Grab Bag: November 2016

Constitutional Carry returns to the TX legislature, Howard Stern calls for national reciprocity, and a good guy with a gun saves an officer. A cooldown from the election before our Thanksgiving break.

1.) Texas. After Open Carry, Texas gun rights advocates have decided to move onto permitless carry. There is already a bill filed with the Legislature for the upcoming session. The logic being, at least in part, that Open Carry was a complete non-issue, and the same will be said for permitless carry.

2.) Stern. The discussion about nationwide reciprocity has gotten a major figure outside of the gun rights world, talk host Howard Stern. In a recent monologue, Stern noted that drivers licenses work across state lines, so weapons carry permits should work the same way. He said in part: 

When you think about it, if somebody is a legal and responsible gun owner, let’s say in Massachusetts, why all of a sudden when he crossed the border is he an outlaw?

National reciprocity became a very real possibility when President-Elect Trump called for it a few months ago. His platform made it a cornerstone of his pitch to gun owners. But a major question is not necessarily Trump’s support for it, but if Congress can override the gun laws of individual states.

3.) Helping an Officer. Finally, some fantastic news via PoliceOne. An Armed Citizen shot and killed a suspect who was attacking an officer in Florida this week. Of course, the gun had to be impounded as evidence as a matter of procedure. A gun store, Shoot Straight, contacted the agency to get in touch with the man who saved the officer’s life. The company wanted to replace the man’s gun, free of charge. The store’s manager said “if they were comfortable with him getting a gun, I was completely comfortable with giving him a gun.”

And that is how we close out the month as Thanksgiving approaches. We return December 10th.

Stay informed, stay alert, stay free.

Earthquake

PROGRAMMING NOTE: Annual Thanksgiving break coming up. As always, the week of and the week after Thanksgiving. Next week is the last round for November, we meet again on December 10th.
—————————

The polls, projections, surveys, pundits, etc. all had one thing in common; they were dead wrong.

With Clinton having conceded, Trump will be the next President of the United States. Already we’re starting to see hints about what the next 4 years could hold, as well as a bit of backtracking in some spots. This week, we break it all down. The fate of the Affordable Care Act, the aftermath of Trump’s election on stock market, and of course Trump’s agenda on firearms.

1.) Healthcare. A cornerstone of Trump’s platform was repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. With the House, Senate, and White House in Republican control, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that the chamber would move quickly to repeal the law.

But there are elements of the bill that Trump would like to have survive, namely the ban on pre-existing conditions leading to denial of coverage and allowing people to remain on their parents’ plans until 26. The BBC notes that

The challenge for the president-elect is that the Obamacare features he praises – such as its mandate that insurers cover pre-existing medical conditions – are made possible by portions of the law he has condemned, like requiring all Americans to obtain insurance.

Keeping the law’s carrots while abandoning its sticks could prove difficult.

2.) Markets. Initially, markets were extremely nervous about the election results. For a time, futures on the Dow dropped over 600 points Tuesday night. However, fears of a Brexit-style crash never materialized, and in fact just the opposite occurred. At the Closing Bell on Friday, the Dow staged its best week since 2011.

3.) Environment. Trump clearly is not happy with current EPA regulations, tapping a known “climate skeptic” to head his EPA transition team. Trump has long stated his aim to revitalize the coal, oil, and shale industries, and this appears to be part of that.

Additionally, TransCanada, the company behind the Keystone XL pipeline, says they are “fully committed” to the project and are “evaluating ways to engage the new administration on the benefits, the jobs and the tax revenues this project brings to the table.”

4.) Firearms. We discussed Trump’s Second Amendment coalition last week, now we have reaction to his victory from both pro- and anti-gun groups. NRA-ILA head Chris Cox said in a statement that “Trump’s victory repudiates the assertion by gun control advocates that the political calculus regarding the Second Amendment has changed.” The NSSF simply said “the American people have spoken. We have elected a president who has pledged to protect our Constitutional rights and a majority of both houses of Congress that will work to ensure that our individual right to keep and bear arms will be preserved,” and, in a remarkably low-key response, the Second Amendment Foundation merely posted a celebratory Facebook Picture.

On the other side, Everytown published a video calling Trump’s Second Amendment plans, specifically looking to take down Gun-Free Zones around schools and military bases, “ghastly.”

It is going to be a really interesting four years. With a Republican Congress and President, the Second Amendment looks to be fairly secure.

Stay informed. Stay alert. Stay free.

Showtime 2016

Welcome to the weekend before this election season mercifully concludes. A recap of Trump’s positions on guns, a recap of Clinton’s position on guns, and some other news relevant to the big show.

1.) Trump. Recoil has a report out headlined “Trump Announces Second Amendment Coalition,” if that proves anything about his positions. Trump has long boasted about his endorsement by the National Rifle Association back in May.

Despite his record on guns being fairly left-leaning (at least from roughly 2000 back), Trump has positioned himself as the “law and order” candidate and been a vocal proponent of firearms and the right to self-defense generally. His website presents his plan as a two-pronged approach of prosecuting violent criminals while also protecting everyone else’s right to own firearms.

2.) Clinton. Not much has changed since her husband’s signage of the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban. Clinton has been a constant opponent of the NRA and gun rights as a whole. Her website does not call it “gun control,” preferring the more-recent rebranding of gun violence prevention. The plan is predicated on “keeping guns out of the wrong hands” such as people with criminal records (which begs the question why they were released in the first place if they are so dangerous), and “taking on the gun lobby.”

In the off chance that wasn’t enough to make her position clear she was also endorsed by roughly 17 gun control groups simultaneously.

3.) The Movement. GunPolicy.Org’s Philip Alpers seems to be under the notion that, despite expanding concealed carry laws, the drop in violent crime, the inability to get anti-gun legislation passed without throwing mountains of money at initiatives, and the ineffective overuse of dramatic imagery, that gun control will prevail regardless of the election. Of note is the following passage from Guns.com:

He even went after the Second Amendment. “Unique to the United States, the Second Amendment to the Constitution is just that — an amendment,” he says. “Americans are free to change an outdated law when they so choose.”

The election is this Tuesday. When we meet again, we’ll discuss the aftermath, and what that holds for firearms, the Second Amendment, and the liberty movement in general.

Until then….

Stay informed. Stay alert. Stay free.