying from a master, Todd Vandermyde, the NRA-ILA contract lobbyist. He’s forgotten more than I’ll ever probably know. He’s teaching me how to play multi-dimensional chess instead of checkers with legislators.
I’ve looked over the comments from the earlier post announcing my role and want to thank you for the kind words. Thank you also to those of you who submitted ideas for what you would like to see happen.
I’ve snapped up a few of those that I believe are more easily defensible to skeptical legislators, along with other ideas. Below is an overview. I’m not going to put all the cards out on the table, but this should give you an idea of some of what I’m going to submit to people far more knowledgeable and skilled in this than I.
I’ve learned enough from the foolish behavior of the anti-gun side not to over-reach. Remember the reasonable person doctrine isn’t what you think is reasonable, it’s what the people you’re trying to convince think is reasonable. Start modest and come back for bigger bites. It’s what the other side has done in whittling away at our rights. Remember also that a whole lot of legislators aren’t anywhere near as informed on the subject as we are, nor are they usually quite as freedom-minded.
We must work together to educate, motivate and then support any Congresscritters and Senators who stand with us to take what they believe are tough votes. Some on the far left are going to vigorously defend the status quo. The mainstream media will attack us day and night, appealing to fears and emotions among uninformed Americans. So we’ll need to educate and inform the general population in addition to elected officials.
A lot will fall likely upon the US Supreme Court. With the replacement for Antonin Scalia and probably at least a couple more members in the coming years, the court should be poised to strike down some gun bans, “may issue” restrictions, and hold all gun control laws to strict scrutiny. SCOTUS may also serve to protect us from the “gun control by referendum” approach that well-heeled hoplophobes like George Soros and Michael Bloomberg have been using with some success during the past couple of election cycles.
With that, here are some things on my pragmatic short list. Please chime in with additional items or suggestions, within reason.
National Reciprocity (as a step towards national constitutional carry)
All states must give full faith and credit to carry licenses issued by other states just as they do driver’s licenses. For residents of those states with constitutional carry, lobby your state legislators to enact some sort of (optional for in-state carry) state licensing that’s cheap and easy to acquire.
Remove suppressors (Hearing Protection Act), SBRs, SBSs and AOWs from the NFA Act. Rome wasn’t built — nor was it conquered — in a day. Let’s take the easy ground first, then come back for the full auto stuff and ‘destructive devices’ as part of a complete repeal of the NFA.
In the meantime, reverse the SIG Support Brace determination. Drain the swamp at ATF of anyone even remotely connected with Fast and Furious scheme. Eliminate the “Sporting Purposes Test“. Enough said.
Repeal of Obama Executive Orders
ANY EO’S that have anything to do with firearms and/or ammunition. Ditto for Clinton’s, Bush’s and even Reagan’s.
Investigate and implement some sort of national preemption on gun and ammunition bans until we can appoint strict constructionist jurists to SCOTUS. The feds have long done it for drinking ages, and a host of other regulatory aspects. Why not guns as well? At least until we can get some court rulings that strike down arbitrary bans of guns in common use. If the individual states want to keep their arbitrary gun or magazine bans, or bans on hollow point self-defense ammo, then they can do it without federal monies until SCOTUS drives a wooden stake through them.
This is probably a pretty full plate for our legislative people to begin work. Working together, the National Rifle Association and other national groups like Gun Owners of America, Second Amendment Foundation, the National Shooting Sports Foundation and the American Suppressor Association can make some truly impressive changes if Congress can be prodded into meaningful action. I’m optimistic that a President Trump can make that happen.