House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) remains frozen on pro-gun legislation even though the Democrats’ post-Vegas gun control push has imploded.
Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Chris Murphy (D-CT) were loud and proud for gun control in the immediate aftermath of the Vegas attack. Together, with their Democrat colleagues and surrogates, they voiced support for nine different gun controls between October 2 and October 11. Those controls included an “assault weapons” ban, universal background checks, a ban on bump stocks, a ban on semiautomatic guns, and a ban on “high capacity” magazines.
But things took a turn toward a more hushed tone as polls showed that Americans emerged from the Vegas attack still holding gun rights as more important than gun control. The polling was released between October 11 and October 22, with California’s KPCC finally declaring, “Las Vegas shooting didn’t change anyone’s mind about…guns.”
As the polls were coming in, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) remembered that November 2018 is fast-approaching and Democrat Senators in red states are in trouble if they are tied too closely to gun control. So Schumer urged his colleagues to avoid gun control as the budget debates began.
Yet even as the Democrats find their hands tied on gun control, Speaker Ryan remains unmoved on the Hearing Protection Act and national reciprocity for concealed carry. The Hearing Protection Act–which would have removed the $200 federal tax on suppressor sales–was shelved by Ryan just two days after the Vegas attack, and national reciprocity for concealed carry has been languishing in the House of Representatives since January 3, 2017.
On September 11, Breitbart News quoted Gun Owners of America’s Larry Pratt saying Ryan’s inaction on national reciprocity gives “dirtbags” the upper hand over law-abiding citizens who cannot always carry their guns state-to-state because of our nation’s crazy patchwork of concealed carry laws. National reciprocity would end that crazy patchwork by making the concealed carry permit of any one state valid in the other 49.
Suppressors had nothing to do with the Vegas attack, where law-abiding citizens were the victims — rather than the culprits — of a heinous crime. It is time to pass the pro-gun legislation that has, until now, simply been left on the sidelines.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.