The Gun Owners of America issued a statement last night regarding H.R. 38. Again, the organization is very critical of the Fix NICS portion of the bill, which was combined in the House with national reciprocity.
Here’s their statement:
Executive Director of Gun Owners of America (GOA) Erich Pratt made the following statement after the House of Representatives passed H.R. 38, which is now the carry reciprocity and background check bill:
“While Gun Owners of America appreciates the House of Representatives for passing Constitutional Carry-friendly reciprocity, GOA continues to vehemently warn congressmen about the dangers of the ‘NICS Fix’ provision, which can also be referred to as the ‘Parking Ticket Gun Ban.’
“Hopefully, the passage of the reciprocity language in the House will serve to kill the background check language in the Senate. As recently as this week, Democrat Senator Chris Murphy said that such a combined bill would be dead on arrival in the Senate because he and fellow Democrats consider reciprocity a poison pill.
“Passing a stand-alone reciprocity bill will restore concealed carry rights and save lives. Gun owners should not see their right to protect themselves end at their state lines.
“So GOA will continue to rally our 1.5 million grassroots supporters to kill the ‘NICS Fix’ language and to pass a clean, Constitutional Carry-friendly reciprocity bill in the Senate, such as S. 446.”
To read GOA’s analysis of the current political battlefield facing gun owners, please see here.
Now, in GOA’s analysis linked to in the statement above, they do make some excellent points worth considering.
First, it’s entirely likely that there simply aren’t enough votes in the Senate. This is entirely true, and I believe part of the logic behind combining the two bills together was to try and use Fix NICS to leverage Senate Democrats into voting for the bill. However, many anti-gun Democrats are willing to vote against Fix NICS in this case.
In other words, by combining the two bills, the House may have ensured that neither passes.
However, if you oppose Fix NICS as a general thing, and you know national reciprocity won’t happen in the Senate, then it’s not a bad move combining the two. Sen Chris Murphy, a significant anti-gun legislator, referred to national reciprocity as a poison pill, and he’s not wrong. By combining the two bills, you make it impossible for gun grabbers in the Senate to skate out of either voting for pro-gun regulations, or voting against a bill that’s arguably gun control.
Talk about a win/win.
There’s no argument that the Senate will be a tough challenge for national reciprocity. I have a less pessimistic view of the Fix NICS bill than the GOA, so I remain hopeful that the bill will be voted on and pass through the Senate, though I’d much rather have seen the bills remain separate. However, I do appreciate the awkward position this puts people like Murphy and Dianne Feinstein in, and it makes me giggle just a little bit.
OK, who am I kidding? It makes me laugh. A lot.