Here’s a great Christmas gift idea from the GOP and Iowa’s nutty Republican Congressman Steve King. This week the House Judiciary Committee debated and passed a massive gun expansion bill, “The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017.” The Republicans want to give gun owners a huge gift by expanding their ability to use their concealed-carry permits in all states. The GOP wants to force those states where it’s currently illegal to accept gun owners carrying their guns in from other states.
Congressman King, always swinging for the outrageous, complained that restricting guns will “ruin the King Christmas.” During the conceal-carry debate King spoke in opposition to a proposal to close the gun show loophole that allows unrestricted gun sales. Apparently King thinks Democrats are acting like the Grinch that stole Christmas by attempting to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill. The Democrats put up a valiant fight for six hours, but the Republicans had the votes to shoot down any proposals of gun sanity the Democrats raised.
One might think following the horrible Las Vegas massacre and the equally shocking Sutherland Springs, Texas church shooting that Republicans might consider some moratorium on their zealous proliferation of guns. Instead, the Republicans’ want to reward gun owners by expanding their ability to carry guns in all states with little or no restrictions. Democrats pushing back on the Republican proposal were joined by law enforcement and gun control advocates but failed to slow the Republicans’ foolhardy rush to provide greater access to more guns. Cyrus R. Vance Jr., the Manhattan, N.Y. district attorney, and James P. O’Neill, the police commissioner, suggest the bill would in effect impose lax gun laws of southern states on New York and California. Vance has rallied other major city prosecutors to oppose the GOP bill.
This is likely to stoke a nasty states’ right debate as this bill moves on to the full House and then reaches compromise with Senate gun bills. It will pit states with very restrictive gun permitting requirements with states that have none. Some states such as California have very strict standards to qualify for a gun permit while other states like Missouri are so lax they require only a pulse to get a gun. California state law requires background checks, training and testing in order to get a gun permit.
Missouri enacted permit-less carry in January 1, 2017. Anyone over the age of 19, with the exception of felons can simply buy a gun and carry it immediately in Missouri. The GOP’s concealed-carry would require California to accept visiting Missouri residents carrying their guns even though it violates California law.
The gun conceal-carry would be much like a driver’s license. States practice reciprocity and accept the driver’s license of visitors from other states. Under the GOP conceal-carry, all states would be required to accept gun permits issued by other states even though they don’t meet that state’s standards.
Representative Eric Swalwell, Democrat of California and regular visitor to Iowa was notably vocal in his opposition during the debate of the GOP bill. Some have suggested Swalwell is building a future presidential platform in Iowa.
“Essentially, we are telling states who are responsible in the requirements that they place on their concealed-carry permits that that doesn’t matter anymore,” said Swalwell.
Democrats have been reluctant to take on the gun lobby because the NRA and other gun advocates have exercised immense power in taking out gun control Democrats. The gun folks can rally their troops and provide big money to threaten to defeat Democrats. Surely at some point, the public will finally revolt against these senseless massacres and demand common sense gun safety measures. Until that happens, Democrats, especially Democrats running in rural Iowa will likely be cautious in talking about guns. King’s irrational worship at the feet of the gun lobby is disgusting, but it may be acceptable to many NW Iowa voters.
by Rick Smith