What Has Trump Done for Gun Owners in the First 100 Days?

By Dave Dolbee published on in General

What has President Trump accomplished in his first 100 days that matters to gun owners? That was a question asked at the 2017 NRA Show. Before we look at that, let’s take a step back and set the ground rules. Republicans and Democrats both own guns. Both parties have politicians that have been staunch supporters of the Second Amendment and had members who have attempted to trample it. As far as I am concerned, of the two political parties (anti-gunners and Americans) there is only one choice and that is the gun loving, Second Amendment supporting, American party. The rest of your voting decisions are your own.

2017 NRA Leadership Forum

Now back to the first 100 days as it applies to the Second Amendment. In the first 100 days, President Trump returned to the NRA Show to speak at the NRA-ILA Leadership Conference. The last sitting President to come to the NRA Show to speak was Ronald Regan in 1983. That is significant on its own merit, but this was not a pre-election visit. This was more of a thank you for your support visit, which is significant in its own right and should not be undervalued. Whatever else you may think of President Trump, he returned to say “Thank You.”

However, that was not all he said. I cannot say all of his statements put the crowd on its feet—primarily because, as soon as Trump walked out, he received a standing ovation and for the next 25 minutes or so, the crowd remained on its feet. Most notably Trump declared, that an “eight-year assault” on gun ownership rights had come to a “crashing end” with his election. That message was well received, as was his warning that followed. Calming the crowd, Trump warned that simply electing him president wouldn’t suffice. There are plenty of politicians and forces that are still actively seeking to destroy the Second Amendment, as we know it.

With that, President Trump also offered a little encouragement with his promise, “You have a true friend and champion in the White House. No longer will federal agencies be coming after law-abiding gun owners. No longer will the government be trying to undermine your rights and your freedoms as Americans. Instead, we will work with you, by your side.”

Words are one thing and deeds are another, so I did a little research to determine what President Trump has done for gun owners in the first 100 days. In February, Trump signed a measure that reversed an Obama era rule barring gun sales to certain people seeking medical assistance, including mental health issues such as PTSD and depression.

Trump noted that his administration, via Interior Secretary and former Navy SEAL Ryan Zinke rolled back a regulation banning lead ammunition on wildlife refuges that was implemented on the last full day of the Obama presidency. About an hour later, during the leadership forum, Zinke explained that there are lands and streams that need to be protected, need a lighter footprint, and restrictions in those cases are appropriate. However, the previous regulation was overreaching and too severely limited public lands that were protected as multi-use and needed to remain open to multi use, including hunting, shooting, and fishing.

Donald Trump at NRA Leadership Forum

Arguably, the most significant action to gun owners and the Second Amendment in the first 100 days was Trump’s successful nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. While there is no guarantee how a justice will rule on a particular case, the majority opinion from the floor was the new balance of the court opened the door for legal challenges to pending Second Amendment cases. For example, The NRA has already launched legal actions against the assault weapons ban in California.

Of course, gun owners have a wish list longer than your arm, and the President did not specifically address many items. I would like to have heard more direction on national reciprocity for concealed carry. However, I do admit some trepidation about having the Federal government creating regulation over states rights. It is a bittersweet issue, but one where I believe the ends justifies the means and national reciprocity needs to be enacted.

No mention was made of any legislative or executive action to reverse the policies and laws regarding short-barreled rifles (SBRs) and short-barreled shotguns (SBSs). An AR pistol is fine, as is an AR rifle with a 16-inch barrel. However, shorten the barrel or throw a stock on the pistol and somehow it is suddenly more dangerous and a federal crime…

Likewise, the President did not mention anything surrounding the Hearing Protection Act of 2017 that would essentially remove all of the federal regulations surrounding suppressors.

Was Trump’s message and first 100 days mostly positive? No. Not mostly. I would challenge that within the Second Amendment camp, it was all-positive. However, you are free to disagree in the comment section. As for the NRA, it came out strong to support Trump as a candidate and is showing no sign of changing that position.

“We are very pleased,” said Jennifer Baker, an NRA spokeswoman. “He ran as one of the most unabashed pro-Second Amendment candidates in my lifetime, and he really has kept his promises and done a lot for people who care about the Second Amendment and the Constitution in his first 100 days.”

What is your opinion of Trump’s first 100 days as it applies to the Second Amendment and the rights of gun owners? Has he done enough? What would you like to see the Trump administration do next for gun owners? As for national reciprocity, how do you feel about states rights versus federal regulation?

Share your answers to these questions and others in the comment section and remember to please keep the discussion focused on gun issues.

SLRule

Growing up in Pennsylvania’s game-rich Allegany region, Dave Dolbee was introduced to whitetail hunting at a young age. At age 19 he bought his first bow while serving in the U.S. Navy, and began bowhunting after returning from Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. Dave was a sponsored Pro Staff Shooter for several top archery companies during the 1990s and an Olympic hopeful holding up to 16 archery records at one point. During Dave’s writing career, he has written for several smaller publications as well as many major content providers such as Guns & Ammo, Shooting Times, Outdoor Life, Petersen’s Hunting, Rifle Shooter, Petersen’s Bowhunting, Bowhunter, Game & Fish magazines, Handguns, F.O.P Fraternal Order of Police, Archery Business, SHOT Business, OutdoorRoadmap.com, TheGearExpert.com and others. Dave is currently a staff writer for Cheaper Than Dirt!

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Comments (126)

  • Kevin Lancaster

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    I haven’t read all of the comments others have left, so I’ll just answer the last question in the main article: “As for national reciprocity, how do you feel about states rights versus federal regulation?”

    My answer is very straight-forward. The 2nd amendment states, “…the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” That says to me that if the constitution applies to me (i.e., I am a citizen of the United States), any regulation or law that causes it to be illegal for me to carry a weapon is unconstitutional. The 2nd Amendment doesn’t specify concealed arms or multi-round arms or sharp arms (knives) or blunt arms (billy clubs) or any other type of weapon.

    National Reciprocity implies that it is OK to prevent me from carrying a weapon if I don’t have a permit to carry it. This isn’t a states rights vs. the federal government (10th Amendment) issue. It’s a 2nd Amendment issue.

    Reply

  • DaveW

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    CT is, last I heard, still waiting for 26,000 people to register their assault weapons. MA, NY, CT, have no idea how many so-called high capacity magazines have been destroyed or shipped out of the state… but practically zero have been turned in. Los Angeles passed the high capacity magazine ban and, to date, the last word was the same as it has been in CT, NY, MA.

    The term is “civil disobedience”. It was used by the Founders and continues today. CA has now banned those pesky high capacity magazines and another state joins the growing list of those which have no idea what the status is of high capacity magazines. They will face the same situation with regard to the registration of ARs.

    The Tyrants in power ignored the law enforcement agencies which rejected the gun controls Moonbeam signed into law, as well as the ones the AG put before the voters. Rural county sheriffs have publicly stated that they will not enforce violations of the 2nd Amendment.

    There are several suits underway which we hope will lead to SCOTUS. The Gov of Texas has filed briefs on behalf of the people of California in these suits. Still we need more support rather than condemnation about how CA got to this point. Trump is already considering busting up the 9th Circuit. The war is not yet lost in the west. We who fight the good fight have not surrendered. We continue to resist as did the defenders of the Alamo even against overwhelming odds.

    Reply

    • dprato

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      Dave I have never seen the numbers on California but I did see the percentages of people in both CT and NY who did not turn in the “ill termed”
      assault rifles they owned. In CT it was 90% and in NY it was even higher at 95%. State police in both States told the Governors they would not actively enforce the law by going after people who hadn’t responded. So most smart firearm owners were disobedient and put the onus on the police not to do their jobs on pain of extreme danger. I live in Colorado and asked two active police officers what they would do if they were ordered to go collect people’s firearms. One said he would call in sick and the other said a great many police officers would get shot. There you have it. There are only about 6 or 7 million police and military in our entire Country and well over 100 million firearm owners. Most ex military that I know would fight to the death before giving up a bullet much less their private weapons. I am not former military but I feel just as they do and so do most of the people I know who own firearms. They want them, come and get them at your own risk. This is why on this issue civil disobedience works. Since they passed magazine limits here in Colorado only one case has been reported of arresting someone for having magazines over the limit and that was because he was a convicted criminal who was out of jail committing another crime. So they nailed him with that as well. Trust me no one is going to go and try to take our firearms. Those in the military and police know that if they ever did that they might not be going home that night and they also know that if they are doing that to you and me who is doing it to their families and putting them in jeopardy as well.

      Reply

  • jenn

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    O.K. Harry… the reality is.. You’ll have to register all AR-15 firearms and anything else that is under their definition or similar , as of Jan. 1 2018. Any firearm that has a magazine, Scary flash-hider, the scarier pistol grip are assault weapons in California. You get to re-register 1 time. after that, whether death, you do not want it any more, whatever, you must turn the firearm in to police, with no recompense. All magazines that hold over 10 rounds are illegal in California. All said magazines must be turned in to the state for destruction, effective immediately. Enough reality? Any shotgun that holds a magazine is an assault weapon and follows the same rule. The laws are getting worse and worse in California. You say that is false. I say that you are a douche-bag. Everyone that has high capacity magazines is out of compliance with California’s laws. O.K. , Harry you are so smart, are you the 1 person who turns in all of their firearms and gear that are out of compliance without recompense? I bet you are.

    Reply

    • art

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      well, evil hillawitch666 only wanted the same laws as australia. it is illegal to have a pump shot gun there. they can kill me but i will not turn my guns or mags to anyone. it is an unalienable right. it is one that is not given or cannot be taken away. the right to self protection. even the Magna Charta stated that. our founders did not invent the idea, they just made sure everyone knew it.

      Reply

  • DaveW

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    I would love it if Trump sicked the Justice Department on those in California who have violated their oaths of office in furtherance of denying certain classes their civil rights. Put such people behind bars and strip them of their assets will send a message to the progressives far louder than simple votes.

    Reply

  • DaveW

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    There is an old adage which applies.

    It’s not what you say, it’s what you don’t say which matters.

    Does anyone believe that gun grabbers would openly announce that as their intent? The first NFA (1934) was held up as a Public Safety measure. So was Prohibition. So was the AWB and a zillion other things.

    Those who would seek to control others never announce that that is their intent. The first thing they do is create an enemy to turn the masses against. Guns, Constitution, whatever.

    Reply

  • DaveW

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    Wayyyyy too simplistic.

    Going back to at least the 1960s, when CA became a hotbed of anti-establishment radicals, and the following decades when masses of people left their homes in other states to partake of the free education through college, higher welfare rates, and other such traps, the left overwhelmed the right by first electing progressives to low level political positions. Those were subsequently elevated to ever higher political positions where they could gain ever more control over the political system. That and they took over the educational system; grads becoming professors and teachers.

    Pat Brown, Moonbeams father, bankrupted the state, and that brought about a revolt and the election of Ronald Reagan. No jobs were cut, no taxes raised (in fact they were lowered) and the state came out of deep debt. Since then, the progressives who joined with the GOP to elect Reagan, returned to their normal haunts and we suffered through a series of Dems and GOPs like Swartznegger who acted like Dems because they tried to compromise and got their clocks cleaned. The Dems then flooded the state with anti-business regulations which drove businesses and conservatives out of the state. What remains of the conservatives still fight the good fight but it’s like Custer or the Alamo. We are gravely outnumbered.

    Reply

  • DaveW

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    I think, though I can not verify, the CT has one of the highest rates of “Civil Disobedience” thus far… soon to be followed by California. Not sure about NY and MA.

    I salute the patriots in CT!

    Reply

  • DaveW

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    I do not support the ban on “assault” weapons. I do accept some restrictions such as criminals and mentally ill, or at a range out in the middle of Kansas where a “club” can use them safely (lol).

    The truth is that very few “assault weapons” are actually in private hands. The rifles that all the bleeding hearts complain about only look like real military rifles, erroneously called, “assault rifles”.

    For 21+ years I used the military version which is known as the M-16, and which the military classified as the “M16 Rifle”. It was never called the “M-16 assault rifle” by the armed forces. I still have my original field book which was issued with my rifle in Vietnam. The title is “Care and Maintenance of the M16 Rifle”… not “Care and Maintenance of the M16 Assault Rifle” (check out eBay – search for “army pamphlets, care and maintenance of the M16 rifle”).

    Not one GI in Vietnam would have willingly gone into battle with the civilian AR15 version of the M16. Not against the AK47 with its 30 round magazines and 90 round drums.

    The AR15 was sold to the public in 1964 as the Varminter… ‘good for farm and ranch against predators’. It included the carry handle, bayonet lug, pistol grip, flash suppressor, and removable 20 round box magazine (which was all we had when I was slogging in Vietnam).

    The term “assault weapon” as applied to ARs came into use when Sen Feinstein used it to identify all the firearms she wanted to have banned by the AWB she authored. It didn’t matter to her that it was a lie, and it still doesn’t today.

    Further, when the AWB ended, a part of the agreement reached with Feinstein was that the AR would be redesigned so that it could not be readily converted into a fully automatic rifle. The manufacturers agreed and sales were resumed. Feinstein, to this day, still calls them “assault weapons” and still boasts how many have been kept out of the hands of criminals due to her efforts.

    Reply

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