Gun Laws & Legislation

Gun Activists Focus On National Concealed Carry Push

(Photo by George Frey/Getty Images

Kerry Picket Political Reporter
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ATLANTA, GA–The National Rifle Association has made national concealed carry a primary cause for the organization, and without President Obama in office to go after for enacting routine gun control measures, the pro-gun lobbying group is focused on a cause to rally its members and donors around.

President Trump spoke before the NRA Friday afternoon telling members at their annual convention, “No longer will federal agencies be coming after law-abiding gun owners. (Applause.) No longer will the government be trying to undermine your rights and your freedoms as Americans. Instead, we will work with you, by your side.”

Trump’s appearance at the NRA meeting, something a president has not done since Reagan in 1983, appears to give the organizers confidence that the man they backed early on in 2016 will support their issues in Washington.

“If 10 states made it a felony to read The New York Times, the media would run the story 24/7 until Congress fixed the assault on the First Amendment,” NRA chief lobbyist Chris Cox,said in a recent 60-second ad. “But when 10 states criminalize the Second Amendment, the media says nothing.”

These states are California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon and Rhode Island.

Cox goes on to say, “When states can deny one constitutional freedom, they can criminalize the entire Bill of Rights.”

National reciprocity bills in the upper and lower chambers have already been introduced by Republican lawmakers.

While the passage of such legislation is an uphill battle, specifically in the Senate where 60 votes would be needed and Republicans are 8 votes short of, 2018 may be the year when national reciprocity becomes an election issue.

In 2013, though, 13 Democrats voted for a national reciprocity measure proposed by Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn. Seven of those senators — Joe Donnelly of Indiana; Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota; Jon Tester of Montana; Martin Heinrich and Tom Udall of New Mexico; Joe Manchin of West Virginia; and Mark Warner of Virginia — are still members of the Senate. Five of those members are gearing up for their reelection in 2018, The Trace noted.

Some Democrats up for reelection next year in states where Donald Trump won in 2016 cannot say if they will support a national concealed carry bill.

“I have no idea. I think there are a number of state laws that complicate it,” North Dakota Democratic Sen. Heitkamp told The Daily Caller last week.

Trump won the state of North Dakota with 63 percent of the vote. Heitkamp’s state’s permit is recognized by 39 other states but 11 states and the District of Columbia refuse to recognize North Dakota’s carry permit.

“I’d have to see it,” Sen. Tester said, when asked by TheDC if he would support a national concealed carry bill.

The carry permit in the state of Montana is honored in 33 states, but 18 states and the District of Columbia do not honor the Montana carry permit.

West Virginia Democratic Sen. Manchin would only say of national reciprocity legislation, “Let me look at it.”

West Virginia carry permits are honored in 37 states but not accepted in 13 states and the District of Columbia.

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