Why Concealed Carry Reciprocity Might Spell Trouble for Gun Owners
The bill to allow people to carry a firearm across all 50 states may be rolled in with a bill that would make it harder to get such weapons
A bill that would allow gun owners to carry a concealed firearm in every state is in jeopardy this week, the victim of a possible Democratic trick, said Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.).
Massie claimed in a Facebook post on Saturday that the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, House Resolution 38, was being used as a “Trojan horse” to carry through a regulatory bill that could deprive thousands of Americans of their right to own guns.
The bill could also force states and federal agencies to classify more Americans as "fugitives," or too mentally unstable, barring them from gun ownership, Massie told LifeZette.
Of concern, Massie says, is House Resolution 4477, which would amend the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993. The apparent aim of House Resolution 4477 is to enforce laws regarding the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).
The bill could be rolled into H.R. 38 this week, said Massie, and a vote in the House is expected Wednesday. The reciprocity law would allow people to travel to other states with concealed weapons, so long as they have a permit in their home state.
So while gun owners are excited to get national reciprocity for their concealed weapons — in all 50 states — they won't like what's been added to the bill.
"They're going to get a little bit of gun control in the mix with it," Massie said on Monday, in a phone call to LifeZette. "States and federal agencies will be coerced to put more names in the database."
The Senate version of H.R. 4477 is co-sponsored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). The Senate version will send $625 million over five years to states to expand the national background check database, Massie said.
The congressman said he is perplexed as to why Republican leadership in the House and the Senate is rushing to enhance NICS, when former President Barack Obama used the system to bar gun ownership based on what Social Security reported to the database on mental disabilities.
Massie said he even suspects concealed carry could be stripped out of the final bill, the apparent aim of Feinstein and Schumer all along.
"The bill will advance former President Obama's agenda of pressuring every branch of the administration (such as the Veterans Administration) to submit thousands of more names to the NICS background-check database to deny gun purchases," Massie wrote. "It spends over half a billion dollars to collect more names to include in a list of people who will never be allowed to own a firearm. It compels administrative agencies, not just courts, to adjudicate your Second Amendment rights."
The database bill is often nicknamed the Fix-NICS bill. And Massie isn't the only one complaining.
The Gun Owners of America, an NRA rival, said the Fix-NICS bill will authorize state governments and federal agencies to consider people with unpaid traffic tickets to be fugitives from the law, and thus unable to qualify for approval for firearms ownership.
The database also has had many problems in the past, according to a Friday website post by Erich Pratt, the executive director of Gun Owners of America.
Pratt said 95 percent of the denials of gun rights by the NICS database are "false positives."
Pratt said the database has prevented 257,000 veterans from owning a gun.
"The Fix-NICS would require that the rolls of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, and Obamacare be trolled for recipients with PTSD, ADHD, or Alzheimer's," Pratt wrote.
But not everyone is worried. An NRA insider told LifeZette the organization still supports the bills.