Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has officially ignored national concealed carry reciprocity for 44 consecutive weeks.
It was introduced in the Senate on March 1, 2017. McConnell has yet to say a word in favor of the legislation.
His current silence is simply of continuation of what the common man has come to expect on the issue. After all, on August 13, 2017, Breitbart News reported that national reciprocity was languishing while McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) remained mum on the issue.
National reciprocity was actually introduced in the House more quickly than it was in the Senate, thanks to Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC). He put forward the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act on January 3, 2017, but it was not until December 6, 2017, that enough conservatives banded together to overcome Ryan’s stonewalling of the measure. It appears conservatives in the Senate will be forced to band together in a similar way to overcome McConnell’s seeming indifference to the measure as well.
Leadership’s lack of passion for national reciprocity is a shame because reciprocity is simply a recognition that God-given rights are valid in every state in the union. In other words, just as a citizen’s right to speak freely is constitutionally protected both in their home state and in the other 49 states, so too a citizen’s right to bear arms for self-defense should be recognized as constitutionally protected not simply in their home state but in the other 49 as well.
To put it plainly, national reciprocity is self-defense for the common man. It means that a blue-collar father with a concealed carry permit can legally carry his gun regardless of which state he travels through. This, in turn, means that he can protect his family as they drive through Chicago, Illinois; Baltimore, Maryland; Los Angeles, California; Newark, New Jersey; or any other American city. It also means he can protect his family should his car break down in the middle of the night on a lonely, low-traffic interstate in one of the more rural parts of America.
Mitch McConnell does not need national reciprocity as he has taxpayer-funded security protecting him at all times. Even lawmakers who are not in leadership enjoy heavy, armed security while moving to and from Capitol Hill, so they may not see the need for reciprocity either.
But out here in the real world, where people work until their hands get calloused and their skin cracks, national reciprocity is about being able to protect the lives of one’s family in a way that says those lives are as important as the lives of those who constitute America’s ruling class.
It has been 44 weeks since national reciprocity was introduced in the Senate. It is time to pass the measure and send it to President Donald Trump’s desk.
AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News, the host of the Breitbart podcast Bullets, and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.