by Countable | 4.26.17
The Trump administration has been making a host of changes to gun control regulations in recent months. In isolation each might not seem like that big of a deal, but taken together the overall change to the landscape for gun rights proponents is significant already and that trend is likely to continue.
In a post that went out during the spring congressional recess, when many people’s attention moved away from D.C., McClatchy provided a comprehensive look at all the different steps taken by the administration to follow through on their campaign promises to gun owners.
With the 100-day milestone looming for a new administration hoping to show progress on their legislative agenda, it’s surprising they haven’t touted their collective accomplishments for gun owners, though gun lobbyists are paying attention. Chris Cox, a chief lobbyist for the NRA commented:
Ultimately you judge a politician on whether he or she keeps their promises that they made during the campaign...NRA members and supporters across this country are very pleased with what we’ve seen out of this administration so far. But there is still a lot of work to do.
The list of steps includes narrowing the definition of "fugitive," a change that cuts the number of people who’ll be included in a database — the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) — designed to keep firearms from people who are barred from owning them.
The ATF considers a fugitive to be anyone subject to an arrest warrant who crossed state lines to avoid arrest. The FBI had a broader definition, describing a fugitive as anyone who’d left the city or county where the warrant had been issued. In a Feb. 15 memorandum, the FBI agreed to adopt the narrower definition, saying a person must have fled the state to avoid imminent prosecution or court testimony to be considered a fugitive.
The president signed a bill behind closed doors on February 27 that killed an Obama-era regulation requiring the government to add to the NICS no-buy list people whom the Social Security Administration deemed eligible for mental disability payments. Objections to the rule had stemmed from a perceived lack of due process for the person being stripped up their right to gun ownership, while its proponents had called it a crucial tool for preventing the mentally ill from accessing firearms.
Trump signed another bill on April 3 that lifted restrictions on hunting on federal lands in Alaska. Supporters maintained rolling back the regulations freed up the state of Alaska to better manage their own land and wildlife, while opponents argued the regulations protected "natural diversity" in federal wildlife refuges.
The administration has been eager to place officials sympathetic to gun rights in positions of influence:
Trump quickly nominated a trio of leaders that gun rights groups supported: Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. By far and away, the NRA’s most important goal was to help secure an acceptable Supreme Court nominee.
Zinke moved quickly in accordance with a pro-gun rights agenda, canceling on his first day:
a ban on the use of lead ammunition on federal lands... and directed all agencies managing federal lands to identify areas where hunting could be expanded.
Additionally, in March the Army Corps of Engineers indicated that they may no longer defend a standing ban since the 1970’s against carrying "loaded firearms and ammunition" except in limited designated hunting areas:
the Army Corps of Engineers signaled that it was considering dropping its gun ban in a case now before the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals involving a Georgia couple who objected to the ban. "The Army Corps of Engineers is reconsidering the firearm policy challenged in this case, as well as plaintiff’s requests for permission to carry firearms on Army Corps property," the Army Corps of Engineers argued in a motion asking that the couple’s case be moved to mediation.
Gun rights proponents are pushing two bills — one allowing "Americans to carry concealed firearms from state to state" in accordance with state law if they’ve been licensed known as the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017. It was introduced by Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC) and has been lauded by the NRA.
The other would make it cheaper and easier to buy silencers, which are popular among recreational shooting enthusiasts because they help mitigate the risk of hearing damage. The Hearing Protection Act was introduced by Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) on Feb 6 and already has 137 cosponsors.
Given the groundwork already laid by the new administration, gun rights advocates may rightfully be looking towards more legislative successes on these items and others not yet flying on anyone else’s radar.
What do you think about the steps the administration has taken to support gun rights? Use the "Take Action" button to let your reps hear about it!
— Asha Sanaker
(Photo Credit: Peretz Partensky via Flickr / Creative Commons)
Written by Countable
I expect you to support common sense gun laws. Freewheeling use and ownership of guns kill innocent people. I am a WV gun owner. I hunt and target shot. We own 6 rifles/shotguns and 2 handguns. We are NOT anti-gun or anti-second amendment. We ARE anti-NRA who support weapon and munition corporations and provide huge donations to influence my representatives. I am appalled that Mr. Trump will be a guest at their event.We need to keep and increase common sense gun laws. By far, many more people are killed in mass shootings by Americans than terrorists because guns are rampart and loosely regulated in this country. How can you not consider Columbine, SandyHook, etc. Do Your Job........protect your constituents!
On one hand Trump is wrongly saying that crime and murder is out of control while on the other hand he is making it easier for criminal fugitives of the law, mentally ill people to not only buy guns but silencers as well! I need someone to explain how this could possibly bring the crime rate down? Or is the plan just to spread the misinformation about how bad the crime rate is so then you can quote the real crime rate numbers and say hey people look what we did. We brought the crime rate down! This entire thing stinks of corruption and is horrible policy for the safety of the public. Remember, history is not going to judge you on what a good and faithful republican you are but rather your actions and how they ultimately affected society and the nation! You must decide which side of history you want to be remembered.
Please enforce strong gun regulations. We need intensive back ground checks. That will do more to make our country safe. Better than a wall.
We need common sense gun laws. We need background checks on every single gun purchase. Stalkers and abusers must be denied firearms. The NRA needs to have far less influence in our government. I mean really, this is the group that came very close to putting Smith and Wesson out of business when they were planning to make safer guns. All these statements are coming from someone who grew up in a household of hunting enthusiasts. I am not anti-gun, just pro-common sense.
Yes, these gun laws are crazy, guns are not linear, American citizens have over 12 trillion rounds of ammunition in storage, if all gun owners were bad, then we would have a real problem. Gun crime in cities with strict gun control is much worse than cities with looser gun laws, Chicago has some of the most gun violence while having the strictest gun control in America. The overwhelming majority of gun crime is DRUG RELATED (over 80%) restricting constitutional rights is not the way to go. Fight the root problem not the one that "sounds good"
We can allow the GOP to further erode the few gun protections that as citizens have. Guns are dangerous and need to regulated as we do cars. Each one registered, insured, bought from a licensed dealer, and training before a licensed owner can purchase or operate a loaded gun.
Yea let's give guns to those with mental disabilities, are you all this dense?!? Look at the Fort Hood shooter, Newtown shooter, Aurora, Colorado movie theatre shooting and etc. all had mental illnesses... why would you want to arm these individuals??? This is just stupid!
No. Stop the power of the NRA.
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." What part of "SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED" is so hard for most people to understand? All gun laws are unconstitutional, no matter what your opinion on them is.
Please continue to support more gun controls.
It is not rocket science. You can be for the second amendment and for sensible gun laws. Of course, unless you are in the pocket of the NRA or gun lobby. Can we just do what is good for the majority of Americans and get some decent legislation to regulate guns?
We need more gun restrictions not less. Keep guns out of the wrong people's hands and terrorists. More background checks and safety restrictions.
Thoughtful gun laws are necessary. Do NOT support the money hungry NRA who care nothing about American lives or the 2nd amendment. No! Vote. No!!
I expect you to support sensible gun laws in my mind that means background checks, refusing sales of weapons to people with history of domestic violence, child abuse, mental health problems and disabilities such as legal blindness, deafness, seizure disorders, anxiety disorders. As a retired emergency room nurse I know all too well the damage that can occur by people having guns that shouldn't.
This is a monsterous travesty to the American people. Protect us from guns! Enforce the laws that exist. Increase back round checks! Stop endangering us you morons!
NRA fans are almost exclusively enamored of the right to bear arms, as if carrying a gun could guarantee a person power or intelligence or status in the community. They even say that "guns don't kill; people do." Unfortunately, people with guns kill -- including the people who are children who stumble across guns and use them to kill. Gun laws must not be diluted.
We need more gun control, not less. Common sense gun control is a necessity and I do not approve of this measure.
We have more shootings in a week than do many developed countries do in a year. Support strict gun control please.
Every time you bow to the NRA you endanger innocent lives! When will you stop this? Have none of you on the GOP have common sense, or is the money more important because it isn't your children who have been killed? The GOP should already be ashamed of not passing common sense regulations after Newtown. Even NRA membership agreed with those regulations , yet you knocked them down because the NRA fanatics paid you to do it. Wake up to the danger you continually cause. I guarantee the founding fathers DID NOT intend for mentally unstable individuals to have weapons, or even thought automatic weapons would be put in non-military hands. They mistakenly thought our future lawmakers would have common sense and integrity.
Curtail availability of guns and increase penalties for illegal use of guns. The violence in our society steals my rights to peaceful law abiding life.