Gun Laws & Legislation

Gun Rights Watch: What To Expect In 2017

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Harold Hutchison Freelance Writer
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What can Second Amendment supporters look forward to this coming year? There’s a lot of good – but there could also be some bad as well. Here’s our rundown.

Schumer in the Senate

Let’s get the bad news out of the way. Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) is the Senate Minority Leader, and he has 48 Democrats. This is more than enough to sustain filibusters of Supreme Court nominees or pro-Second Amendment legislation. Prior to the 2016 election, his number one goal was a “progressive” Supreme Court that would overturn the Heller decision, among others. The most dangerous place in DC is to be between Charles Schumer and a television camera – and he takes advantage of the media very well.

On the bright side, there will be a lot of those 48 Democrats running for re-election in states President-elect Trump carried.

National Reciprocity

Your driver’s license is recognized in all fifty states. If you’re married, all fifty states recognize it. So, why shouldn’t your concealed carry permit be recognized in all fifty states?

At least one national reciprocity bill, H.R. 38, has been introduced. As has been mentioned earlier, the first step has to be getting the national reciprocity. Once this bill is passed, we can always go back and improve the situation some more.

Supreme Court Battle

The replacement for Antonin Scalia is going to be a major battle. Schumer’s already vowed to fight this nomination – and a lot of Democrats are going along. The nuclear option did not include Supreme Court seats. Schumer could be able to maintain a filibuster – partially because the mainstream media never calls him on blatant hypocrisy, and partially because the courts really are where the Left gets much of their agenda through.

The stakes could not be higher. A case out of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands could potentially throw out those arbitrary semi-auto bans in places like California, Maryland, and New Jersey.

Other Pro-Gun Bills

In the House, there are two other bills of note for the Second Amendment community. H.R. 34 would repeal the Gun-Free School Zones Act. This bill, while probably offered with the best of intentions to address a law that just doesn’t seem to work, is the type of thing that some lefty media types will glom on to in order to viciously slander Second Amendment supporters and scare the general public.

A much more practical bill worth moving forward is H.R. 256, to enable spouses of military personnel to have the same rights to purchase a firearm at a duty station as the men and women protecting our freedoms.

Fixing the Social Security Gun Ban and other Last-Minute Regulations

He may be gone in two weeks, but Barack Obama is pushing midnight regulations. Just before Christmas, the Administration finalized the Social Security gun ban.


It will affect those who receive SSI or disability insurance because of a listed mental health impairment and who have been assigned a representative payee to manage the benefits because of the person’s mental condition. The bottom line, however, is that tens of thousands of completely harmless, law-abiding people will lose their rights every year under the rule, a premise the SSA did not even try to refute.

The key phrase is “a representative payee” which simply means someone other than the SSI recipient is writing checks to pay the bills.

Thankfully, what Obama did with a pen and a phone can be undone come January 20, when Donald Trump takes office.

Constitutional Carry Could Expand

Kentucky and Indiana will be considering “constitutional carry” bills – and New Hampshire governor Chris Sununu campaigned for similar legislation. This would take the number of “constitutional carry” states to 15 from today’s 12. The three states in question are “shall issue” states.

Regrettably, there seems to be very little chance of any real movement on efforts to turn the nine “may issue” states (plus D.C. and Puerto Rico) into “shall issue” states. All too often in “may issue” states like California, New Jersey, and Maryland, “may issue” often turns into “no issue” in practice.