In an announcement this week in Politico Everytown for Gun Safety, the pro-gun control organization funded by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, made defeating the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act (S. 446) its “national priority.”
“This is a line in the sand on this issue, there’s no question about it. The NRA wants to normalize carrying guns in public. It’s not where the American public is,” said Everytown President John Feinblatt.
“We’re putting people on notice today that we’re watching … and that we expect to hold people accountable,” continued Feinblatt.
By “accountable” what Feinblatt means is that any politician voicing support for the measure will be blackballed from big daddy Bloomberg’s war chest or smashed with millions of dollars in attack ads during the 2018 midterms or, perhaps, both.
To make its point, the group rolled out the head (figuratively speaking, of course) of former Sen. Kelly Ayotte who voted against universal background checks in 2013. To punish Ayotte, a Republican senator from New Hampshire, Everytown and other gun control organizations spent $8 million to ensure she wasn’t re-elected in 2017.
Overall, Everytown spent $25 million in 2016 but has promised, in a statement on its website, that it will “spend what it takes to defeat” national reciprocity.
For the record, if passed, S.446 will do all of the following:
- Ensure that valid concealed carry permits issued in one state are valid for carrying concealed handguns in other states that recognize their own resident’s right to concealed carry;
- Allow those from constitutional carry states the ability to carry in other states that recognize their own resident’s right to concealed carry;
- Put the burden of proof clearly on the state to show that an individual carrying concealed did not comply with the law, thus protecting law-abiding gun owners from onerous civil suits;
- Provide legal protections against states that violate the intent of this bill, making attorney’s fees and damages available to victorious plaintiffs in civil suits, as well as to defendants who prevail in criminal cases; and
- Allow individuals who are carrying concealed to do so in the National Park System, National Wildlife Refuge System, and on lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management, Army Corps of Engineers and Bureau of Reclamation.
Feinblatt opposes national reciprocity because “it would make the weakest link the law of the land and force states to allow domestic abusers, convicted stalkers, people with violent histories, and people who lack even the most basic gun safety training to carry concealed guns in public.”
Domestic abusers, convicted stalkers, and violent felons are prohibited from carrying firearms under federal law. The Gun Control Act (GCA), codified at 18 U.S.C. § 922(g), makes it unlawful for anyone who falls into any of the following categories to ship, transport, receive, or possess firearms or ammunition:
- convicted in any court of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year; who is a fugitive from justice;
- who is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act, codified at 21 U.S.C. § 802);
- who has been adjudicated as a mental defective or has been committed to any mental institution; who is an illegal alien;
- who has been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions;
- who has renounced his or her United States citizenship;
- who is subject to a court order restraining the person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner or child of the intimate partner; or
- who has been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.
Yeah, so, the notion that national reciprocity forces states to rubber-stamp permits to prohibited persons is nonsense. Feinblatt is blowing smoke. Passing S.446 won’t increase the number of bad guys in public with guns because all the bad guys who want to carry guns in public already do so! They don’t care about the law!
What S.446 will do is actually increase the number of good guys with guns in public. That’s right. For example, what stops me from carrying when I travel to my old stomping ground in New York is the stupid state law that makes it illegal for me, a licensed KY permit holder, to do so. The question I’d pose to Feinblatt is how does keeping me, a law-abiding citizen, from carrying in New York make myself, my family, or my friends any safer? Broadly speaking, how does preventing millions of permit holders from carrying make the public any safer?
Unlike Bloomberg, we don’t have armed guards who protect us. Our 2A rights are the only thing we have to prevent us from becoming a statistic.