In the early days of the Trump Administration, there continue to be positive developments for Americans that support the entire Constitution—particularly the Second Amendment–and the rule of law. Bill Tallen, a friend from Wyoming, firearm and tactics sensei, and all around good guy, recently e-mailed this report:
In case you haven’t been tracking the Wyoming legislature, they’re wrapping up the session with some good news on the firearms front. We passed HB 194, which will allow each school board to – at its discretion – approve school staff member with state CCW permits to carry concealed in the K-12 schools. The bill is most similar to Ohio’s, or South Dakota’s.
I was able to persuade the Senate Education Committee to add an amendment which specified minimum/baseline training requirements, since there is no real training required for issue of a Wyoming permit (and most states are pretty minimal in their requirements, even if better than WY in that respect). Details are left up to the districts, in consultation with local law enforcement, as are most policies and procedures for implementation. The state will not provide the training; we’ll need private entities to do that, and districts will have to figure out how to foot the bill. I’ve offered to provide training to standard with Pulse Firearms Training http://pulsefirearmstraining.com curriculum free of charge for my district, and have free access to Cody’s indoor range for that purpose. I’m hoping POST-certified LE or NRA instructors, or other private trainers across the state will step up as well.
There will be some interesting local political battles as all the school districts address whether or not to implement the law and arm staff – but that choice is what gave us victory, ‘disarming’ the opposition by telling them they just need to make their case to their own local school board. I expect progress to be slow (no one opted in, in South Dakota, for the first year), but here in Cody we’ve got a strong, conservative, pro-firearms board that will probably move forward pretty quickly.
We had another bill that would have opened all college campuses to concealed carry, but because it had no provision for local control by college trustees, the education lobby locked shields and fought it, leading to its defeat in the Senate. The ‘no compromise’ crowd, led by Wyoming Gun Owners, keeps riding bills like this down to defeat by not recognizing political realities. As they say, repeating the same action over and over while expecting a different result is one definition of insanity.
A third bill chipped away at another concealed-carry ‘gun free zone’, the meetings of government entities (including the legislature itself), and that one passed.
It’s gratifying to get some forward motion on these issues. We’ve been living on borrowed time, now we have a chance to fill the gaps and secure our schools.
Bill’s comments about dealing with political reality are particularly apt. The election of a pro-Second Amendment/pro-liberty president does not wipe away the realities of politics. While we continue to make considerable progress, such things take time because we’re dealing with human nature.
Every year, I update my series of articles on the only effective way to deter and stop armed attacks on schools. The series, this year titled “School Attacks: Feeling Good Or Saving Lives?, is an attempt to provide not only factual information, but to persuade the persuadable of the necessity of doing more than ineffective gestures that make the uninformed feel good about themselves. One might think Wyoming one of the last places such things would occur, but such attacks have occurred next door in South Dakota, and there is nothing preventing such an attack anywhere, as my series points out. Fortunately, the odds are in favor of most students most places, but the odds will always fall against some. Those articles are here:
The NRA Institute For Legislative Action is one of the premier organizations working for liberty. Some shooters criticize the NRA, but it accomplishes enormous good, and is the most important pro-Second Amendment organization in America. The ILA has this on additional Wyoming legislation:
As amended, House Bill 137 would allow an individual with a valid concealed carry permit to lawfully carry a concealed weapon in any meeting of a government entity, including the state Legislature.
Wyoming is a “constitutional carry” state. The law-abiding need obtain a permit only for reciprocity reasons with other states.
The movement for national concealed carry reciprocity continues in the Congress. For perhaps the first time, passing it, and having it signed into law, is a real possibility. The NRA-ILA reports:
U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) on Wednesday introduced his version of interstate carry legislation, titled the ‘Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017.’ Cornyn’s bill follows an earlier release in the House by Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC) of the “Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017.’
Both bills seek to address the problem of law-abiding concealed carry permit holders having to negotiate a confusing maze of laws, reciprocity agreements, and recognition statutes when they travel out of state.
The need for such a law is pressing. Many law-abiding citizens have been arrested and prosecuted when they ran afoul of conflicting state laws. While the rank and file police are generally supportive of the Second Amendment, their administrators are generally not, nor are the politicians of some states and cities. Even though the police have wide discretion in enforcing firearm related laws, no one should expect the police, anywhere, to be reasonable when one inadvertently violates a state or local law. A valid concealed carry license from another state, and a life lived without contact with the criminal justice system are not proof against arrest.
As with Hudson’s bill, Cornyn’s legislation would ensure that individuals with a valid concealed carry permit or who are otherwise legally eligible to carry in their states of residence could travel interstate while carrying a concealed handgun for self-defense or other lawful purposes. Rules of behavior for carrying firearms in each state would continue to apply.
This common-sense legislation is opposed by gun control advocates who wrongly insist that it will allow ‘dangerous’ people to carry guns interstate and will undermine the laws of states that severely restrict concealed carry.
Needless to say, no state has an interest in licensing dangerous people to carry firearms, and all have procedures to screen out ineligible applicants. The evidence shows, moreover, that concealed carry permittees are some of the most law-abiding citizens in the United States. And dangerous criminals have been unlawfully carrying guns wherever they go throughout the nation’s history. All this legislation would do is put law-abiding people on equal footing with armed criminals while traveling from state to state.
It’s easy to see what the real source of opposition is. The same states that severely restrict carry by their own residents also refuse to recognize non-resident permits. These include California, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island.
It’s not that the permitting standards of these states are any more effective in screening out dangerous applicants. It’s that concealed carry permits in those states are treated as the exclusive domain of the wealthy and the connected. The idea that ‘common’ people would have the same rights simply offends the ruling elite’s sense of entitlement.
One should never forget the primary reasons progressives/Democrats/ (add the title you prefer here) wish to disarm the law abiding: they cannot impose the tyranny necessary to establish their political utopia if the common man retains the right to keep and bear arms. Their other reasons for disarming the honest are, for the most part, as heartfelt as they are mistaken, but the ultimate reason remains controlling the people they consider intellectually and morally inferior.
A robust interstate carry regime would also show the residents of those states what the rest of the country has known for decades, which is that law-abiding people carrying concealed handguns do not cause the mayhem that gun control advocates pretend follow firearms wherever they go. In fact, life goes on as usual, just with more freedom and protection for the lawfully armed and more reason for the bad guys to think twice.
President Trump has also repealed the Obama era Social Security Administration’s gun grab of the elderly or disabled, as the NRA reports:
On Tuesday, President Donald J. Trump signed the repeal of an Obama-era Social Security Administration (SSA) rule that would have resulted in some 75,000 law-abiding beneficiaries losing their Second Amendment rights each year.
The SSA rulemaking was issued in the waning weeks of Obama’s presidency and targeted those receiving disability insurance or Supplementary Security Income based on SSA’s listed mental disorders and who were appointed a ‘representative payee’ to help them manage their benefits. The agency –for the first time in its history– sought to portray these individuals as ‘mental defectives’ who were prohibited from acquiring or possessing firearms under federal law. It had planned to notify them of their prohibited status and to report them to NICS.
Making matters worse, the beneficiaries would have had no ability to argue about their suitability to possess firearms before their rights were lost. Instead, they would have been reduced to filing a petition for ‘restoration’ of their rights, an expensive and bureaucratic process that would have required them to pay for a mental health evaluation and to prove they were not dangerous, a premise the government never established in the first place.
Denial of a fundamental, unalienable right, and denial of due process are the hallmark of tyranny, and progressives are only too happy to use such vile tactics against the law-abiding.
The plan drew fire not just from the NRA, but also from the ACLU and a wide range of mental health advocacy and treatment groups from across the political spectrum. Also opposing the plan was the National Council on Disability (NCD), an independent federal agency charged with advising the President, Congress, and other federal agencies regarding policies, programs, practices, and procedures that affect people with disabilities. The NCD issued a statement explaining:
Since the action was first proposed in 2013, NCD has consistently taken the position that equating the need for assistance in managing one’s finances with a false presumption of incapacity in other areas of life, including possession of a firearm, unnecessarily and unreasonably deprives individuals with disabilities of a constitutional right and increases the stigma that [affects] those who may need a representative payee. The overly broad classification of “mental disorder,” includes a wide range of limitations and a shifting set of criteria relevant to whether or not one can engage in substantial gainful activity. NCD remains steadfast in our position that this classification remains irrelevant to the question of whether one can be a responsible gun owner.
The support of the ACLU is significant. That organization is usually stalwart in its defense of the Bill of Rights, except the Second Amendment.
Fortunately, pro-gun majorities in the U.S. House and U.S. Senate acted quickly to disapprove the rule under the Congressional Review Act, a federal statute that allows Congress to use an expedited legislative process to overrule administrative actions passed in the waning days of an outgoing administration.
The efforts to roll back this unjustified and legally unauthorized rule were predictably met with a withering barrage of negative and fake reporting from the anti-gun media, with supposed ‘news’ outlets issuing such ludicrous headlines as ‘Senate, House hand guns to seriously mentally ill.’ All these reports completely ignored the fact that existing restrictions on persons who had been involuntarily committed or adjudicated mentally incompetent remained fully intact. By acting to block the rule, Congress simply disapproved the Obama administration’s attempt to create a new class of prohibited persons by ‘reinterpreting’ a federal gun control statute passed in 1968.
I’ve often written about gun, ammo and accessory sales. During the last eight years, they reached stratospheric levels. Barack Obama was truly the greatest firearm salesman in American history, and the possibility of his replacement by Hillary Clinton also helped the firearm industry’s profits. Now, things may be changing, as The Free Beacon reports:
February continued the recent trend of gun-related background checks falling from record levels since former President Obama left office and President Trump was inaugurated.
The National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) ran 2,234,817 checks in February, according to FBI documents. That’s a retreat of nearly 400,000 checks from last February.
The slowing but still historically high sales levels come on the heels of the highest year in history for gun sales. The FBI processed more than 27.5 million NICS checks in 2016. That’s millions more than the previous record set in 2015.
It’s too early to proclaim a solid trend, but things may be adjusting to more normal levels, though I suspect it will be a new normal. As people, including some on the left, watch progressive/socialist/communist anarchist thugs beating, burning, looting, and doing all the things such vicious criminals do, people understand the reasons for owning and being competent in the use of the tools of self-defense have never been more pressing.
Good facts to know and tell. Before I close, gentle readers, you may wish to revisit—or perhaps visit for the first time—one of my more popular articles, titled I Carry A Handgun, Because… If you need a quick reference of solid reasons for going armed, it may be helpful.