What should be in a 21st Century Firearms Owners’ Protection Act?

Ronald Reagan
What should be in a 21st Century Firearms Owners' Protection Act?

United States – -(AmmoLand.com)- In 1986, the Firearms Owners' Protection Act was passed and signed into law by President Ronald Reagan. It had the effect of greatly reducing the burden on law-abiding citizens who wished to exercise their Second Amendment rights – even though the Hughes Amendment was included. As Duane Liptak said, even though that poison pill was inserted, FOPA was worth it.

Suppose, though, we could get a Firearms Owners’ Protection Act II passed in 2021, assuming President Trump wins re-election, the House of Representatives has pro-Second Amendment leadership, and more pro-Second Amendment Senators are elected. What should be in that bill?

This is one area where setting priorities will be crucial. Legislation like FOPA is hard to get through. In the 2000s, the big fight was short-circuiting the strategy of suing firearms manufacturers into submission to an anti-Second Amendment agenda – an abusive strategy coordinated by Andrew Cuomo two decades ago. That is how we got the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. How important is that legislation? Well, look at the efforts to repeal it, coming from some of the most vocal anti-Second Amendment extremists in Congress.

This upcoming version will not be a complete rollback of laws. A big part will be addressing new threats to our Second Amendment rights, especially from corporate gun control. But there may be other things we can do. Here are a few suggestions for what to include.

Limiting Corporate Gun Control

The recent actions by Salesforce, as well as a number of banks, have now shown that the threats to our Second Amendment rights don’t just come from politicians. What happens in corporate boardrooms can be as devastating. What good is a sweeping Supreme Court ruling if a firearms dealer can’t keep a bank account, acquire insurance, or has the rug pulled out from under them by a software company?

So, what may be vitally important is to prohibit discrimination against the firearms industry and those who are acting in defense of our rights. No, I don’t like the expansion of government power, but with the actions of corporations, it is necessary to do so.

Designating Silicon Valley as Publishers

The recent actions of Silicon Valley have made it clear that they are acting as publishers in pursuit of an agenda. The fact that this agenda is anti-Second Amendment is immaterial. Under Section 230, they only have immunity from liability if they are acting as platforms, not publishers. It’s time to drop the hammer on Silicon Valley’s pro-second-amendment censorship.

Fixing NICS and Overriding State Licensing Laws

Two recent mass shootings took place because disqualifying convictions were not in NICS. This is unacceptable, no matter how you feel about NICS. Think about how much effort we had to spend on defense because of those shootings. Fixing NICS also opens another opportunity – we can use the NICS fixes as a way to wipe out the absurd licensing laws in New Jersey, New York, Illinois, and other states.

Require Pre-Clearance of Gun Control Laws

Kamala Harris has done it again. Earlier, when she came out publicly about owning a gun for self-defense, I argued we should defend her right to do so. She recently said that on an unrelated controversial issue, the Justice Department should be given the power to require states to pre-clear laws relating to that. Well, when it comes to our Second Amendment rights, that is a capital idea, especially in the cases of California, Illinois, and New York.

Concealed Carry Reciprocity

Many anti-Second Amendment extremists often mistakenly claim that firearms licensing and registration is a good idea by citing the way we do it with cars. Skipping the rights vs privileges discussion, our driver’s license is good in all 50 states, so let’s make concealed carry licenses good in all 50 states and the assorted territories.

Second Amendment Guarantee Act

This legislation will work hand-in-hand with the pre-clearance requirement. In areas where federal law speaks, the states should not be able to create a patchwork of stricter laws, especially when people are traveling.

National Firearms Act Reform

These days, a lot of technology has changed, and perhaps it is time for the procedures of the National Firearms Act to be updated. The Hearing Protection Act is just part of what should be included in this. We should also repeal the Hughes Amendment. In addition, if NICS is fixed, then there is no need to have a police chief sign off, nor should there be a months-long wait for approval.

The fact is, we are well overdue for a second Firearms Owners’ Protection Act. It’s time to figure out what we should be pushing for when we get the chance. Lets her what you want to see in FOPA2.0?

Harold Hu, chison

About Harold Hutchison

Writer Harold Hutchison has more than a dozen years of experience covering military affairs, international events, U.S. politics and Second Amendment issues. Harold was consulting senior editor at Soldier of Fortune magazine and is the author of the novel Strike Group Reagan. He has also written for the Daily Caller, National Review, Patriot Post, Strategypage.com, and other national websites.

  • 39 thoughts on “What should be in a 21st Century Firearms Owners’ Protection Act?

    1. Harold. Once again you have missed the target completely. Let us hope that your inability to touch paper doesn’t extend to the restroom as well.

      The answer is there should be no new “ACT”. Period.

      The principles put forth in the constitution and the 2nd Amendment state that no level of government has authority to do such. So I will ask a question which I already know you will not answer, you will tuck your head back up into your cheeks and ignore it.

      Q- Why do you want to waste paper with most of what you said, on an issue that government has no authority over, for points which are already covered by law elsewhere?

      1.Corporate issue. Ok, enforce laws on business practices that prohibit flagrant discrimination against otherwise law abiding citizens and enterprise

      2.Publishers. This is a first amendment issue first and foremost, and should be treated as a separate law removing a law/regulation based on the fact that the original stipulations have been grossly violated.

      3.Fixing NICS…… I know you love your gun control, so get this through your fat head. We want to get rid of NICS since it is a violation of the Constitution and 2nd Amendment. We don’t want it fixed, we should not be having to get permission from Nanny Government in the first place you dolt!

      4. Reciprocity.. Ok, again, thank you for showing everyone here you are not a 2nd Amendment supporter. The 2nd Amendment is supposed to be reciprocity, concealed or open. It covers it all, but that brings us to your next point and failure.

      5. Guarantee act… How stupid are you? In case you were not aware, there is this little feature in the Constitution called the Supremacy Clause. Enforce it. Don’t make bad more bad legislation just because you are too lazy to properly educate yourself to what is already there. Don’t we often talk about how the lefties aren’t enforcing the “10,000” on the books enough as it is?

      6. The good ol’ NFA.. I love that you are advocating “Reforming it”…. One of the most egregious violations of our constitution and the 2nd amendment, and the moron who wants us all to believe he is Mr. “Pro 2A” doesn’t want to see the unconstitutional act completely removed. He just wants us to tweak it a little because, well, He thinks government has to be involved to properly “structure” one of our most important birthrights.

      Again, I already know you are not going to respond to any validity of the six points I have just made against your suggestions. We already know you for what you are Harold. You are not a Second Amendment supporter, and for those of us smart enough to see through your BS you will always be known as a coward and a traitor.

    2. Duane Liptak’s statement is the single most mind-numbingly stupid thing I have ever heard! He makes gun grabbers look like rocket scientists! FOPA was, and still is, a PAPER TIGER! Sure, most states honor it, but those who violate it do so WITH IMPUNITY! Absolutely no consequences whatsoever. In exchange, we lost the right to full-auto. As John Adams said, “Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.” FOPA was worth it? Don’t be an ass, Duane.

      Jesus, Harold, WAKE UP! The FIRST thing a 21st century FOPA needs is T-E-E-T-H! MANDATORY penalties for violations. Without that, FOPA remains a hollow threat. All that stuff you want to pile into FOPA will just tempt more states to violate it. And fix NICS? Jesus, how stupid are you? If we have to be saddled with a national check, then abolish NICS, and replace it with BIDS. Not only does it specifically target criminals and lunatics, it provides dealers with hard-copy back-up, preventing intentional slow-downs. It also happens to be radically cheaper than NICS, which is a win for even the most craven politician.

      I’m not saying that Liptak and Hutchinson are enemies of the Second, but with self-defeating attitudes like these, the gun grabbers have nothing to worry about.

        1. EXACTLY. Up and to the first 13 words which are the most important 13 words in the whole constitution. I WANT TO SEE THE MILITAS back in force and effect. I want to see the militas convene grand juries and start trying these traitors.

      1. For fopa 2.0?
        Ban new production of semi auto assault weapons and register existing ones in the nfa database.
        Mandatory safe storage in field stripped condition ammunition to be locked in a safe at the opposite end of the house.
        But at least we can keep Fudd bolts and doubles! YAY

    3. All in all I see banks , multi millionaires and multi millionaire corporations that are spending millions upon millions of dollars to help distort and destroy the second amendment !and back their own agendas! Pumping millions into different causes and groups ( when you’re rich the constitution means nothing to you because you can afford to live anywhere! ) Just like history past the rich people are trying to oppress the poor people by whatever means they can possibly (trump )up !
      If the shit hits the fan these very same people will be spending as much money as they can to run,hide,protect themselves ( by hiring people with guns!! ) hoping not to fall victim to their own narrow mindedness! Whatever choices made the consequences will follow!! And usually mercy will not be given in times like that especially if you were the ones trying to oppress the people !

      Like the saying goes those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it! And here we are again !!! Good luck and god speed

    4. Being older than some here I remember then Gov Reagan signing the bill removing the rights of Californians concerning the carrying of firearms. And then there was 1986. And then there were all the statements he made later in life. In regards to firearms rights he was lacking.

      1. I’m almost as old as you are, and a lifelong Californian as well.

        Hey, the author of this article seems to be in agreement with licensing and NICS (gov’t permission for a natural right). Nowhere did I read it mentioned that such “permissions” are unconstitutional and should be nullified. Pretty poor wish list of his.

        1. @I Haz A Question

          Been Saying that about old double H for a long time now. He has been a long time supporter of Anti-second amendment policies.

          Most of his articles are “written” to urge us to compromise and give in to what the Anti’s want.

    5. Here is an idea: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” NOTE the shall not be infringed limitations on government.

      1. @Walt, Yep, that is preemption if I have ever read it. In the language of Constitutional interpretation “shall” is mandatory. The founders intended a permanent lock on all future Congresses, Executives (and their bureaucrats), and the Judiciary.

    6. If there are truly over 100 million gun owners, wouldn’t that be a 40% larger voting bloc than what it took to win the general election. I think we underestimate our power at the polls. I guess the trick is to get the voters off their couches.

      1. @Joe …AND this time it seems it would be logical that those against abortion would be an addition to that number of gun owners . Seems that could be a good coalition to put the People Control socialist demoncrats in their place .

    7. Accepting the Hughes Amendment was a disaster!!! We’ve been fighting bans on semi-autos ever since, an outcome I wrote and warned the NRA about at the time. The really upsetting thing is that if the NRA had tried, it could have the Hughes Amendment stripped out of the bill in the Senate-House conference, but the NRA never even tried. That was confirmed to me by Senate staff at the time.

    8. Remember folks the Second Amendment is the one and original FOPA. Article VI within the US Constitution declares it as Supreme Law, above all of other laws and treaties. The tyrants embedded in the Judicial Branch and our nations leadership have been working hard to convince citizens that Article VI allows States to trump constitutional rights, but this is simply not true. The wording of Article VI paragraph 1. & 2., preempt the US Constitution above all levels of government and paragraph 3. holds all government officials accountable to this oath. The antis have been claiming the last sentence in paragraph 2., allows State laws to trump the rest of the constitution: this is NOT true. The last sentence tells us that judges must ALSO abide by State law that is not already outlined in the US Constitution. This does NOT mean state laws can violate our constitutional rights, as a matter of fact our rights may NOT be violated by government or non government entities per the US Constitution: this is why Article VI is called Supreme Law. ALL government within the USA is subservient and must observe all rights and articles in the US Constitution. If they refuse to maintain “good standing,” we the people have the right to defund, disbar, and discharge them from office for violation of their oaths. I know this is hard to swallow for many who have been fed lies for decades but this is Supreme Law. Know it, and demand it’s enforcement at ALL levels of government, by doing so we will prevent the next Civil War!

    9. @Harold Hutchison, You write, “Skipping the rights vs privileges discussion…” If you are going to write about law, then you should know that a right and a privilege are the same thing. Black’s defines privilege as a right, power, franchise, or immunity held by a person or class against or beyond the course of the law. See Blacks, Ed 5 p1077-1078.
      Many people misuse the word privilege. I think that the words that you are looking for are authorization, benefit, or concession.

    10. Nice article and wish list. We had a Republican President and a Republican Congress. What we didn’t have and won’t have, probably ever, is a Conservative President and Conservative Congress. Trump is a pragmatist and that’s not necessarily good for us as we’ve already witnessed. The only way we get him to do what WE want him to do is by sheer force of numbers; do it or you’re out! Unfortunately gun owners are too lazy to make that threat or carry it through.

    11. Aside from things mentioned here there are some options.

      1. redefine silencers. Define them as any device bringing the muzzle report of a standard fire arm down below zero DB.

      2. Strict scrutiny for all 2a cases

      3. Allow individual cops and prosecutors to be sued for 2 a violations. Remove some or all qualified immunity from them.

      4. Make it actionable for any federally insured or regulated financial institution to discriminate against gun owners , advocates and licensed dealers.

      5. Make gun ownership a protected class like race.

    12. Trump winning re-election will no more get us a FOPA than him winning in 16 got us or will get us nationwide CWP reciprocity. The man is a liar and a sellout.

    13. Hahahahahaha with our luck and trump a future firearm owner protection act will contain a suppressor ban, semi auto ban and more power to the federal government to make up laws as they wish. Besides many people myself included won’t be coming out for ol gun grabber don in 2020.

        1. That is correct. Until the time of surrender or defeat patriots run the show. Trump pulled out of UN treaty to keep them on the defense for the civil war. He banned silencers and Trumpstocks due to the enemy will use them against us though still of little consequence ultimately. He is trying to level the playing field for the civil war both sides are steering us all towards. Civil war 2.0 2020 or sooner. The mess is far too big to clean up by any other process.

          1. We must move foward and protect the 2nd .at all cost, Civil war is coming if the Nazi democrats have their Way, America first, Them. Last.

            1. The right to keep and bear arms is deeply rooted in natural law. Natural law is the basis of our legal system and statutory law must defer to natural law. We defend our natural rights, those granted to us by our Creator. The primary duty of government is to defend those rights for individuals. Any government that violates that covenant is not legitimate and must be replaced. By any means necessary. WE are already in a civil war and have been for quite some time. Most are just waking up to that fact. When gun grabbers appear in your town they will find that out the hard way.

            2. @Gentlemen, The democrats can not start a lawn mower, much less a civil war. We just have to keep them out of elected office.

          2. And I would like to add that when the left comes gunning they will kill their own like good communists so be advised and stand back so they can wipe each other out unobstructed. They are totally losing it here so I expect them to reach the boiling point before fall. (more like any moment) Local cops tell me the left has totally lost their minds to stay far away from them.

          3. Federal patriots recently came through my area and hauled off most people here that were all cartel and it was a good thing because I was surrounded for the most part. Can breath a little now. They’re getting dragged off in broad daylight too. Shit is going down. I have Fed’s right here giving me the wave going by so obviously not all gov is against us. Some have our backs and we have theirs in the shit.

          4. Sorry man but trumps bumpstock action isn’t the key to leveling anything. It’s a new precedent that a president can use chevron deference to declare anything a machine gun and effectively ban it. That door he opened is how they get the semi autos and anything else they want. No congress needed and no due process.

      1. @ No Sir, Just think about your statement a minute. If you don’t vote for the “don” are you going to be pleasantly surprised when one of the democrat candidates get elected? I think not, because they are already promising to do away with the 2A and grab your guns. I agree, the lesser of two evils but we have to be very careful of what we deny.

        1. If hillary became president the shooting would have ended 2 years ago and most of the socialists would be worm food.we’d be free.

          Or whatever foreign troops she invited in would have killed most of us and chained the rest
          Either way it’d be over

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