National Reciprocity: 45 Weeks and Counting. Where’s Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell?

Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn introduced the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 some 45 weeks ago. Three-hundred-and-twenty-three days have passed since the introduction of Senate Bill 446 on March 1, 2017. Nothing. You can thank Kentucky Republican and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell . . .

Sen. McConnell campaigned heavily on a pro Second Amendment stance in the Bluegrass State. The NRA’s support played a key role in his 2014 re-election, when the poli sci grad faced Democrat Alison “I Love Guns Too!” Grimes, KY’s current Secretary of State (above). In fact, Ms. Grimes challenged Sen. McConnell to meet her at the gun range.

The NRA invested heavily in Sen. McConnell, in terms of an A+ rating endorsement and campaign contributions. In terms of national reciprocity — the single most important piece of pro-gun legislation in our lifetime — that investment has yet to pay out.

As I mentioned earlier, there are an estimated 15 million concealed carry permit holders in the United States. In highly restrictive state like Hawaii and New Jersey, more would, but can’t. And millions of Americans find that their gun rights end at state borders.

National Reciprocity would be a major win for the Second Amendment and gun owners as a whole. President Trump stated that National Reciprocity was one of his major campaign goals. So is Sen. McConnell shelving National Reciprocity his way of protesting President Trump?


Perhaps there’s some other political calculus of which I’m not aware. Maybe Senator McConnell is waiting for the right moment to restore gun rights on the federal level. When would that be, exactly?

While we’re asking questions, where does Sen. McConnell stand on Americans’ Constitutional rights? Does he support the Second Amendment as writ, or did he swindle those Kentucky voters back in 2014 and the millions of NRA voters that poured their hard earned money into his campaign? We shall see.


  1. avatar AZwild says:

    I see this is meant to instruct.

    I hope this is a rhetorical question.

    Bigger things have been tackled in less than 45 weeks.

  2. avatar todd says:

    McConnell is anxiously awaiting the 2018 elections in the hopes the GOP loses the Senate so he won’t have to try passing anything (especially pro-gun bills). The GOP appears to not believe the things they say in their campaign speeches. At best, they are ambivalent about gun issues (which is still better than the rabidly anti-gun position of the left).

    1. avatar HP says:

      If it doesn’t happen before the mid-terms, then it’s not going to happen, ever. Very likely the Republicans are going to be creamed in the coming elections, and while the Democrats are obviously a far worse option, the Republicans have no to blame but themselves.

      EDIT: This was supposed to be a stand alone comment, not a reply to your comment.

    2. avatar Ed says:

      BITCH McConnell and all the rest of the RINO scum (yes McCain and your lap dog Graham) need to all get this super flu. They have done NOTHING this past year at ALL. Buncha lip service and sideways jabs at President Trump, all because what it boils down to is they’re all pissed that he got done (without their help) what those LOSERS couldn’t get done. BIG GOVERMENT REALLY SUCKS ASS! This whole system is FUCKED.

      1. avatar BlazinTheAmazin says:

        Saved me the trouble of typing it…

  3. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

    To be fair, Cornyn is the number two guy in the Senate and his bill is crap, at least compared to the H.R. 38.

    They’re busy pretending they need 60 votes to defeat a filibuster. They don’t. They just need a tiny pair, which they don’t have. Also, Cornyn would rather vote on a clean Fix NICS bill (also his bill) before voting on a clean reciprocity bill. The only reason I can think of for this is that he doesn’t want reciprocity but does want more gun control. I guess he could also be a moron who doesn’t understand politics, compromise, and leverage.

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      My thought exactly. Together they have a chance; apart, only FixNICS passes. He either does not really want to pass the bill, he is stupid and doesn’t understand leverage, or he is blinded by his own ego. Or maybe a combination or the above.

      1. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

        He isn’t stupid.

  4. avatar Andrew says:

    At this point why should they listen to the people? We have shown that we won’t push to primary them and put them out of a job. They also know that voting for their competition in the main race would be shooting ourselves in the foot. It’s time for the gun owning population of this country to respond en masse that we won’t accept being lied to every election.

    1. avatar Mike from Ohio says:

      That’s the exact point! We CAN primary them out of a job, and if deserved, we should. The primaries are our only real voice if we want change.

  5. avatar Dave says:

    Please forgive my ignorance here. But why is it McConnells fault? I don’t have the political knowledge to disagree, I’m just wondering why it falls on him alone.

    1. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

      He is the boss of the Senate. If you want a more nuanced answer, I am willing to supply it. Just ask.

      1. avatar Dave says:

        If you have the time, I’d absolutely appreciate a more detailed answer. I’ve got math and science in the bag. Political Science has never been my strong suit. Thanks in advance.

        1. avatar Mike B in WI says:

          Dave, In short, McConnell is the leader of the majority party in the Senate, so he gets to decide which bills come to the floor for debate and a vote. When Harry Reid (D) was the leader of the Senate, the GOP led House would pass many bills and send them over to the Senate, where Reid would just let them lie on his desk, never to come up for a vote.

        2. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

          McConnell is the Senate Majority Leader. This means he decides what is brought to the floor for a vote. I know in the House, the membership can bring an item up for vote if they have a majority decide to, so there is probably a similar thing in the Senate, so in truth, it isn’t just McConnell’s fault.

          He also decides all sorts of parliamentarian stuff. I’m sure you’ve heard about the filibuster and how one side needs 60 votes to beat a filibuster. This is at best a half truth. A filibuster can be beaten with little effort and a lot of time by a bare majority if Senate leadership wants to do it.

          The leadership can schedule a legislative day for as many calendar days as the leadership wants. Senators are only allowed to take the floor to speak twice during debate in any one calendar day. The senator can be kicked off the floor for a number of procedural reasons. If the Democrats did everything perfectly, you could go through two speakers a day (either one senator or two senators each only speaking once, but getting another chance). So after 49 days (plus some amount of time that I don’t recall), any bill that can get 51 votes can be passed.

          In such a situation as outlined above, the regular business of the Senate (committee hearings and such) can be taken care of during the day and the debate would take place at night. The great majority of effort would be on the Democrats. They would have committee hearings (and probably very important ones) all day, and then have to prevent cloture form passing at night and keep the floor occupied all night. I don’t know if the all Democrat senators are healthy enough to do that.

          Additionally, if the Senate Republicans had their act together, they could get an omnibus bill with their entire agenda (that 50 senators agreed on). For example, a budget, SHARE Act, reciprocity, immigration, and healthcare (I know you can’t get 50 Republican senators to agree to all of this, but for the sake of argument, let’s pretend) could all be in one bill and passed within two months instead of not passed in two years.

          Then, because they have been doing their regular business all this time, they can have a quick succession of votes on nominees who have been working their way through committees during this time. Nominees can’t be filibustered.

          It would be nothing but wins for the Republicans. They get stuff done, which the public likes. The Democrats are seen as obstructionists who don’t want to get stuff done, which the public doesn’t like. The Republicans get their legislative agenda through. They get their nominees to the judiciary. They still have all the issues that the Republican party can’t agree on to campaign on. They have the Democrats records to campaign on in “Trump” states (these are ten states Trump won that have Democrat senators up for election in November).

          Basically, Republican leadership doesn’t want to get the Republican agenda through for some reason, or is retarded and doesn’t know how the Senate works. And it ain’t the second one.

        3. avatar Sam I Am says:

          Maybe the Repubs don’t want a slob like Trump to be getting credit for passing the legislation all the oh so proper country club Repubs couldn’t get done before?

        4. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

          I don’t pretend to know their hearts, but that is as plausible as anything else.

  6. avatar Ross says:

    Look we can’t rely on the swamp to do anything for us, so my advice is carry, just load your mags with gloves on!.

    1. avatar Red in CO says:

      Excellent advice

  7. avatar Red in CO says:

    McConnell is a gigantic piece of shit, representing the very worst of the Republican establishment. Bastards a RINO through and through who is just fine with the status quo as long as he can make money off of it. That traitor should be the first against the wall come the glorious day

  8. avatar Hannibal says:

    “So is Sen. McConnell shelving National Reciprocity his way of protesting President Trump?”

    haha no. Not everything is about Trump. If another republican had won there would be no difference. It’s about priorities. And while the GOP is happy to take the money of gun owners, it pales in comparison to the money given to them by multi-national corporations and insanely rich benefactors looking to increase their stock portfolios.

    That’s why they pulled out the stops to pass a corporate tax cut but won’t do shit on guns. What are gun-owners gonna do, stop voting republican? Vote for a third party in protest? Ha! If they do that they’ll be called traitors and fools on gun forums. So the GOP can keep up this charade, secure in the knowledge that in order to not consider themselves fools, gun owners will keep voting for the same schmucks who fail to deliver on their promises every single cycle, even when they hold both houses and the white house. It’s like Charlie Brown going for that football. Imagine if the GOP actually had to worry about gun owners not voting for them… they’d probably have to actually follow through on something!

    But hey, politics is hard and those nasty libs still foil us, vote for more of us in 2018 and then we’ll do what we said!

    We promise*!

    1. avatar Kyle says:

      To answer your question, yes.

      Why not stop voting republican. We’re going to be criminalized under either party. Let the dems run the nation into the ground and pick up the pieces and rebuild from the ashes.

    2. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

      I haven’t voted for Cornyn in years, if ever. I honestly can’t remember, and I really liked him before I paid attention to what he was doing instead of what he was saying.

      Republicans never needed my vote in Texas, so I typically vote third party in all statewide elections. The media had me nervous enough that I voted for Trump.

      Texas is conservative enough that there are people running against Ted Cruz to his right in the primaries. Not that I have a problem with Cruz other than personal distaste for him.

      Primaries have a low enough turn out that a dedicated minority can cause a major upset.

      You’re right, and it isn’t likely. That doesn’t mean I’m giving up.

  9. avatar 2aguy says:

    New Jersey is now trying to limit gun magazines to only 5 bullets. Is this, as I suspect, a way to ban almost all semi auto pistols in that state…can anyone explain if this is the case?

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      The bid is to make sure that all pistols are easily concealable pocket guns….No wait….
      The part of the NY SAFE ACT that sought to limit mags to seven rounds was found to be unconstitutional–what makes NJ thinks they will get a different result? California and Massachusetts are both ten rounds, by the by. And other than pocket pistols, nothing is made with five round “clips,” which means that the ban on 5+ mags will literally render almost all handguns in the state unable to function until someone starts manufacturing new ones. However, unless there is a grandfather clause, NJ will run into the same “takings” issue that California ran into with their retroactive ban of previously legal 20 and 30 round mags for ARs, and it will be worse since an AR operates with a ten round mag that is readily available, but a semiauto handgun cannot operate without any mag at all.

      1. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

        “what makes NJ thinks they will get a different result?” – They are in the Third and not Second Circuit?

  10. avatar Kyle says:

    never gonna happen. Repers dont care anymore about gun owners then dems.

    Never have, never will.

  11. avatar t says:

    Sorry, gun fans but this is NOT a priority issue. We have a budget not done. CHIP program not done. DACA not done. Major appointments, Judgeships, Ambassador posts & even Flag officers promotions waiting. So stop whining about this. They do not have the time or the votes to pass this.

    1. avatar Jim Bremer says:

      Yes…because in Mitch’s view(and that of the Republican Party) the concerns of 800k illegals is MUCH more important than that of 100+ million AMERICAN gun owners. Funny huh? How this small subgroup of non-US Citizens illegally in the country is so important to both parties that something MUST BE DONE right now…can’t wait! Gun rights, repealing Obamacare, tax reform, cutting govt and spending….nope…their priotiy is freaking DACA.

      National CCW will never pass…neither will suppressor reform….or anything else of importance. Republican’s already got our votes in 2016 and are too stupid to realize how badly they’ll need them in 2018.

      I remember a month after Trump was elected people asking here on TTAG about why Trump hadn’t done more on gun rights…hadn’t delivered a bunch of great stuff with the stroke of a pen. I also remember those giving excuses how “it’s only been 30 days”…”He”s got a lot of stuff to do!” etc. We were told to just wait…they are coming.

      Well we are a year into it and what do we reallly have to show for it? NOTHING passed by congress except some old .45s being sold to CMP. A few good things done by Sec of Interior….but that’s it.

      Trump could have signed a bunch of EOs that would have helped us. Get rid of Bush Sr import ban, allowing guns on military bases, directed ATF reverse their intrepation of the sportig purpose clause to allow more imports, etc….and he’s done NONE of that. These were all “stroke of the pen” stuff that could have been done easily so I don’t think he’ll be spending much time on the harder things he promised(national ccw, silencer reform, etc).

      Now don’t get me wrong…..still much better than Hillary. And hopefully his judge picks will help us in the future. But at best all we can hope for is to hold the line on gun rights.

      What’s sad is that even with all three branches we got almost nothing. And since odds are we’ll be losing one or both houses of Congress shortly and the Presidency in 3 years I don’t see ever getting this opportunity again like we had now. Such a waste.

      1. avatar tiger says:

        Your Special Interest just turns out to be not that special or interesting right now. You do not have 60 votes to pass any of these pet projects. And Yeah, the other stuff is more critical than buying a suppressor easier. 10 years ago You were 1 vote in SCOTUS from losing it all. One…. So, get the snow shovel and burn some frustrations. This not worth the headache or ulcer.

      2. avatar HP says:

        “But at best all we can hope for is to hold the line on gun rights.”

        I’ve referred to Trump’s victory already as the “continuing resolution” on our gun rights. Nothing is going to get done, but at least it hopefully won’t get worse. When the Democrats retake power, and they inevitably will, that’s when things are going to get…interesting. Beware and be forewarned, they’re going to want revenge. I hope I’m wrong.

      3. avatar TX_Lawyer says:


    2. avatar Sam I Am says:

      Illegal immigration, and chain migration are more of a threat to personal (and national) security than not being able to take a gun wherever we want. Continuing to not have a national budget is more a threat to the general welfare of the nation than not being able to carry a gun wherever we want.

      Does anybody here really believe that national reciprocity would pass into law, when the budget cannot be? Does anybody here really believe that lacking the votes to put together rational immigration policy means we would have the votes to pass national reciprocity? Does anybody here really believe that “gun rights”, of any kind, is a screaming priority for a decisive majority of the voters? Does anybody here believe there is any political profit to bringing national reciprocity to a doomed vote? (We do not need a roll call vote to give us reason to pressure our representatives in congress, we can do that right now).

      Any congress has a limited number of days (even without recesses) to accomplish any legislation. Does anybody here really believe that national reciprocity really rates the top ten in setting (or passing) the national agenda? Does anybody here really believe that the vast majority of voters are single-issue, and that issue is more freedom for firearm owners?

      We do not have a solid majority in congress, for anything. Does anyone here believe national reciprocity can get through this congress?

      Yes, the politicians said they are pro-2A, but they must attend to the issues that will get them the most votes. One hundred million gun owners do not represent a monolithic, single-issue voter block.

      Simple math.

      1. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

        “Does anybody here believe there is any political profit to bringing national reciprocity to a doomed vote?” – Yes. This and a number of other doomed issues would be great campaign fodder in the ten “Trump states.”

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          Why waste legislative time over a vote doomed? There is only so much time to address the agenda; prioritization is based on meeting publicly popular demands (like Obama repeal) that will not pass. There are not enough gun owners for whom “gun rights” is a priority to make “dying on that hill” worthwhile. There are not enough gun owners to make “gun rights” much of a campaign issue (evidenced by the lack of “gun rights” as a top priority in any race where “conservatives” won). Nationally, I am happy if “my guy” refuses to vote for anymore restrictions; stop the bleeding. The anti-gunners are moving the fight to state and local venues. We should do the same.

      2. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

        “Any congress has a limited number of days (even without recesses) to accomplish any legislation.” – If they were getting all the other stuff done instead of wasting a bunch of time not getting it done, that would be an argument I could get behind.

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          Eliminating all the recess days, and pretending congress would meet 12hrs a day, 365, there is still a limit on the number of items that can be addressed. The vast majority of voters (of any political party) do not see “gun rights” as an issue. I speculate that almost every gun owner would trade prioritizing “gun rights” at the bottom of the list, if everything else they wanted could be passed in a session. The libs and lefts only have a few “single issue” items they all unite around. The “conservatives” do not seem to be able to solidify behind anything, reminding us more of the Taliban than an effective political force.

        2. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

          That’s one giant if, and you know it. The only significant bill passed that was tax reform. The only significant bill passed that the Democrats don’t agree with was tax reform. What have they been doing for a year that is so pressing?

        3. avatar Sam I Am says:

          Investigation testimony, expert consultations with industries, appointments? More goes on than crafting and voting on legislation. Point remains that “gun rights” would be at the bottom of whatever agenda of legislation because there are so few voters who are actually “RTKBA or nothing.” I’ll take lack of erosion as a victory.

        4. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

          Read my comment starting with “McConnell is the Senate Majority Leader” if you want to know why your “limited time” argument is not persuasive to me. Everything but appointments could get done while getting legislation passed. Then all the appointments could be done the next week.

          Assuming they’ve never even considered what the actual legislation would be before election day because they were never going to have a Republican president, give them three months to negotiate and write a bill in the Republican caucus. Then two months of filibuster to pass the bill.

          You’ve got three months for necessary early appointments. Then you have two months to do hearings on all the others. Then you have the vote on the bill. Then you spend a week voting on the guys who have gone through the committee hearings the past two months.

          What’s the point of investigations and consultations if not to craft legislation? Congress has one (or two) job(s). To vote on things. (Or make laws and “advise and consent”).

        5. avatar Sam I Am says:

          Note that I posited that EVEN if congress worked 12/7, 52 weeks, the votes to be gained purely based on successful 2A legislation are not enough to raise our issues on the priority list. There simply are not enough votes predicated solely on 2A issues to get much attention.

          It would be interesting to get all gun owners (heck even just POTG) to sign a pledge that if whichever favored pro-gun legislation is not passed before (pick a date), all the gun owner (POTG) voters would refuse to vote for the incumbents, even though everything else we want might also be lost.

          Gotta be honest, there are one or two matters that I value above 2A support. The real conflict is if my representatives told me that I could have my two matters only if I agreed to further restrictions on gun ownership and possession. Having my two matters in trade for no action on 2A would have to be my choice.

        6. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

          In four months, the Senate could pass everything that 50 senators are willing to agree to. It’s called an omnibus bill and covers multiple issues, like all of them. That could be the entire Republican agenda. (It wouldn’t be because there are too many wafflers, and they all don’t waffle on the same issues).

          “the votes to be gained purely based on successful 2A legislation are not enough to raise our issues on the priority list. There simply are not enough votes predicated solely on 2A issues to get much attention.” – That doesn’t matter under my scenario. It’s also not true. Bill Clinton says the AWB was his biggest mistake because it greatly harmed the Democrats.

        7. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “Bill Clinton says the AWB was his biggest mistake because it greatly harmed the Democrats.”

          Yet…since Clinton’s presidency the Dems have had ample opportunity to make themselves popular by reducing gun laws. Why hasn”t that happened? Still not enough 2A single-issue voters to affect an election, Dem or Repub.

          Can an omnibus measure pass with only 51 votes (I just do not know)? Dems already voted “against a bill they are not against” regarding the federal budget. Why would we expect Dems to cooperate at all, on anything, if they can stop Repubs until after 2018 elections? I would be happy if House and Senate voted to simply go home until after the elections.

        8. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

          “Can an omnibus measure pass with only 51 votes (I just do not know)?” – I believe so, but I haven’t read all the Senate rules, and they are byzantine. Omnibus bills are pretty routine, though.

          “I would be happy if House and Senate voted to simply go home until after the elections.” – Me too.

    3. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

      DACA. Send them back for all I care. It’s sad ‘n stuff, but there are so many more important things to do, and it is the law.

      Besides, it would be easy. Obama got all of them to register with the government, so we know where they are.

  12. avatar jwm says:

    Any change that’s going to happen, and it’s going to happen, will come when Gorsuch gets more of his kind on the benches.

    1. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

      From your lips to God’s ears.

  13. avatar Walt Longmire says:

    We need to make them fearful of losing if we ever want to get anywhere.

    1. avatar tiger says:

      In the words of Cadet Mayo, in “Officer & a Gentleman.” “I’ve got place to go. I’ve got nowhere else to go.”

  14. avatar pieslapper says:

    Hiding in his safe space screaming NEVER TRUMP! into his pillow.

  15. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    Where’s Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell?

    The problem is in the underlying assumption of your question: that Senator McConnell is a leader, which he most assuredly is NOT.

  16. avatar smitty says:

    Bitch McConnell as they call him in KY !
    This from someone who lived in BG KY just two years ago.
    The state might of been better off with ALG.

    1. avatar Bob says:

      Yet KY votes him into office time after time.

  17. avatar Ralph says:

    National reciprocity will not happen as long as we have no political power. And political power only grows from one place. Her’s the money shot:

    “It is very difficult for the labouring people, who have been deceived and intimidated by the reactionary ruling classes for thousands of years, to awaken to the importance of having guns in their own hands.”

    1. avatar Bob says:

      Chairman Mao used the power of the state to brutalize and kill millions of his fellow Chinese by stripping them of their ability to own and bear arms.

      He in no way believed that the people applied to this statement.

      “It is very difficult for the labouring people, who have been deceived and intimidated by the reactionary ruling classes for thousands of years, to awaken to the importance of having guns in their own hands.”

      He believed it applied to the new Marxist ruling class that he happened to be in charge of.

  18. avatar Geoff PR says:

    Something will come up that the Left wants passed.

    Tack national reciprocity onto that.

    ‘Dreamers’ or ‘Chips’ will be a good start…

    1. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

      It’s not like the Republicans will just concede on both of those issues or the Democrats won’t be willing to compromise at all. Oh … wait.

  19. avatar Ton E says:

    I never believed it would pass to begin with. National Reciprocity died before in Senate guess it will take dying again to make people see what’s going on.

  20. avatar Joe R. says:

    F all of KY for McConnell.

  21. avatar Samuel Adams says:

    Well…. Looks like the author was right. Good ole Mitch. Lined his pockets and left without performing. Now we lost the house. When are we going to start demanding performance?
    Now we get to sit and listen to excuses about why they can’t because of the Dems…
    Neither party is on our side. One just wants us to think they are.

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

button to share on facebook
button to tweet
button to share via email