President Obama told the country that elections have consequences, and 2016 will emphasize this point. Donald Trump will be the next president, and Republicans will retain control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate, albeit with a slimmer margin. More than that, the GOP controls thirty-one governorships, with two more likely, and the party has made gains in state legislatures. If that latter fact lasts past 2020, Republicans will redraw the district maps after the census, potentially solidifying control of the U.S. House. And if they can get their act together, they also stand in good chance of replacing two Supreme Court justices even beyond someone to take the seat vacated by Scalia.
This political reality holds a variety of consequences in store, but since we’re focused on guns here, let’s consider what the next steps should be in the protection of gun rights and the expansion of their exercise.
The first thing — and the easiest to do — is to secure national reciprocity for carry licenses. This has been attempted several times, only to falter in committees and be denied a vote in the Senate. Since constitutional carry is the newest wave in the states, a national bill will have to include a provision that recognizes any state-issued ID for residents who aren’t required to have a special license to exercise their right to carry. Given the Obergefell decision that legalized same-sex marriages and required all states to honor any state’s marriage license, the precedent is set for other official documents to get the same treatment. And after a little while, we could have any such document count for carry reciprocity.
Then come regulations of the ATF. Trump has promised to gut the Environmental Protection Agency, despite the necessary function of that part of the government. But the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives is a clumsy collection of things that have in many cases only the vaguest relationship to each other — beyond being objectionable to various people and easy subjects for those who like to meddle. If we must defund any department of the government, the one that should — as the joke goes — be a convenience store is an obvious choice.
After that, there is a list of laws and parts of laws that deserve to be repealed: the Hughes Amendment to the Firearm Owners Protection Act that barred ordinary Americans from owning full-auto guns made after 1986, the Gun Control Act of 1968 that makes importing interesting foreign guns — and the original .380 Glock models — such a challenge, among other burdens, and the National Firearms Act of 1934 that made screw-on hearing protection, a fun switch, and an easily portable barrel expensive choices.
Beyond all of those things, there is the bigger concern of making states like California and New York respect the Second Amendment. The ballot measure that passed on Tuesday in California that bans standard-capacity magazines outright and imposes a background check requirement for ammunition purchases illustrates the violations that gun control advocates get up to when they’re not reminded regularly about what the Constitution permits.
I’ve routinely reminded the junior senator from my state, Tom Cotton, that he ran on protecting gun rights, so far to little effect, since I’m one person. This election looks like a victory for gun rights, but that will be true only if each one of us drives the message home day after day with our representatives in government. It’s only with this kind of vigilance that we will win.
The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the position of Guns.com.
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