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.
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.
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.