The Gun Rights Divide in the U.S.
What will happen to gun rights and gun laws, now that the President-elect and both houses of Congress are controlled by conservatives? Is the Second Amendment safe for now? Not in every State.
I’ve noticed that, during the Obama administration, while the Federal government was increasing restrictions on firearms, the more conservative States were making progress loosening restrictions. Seven States changed their laws to allow constitutional carry over the last 8 years: Arizona in 2010, Wyoming in 2011, Arkansas in 2013, Kansas in 2015, and then West Virginia, Idaho, and Mississippi all in 2016.
What will happen during the Trump administration? I suspect that the liberal States will react by doing everything they can to restrict gun rights.
Already, California is leading the way with eleven new laws, including unprecedented restrictions. I’ll highlight a few points:
* Hundreds of thousands of legally owned semi-automatic rifles have now been reclassified as assault weapons.
* The new laws effectively outlaw magazine locking devices, i.e. bullet buttons.
* Loaning a firearm for lawful purposes to anyone other than a family member is now illegal.
* There is now a 10-year firearm prohibition for someone convicted of falsely reporting a lost or stolen firearm.
* The possession of high-capacity magazines (greater than 10 rounds) is prohibited.
And it’s only going to get worse, at the State level. We are headed for a nation where U.S. citizens in some States have their full constitutional right to bear arms, and U.S. citizens in other States can barely access the right at all.
Even now, Massachusetts is “may issue” for a firearms i.d. card, which is the most basic type of license to own a gun in that State. If the local chief LEO doesn’t want you to have a gun, you can’t have one. And you need to go through an interview with the chief LEO, submit fingerprints and photos, and pay a fee of (if I remember correctly) over $100.00. All that is needed for a basic weapon, like a shotgun or bolt action rifle. Handgun permits have greater restrictions.
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