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Firearms owners are becoming an increasingly-important voting bloc in center-right politics, and it’s important to discuss and define what specific issues and laws are important to today’s gun owners in this upcoming election. With that in mind, I reached out to some of the people who defined “Gun Culture 2.0” in order to get their opinions on the legal matters of today which matter to gun owners, and this was their response.
The Supreme Court
The recent ruling in the case of Commonwealth v. Caetano sent shockwaves through the gun community. In a stunning unanimous decision, the highest court in the land (literally) laid down the law, telling lawmakers in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts that yes, the Second Amendment applied to more than just muskets and it also covers the right of the citizens to own guns for their own use, not necessarily as part of a state militia. This ruling, an important win for the pro-gun rights movement, highlights the importance of who is sitting on the Supreme Court. With an open vacancy and the potential for more openings in the next four years, it is vitally important to gun owners that the next President appoints a person to the Court who will defend our innate right to self-defense and the heritage of firearms ownership in the United States.
Concealed Carry Reciprocity
Imagine how difficult it would be to travel across the country if you weren’t sure if your driver’s license was valid from one state to the next, or how hard it would be to do taxes if your marital status varied depending on what state you lived in. That’s the reality that people with a concealed carry permit face when they move about the country. When I moved my family across the country two years ago, I had to disarm myself when I traveled through Illinois, because Illinois law does not recognize concealed carry permits from any other state. This confusing mumbo-jumbo of laws needs to come to an end: Each state is free to set their own rules regarding the training and testing required to drive a car, and each state recognizes and approves the driver’s license from each other state. It’s time to apply that uniformity and common-sense approach to how and when we carry a gun across state lines.
Let’s state this right up front: Silencers* are not an assassin’s tool or a boon to poachers, they’re a safety device designed to protect hearing and make guns easier to shoot. Suppressors were added into the omnibus “National Firearms Act” of 1934, which placed what was at the time severe restrictions on who could own a suppressor, fully-automatic gun, or short-barreled rifle or shotgun. Those restrictions, such as a $200 stamp and a background check, may have been an almost insurmountable hurdle in 1934, but today, with inflation and instant background checks, they’re an annoying anachronism at best. It’s time to bring firearms law into the 21st century, and make safety devices like suppressors much more accessible to the average gun owner.
Hillary Clinton talks at length about her desire to end “the gun manufacturer’s immunity to lawsuits.” This is, of course, insane, because gun manufacturers can be sued when they make a defective product, just like any other company in the United States. What the Protection in Lawful Commerce in Arms Act covers is protecting gun companies from going bankrupt under a deluge of nuisance lawsuits. Every person who buys a gun in a gun shop or from a licensed dealer at a gun show goes through a federal background check to see if they have a criminal past or a history of domestic violence. Therefore, suing gun manufacturers when somebody does something illegal with their guns is like suing Dell computers when someone posts classified information on an email server.
Part Two next week.
* Yes, I know, a silencer doesn’t “silence” gun noise (although I’ve shot subsonic .22 rounds from a suppressed pistol that made no discernible noise at all, aside from the *thwack* of the bullet hitting the target) and should properly be called “suppressors”. However, Hiram Maxim called them “silencers” when he invented them, so I use those two words interchangeably.