We’re just a few weeks away from the start of the 2017 state legislative sessions, and throughout the country we’re already starting to see some interesting gun-related bills being introduced. Thanks to the efforts of NRA members across the nation this election year, we will be in a position to strengthen and secure our Second Amendment rights in dozens of states when the new year begins. Congress is already buzzing about the prospects of a national Right-to-Carry reciprocity bill, while other draft legislation slated for introduction at the state level would reform and expand Right-to-Carry laws.
In Texas, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and state Sen. Robert Nichols have pre-filed legislation that would eliminate the state fees for a concealed-carry license. The Lone Star State has one of the most expensive licensing processes in the country, with a $140 fee for the first five years and a $70 renewal fee. That price tag may very well prevent some Texans from applying for and receiving their concealed-carry license, and removing that barrier would be a huge step forward for Texas and the country as a whole.In Texas, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and state Sen. Robert Nichols have pre-filed legislation that would eliminate the state fees for a concealed-carry license.
Other states like Indiana, Tennessee and South Dakota are likely to consider “permitless” carry measures—legislation that wouldn’t get rid of the concealed-carry system in these states, but would not require a permit to exercise your right to carry. Over the past few years, we’ve seen more than a dozen states around the country adopt similar measures, while at the same time the number of concealed-carry holders in the United States has surpassed 15 million. Clearly Americans are taking their right to keep and bear arms seriously, and every day more and more of us are taking steps to exercise our rights as well as preserve them.
Anti-gun activists will be doing everything they can to block these bills, while pushing their own agenda in states with a large number of friendly lawmakers like California. Expect more attacks on ammunition purchases, a new push for “smart gun” laws, and local zoning battles over gun stores and ranges. Anti-gun attorney generals like Massachusetts’ Maura Healey will continue to reinterpret gun laws in the most onerous light possible, while using their offices to target gun manufacturers and retailers. They’ll do all this while proclaiming as loudly as possible that they’re not anti-gun at all—just in favor of a few “common sense gun safety measures”.
Expect more attacks on ammunition purchases, a new push for “smart gun” laws, and local zoning battles over gun stores and ranges.If the head of the anti-gun movement, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, really wanted to promote “gun safety,” he could. In fact, Bloomberg could be the Andrew Carnegie of gun safety if that was his real goal. Just as Carnegie was responsible for the construction of thousands of public libraries around the country, Bloomberg could use some of his billions to construct ranges across the nation. Cities like Washington, D.C.; Chicago; New York; and many other major metropolitan areas don’t have a single range within city limits. If you want to learn real “common-sense gun safety” you need to have access to a range.
For less than $10 billion dollars, Bloomberg could build a state-of-the-art indoor/outdoor range in every county and county-equivalent in the United States (all 3,143 of them). Americans, no matter where they live, would be able to learn how to safely and responsibly handle firearms from trained instructors in a professional environment. Then, gun owners from coast to coast could rightfully praise Bloomberg for his championing of gun safety.
But we know this will never happen. Instead, we NRA members will continue to be the true champions of gun safety, as well as the righteous opposition to Bloomberg’s anti-gun agenda. Working together and speaking as one, we can make this next legislative session one for the history books.