The U.S. House of Representatives has passed H.R. 38, recently amended to be the “Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017.“ Voting for and passing the bill in the House, and then in the Senate, is a smart political move for Republicans. Democrats oppose the bill for partisan ideological purposes. Opposing an armed population is in Democrats (Progressives) DNA. That opposition never made any political sense.
Every state in the US has laws that allow for the issuance of permits for the carry of concealed weapons. It’s in the interest of people in those states who have concealed weapons permits for those permits to be valid in the rest of the United States.
People who can legally carry concealed weapons have been found to be exceptionally law-abiding. Evidence exists that the carry of concealed weapons decreases the violent crime rate a small amount. At the worst, the evidence shows the crime rate is not increased.
The leadership of the Democrats comes from states that have resisted the restoration of Second Amendment rights with all the power and tools at their disposal. Those states are Deep Blue California, New York, Illinois, Hawaii, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, Delaware and Rhode Island. Senators there do not face significant Republican opposition.
If the Republicans in the House pass Concealed Carry Reciprocity, which is likely, the pressure will mount in the Senate to pass the bill. The Senate has a small majority of Republicans, 52 to 48.
Every Republican Senator comes from a state that has either a Shall issue law, where every person that may legally purchase a handgun from a federal dealer can obtain a permit to carry one concealed, or Constitutional Carry, where the same large majority of people do not need a permit to carry concealed. 18 Republican senators are from Constitutional Carry states, 34 are from Shall Issue states. Of Democrat Senators, 16 are from restrictive May Issue states, 24 are from Shall Issue states, and 6 are from Constitutional Carry states.
It will be a difficult trick for Senators from Shall Issue and Constitutional Carry states to explain why they voted to prevent their constituents from exercising their Second Amendment rights in other states.
Eight Democrat senators will be running in states that President Trump won in 2016. Six of those states have Shall Issue concealed carry permits. Two of them have Constitutional Carry. Wisconsin has Shall Issue and a Constitutional Carry bill that is being considered in the state legislature.
Concealed Carry reciprocity is a wedge issue that makes those Democrat senator’s seats more precarious.
Here are the Democrat senators that are most at risk in 2018, and the circumstance of concealed (discreet) carry law in their state:
Shall issue: Wisconsin, Tammy Baldwin
Shall issue : Florida, Bill Nelson
Shall issue: Montana, Jon Tester.
Shall issue: North Dakota, Heidi Heitkamp
Shall issue: Ohio, Sherrod Brown
Shall Issue: Indiana, Joe Donnelly
Constitutional Carry: West Virginia, Joe Manchin
Constitutional Carry: Missouri, Claire McCaskill
The Republicans need to show significant differences from their Democrat opponents.
Donald Trump ran on national reciprocity for concealed carry. This issue can energize Second Amendment supporters to vote for the Republican, or at least, vote against a Senator that voted against exercising of the Second Amendment.
It makes sense for the Republicans to force a vote on the bill. It would make sense for the eight Democrat senators above to vote with the Republicans and pass the bill, to aid in their re-election.
That does not mean they will. Infringing on the Second Amendment has become part of modern Democrats’ DNA.
©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30-year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.