GOA Pushes Extensive Pro-gun Federal Legislative Agenda for 2017
With pro-gun Republicans in control of the White House, the Senate and the House, this may now be the opportunity of our lifetime to push a proactive pro-gun agenda -- and to roll back the unconstitutional nonsense which has been foisted on us through constitution-hating presidencies.
A lot can be accomplished by President Trump on the first day of his administration by “a pen and a phone.”
GOA has provided a list of these items to transition officials. And they include rolling back every single one of Barack Obama's anti-gun executive actions.
They also include restoring the constitutional rights of 257,000 veterans, declaring safety-free school zones to be unconstitutional under the Lopez decision, and overturning illegal import bans going all the way back to George H.W. Bush's semiauto import ban.
It goes without saying that Obama's gunsmithing and Internet bans should be overturned on the first day, as well.
But Gun Owners of America will also have an extensive legislative agenda. And here are a few items we are pushing through legislation:
Concealed Carry Reciprocity
With Congressman Richard Hudson’s new and improved “reciprocity” bill, gun owners with permits (and without permits in Constitutional Carry states) will be able to carry anywhere in the country.
Furthermore, New Yorkers will be able to take advantage of the bill (in every state but their own) by obtaining a Florida license, and aggrieved gun owners will be able to sue anti-gun states -- and recover damages and attorneys' fees.
The Senate's number two Republican, John Cornyn, introduced a good reciprocity bill in the last Congress, so he gets first dibs at being our champion this year in the Senate.
But one way or other, GOA is pushing for Senate and House floor consideration very early in the session, and President-elect Trump has stated he wants to sign such a bill.
The Schumer Amendment
For over two decades, the Schumer amendment has blocked language in the Firearm Owners Protection Act which would allow “prohibited persons” who have rehabilitated themselves to petition for restoration of their gun rights.
During the past eight years, we have used appropriation bills to defund much of Obama’s gun control agenda. This would include efforts to cut funding for any implementation of the Arms Trade Treaty or for asking about race on 4473 forms or for Fast & Furious or for Operation Chokepoint (which dried up bank loans to gun dealers).
However, if Trump repeals Obama's executive actions administratively, many of these appropriation battles now take on somewhat less importance. And this means GOA can focus a lot more attention on preventing the Schumer amendment from being carried forward.
In addition, GOA will also push language which would prohibit the ATF from copying 4473 forms or retaining any information on 4473's, unless explicitly allowed by 18 U.S.C. 923(g) because, for instance, the person is an active criminal suspect.
They no longer have to use pony express to perform Brady checks, and the 1968 ban on interstate sales of firearms is, to say the least, a useless anachronism.
GOA will push to reintroduce legislation which would allow the interstate sales of handguns, so long as the seller complied with the laws of the state where the transaction took place.
Although there are other versions of this bill, GOA would prefer Frank Guinta’s language (from last year) because it provides greater protections. For example, in the case of an Illinois resident purchasing a handgun in Montana which he intends to keep in Montana, Illinois should not be able to prevent the deal by denying the person a FOID Card (i.e., gun license).
Veterans and Seniors
GOA believes Donald Trump should summarily restore the rights of over 257,000 veterans who have lost their constitutional rights without due process.
But GOA is also pushing for a senator to take up the cause of overturning the Veterans Disarmament Act. A version of this offered by Senator Burr almost garnered 60 votes in the Senate in 2013, when the Senate was still controlled by Democrats.
GOA will push to enact the Hearing Protection Act to legalize suppressors and protect gun owners’ hearing.
GOA will also seek to protect gun owners from prosecution for possessing guns which fire in three-round bursts -- and also people whose guns malfunction and fire in three round bursts (such as what happened to David Olofson).
And if we can eliminate other aspects of the onerous National Firearms Act, we will push to do so.
The Brady Law
Roughly 95% of initial denials under the Brady Check are “false positives,” whereby they are illegally barred from exercising their constitutional rights.
Furthermore, although lots of people -- including, presumably, lots of veterans -- have been denied the right to purchase a firearm by Brady Checks, there is no proof that serious criminals subject themselves to the Brady Check or are unable to acquire a firearm because of it.
Rather the Brady Law, originally sold as “the gun control to end all future calls for gun control,” has become nothing but a platform for an unending campaign to impose more gun control on the basis of its inadequacy.
We've asked President Trump for an executive interpretation which would (1) allow ANY state concealed carry holder to be exempted from a Brady Check when purchasing a firearm from an FFL, and would (2) allow a non-concealed carry holder in a Constitutional Carry state to be exempt.
GOA hopes President Trump will announce that he is using prosecutorial discretion to exempt carry holders and Constitutional Carry state purchasers from Brady Checks, in the same way that Obama used prosecutorial discretion on behalf of illegal aliens.
Defunding Anti-Gun States
GOA will push to pass legislation which would cut or eliminate funding for anti-gun states. Loss of funds would be triggered by: a semi-auto or magazine ban, an ammunition ban or registry requirement, a state gun registry, a state gun confiscation program, the ability to strip someone of guns through an ex parte procedure.
Michael Hammond is the Legislative Counsel for Gun Owners of America, a grassroots lobby representing more than 1.5 million members and activists.