Oftentimes when we elect public servants they get into office and then they disappear. Not literally disappear — but figuratively, in the sense that everything they promised us they’d do once elected they never seem to get done.
It’s rare that you meet a lawmaker who is actually doing something tangible to forward a cause near and dear to the hearts of the people. Well, I’m about to introduce you to someone who is doing just that: Congressman Thomas Massie (R-KY), who has recently (re)launched the Congressional Second Amendment Caucus.
What is the Second Amendment Caucus? Well, it’s exactly what it sounds like, a group of ardently pro-gun lawmakers who are doing all they can to protect and promote Second Amendment rights. Founded back in 2004, the Caucus (which briefly changed its name in 2009 to the Second Amendment Task Force) stands behind the following founding principles:
- Unconstitutional impediments to exercising the Second Amendment make the country less safe and less secure.
- Gun ownership is an inalienable right that cannot be revoked, denied or stalled without due process of law.
- The Second Amendment isn’t about hunting or sport shooting, but about the Citizen’s right to defend his or her country and rights against a tyrannical government.
- Statistics continue to demonstrate that more firearms in the hands of law-abiding citizens lead to a reduction in violent crimes.
- A robust Fourth Amendment is essential to preserving the Second Amendment rights of all citizens.
The following congressmen are founding members of the caucus: Jeff Duncan (R-SC), Ted Yoho (R-FL), Brian Babin (R-TX), Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Mark Meadows (R-NC), Ken Buck (R-CO), Alex Mooney (R-WV), Justin Amash (R-MI), Jody Hice (R-GA), Dave Brat (R-VA), Warren Davidson (R-OH), Scott Perry (R-PA), and James Comer (R-KY).
Clearly for the last eight years pushing any type of pro-gun reform through Congress and pass the president’s desk was going to be an impossible task. Obama made it known that he was an enemy of the Second Amendment, specifically in his second term when he called for a renewal of the Clinton-era ban on black rifles, among other anti-gun laws.
However, now with the Trump administration on the verge of taking back the White House and a GOP-controlled Congress taking over Capitol Hill, the landscape looks a lot different.
“The recent election results present us with a new opportunity to advance pro-gun legislation and reverse the erosion of the Second Amendment that’s occurred over the last few decades,” Massie said in a press release. “I look forward to working with the new President and this determined group of conservatives to promote a pro-gun agenda,”
I wanted to get a little more clarity on what exactly the caucus could do as it relates to specific hot-button legislation, mainly a national concealed carry reciprocity bill that would allow licensed gun owners to carry concealed in all 50 states and the Hearing Protection Act, which would remove suppressors from the NFA naughty list.
This week, I reached out to Congressman Massie and asked him about those particular bills. Since the new caucus won’t meet until next year, it hasn’t yet adopted formal positions on legislation but, on the whole, Massie told me that “It’s safe to say that if legislation supports a citizen’s right to keep and bear arms we will be for it. If it infringes, we will vigorously oppose it.”
Massie did, however, provide me with his personal perspective on these bills.
“I’ve held concealed carry permits in New Hampshire and Kentucky, and I would dearly like to see the day when any U.S. citizen can carry in every state,” said Massie on concealed carry reciprocity, noting that many caucus members have cosponsored HR 923, HR 986 and even HR 4348.
As it relates to pulling suppressors from the NFA, Massie said, “A majority of our members have also cosponsored the Hearing Protection Act, HR 3799. In fact, I own a .223 caliber suppressor myself, so I’m familiar with the hassle that comes with the ridiculous over-regulation of these harmless devices.”
“Removing suppressors, and short barrel rifles (SBRs) for that matter, from the NFA registry is overdue in my personal opinion,” said Massie, who cautioned once again that this is his personal stance and not yet that of the caucus.
Skeptics may still ask the question, “Why do we need the Second Amendment Caucus?”
“Even though Republicans have controlled the House for six years, I haven’t seen a single pro-gun bill brought up in a committee for a hearing or debate, much less a vote,” said Massie in response to that very question.
“The Second Amendment Caucus can fill this void, while showing the American people that at least some members of Congress are truly dedicated to this issue,” he continued.
“If we raise the profile of all the great pro-gun legislation that’s been languishing in committees, and improve the language of the legislation by debating it in our caucus, perhaps we can compel the committees to act upon it, get it to the floor for a vote, and then send it to President Trump for his signature,” said Massie.
I don’t know about you but after corresponding with Congressman Massie I feel very optimistic about the chances of universal concealed carry reciprocity and deregulated suppressors becoming a reality in the next four years. Fingers crossed!
Big thanks to Congressman Massie for taking the time to answer my questions. It’s good to know that we have lawmakers who are truly interested in protecting, defending and expanding our right to keep and bear arms.