Now that the results are in, gun rights groups are giving credit for Donald Trump’s win to gun owners who got out to vote Now, it’s time for them to ask, what exactly is a Trump presidency going to mean for their Second Amendment rights?
From a Supreme Court appointment to revision of current laws to enactment of new ones, the Trump administration should bring plenty of positives to gun owners. Here’s a look at some of them.
One of the chief concerns among gun owners during this Presidential Election has not been merely what Hillary Clinton might have done as president regarding gun rights, but also what decisions her Democrat appointees to the Supreme Court would make for decades to come.
Now that Donald Trump has secured the presidency, it’s almost certain the Supreme Court’s narrow conservative majority will be preserved when Trump chooses a someone next year to fill the seat of late Justice Antonin Scalia, according to this story from the LA Times. That means the appointee will likely be a Second Amendment supporter.
This, in turn, almost ensures that landmark gun rights cases like District of Columbia v. Heller, which further reinforce the Constitutional right to keep and bear arms, won’t be opened up again in the near future.
Furthermore, a gun-rights-friendly Court could stand as a roadblock against the gun-control lobby’s current tactic of pushing gun control laws at the state and and even municipal level. The strategy was adopted after gun control bills failed to get traction in Washington over the past two years.
The court could also nix a lot of local legislation that makes it harder for law-abiding gun owners to obtain concealed carry permits, the story says.
It appears voters were keenly aware of the repercussions a Clinton presidency would have had on gun rights in the long term. The story says in exit polls, about 1 in 5 voters said the Supreme Court nominations were “the most important factor” in their decision. Those voters also favored Trump by a 57 percent to 40 percent margin, according to ABC News numbers.
But Trump’s impact on the Court may not be limited to one appointment. Some Chief Justices on the bench are elderly. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg is 83, Anthony M. Kennedy is 80, and Stephen Breyer is 78.
Also, according to this story from bearingarms.com, there are a few things he could do right away that would serve the Second Amendment.
First, he could end gun-free zones on military bases, as it will be in his authority to allow members of the U.S. military to carry firearms on duty.
Second, Trump could instate National Concealed Carry Reciprocity, allowing citizens with CCW permits to carry anywhere in the country. The story says Trump, along with a Republican-controlled House and Senate, could get such a measure passed into law within the first 90 days. Currently, there are four bills in the house and senate on the matter.
Third, President Trump could legalize suppressors across the board. The story says the Hearing Protection Act is already written with co-sponsors on board and could be passed within the first 60 days of the Trump administration. Currently suppressors fall under the National Firearms Act passed in 1934, requiring people who want to own one to pay high prices for tax stamps and permits.
Fourth, and perhaps most important, President Trump could reform the NICS background check system that is already in place. There are some major gaps in the current legislation that allows states to get away with infrequently reporting necessary data to the federally operated system, and these could be closed. From the story: “This will likely run in conjunction with mental health reform to both help people in crisis obtain the help they need, and ensure that fears of losing their Second Amendment rights won’t keep people from seeking help for a temporary but important mental health crisis.”
Lastly, when he gets to the Oval Office, Trump could allow the importation of collectable historic firearms, something President Obama’s policies have stalled. The Collectable Firearms Protection Act would allow the reimportation of hundreds of thousands of M1 Garand rifles, M1 Carbines, and M1911 pistols from World War II and the Korean War. The outdated guns are currently mothballed in warehouses overseas.