What Can Gun Owners Expect From President-Elect Trump in 2017?

By Tom McHale

Could this be irrelevant in 2017?
Could this be irrelevant in 2017?
Tom McHale headshot low-res square
Tom McHale

USA –-(Ammoland.com)- If you’ve been listening to the NBC and CNN news reports after the election, you’d think that the Trump administration is going to launch some pretty outlandish initiatives, even by reality television standards.

Watching the endless parade of fearful snowflakes and those throwing public tantrums because their candidate lost might have you preparing for the worst.

You know, things like this:

  • Internment camps for people who think The Big Bang Theory is a good TV show.
  • Importation bans on safe spaces and warm fuzzies.
  • Immediate deportation of anyone with more than two consecutive consonants in their name. Fortunately, I think the First Lady-elect is safe: M-E-L-A-N-I-A. Yep, she’s good to go.

I’m pretty sure none of those things are going to happen, at least not at the direction of our new President-elect. Well, with the possible exception of the safe spaces ban – that I can see as a realistic priority, but we’ll have to wait and see.

However, this revolution against the system of infernal, eternal stagnation (that would be Washington politics) does open some very real opportunities for gun law reform.

Since about 3am Wednesday morning, there’s been a visible display of unbounded enthusiasm among the shooting community. I was reading one blog post by a guy who was convinced that every piece of national firearms legislation would be repealed in 2017. He was confident that the 1934 National Firearms Act, 1938 Federal Firearms Act, Gun Control Act of 1968, 1990 Crime Control Act, and Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act would all be immediately repealed by President Trump. While that sounds like a swell wish list, and a good start, I think that guy is high on medicinal marijuana, but that’s beside the point here.

First, no President has authority to unilaterally change laws. Yes, I know Obama tried (and succeeded in a couple of cases) to do that, but it’s definitely out of the defined job description of Commander in Chief.

Second, while Trump has been quite vocal about his intent to address Second Amendment issues, it’s not his number one priority. I suspect his attention will gravitate to job and economy related issues first, like dealing with the (un) Affordable Care Act, jobs, and trade treaties.

Third, there are plenty of critters in Congress that are moderately proactive about negating pointless gun control laws, but there’s not a rabid appetite among the halls under that big dome for making machine guns available by mail order again anytime soon. There are good intentions out there, but I don’t see an army of politicians foaming at the mouth to repeal all those very substantial laws.

Politicians don’t get positively enthusiastic about anything except their campaign war chests.

With that said, I’m confident we can get some positive things done in relatively short order. Just to be clear, short order for inside the Washington beltway is like dog years compared to our definition of time, but even still, I think we can see some results in 2017. Let’s take a look at what I think are some realistic possibilities for the first 345 days.

No More Tax Stamps For Silencers

First, a quick Silencer ownership refresher. To buy a muffler for your gun right now, you need to get fingerprints, passport photos, a federal background check, a cavity search (well, maybe not a cavity search) and send $200 to Uncle Spendy. For that, you get the distinct privilege of waiting six to twelve months for some faceless bureaucrat to lick and stick a colorful stamp on your application. Only at that point can you actually use the gun muffler you purchased. You know, that thing that helps prevent hearing damage from gunshot noise.

These guys may soon be no longer yucking your yum over suppressors.
These guys may soon be no longer yucking your yum over suppressors.

If you hadn’t noticed, suppressors are all the rage right now, even though it’s a pain in the butt to buy them. Once you shoot with one, you’ll know why. In many cases, you don’t need hearing protection. They keep noise levels to safe levels, thereby protecting shooters and those nearby. They make ranges less disruptive to nearby businesses and homes. They make shooting more pleasurable by reducing the blast and smoothing out recoil. Simply put, there are plenty of reasonable benefits to suppressor use.

The American Suppressor Association has been working diligently, along with manufacturers and friends of the industry to encourage passage of the Hearing Protection Act of 2015. H.R. 3799, introduced by Representative Matt Salmon of the great state of Arizona and 78 co-sponsors in the house, is very simple. Rather than describe it, allow me to copy the meat of it here.

Yes, it’s this short and sweet.

“(f) Firearm Silencers. — A person acquiring or possessing a firearm silencer in accordance with Chapter 44 of title 18, United States Code, shall be treated as meeting any registration and licensing requirements of the National Firearms Act (as in effect on the day before the date of the enactment of this subsection) with respect to such silencer.”

In plain English, it basically says that if you buy a suppressor, then you’ve already met the onerous paperwork, fingerprint, and tax requirements that normally hold up the show for so long now. And when I say tax requirements, that means there is none. Do not pay $200 to Uncle Spendy for the privilege of using a muffler. Better yet, at least as the bill reads right now, anyone who dutifully sent in the $200 extortion fee after October 22, 2015, will get a refund. Of course, the bill may be revised and changed before passage, so don’t spend that refund money just yet.

The Hearing Protection Act of 2015 already has an identical companion bill in the Senate, 2236 with three co-sponsors, so it’s queued up and primed for relatively easy passage in both chambers. The big difference now is that come January 20, 2017, a President will be in the Oval Office who will sign this. One of the reasons it’s been sitting stagnant for a while is that the chances of Obama signing the Hearing Protection Act are about the same as all those mouthy and bratty celebrities actually leaving the country now that the election is over. Ah, we can still hope…

National Concealed Carry Reciprocity

While it may not have smooth sailing like the Hearing Protection Act, national reciprocity is a very real possibility for 2017, in part because multiple bills are already floating around the House and Senate. It’s another example of legislation that’s sitting on the burner too long because the guy in the White House would rather ingest two dozen cans of expired potted meat product than sign it.

However, like the Hearing Protection Act, that all changes in a little over two months.

Battle New Jersey Gun Rights
Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity would provide reinforcement to New Jersey Gun Rights fighters.

Take a look at Senate Bill S.498, the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2015. It basically grants “in state” carry permit authorization to anyone with a permit from another state. If you have, say, a South Carolina permit, and visit Nevada, you’ll automatically have all the flexibility of a Nevada resident permit holder. This one has 32 co-sponsors, a surprising number for a gun bill in the Senate.

There are three different national reciprocity bills floating around the House, 923, 986, and 402. H.R. 986 is particularly interesting because it contains legal protection and penalties aimed squarely at states (can you hear me New York, Connecticut and especially New Jersey?) that choose to ignore the intent of this law. If you get hassled illegally, you may be entitled to attorney’s fees and damages. I’m not a lawyer, so read the text of the bill yourself to digest the details. Regardless, this is good stuff, especially since these House Bills have hundreds of co-sponsors.

These two reforms are very real possibilities for the short term, largely because they’re well under way already and are in a holding pattern waiting on a friendly Sharpie at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. That part is done, so it’s time to get moving. Bug your Congress Critters about these. They’re dedicated to the important public service of keeping their cushy jobs and I suspect they’ve gotten a taste of how fed our their constituents are from the recent election.

Now is the time to turn up the heat and inspire some action.

About

Tom McHale is the author of the Insanely Practical Guides book series that guides new and experienced shooters alike in a fun, approachable, and practical way. His books are available in print and eBook format on Amazon. You can also find him on Google+, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

  • 20 thoughts on “What Can Gun Owners Expect From President-Elect Trump in 2017?

    1. I would definitely like to see the New York Safe Act(unsafe act)to be repealed.It is unconstitutional and does not serve any justice for those of us living in New York.GovCuomo did not have a clue about the various provisions of the act when it was signed nor does he now.Possibly the NRA along with President Elect Trimp can help the residents of New York and overturn this Stupid Law.

    2. Now that we have both houses and the presidency (and Trump owes us big time), we should push for repeal of the National Fire Arms Act, the Gun Control Act, and decommissioning of the BATFE. At some point, President Trump is going to want a second term, and If we don’t get the repeals that we want, then we have the threat of “No Second Term”
      We could start a “No Second Amendment, then No Second Term” letter writing campaign, maybe even a movement.

    3. Is the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act Constitutional – Its a Trojan Horse..

      The bill is a dastardly trick and a Trojan horse for institutionalizing licenses, permits, national ID cards, etc.
      And the end game of all those licenses, permits, national ID cards and such is eventual confiscation of all arms.
      And after that extermination.

      Here is the 2014 edition: https://www.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/senate-bill/1908/text

      Also, the federal government has no constitutional authority to make ANY laws dictating who may and who may not carry arms; or under what circumstances people may and may not carry arms across State borders! Arms control of the people is not an enumerated power!

      video on arms, here it is: https://vimeo.com/60944105

      State concealed carry laws which require a “permit” is an idea crafted in the pits of hell. The real purpose is to register gun owners! People think it is so cool to have a permit for concealed carry – they don’t understand that it is like the free sample of heroin.

    4. Assume pending legislation. I would love to see these come to be. I would also like the Hughes Amendment stricken from the law books as well, it steps all over our second amendment rights. The abolishment of NFA would be assume, but I don’t know if we could ever be lucky enough to make it happen. Maybe we could revamp it with no tax, no waiting, and do it like they do carry permits, a single background check and issue a NFA Permit, good until you die. The NFA Permit allows the holder to own, transport nfa items anywhere in the USA and it US Territories. No questions or issues. Also to trade and sell to other permit holders, or to purchase directly from manufacturers. All with the proper notifications on line to the NFA registry. If your going to fix it, do it sight.

    5. try national constitutional carry

      permit required gives anti gun government people ability to make your life hell and make you easier to find as a target by the violent anti gun morons on a mission to kill any and all gun owners they see

      yes you betsy riot and moms demand action

      not going to let you attack me or any other people so stay home if you hate other people having civil rights

    6. So you are re-affirming Carl Higbie’s view that if we had internment camps before when the threat to national security is deemed sufficient then we can do it again?

      1. I agree I live in Iowa and I can’t even get a pardon or special restoration of gun rights only for felons and not misdemeanors.

    7. Please repeal the x post facto illegal unconstitutional Lautenberg Amendment. I can’t even get a pardon for a misdemeanor only for a felony.

    8. The Lautenberg Amendment needs to be repealed asap. It’s absolutely unconstitutional, and downright dangerous to be prohibited from being able to protect your loved ones and yourself. We live in a dangerous world! What about people who live in remote areas where owning a gun is highly advisable? What about those affected people who want to stay safe while hiking/camping in the back-country? This needs to be fixed!

    9. I agree, the Lautenberg amendment neegs reversed. It not totally, then at a minimum for those who had the misdemeanor before Lautenberg was enacted. The people that committed it after it was enacted at least had an opportunity to knowingly defend themselves in court. Those who either pled guilty or took an offer from the State’s Attorney (likely to save $$ on lawyer fees) were never allowed the opportunity to defend against such a loss of constitutional rights.

      If speeding held a lifetime ban on driving a lot more people would certainly fight speeding tickets, but if they made it retroactive those who had a speeding ticket previously would just lose their drivers license If a person knew they would lose their 2A rights for life I bet nobody would have taken a deal, and worse, there are very few ways to get it cleared up, and it’s gonna cost a lot!

      1. the repeal of the onerous Lautenberg gun ban which was signed into law in 1996 on the Treasury-Postal part of the omnibus appropriations bill. As you know, this ban has disarmed people for life — for offenses that include pushing, shoving or, in some cases, even yelling at a family member. The language of this lifetime gun ban is so expansive that unsuspecting parents have been disarmed for merely using legitimate corporal punishment.

        Moreover, this lifetime gun ban can be imposed for mere misdemeanors, and in certain circumstances, imposed without a trial by jury. Many misdemeanors do not guarantee a jury trial, and this law does not require that one must be tried by a jury before losing his or her gun rights. It was also common practice for lawyers to recommend a plea because misdemeanors are considered minor offences. Many offenders are now shocked to learn that a minor infraction from their teenage years is preventing them from owning a gun for life.

        The Lautenberg gun ban has not only been opposed by Second Amendment organizations, but by other associations as well, including women’s organizations and pro-family and civil rights groups. In addition United States Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas questioned the constitutionality of this law in a recent case in 2016.

        Finally, I should mention that this ban violates the Second Amendment and finds no constitutional authority whatsoever. As stated by former Rep. Goode in 2001 in the 107th congress, the Lautenberg gun ban “does not specifically deal with a subject delegated to Congress under Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution, and is therefore unconstitutional under the Tenth Amendment as interpreted by United States vs. Lopez”.

    10. lautenberg amendment is the worst garbage legislation in the land. The fact that not only can you now own a gun, but you can’t even be in the same home with anyone that owns one! Someone has a CWP and driving a car? You cant’ be in the car with them because you might have access to the firearm! That means even your spouse’s, parents and even in some cases your older children 2nd amendment rights are violated! You because an danger to them simply just being around! It’s mind blowing [email protected] up law that no rational minded law enforcement should uphold.

    11. I am so happy to read so many comments regarding this unconstitutional law that is known as the Frank Lautenberg admendment. I search the web at least once a month to see if it is being challenged. I am a victim of this myself. I took a pile of misdemeanor domestic violence 20 years ago to get out of jail and save my job. My girlfriend at the time was destroying my house and breaking everything in sight because I was caught having an affair. I picked her up and carried her to the porch shutting the door so she could not get back in until the police arrived. Well,…. I was the one that went to jail for picking her up. I was never told by my public defender that by pleading to a misdemeanor DV would be followed by a lifetime ban on my fire arms. So fast forward 20 years. We live in a world of predators. I’m a single father of two children. It’s 4:30 am right now and they are both sound asleep in their rooms. What could I do if a few crazy people wanted to kick my door down and kill me and my two children. The answer is not much!! I’d be forced to just watch it unfold! So a misdemeanor DV. Could actually be a death sentence? This law really needs to be repealed and replaced. I hope to hear of change in the near future. Please president Trump!!! We all worked together for you! Now it’s your turn to deliver on some of your promises! Good luck to all of you out here in this same situation. It’s scary!!

    12. I suggest everyone do what I have done. I’ve called my US Congressman (I would have called my US Senators, but when it comes to guns they are totally worthless) and tell the aide yur story and ask them to re-examine the Lautenberg Amendment for repeal or revisal.

      Maybe call the NRA or GOA and tell them to get on it! With this change in political landscape we not have we need to act on this befor it goes away!

    13. Greg you are quite correct, but it takes an avalanche of mail. It is just as easy to repeal the whole GCA as it is to repeal just the Laughtenberg amendment so why not push for repealing the whole GCA?

    14. Wild Bill..the courts have ruled on the constitutionality of the Government’s authority to control firearms. That alone would prevent any party, either Republican or Democrat from from initiating the repeal of the GCA as a whole.

      However, the Lugtenberg amendment goes beyond that and removes a constitutionally guaranteed right for a misdemeanor. Justice Thomas briefly touched on this in a recent ruling, however to the best of my knowledge it still has not been ruled on by the Supreme Court. Given the overall change in the political environment recently this is likely the best chance we will ever have to get Lugtenburg repealed.

      You are absolutely correct, it will take an avalanche of mail (or email, or phone calls, or attending town halls, etc) to make it happen, but every avalanche starts with one pebble. I have chosen to be a pebble. Maybe if others who have posted here becom pebbles too we may equal a rock.

      There are two ways to resolve this, one is though the courts, the second is to get the law changed. We need to work both angles.

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