2017: The year of the gun
With Republicans in control of Congress, and GOP legislators at the helm in statehouses throughout the nation, 2nd Amendment advocates are confident that the anti-firearm push led by Barack Obama and the Democratic Party in recent years has stalled.
National Rifle Association head Wayne LaPierre contends that now is the time for 2nd Amendment supporters to “go on the offense” in promoting firearm legislation that would help cement Americans’ right to bear arms.
To that end, support from lawmakers throughout the nation is certainly not insignificant.
At present, the NRA reports that about 54 percent of all lawmakers throughout the nation enjoy an “A” rating with regard to support for the 2nd Amendment.
The Trace, an organization which supports stricter gun control laws, recently lamented: “There are now 32 states where more than half of the legislature has received at least an A- from the gun group. In 14 states, that majority is two thirds or greater, making pro-gun bills virtually veto-proof. In Oklahoma, Arkansas, Indiana, Idaho, and Missouri, the number is 70 percent or higher. In Kentucky, the figure is just shy of 90 percent.”
In other words, Democrats in a growing number of U.S. simply do not have the votes to block incoming pro-2nd Amendment legislation.
But gun control supporters are counting on Republican lawmakers who are less favorable to the 2nd Amendment joining Democrats in blocking efforts to expand firearm rights.
GOP lawmakers are already pushing two legislative proposals which give anti-firearm Democrats heartburn.
One effort being considered in a number of U.S. statehouses would make it easier for college administrators to permit students to carry firearms for self-defense on campus.
Meanwhile, congressional Republicans are working to pass legislation that would implement national concealed carry reciprocity. A current iteration of the bill would make it impossible for states to deny travelers’ right to bear arms by requiring them to adhere to overly burdensome concealed carry laws.
But as anti-firearm activists and lawmakers in gun control strongholds like New York push back against the legislative effort, which they claim would allow unlicensed gun owners to disregard their firearm laws completely, the NRA is warning that the reciprocity effort will require an uphill fight.
The bill currently has the support of 59 GOP sponsors in the House where it is likely to pass without trouble. But in the Senate, Republicans will likely have a more difficult time garnering the 60 votes needed to block a filibuster already promised by Democratic opponents of the legislation.
Still, NRA lobbyist Chris Cox says 2nd Amendment supporters are in a good position to push back against anti-2nd Amendment attitudes and misinformation.
“If we engage our fellow Americans, we engage our fellow Second Amendment supporters, we explain what’s at stake, we explain what it does and what it doesn’t do, which is often times important, tell them to ignore the national news media, tell them to tune in to NRATV, tell them to go to our websites and learn about these issues, if we keep the pressure on the United States senate, we have a real opportunity,” he said.