Will Donald Trump Protect Your Gun Rights?
Russ Chastain 09.29.19
A recent opinion piece by Matthew Larosiere explores the Trump administration and the USA’s current political climate in terms of gun rights, and the outlook is pretty dim. Democrats have rarely been more outspoken against our rights to bear arms, and Republicans — especially Trump — grow more and more willing to steal our rights by negating due process.
For gun owners like me, it’s hard to forget President Trump’s promise on his 99th day in office, proclaiming that President Obama’s “eight year assault” on our Second Amendment rights had come to a “crashing end.” But in the years since Mr. Trump took his seat in the Oval Office, the “eight year assault” of the Obama administration has seemed more like a holiday by comparison. Just this week, the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on banning assault weapons. Yet, the response from the Republican administration has been deafening silence, leaving millions of American gun owners like myself powerless against the continual assault to our constitutional liberties.
Mr. Trump and the Republican Party at large haven’t done gun owners any favors. The administration has managed to ban possession of “bump stocks” by administrative fiat, making felons out of tens of thousands of gun owners overnight. It also supported state efforts to implement red flag laws, restrict the gun rights of young adults, and threatened gun owners with domestic surveillance and unconstitutional seizures. So much for that “crashing end” to the assault on the Second Amendment.
It should be even more alarming to note that Trump’s tenure has brought more restrictions on firearms and a boldness to the anti-gunners on both sides of the aisle, while Obama’s administration actually made some things easier for gun owners.
Mr. Obama’s administration, on the other hand, relaxed prohibitions on carrying firearms on federal land, and made it easier for people to acquire NFA items like suppressors and machine guns. Of course, it wasn’t all good. The administration also cracked down on homemade firearms and tightened some import restrictions.
Many gun owners continue to rely on the NRA, the Republican party, and Trump’s so-far-unfulfilled promise to protect our rights, but none have acted in our favor.
But despite constant claims that Republicans are beholden to gun rights organizations, when the GOP held the entire government in 2017 and 2018, nothing changed — no concealed-carry reciprocity, no deregulation of firearm suppressors, no changes to any of the thousands of absurd regulations from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). In fact, during the time the Republicans controlled the entire government, all that passed was stiffer background checks. Mr. Trump could’ve taken action on many of these items anytime he wanted. This doesn’t sound like a party under the thumb of gun owners.
It’s a sad state of affairs, and I am putting this forth here merely as a wake-up call to anyone who still believes their gun rights are safe with the GOP and Trump. As Larosiere notes:
Clearly, the GOP has gotten lackadaisical on the concept of civil rights. Some Republicans are even throwing support to dangerous red flag laws and other worrisome proposals, such as the TAPS Act, which would see law enforcement combing social media for “threats” to “manage.” Meanwhile, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made clear, Senate Republicans are waiting for Mr. Trump to hand them an agenda on gun control — entirely forgetting how our government is supposed to operate.
I urge you to contact President Trump and your representatives in Congress often, insisting they fulfill their oaths to the Constitution by standing up for ALL of our civil rights.