Tag: national reciprocity

  • Doubting Thomas

    Doubting Thomas

    While I’ve been a supporter of Thomas Massie since he was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2012, it wasn’t long before I began to have some doubts. As his time in Congress has progressed we no longer need to rely on his promises and platitudes but can look at his actual record. An objective assessment reveals a lack of any meaningful action and begs the question first asked in 1986 by Janet Jackson: “What have you done for me lately?”

    If you value the Second Amendment, the answer is, “not much.” Of particular note is his continuing failure to co-sponsor H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act. This bill was introduced on January 4, 2021, and does not yet carry the endorsement of the founder and chair of the House Second Amendment Caucus, Representative Thomas Massie.

    But first, a little history.

    I was first made aware of Rep. Massie’s disdain for national concealed carry reciprocity back in 2017, when an earlier iteration of H.R. 38 was introduced into the House of Representatives, and I looked up the list of co-sponsors hoping to verify that my representative (Massie) was signed on in support of the bill. I was surprised to discover that he was not, and called his office to ask that he do so. In the following days I had multiple conversations with two separate members of his staff regarding the bill, and was advised that Rep. Massie simply did not support H.R. 38, due to his concern that forcing states to recognize the concealed carry rights of non-resident visitors was a violation of states’ rights.

    I always thought the rights of the people came before the rights of the states. Image courtesy of Oleg Volk

    Unfortunately, Rep. Massie has been less than transparent on his opposition to national reciprocity, and has never admitted his states’ rights objections publicly. He prefers to use a different excuse…perhaps fearing that his constituents might not agree?

    Instead, in 2017 Massie objected to the passage of H.R. 38 by claiming that his problem with the reciprocity bill was rooted in the fact that language from two (textually similar) bills, H.R. 4434 and H.R. 4477 (both titled “Fix NICS”) had been amended to H.R. 38, appearing as “Title II” of the final bill as voted on. However, H.R. 38 was first introduced on January 3, 2017, at the very beginning of the congressional year. The “Fix NICS” bill was not introduced until November 16, 2017…over 11 months later…and was obviously not merged with H.R. 38 until even later in the process. Still, Rep. Massie publicly professed his support for reciprocity, but that he could not support H.R. 38 because he disagreed with the “Fix NICS” amendment. However, he never supported H.R. 38 during the 11 months before “Fix NICS” appeared.

    Now…there’s a reason I emphasized the word “reciprocity” above. When questioned as to how such a professed supporter of the Second Amendment could have a problem with national reciprocity, Rep. Massie would respond the he did in fact support reciprocity, but objected to the inclusion of “Fix NICS” language in the bill. This is nothing more than a bit of clever wordplay on his part, no doubt intended to deceive his constituents who wanted their concealed carry rights to be recognized nationwide. Because although Massie would insist he supported reciprocity, what you could never catch him saying is that he supports national reciprocity…because he never has. I have an open challenge to the internet at large to find me a verifiable video or audio clip of Thomas Massie stating that he supports national reciprocity. Such a clip does not exist.

    Sniff around all you want…it’s not out there.

    You might find a clip of Massie stating he supports reciprocity, but understand that during the 115th Congress when all this was occurring, Massie himself had introduced H.R. 2909, the DC Personal Protection Reciprocity Act, which would have afforded legally permitted citizens the ability to carry concealed firearms in the District of Columbia only. With this bill in process, Massie could now give interviews and answer questions on the topic by saying that yes, he does support reciprocity…while omitting the word “national.” Is this the behavior of an honest man?

    So let’s review what we have so far: In 2017, a clean and unamended national reciprocity bill was in Congress for 11 months without Massie’s endorsement. Once that bill was amended with language that he could frame as more objectionable, he came out in opposition and blamed that language for his non-support. He also introduced another very limited reciprocity bill which would have benefited relatively few Americans (though he would be one of those), and used the existence of that bill as a smokescreen which allowed him to claim support for reciprocity.

    Watch the video below and you will notice that nowhere does Rep. Massie state that he favors national concealed carry reciprocity or that he would support a clean H.R. 38 (since he doesn’t), but ties his objections entirely to the inclusion of the NICS language. Also note that the release date of this video is December 5, 2017…after more than 11 months of his non-endorsement of a clean national reciprocity bill.

    Fast forward to the present day, and H.R. 38 is once again on the table in the 117th Congress. Once again, it is a clean and unamended bill…with no sign of any “Fix NICS” legislation in sight. Yet the bill languishes in a Democrat-controlled Congress, once again without Rep. Massie’s endorsement. What could his objection be now? I have reached out to his office to ask just that, only to receive the run-around, being told to email both his communications director and his legislative director in turn. I have done so (on May 20 and June 3, respectively), and have yet to receive an answer from either of them.

    Is this how an honest, forthcoming, and pro-Second Amendment representative behaves? If Rep. Massie has straightforward objections to national concealed carry reciprocity, I would hope that he would have the courage to express them and defend them openly and publicly…but I have my doubts.

    Originally posted at deltabravocharlie.com on 6/10/2021.

    Postscript – I would also add that it is interesting to note that in this current Congress, Rep. Massie has also failed to sign on as a co-sponsor to H.R. 95, the Hearing Protection Act. This bill would de-list suppressors/silencers from the 1934 National Firearms Act., removing the requirement to undergo Federal taxation, registration, and licensing in order to own these accessories. Rep. Massie has endorsed similar bills in previous Congressional years.

  • Drive On

    Drive On

    An argument we often hear from gun prohibitionists is that it is more difficult to obtain and drive a car than it is to obtain and carry a gun. They’ll tell you that it is only “common sense” that we should make gun ownership more closely resemble car ownership. But let’s forget for a moment that the right to keep and bear arms is constitutionally protected, and that the “right to own and drive” cars is not.

    Not a right.

    To make gun and car ownership more simpatico, we should first make concealed carry licenses reciprocal between all 50 states. The anti-gun crowd objects to this on the grounds that concealed carry licensing standards are inconsistent between the states, and that all driver’s licenses are the same. But a quick web search for state driver’s licensing requirements show that the standards each state enforces vary quite a bit…and despite these differences, a driver’s license from Alaska is still perfectly valid in Florida. So using the “treat guns like cars” standard, shouldn’t a concealed carry permit from Mississippi be valid in New Jersey, for example?  Instead, when it comes to concealed carry, people who have never even read the Constitution go all “states’ rights” and forget all about the differences in drivers’ licensing.

    (And don’t even try to use the RealID program to argue about licensing standards. With RealID, the licensing document itself must meet certain formatting requirements, but has nothing to do with actual driving ability. If my driver’s license does not have certain physical characteristics I cannot use it to ride on…not fly…an airplane from Cincinnati to San Antonio. But I can still use it to drive my car from Cincinnati to San Antonio. Common sense!)

    Driver’s license, or concealed carry license? Shouldn’t matter.

    But let’s not stop there in our quest to make gun ownership and car ownership more similar. Any adult, 18 years of age or more, can buy a car any time they want.  Under current federal law, it is illegal for a person under the age of 21 to purchase a handgun…not like cars at all! In nearly every other aspect of life, we consider 18 to be the age of adulthood. An 18-year old can join the military, vote, buy a rifle or shotgun (according to Federal law)…or a car. Why not a handgun?

    Not federally licensed. No background check.

    Let’s also consider where we buy cars, and how. Car dealers are not required to be federally licensed, nor are they required to conduct a federal background check on potential purchasers. You certainly don’t need to run a background check in order to privately sell your car to someone else. Let’s get rid of that requirement for guns…in order to make it more like buying a car! We should also remember that car sales are not generally restricted depending on how big the engine is, how fast the car goes, or how much fuel it holds (and such restrictions, where they exist, are usually only with respect to whether or not you can take it on the public roads…we’ll cover that in a second). Similar restrictions on things like caliber, firing mechanism, and magazine capacity ought to go away if we want to treat guns like cars! Heck, some states even allow fully automatic cars!

    A full-auto auto…

    As an aside, we all know that it would be silly to restrict or ban cars that have certain cosmetic or ergonomic features, so of course we will discard all such restrictions for guns as well, right?  Of course we will…it’s only common sense.  And speaking of common sense, we normally require that cars be equipped with a muffler…so let’s make it easier to put one on your gun!

    Nice muffler. Image by Oleg Volk.

    Of course, the subject of registration of cars versus guns inevitably comes up, but the popular belief that all cars must be registered and licensed through the state is simply not true. Requirements will vary by state, but in most cases if a vehicle is not going to be driven on public roads, it does not have to be registered…and cars are never registered with the federal government! For example, if you had a 4-wheel drive that you only drove around your farm, or your buddy’s farm, or any other private driving complex…you certainly do not need to get tags for it. Except for an instance in which a firearm is actually used for legitimate self defense, every legal use of a firearm I can think of takes place either on someone’s private property with their consent, or on public land as already allowed by law. Never mind that no one can explain how registering an item…car or gun…prevents its use in a crime. They might try to argue that registration makes it easier to solve crimes, but the truth is that it rarely happens, and when it does it is after the fact and prevents nothing. And if you really want to mess with their heads, ask them how they intend to get criminals to register their guns…especially since the Supreme Court has already ruled that you cannot force a convicted felon to register a gun! (Violates their 5th Amendment right to not self-incriminate.)


    Let’s not forget the old standby argument…insurance. Antis will often try to point out that you can’t honor concealed carry licenses in all states because there is no consistent requirement for liability insurance, like there is for drivers’ licenses. Swing and a miss! Drivers are not required to have insurance in order to be licensed to drive…liability insurance is the responsibility of the owner of the vehicle. What if you didn’t own a car but wanted a drivers’ license? Does your state require you to purchase a car before they’ll license you to drive? Of course not. I didn’t own a car when I learned to drive and got my license; my parents had to add me as a driver on the insurance policy they had on their car…but the policy was written on the car, not me. Personally, I’ve never been asked to show proof of liability insurance to rent a car…just a valid drivers’ license (from any state, and even some foreign countries). I can easily fly to Texas and show my Kentucky license and rent a car, whether I own an insured car of my own or not (and if stopped by law enforcement my Kentucky license will be recognized). The car rental agency is the owner of the car, and they are the ones responsible for insuring it.

    This is a road one could explore for hours…lots of points of interest and side trips, and you could even get a little lost. But if you keep going, you’ll wind up right back where you started…at one simple truth. Although the right to keep and bear arms is a constitutionally protected civil right, guns and gun owners are much, much more heavily regulated than cars and drivers. Anyone who tells you different is selling you something.

    Original post at deltabravocharlie.com

  • You’ll Get Nothing And Like It!

    Remember the scene in the movie Caddyshack where Judge Smails and his spoiled brat nephew, Spaulding stop for a snack break during a round of golf?

    I can’t help but be reminded of all the “no-compromise” types who helped torpedo national reciprocity a couple of months ago, because it contained language to improve the accuracy of NICS background checks. (I’m looking at you, Congressman Thomas Massie.)

    All I can hear is Spaulding’s whiny voice saying, “I want national reciprocity…no, I want national constitutional carry. I want a repeal of the NFA. I want a repeal of the ’68 GCA…” And then the Judge shouting, “You’ll get nothing and like it!”

    That’s what I am afraid we gun owners are going to be faced with here in very short order. Following the Parkland, Florida school shooting, we are once again combating a flood of useless gun control proposals, and the squishy GOP trying to find something they can pass to appease the antis (who cannot actually be appeased). One proposal which is gaining traction is…you guessed it…passing the “Fix NICS” bill which is currently in the Senate. This is essentially the same language which was attached to National Reciprocity, but do you think we’re going to see any reciprocity being advanced now?

    Hindsight may be 20/20, but think about how things might have turned out if we had gotten behind H.R. 38 and ignored the rants of Congressman Spaulding…er, Massie…and the like. Maybe we could have gotten something to actually advance gun rights for a change. All it would have cost us is to accept proper enforcement of the law…even if we don’t like the law very much…and we might be enjoying some tasty reciprocity right now.

    Instead, we in the gun community tore ourselves up with infighting because some weren’t satisfied with the something we were offered. Now, we’ll actually be lucky if we get nothing. How do you like that?

  • It’s A Major Award!

    It’s A Major Award!

    In case you missed it, the National Association for Gun Rights plans to recognize Congressman Thomas Massie for being a champion for gun rights. In his most recent act as such a champion for gun rights, the Congressman chose to vote against H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act.

    No…you did not misread that. To show his support for your gun rights, Congressman Thomas Massie voted against national concealed carry reciprocity. Now, he’ll tell you he supports “reciprocity,” but he never connects that word with “national.” This is because his support is only for the bill he introduced, H.R. 2909, which enforces reciprocity only in the District of Columbia…where he works.  He also says that he opposed H.R. 38 because of the “Fix NICS” language which was added to it. But ask him if he’d support H.R. 38 without that language, and all you’ll get is silence.

    Never co-sponsored HR 38, even months before it was amended to include NICS.

    No matter how he tries to spin it…he voted against my right to carry my concealed firearm when I drive through Illinois. And yours.

    He voted against my right to carry a concealed firearm when traveling to Massachusetts, or New York, or Chicago for work. And yours.

    He voted against my right to carry my concealed firearm into New Jersey to attend a martial arts seminar.  Without the national reciprocity which Massie opposes, New Jersey can continue to jail people like Shaneen Allen or Donna Gracy. Or me. Or you.

    For this, the NAGR will present him with their “.50 Cal Award.” Mind you, this is an organization whose most notable achievement in the advancement of national gun rights is that they have never actually advanced national gun rights in any meaningful way. I cannot think of a single piece of significant national pro-gun legislation which NAGR has helped pass. If there’s something they’ve done to increase my gun freedoms, I am unaware of it.

    So I guess it is 1984 after all. War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength. And a vote against more gun liberty gets you a major award from a national gun rights group which doesn’t advance national gun rights.

    Personally, I’d prefer the leg lamp.


    As a postscript, I will tell you that the gun shop which is hosting this award ceremony is in my local area (Triggers in Florence, Kentucky), and if I can get free on Thursday, I’ll go check it out. If I do, it will be the last time I ever set foot in that particular store. Any gun shop which would celebrate this will never get another dime of mine.