The USA Today’s Nicole Gaudiano has doggedly pursued members of the Trump Second Amendment Coalition (SAC) team for weeks now. She reached a few members, including myself, and quizzed us about the Coalition’s deliberations. In the end, she didn’t get much from us and went with what she had in her piece, ‘What ever happened to President Trump’s gun advisory group?’
Early in the report, she writes that the White House now says the group is a campaign coalition. I’m good with that. Smarter readers will ask themselves, “Why publicly announce a campaign coalition mere days before the election?” What’s more, the announcement took the form of a low-key, buried-in-the-weeds news release.
Overall, Guardiano does a pretty good job summing things up. She touched on how the informal SAC team advises…well, informally. She touched on the chain-of-command and how different members bring varied goals to the table.
The USA Today scribe correctly notes that the Trump administration hasn’t mentioned it since the Coalition was announced. IWI’s Michael Kassnar sums things up well: “I suspect there’s more things on the president’s plate of higher urgency.”
Frankly, Congress has moved at the speed of smell in Trump’s first sixty-nine days. While Trump has signed over three dozen executive actions, Speaker Ryan’s House has passed a paltry six bills that have been signed into law. Senate President Mitch McConnell’s august body still hasn’t approved all of President Trump’s cabinet nominations. Not only that, the Senate has not even voted the Gorsuch Supreme Court nomination out of committee yet.
So yes, the administration has all manner of pressing issues to deal with of greater importance. At the same time, Team Trump’s efforts to implement policy remain hamstrung by inept Republicans afraid to lead in Congress.
Rest assured that while gun regulation reform hasn’t made much news, it hasn’t been forgotten by this administration. And yes, The Truth About Guns still very much has a seat at that table.
Here’s a teaser from the USA Today story:
Co-chairman John Boch believes Donald Trump Jr., an avid outdoorsman, will serve as a conduit between the advisory group and the White House. He and National Rifle Association lobbyist Chris Cox were tapped to lead the group.
“As it was explained to me, this whole thing is about providing policy and legislative recommendations for the new administration through Donald Trump Jr.,” said Boch, executive director of the non-profit Guns Save Life Inc.
Co-chairs’ personal goals for the administration vary. But several interviewed said the Trump administration should pursue legislation to nationalize concealed carry permits, a top priority for gun advocates that Trump has said he supports. Another priority is legislation to make it easier to buy firearms suppressors, or silencers. While critics say that’s dangerous, Trump Jr. has said, “It’s about safety and it’s about hearing protection.”
Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn., one of the group’s co-chairs, said he isn’t sure how Trump Jr. and Cox will lead the group. But he knows how he plans to use it. He wants the group’s help to push his legislation to set deadlines for action on appeals when gun buyers’ purchases are denied.
“I’m going to try to get every single person on the coalition, and I’m going to ask the chairs — as the coalition — to support what it is we’re advocating for, because that’s only going to help me,” he said. “The best of all worlds would be that I get either Donald Trump Jr. or Chris Cox to say the coalition … actually supports the bill that I’m promoting.”
I’m proud to serve on the SAC and, as always, welcome additional input from our Armed Intelligentsia.