UPDATED: The U.S. House of Representatives will reportedly vote Wednesday on the proposed Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, and the measure got support from 24 state attorneys general, leaving gun rights activists in the other states wondering why their chief law enforcement officer isn’t on that list.
The bill, H.R. 38, passed out of the House Judiciary Committee last week 19-11 along party lines. Democrats, by their vote, once again put their party in the position of being against the Second Amendment and for restrictive gun control.
Already, anti-gun Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy, a Democrat, has declared reciprocity “dead on arrival” in the Senate, according to Business Insider. He reportedly wants all attention focused on fixing the National Instant Check System (NICS). The House will reportedly vote on both issues Wednesday.
Reciprocity is a lightning rod issue, with Republicans now presented with the opportunity to demonstrate whether they are actually pro-rights. Democrats have a similar, and perhaps even stickier, problem in that their votes will be remembered next November when they ask gun owners back home for their votes.
The attorneys general who signed a Dec. 1 letter to leaders in the Senate and House represent the states of Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas , Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
Noticeably absent are the attorneys general of Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington.
Gun prohibition lobbying groups are working feverishly to derail the legislation, but gun owners are likewise being urged to contact their House members in anticipation of the Wednesday vote.
Regarding the “Fix NICS” legislation, one gun rights organization on Monday stepped forward with four suggested amendments to address what some rights activists apparently see as troublesome. The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms has proposed four “Fix the Fix NICS” amendments that would ostensibly help eliminate “false positives” that have been a major problem in delays and denials of legal gun sales.
Gun rights activists have been frustrated as the reciprocity legislation gathered dust in committee since January, and it became clear on Capitol Hill that action was necessary. Gun owners in several states helped put the GOP in control of Congress, and helped elect Donald Trump as president.
The Senate battle is going to be tough because Republicans hold a thin majority. If there is a filibuster, they need 60 votes to shut it down. How politicians vote on this measure could come up in the 2018 elections.
Still, perennial anti-gunners are already rolling up their sleeves for a battle. Senators Charles Schumer, Dianne Feinstein, Richard Blumenthal, Kamala Harris, Patty Murray, Maria Cantwell, Ron Wyden, Jeff Merkley and other Democrats will line up with Murphy, a situation that will reinforce the argument that Democrats are the party of gun control.
Note: The original letter had 23 states attorney general signatures. Oklahoma joined the list.