There’s no question that the Trump win was a boon for gun rights. Hillary Clinton was an openly anti-gun candidate who appeared to not believe in the Second Amendment at all. She was committed to stacking the Supreme Court with justices who were against gun rights, and pushing for legislation for increased gun controls. Meanwhile, Trump was endorsed by the NRA and consistently stated his position as a champion of gun rights, promising for a slew of gun rights bills in addition to pro-2A Supreme Court nominations. There were likely many voters in this election who were so concerned with gun rights that they simply felt they had no choice but to vote for Trump. In swing states like Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin, gun rights voters coming out in force could have been the difference between winning and losing.
It is important to note that Trump has historically not been friendly to gun rights. In his 2000 book, The America We Deserve, he called out Republicans who “walk the NRA line” and “refuse even limited restrictions” on firearms. He seemed to be supporting a ban on “evil black rifles”, and using nomenclature that has been commonly used by the gun control crowd to denigrate their owners. A flip-flop of these proportions is quite epic, and it is worth questioning if Trump merely did it to gain the necessary support to win. While he could be a wild card for gun rights, and his position supporting them cannot be taken for granted, let’s examine the proposals put forward by Trump’s team, and see what could be in store for gun rights.
At the top of Trump’s agenda is enforcing laws already on the books and addressing mental health issues related to gun ownership. Those are the most basic of measures that are agreed upon by almost everyone in this country, and not indicative of any meaningful change to expand gun rights. Also, his agenda consists of inaction on gun/magazine bans, and federally mandated background checks for every purchase; however, in light of both Trump’s win and Republican control of both houses, those two were not going to happen. Still, there is much more to Trump’s agenda, and he has clearly listened to input from the gun rights groups who voted for him in shaping his policy.
What I believe is the agenda item of utmost importance to gun rights is “National Right to Carry”, or “National CCW Reciprocity”. Trump’s proposal outlines the following, which I agree with 100%:
NATIONAL RIGHT TO CARRY. The right of self-defense doesn’t stop at the end of your driveway. That’s why I have a concealed carry permit and why tens of millions of Americans do too. That permit should be valid in all 50 states. A driver’s license works in every state, so it’s common sense that a concealed carry permit should work in every state. If we can do that for driving – which is a privilege, not a right – then surely we can do that for concealed carry, which is a right, not a privilege.
This is of particular concern to CCW holders in the Northeast US, where states typically do not have reciprocity with one another. Though gun owners need to be aware of all state laws whenever they carry concealed, police have been known to target CCW holders for pullovers, particularly in New Jersey and Maryland. These states are encouraging targeted arrests that often lead to felony records and jail sentences. Instead of fighting crime, they are instead harassing otherwise law-abiding gun owners who merely made a stupid mistake by not being aware of local gun restrictions. If driver’s licenses and gay marriages can be recognized across state lines, there is absolutely no reason CCW permits can’t fall into the same domain.
Trump’s list also includes rescinding bans from military personnel carrying firearms on bases and at recruiting centers. This seems like a no-brainer to me, though I don’t know the particulars on why a ban would be necessary. If any military personnel have feedback on why this would be a bad idea, feel free to send it along, and I will update this article accordingly.
Of lesser importance to CCW Reciprocity, an item not on Trump’s list is the removal of suppressors from the NFA Act. Since 1934, they have been subject to an NFA stamp, which requires a $200 dollar fee for transfers, not including the lengthy and expensive process for NFA registration. Falsely referred to as “silencers” by gun control groups, Hollywood movies have long led people to believe these additions can actually silence a gunshot. The above chart is for a Ruger 10/22 (.22LR), which is an extremely weak caliber, that can still only be reduced to 115db. The reduction on a 160db pistol shot might still require hearing protection, and rifles can often be even louder, and decibel reduction can only be so significant. Reductions for common calibers such as 9mm, .45, .223 Remington and .308 would not get a shot down to anywhere close to the 115db in the weaker .22LR.
Don’t believe me? See it for yourself.
I’ve also included an example of the differences in power between subsonic and supersonic rifle ammunition, so you can see how much performance is impacted by the weaker ammunition necessary for proper decibel reduction.
Contrary to popular belief, suppressors are only effective in reducing sound to the point where earplugs aren’t necessary. They are most commonly used by hunters as a convenience, to not only make hunting without earplugs possible, but to avoid disturbing those nearby with excessive gunshot noise. Of much greater tactical importance is the function of flash hiding… but that can be accomplished with muzzle brakes and flash hiders already legally available on the market, without NFA restriction. If a Trump administration can remove Hollywood’s influence behind the unnecessary regulation on these items, it will be a major win for gun rights, and will hopefully lead to the removal of other unnecessary firearms restrictions.
Finally, repeal of Obama executive orders which unfairly targeted firearms and ammunition should be another no-brainer. The only thing these EOs have accomplished is to pile the red tape unfairly on gun dealers, putting some of them out of business in the process. Focusing on revoking licenses for low-volume sellers, they’ve done absolutely nothing to combat illegal gun ownership, and have focused on making the process excessively burdensome. It is another no-brainer for Trump to do this, and it can be accomplished with his signature alone on day one of his Presidency.
Still, gun rights advocates should not feel confident in their victory this election cycle. Trump is still a wild card, and given his prior statements, no one really knows what he will do for gun rights when he takes office, and he could even put in more gun controls as part of a “grand compromise” on guns. Gun control advocates will still work at the state level to restrict gun rights, and Bloomberg will do his best to accomplish this with tens of millions of dollars in spending on state initiatives, like the one that just passed in Nevada. Notably, Bloomberg and his gun control groups are experts in using a particular 12 buzzwords to scare the uninformed into agreeing with gun control, and obfuscating and falsifying the statistics, using five particular tricks to falsely inflate them. It is important that gun rights advocates not take solace in their victory, and instead use a Trump administration and Republican congress to finally strengthen our position after years of attacks on our rights.
Who knows… maybe a law can be passed stating that Hollywood movies have to accurately portray suppressor gunshot noises in their movies. Because to this point, the only accurate movie portrayal of sound suppressors was in US Marshals. Its “just a movie”, right? It is, but only if you don’t believe it isn’t real life, and use its presumption of reality to push for gun control.
Note: I am again sharing two articles linked above, because I highly recommend reading and sharing them, especially if you do not know or understand how gun control groups falsify the truth to push their agenda.