Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Bill Introduced With Huge GOP Support

Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) have introduced the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act.

Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) have introduced the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act in the U.S. Senate today.

In a joint press release issued earlier today, the two senators announced the bill to allow “individuals with concealed carry privileges in their home state to exercise those rights in any other state with concealed carry laws, while abiding by that state’s laws.”

“This bill focuses on two of our country’s most fundamental constitutional protections– the Second Amendment’s right of citizens to keep and bear arms and the Tenth Amendment’s right of states to make laws best-suited for their residents,” said Sen. Cornyn. “I look forward to working with my colleagues to advance this important legislation for law-abiding gun owners nationwide.”

What is interesting about this press release is the long list of Republican co-sponsors, which wasn’t the case before. They include the following U.S. Senators: John Barrasso (R-WY), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Mike Braun (R-IN), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Steve Daines (R-MT), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), John Hoeven (R-ND), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Ron Johnson (R-WI), John Kennedy (R-LA), Jerry Moran (R-KS), David Perdue (R-GA), Rob Portman (R-OH), Jim Risch (R-ID), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Richard Shelby (R-AL), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), John Thune (R-SD), Thom Tillis (R-NC), and Roger Wicker (R-MS).

It’s no surprise there aren’t Democrats co-sponsors.

The press release expands on what this legislation would set out to accomplish (key points are bolded):

Protecting Fundamental Constitutional Rights:

  • Allows law-abiding citizens to exercise their fundamental right to self-defense while they are traveling or temporarily living away from home.
  • Allows individuals with concealed carry privileges in their home state to conceal carry in any other states that also allow concealed carry.
  • Treats state-issued concealed carry permits like drivers’ licenses where an individual can use their home-state license to drive in another state, but must abide by that other state’s speed limit or road laws.

Respecting State Sovereignty*:*

  • Does not establish national standards for concealed carry.
  • Does not provide for a national concealed carry permit.
  • Does not allow a resident to circumvent their home state’s concealed carry permit laws. If under current law an individual is prohibited by federal law from carrying a firearm, they will continue to be prohibited from doing so under our bill.
  • Respects state laws concerning specific types of locations in which firearms may not be carried and types of firearms which may not be carried by the visiting individual.
  • Protects states’ rights by not mandating the right to concealed carry in places that do not allow the practice.

A Senate bill was previously introduced last Congressional session as with one in the House. Sadly, this bill won’t pass out of the House of Representatives given the Democrat control of that chamber during the new 116th Congressional session.

We’ll continue to monitor its progress here at The Resurgent.

VA Attorney General Again Shows Anti-Gun Bias Calling Armed Teachers “Unlawful”

AG Herring stopped our CHP reciprocity agreements with 25 states in 2015, so this move doesn’t come as a surprise.

 

It’s “unlawful” for a Virginia school district, Lee County, to voluntarily allow teachers to arm themselves in the classroom, writes our Attorney General Mark Herring (D-VA) in a new official advisory opinion that was requested by Shannon Dion, Director of the Commonwealth’s Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS). The reasoning? There’s overwhelming support against this by teachers. Plus, Virginia’s top lawyer suggests concealed handgun permit (CHP) holders aren’t equipped to deter bad guys with guns like law enforcement is.

 

Herring’s office released this statement in a news release (bold, Italics for emphasis):

 

“Our kids deserve a safe, secure learning environment when they come to school, and adding guns and armed, unqualified personnel to our classrooms is incompatible with that goal,” said Attorney General Herring. “The law already provides several options for employing armed security personnel with full law enforcement training, but the law doesn’t allow for the arming of unqualified personnel, and for good reasonThe introduction of unqualified personnel with guns raises the likelihood of a tragic accident, or potentially catastrophic confusion during an emergency. That’s why the overwhelming majority of teachers—those who know the school environment best—oppose arming teachers. For five years in a row the General Assembly rejected specific proposals to arm teachers, so there’s really no ambiguity. I hope all of us who care about the safety and success of our students—school boards, teachers, parents, legislators, law enforcement, and more—can continue working together to make our schools safe and welcoming places for our young people to learn.”

 

AG Herring’s reasoning couldn’t be more tone deaf. CHP holders are unqualified and dangerous? Then our state’s top lawyer must not be familiar with Virginia gun laws and those who work in law enforcement—especially those law enforcement members who support the CHP process here.

 

“Our kids deserve a safe, secure learning environment when they come to school, and adding guns and armed, unqualified personnel to our classrooms is incompatible with that goal,” said Attorney General Herring. “The law already provides several options for employing armed security personnel with full law enforcement training, but the law doesn’t allow for the arming of unqualified personnel, and for good reasonThe introduction of unqualified personnel with guns raises the likelihood of a tragic accident, or potentially catastrophic confusion during an emergency. That’s why the overwhelming majority of teachers—those who know the school environment best—oppose arming teachers. For five years in a row the General Assembly rejected specific proposals to arm teachers, so there’s really no ambiguity. I hope all of us who care about the safety and success of our students—school boards, teachers, parents, legislators, law enforcement, and more—can continue working together to make our schools safe and welcoming places for our young people to learn.”

 

AG Herring’s reasoning couldn’t be more tone deaf. CHP holders are unqualified and dangerous? Then our state’s top lawyer must not be familiar with Virginia gun laws and those who work in law enforcement—especially those law enforcement members who support the CHP process here.

 

The document suggests it’s unlawful for CHP holders, particularly those who are law-abiding, to carry on campus. Moreover, the official authority opinion says Virginia law permits school resource officers (SRO) and certain security officers to possess firearms, but that clause doesn’t extend to teachers and administrators. The official authority opinion concluded with this:

 

“Virginia law expressly limits who may possess firearms on school grounds for safety purposes, and the General Assembly declined to enact bills presented every year from 2013 through 2017 to extend this authority to school teachers and administrators. The General Assembly has provided ways for schools to employ security personnel deemed to have met stringent training requirements who may possess firearms on school grounds in the execution of their duties as school safety personnel; however, these security personnel do not include armed SCOPs. For the reasons set forth above, I conclude that the Department of Criminal Justice Services cannot lawfully issue a temporary or valid registration for armed SCOPs with jurisdiction over public school grounds.”

 

Herring’s official authority opinion will do little to bolster school safety measures.

 

Lee County School Board Superintendent Brian Austin appeared on NPR earlier this month to discuss why his district board unanimously voted 5-0 to allow teachers and administrators the ability to conceal carry in the classroom by voluntary means. The vote took place back in July.

 

Austin said his county cannot afford placing security resource officers (SRO) that individually cost $600,000 into their 11 schools, saying “This was a very budget-driven decision because we have determined that it would cost almost $600,000 to put a school resource officer in every one of our 11 schools. And if we had $600,000 at this point, it would go towards roof repairs and replacement as opposed to school safety – even though school safety is our number-one priority in schools.”

 

Austin added that 37 individuals — teachers and staffers — had expressed interest to voluntarily conceal carry on campus should the opportunity be afforded. The vetting process, he added, would entail interested applicants going through “two backgrounds of checks – a drug screen as well as a psychological evaluation” or the equivalent vetting process conducted for law enforcement here in Virginia. How did AG Herring gloss over this? Perhaps he knows this, but is so driven by his agenda to acknowledge this.

 

Lee County is located in Virginia’s southwestern most part of the state, bordering Tennessee. It’s an agricultural, rural area that has overwhelmingly voted Republican since 2000. In fact, the county overwhelmingly voted for President Trump 80.3% to Clinton’s 19.7% in 2016. This is a gun toting county.

 

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring’s anti-gun agenda, particularly his animus towards CHP holders, is no secret. In December 2015, his office issued a statement saying they conducted an extensive audit of Virginia’s CHP reciprocity agreements, which found that 25 of 30 states had “insufficient” and “weak” regulations with respect to firearms. Shortly after, I penned this Richmond Times-Dispatch op-ed pointing out the flaws of this edict, which would have had deleterious effects on gun rights and business relations with states. After much outcry from everyday citizens and gun rights groups, then-Governor Terry McAuliffe brokered a deal with Republican lawmakers that restored CHP reciprocity and added three more states. It was a momentary victory.

 

Concealed handgun permits (CHP) holders are law-abiding and just as equipped as law enforcement to help deter crime. The scapegoating of these folks is not a good look for AG Herring, who should instead target actual lawbreakers and not go after those who wish to protect kids in the classroom.

Finally: Concealed Carry Reciprocity Passes in the House

Yesterday, the House Judiciary Committee voted 19-11 to move concealed carry reciprocity ahead.

The House Judiciary Committee announced yesterday that House Resolution (H.R.) 38—the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017—was approved by a 19-11 vote.

What does this mean? If reconciliation in the Senate can occur and a bill is agreed upon by both chambers, all U.S. states can soon enjoy rights to concealed carry reciprocity — especially rights that have been denied to folks in high crime blue states and their crime-ridden cities.

Here is a statement from NRA’s Chris Cox on the House Judiciary Committee green lighting this move:

“Law-abiding citizens should be able to exercise their fundamental right to self-defense while traveling across state lines without fear of unknowingly breaking the law. For years, the National Rifle Association’s top legislative priority has been to pass National Concealed Carry Reciprocity, a much-needed solution to the confusing patchwork of state and local gun laws. The NRA and law-abiding gun owners across America are excited to see this important legislation headed for a vote in the House of Representatives. We thank Congressman Richard Hudson and Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte for their leadership in moving H.R. 38 to the House floor.” Gun Owners of America similarly issued a statement and provided it to The Resurgent:

Erich Pratt, Gun Owners of America’s Executive Director, issued the following statement to The Resurgent:

“GOA applauds the committee passage of the concealed carry reciprocity and encourages the House leadership to take up the bill right away. This legislation will allow decent Americans to carry in any state in the country, thereby countering the fascist gun laws of anti-gun states.

“GOA also sends special kudos to Republicans on the Judiciary Committee who shot down an attempt by Democrats to delete the Constitutional Carry protections in the bill. Gun Owners of America opposed the amendment that sought to limit concealed carry reciprocity to permit holders only and was happy to see it go down to an inglorious defeat.”

The Concealed Carry Act of 2017, if passed, would expand concealed carry rights for law-abiding gun owners. Here’s more of the bill’s text for your viewing pleasure:

Notwithstanding any provision of the law of any State or political subdivision thereof (except as provided in subsection (b)) and subject only to the requirements of this section, a person who is not prohibited by Federal law from possessing, transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm, who is carrying a valid identification document containing a photograph of the person, and who is carrying a valid license or permit which is issued pursuant to the law of a State and which permits the person to carry a concealed firearm or is entitled to carry a concealed firearm in the State in which the person resides, may possess or carry a concealed handgun (other than a machinegun or destructive device) that has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce, in any State that—

“(1) has a statute under which residents of the State may apply for a license or permit to carry a concealed firearm; or

“(2) does not prohibit the carrying of concealed firearms by residents of the State for lawful purposes.

“(b) This section shall not be construed to supersede or limit the laws of any State that—

“(1) permit private persons or entities to prohibit or restrict the possession of concealed firearms on their property; or

“(2) prohibit or restrict the possession of firearms on any State or local government property, installation, building, base, or park.

Earlier this year, Second Amendment Caucus chair Congressman Thomas Massie (R-KY) introduced legislation— H.R 2909, or D.C Personal Protection Reciprocity Act — in wake of the Alexandria, Virginia, ballpark shooting that left Congressman Steve Scalise severely wounded. If passed, this bill would grant law-abiding gun owners with “valid concealed carry permits issued from their home state to carry their firearms in the District of Columbia.”

“After the horrific shooting at the Republican Congressional Baseball practice, there will likely be calls for special privileges to protect politicians,” Congressman Massie said . “Our reaction should instead be to protect the right of all citizens guaranteed in the Constitution: the right to self-defense. I do not want to extend a special privilege to politicians, because the right to keep and bear arms is not a privilege, it is a God-given right protected by our Constitution.”

Let’s hope the Senate can get its act together and pass an accompanying bill. Law-abiding gun owners in blue states and neighboring states shouldn’t be criminalized in the eyes of the law any longer.

Why Churchgoers In Texas Were Unarmed

In the wake of the deadly church shooting in Texas, a common question has been why no one in the congregation was carrying a gun since Texas law allows both open and concealed carry. The shooting was interrupted by a man who lived next to the church rather than an armed member of the congregation.

Texas has long allowed concealed carry and an open carry law went into effect in 2016. Texas law requires a Texas License To Carry a Handgun (LTC) to carry a weapon in public. The LTC requires a background check and firearms training.

Even with an LTC, the right to carry a gun is not unrestricted. The law bars weapons in public buildings such as schools, polling places and correctional facilities. Guns are also banned from bars and sporting events, among other restrictions.

Private property owners are also allowed to decide whether to allow guns on their property. Property owners can post “30.06” and “30.07” signs that reference sections of Texas state law. Section 30.06 prohibits concealed carry and section 30.07 prohibits open carry when the signs are posted. Many churches and businesses post the 30.06 and 30.07 signs.

It is likely, but not certain that Sutherland Springs First Baptist. If the signs were in place, LTC holders would have left their weapons at home or in their cars. In either case, they would have been inaccessible when Devin Kelley cam through the front door.

Sutherland Springs was not the first mass shooting to take place in a church. One of the most infamous such attacks was Dylan Roof’s killing spree at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C in 2015.

In the wake of the Sutherland Springs murders, Texas churches may reconsider the 30.06 and 30.07 postings, but for organizations whose mission is to welcome outsiders there is a delicate balance between protecting congregants and scaring away religious seekers. For many churches, the promise of spiritual protection in verses such as Psalm 44:6  is more comforting than an LTC.

 

Guns On Campus – Antonia Okafor’s Argument for Campus Carry





Campus carry advocate Antonia Okafor has written an excellent opinion piece for the New York Times called “Why I Bring My Gun to School.”  In it she talks about her experiences in attending graduate-level night classes at the University of Texas, Dallas and having to rely on a rape whistle and a phone for protection.  Thus, in 2015 when Texas began debating a campus carry bill she became involved in the effort to advocate for its passage.

Campus carry bills and laws vary by state, but the basic core is that they allow those with concealed carry licenses to carry firearms on campus grounds and property.  Typically, there are areas designated off-limits (in Georgia, for example, dorms, athletic events, places where disciplinary hearings are held, and classes which have high schoolers in attendance are all off-limits).  To obtain a concealed carry permit, a person must be 21 years of age or older (with some exceptions), pass a background check, and – in some states – undergo training.

The rationale for campus carry is the same as that for concealed carry in general: the fact that firearms are likely being carried by some proportion of law-abiding citizens tends to deter criminals.  Concealed carriers therefore help provide greater security to an area even without having to actually use their firearms.  Thus, even if a person does not carry a firearm themselves, they benefit from the presence of concealed carry laws.

College campuses, in particular, are in need of the type of deterrent that concealed carry provides.  I attended a major university in Atlanta from 1996 to 2001.  The area has changed for the better now, but still faces the challenges typical of big cities.  During my time there, my car was broken into twice, a friend was robbed at gunpoint, a pizza deliveryman was killed in a robbery, and many other people were victimized on, or just off, campus.  My female friends would travel in groups for fear of being assaulted.  These types of problems are commonplace on campuses across the nation.  In addition, Okafor mentions the risk of sexual assault and the statistic that one in five college women are assaulted.  Many people, as she points out, do not think the number is this high, but I believe it is.

The argument for campus carry is to help make these places safer places for students.  Even if the students are too young to obtain a concealed carry permit or if they are prohibited from keeping firearms in their dorms, they will benefit from campus carry laws due to the deterrent effect.

It is easy for those who don’t have to deal with crime on, or around, college campuses to contend that “guns will make the campus less safe.”  I have news for them, though: there are already guns on campus.  The problem is just that the criminals have them and there are far too few good men and women with guns around to deter them.  Campus carry is an effort to rectify that situation.

 

Concealed Carry Reciprocity Has 200 Backers in Congress

According to a press release from Gun Owners of America, the concealed carry reciprocity bill, known as H.R. 38, has reached 200 backers in Congress.

The bill would “amend the federal criminal code to allow a qualified individual to carry a concealed handgun into or possess a concealed handgun in another state that allows individuals to carry concealed firearms.”

The bill does have some stipulations. First, a “qualified individual must be eligible to possess, transport, or receive a firearm under federal law; carry a valid photo identification document; and carry a valid concealed carry permit issued by, or be eligible to carry a concealed firearm in, his or her state of residence.”

Second, the qualified individual must not be “subject to the federal prohibition on possessing a firearm in a school zone, and may carry or possess the concealed handgun in federally owned lands that are open to the public.”

The passage of the bill, which was introduced earlier in the year, would be a huge victory for concealed carry activists.

The bill has 199 cosponsors, and plus Congressman Richard Hudson (R-NC) as its chief sponsor.

The bill will need 214 votes to pass in the House, along with 60 votes to break a filibuster in the Senate.

“We want the bill to move quickly … sooner than later,” the press release says.

GOA is asking supporters of the bill to write an email here to commend their congressman for supporting the bill, or encourage their representative to cosponsor the bill if they have not already done so.

Republicans Need to Start Packing Heat

A few moments ago, Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y) acknowledged what every sensible Republican officeholder in the nation is thinking, even if they’re not saying it:

If you look at the vulnerability, I can assure you from this day forward — I have a carrier permit. I will be carrying when I’m out and about…it’s going to be in my pocket from this day forward.

I recommended the same last month – back in the good old days when Republicans went from dodging f-bombs at townhalls to having to win the checkered flag in Dukes-of-Hazard car chases:

Now Republicans are dodging bullets.

There will be more James Hodgkinsons, as Erick pointed out earlier today, egged on by the Left’s cyber brownshirts who declare that a bullet is the inevitable (and, thus, appropriate) response for repealing Obamacare as well as the Left’s flesh-and-blood brownshirts who have been orchestrating non-lethal (for now) attacks on Republicans since Inauguration Day.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) explained how fortunate he and other victims were to have had Majority Whip Steve Scalise’s Capitol Police detail on the scene:

“I can tell you, that I think with absolute certainty, nobody would have survived without the Capitol Hill Police. They saved everybody’s life. Incredibly brave and deserve everyone’s praise, because, with this guy, who knows what his — how heavily armed he was, but nobody else had a weapon. So, he was just killing everyone — he would have.

The next shooter will make sure none of the congressional leadership’s security detail is around when he pulls the trigger.

Collins is doing the right thing, but his actions will now pressure other caucus members to do likewise. Any who don’t arm themselves as Collins is now doing — and, just as importantly, publicly announce that they’ve done so — will be advertising themselves as a walking gun-free zones – with predictable results.  Conversely, those who do stand a decent chance of not only deterring attacks in the future but hopefully mitigating the death toll by returning fire when (not if) the next leftist decides to do this.

FL Sheriff to Constituents: Conceal Carry to Stop Terrorist Attacks

Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey posted a video encouraging his constituents to conceal carry to help thwart future terrorist attacks. Citing the recent attacks in the United Kingdom and the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, a year ago today, the sheriff–who covers Florida’s Space Coast–believes more responsible and armed citizens can help police officers neutralize dangerous situations.

In the six-minute video, Ivey called himself the “most politically incorrect sheriff in the country” out there. He said the “run, hide and draw a line in the sand” strategy will leave people defenseless and more prone to attack.

“This is war, and you better be prepared to wage war to protect, your family, and those around you if attacked,” Ivey said.

The sheriff added, “No matter who you are or what’s your position on guns, there’s no denying the fact that the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun or a knife, is an armed and well-prepared citizen or law enforcement officer.”

Citing how precious life-and-death is surrounding arrival times, he said it’s up to these responsible citizens to help neutralize the threat until police arrive at the scene.

“As a society and a community, we can no longer wait for the attack to happen and develop our survival strategy, ” he said. “If you have a concealed carry permit, then carry your gun with you at all times possible.”

He added that if you choose to defend yourself with a gun against attack, you must be willing to practice using them and by offering constituents the option to take a course entitled, “Self-Defense Through Tactical Shooting and Decision Making.”

Watch the full video below:

Unsurprisingly, some near the sheriff’s home turf have tried to delegitimize the claim that “good guys with guns stop bad guys with guns.” One Orlando Weekly columnist wrote:

“Unfortunately for Ivey, there’s just no proof supporting his theory that more guns makes society safer, let alone from from mass shootings or terrorist attacks.” 

The mistake authors like this make is lumping criminal gun activity with law-abiding gun owners, which undermines journalistic integrity. Secondly, he only cites groups or “experts” who beat the anti-gun violence drum but line their coffers with gun control lobby money. And worse of all, most major news outlets ignore or erase “good guys and gals with guns” stories because it completely defeats their narrative.  Sad.

For added context: Sheriff Ivey was first elected to his post in 2012. He endorsed then-candidate Donald Trump back in September 2016.

I think Sheriff Ivey was in the right making this video. He encouraged responsible gun ownership and citizens to help neutralize or diffuse tense situations, not take full law enforcement matters into their own hands. Let’s hope more members of law enforcement encourage the safe and responsible handling of firearms!