It’s Time to Move Silencers, FOPA Amendment Ahead of National Reciprocity
Jon Stokes 04.14.17
Saint Bloomberg is dumping a fresh $25 million into fighting national reciprocity, because the thought of people exercising their rights in NYC is freaking a lot of folks out. I think Bloomberg is also going hard after the national reciprocity legislation because it’s vulnerable. He knows he has a shot at killing it, and he wants a scalp to parade around for the press.
The bill has so far failed to attract any Dem cosponsors, and Schumer will definitely filibuster it once it hits the senate. Meanwhile, the White House seems occupied with other issues, and is unlikely to spend a ton of time or clout on it. Everyone following this issue knows that this legislation is facing an uphill battle, and the mood around most gun blogs I’ve seen has not been optimistic.
Even if national reciprocity does get passed, it will be among the first laws repealed by an eventual Democratic congressional majority. Specifically, there is a very real possibility that the Dems will ride a wave of dissatisfaction with Trump in the 2018 mid-terms and flip both houses of congress, and if they do they’re going to set their sights on guns. I think reciprocity will be the first to go in this situation. Even worse, though, will be the fact that in passing reciprocity the GOP and NRA have signaled that they’re totally cool with federal gun laws preempting state gun laws, a fact that will not be lost on the backers of the inevitable Assault Weapon Ban 2.0 and “smart” gun requirements that we’ll see under a Democratic congress.
Meanwhile, the Hearing Protection Act is incredibly popular with gun owners, and the anti-gun crowd is finding it impossible to come up with arguments against it that aren’t weak, ridiculous, and/or outright lies. Plus, once this gets passed, the odds a Dem-controlled congress caring enough to repeal it will be slim. It just won’t affect very many non-gun-owners in a visible way, and after it passes it will quickly be forgotten about by the public.
The other huge win for gun owners that should be difficult for the other side to oppose is Hatch’s amendments to the Firearm Owner’s Protection Act of 1986. A few gun-hostile states are either exploiting loopholes in the FOPA or just ignoring it all together in order to prosecute gun owners that pass through their borders. You really can’t fly with a gun if you think you might end up in New York or New Jersey, because the cops will nail you if your gun gets out of security and then you have to check it back in. There have also been regular reports of motorists with conceal carry licenses getting stopped in states like New Jersey and Maryland because the cops ran their plates and found they have a CCW license in their home state, and then pulled them over and harassed or jailed them.
The Hatch legislation would plug those loopholes and more and would give gun owners who are wrongfully prosecuted in offending states the right to have their attorney’s fees reimbursed by those states.
So I think the best course of action is put reciprocity on the back burner and go full steam after the HPA and these FOPA amendments. Both of these will have a huge positive impact on gun owners, will be easier to pass than reciprocity, and will be less likely to draw the fire of an eventual Democratic congressional majority. What say you?