On Wednesday the House of Representatives passed a bill that would require states to honor concealed carry permits from other states. At first glance that would seem to be good for gun rights. But as with all legislation, the devil is in the details – or in this case, the rider that was attached.
The National Reciprocity bill (H.R. 38) was combined with the so-called “Fix NICS” bill (H.R. 4477), which is why 10 liberty-loving Republicans voted against it. The Fix NICS bill is sponsored by anti-gunners that include Democrats Dianne Feinstein, Richard Blumenthal, Chris Murphy and Chuck Schumerl along with so-called pro-gunners like Republicans Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn, and is purportedly designed to ensure that no more felons convicted in military courts – like the Sutherland Springs church shooter – are not added to the NICS database. But it will scoop up thousands of law-abiding Americans in its wake, and there are already laws in place requiring the military to send conviction information to the NICS system.
All gun rights groups save the NRA – which has a long and storied history of compromising on gun rights – oppose the Fix NICS. Gun Owners of America calls the Fix NICS bill the traffic ticket gun ban because the bill will require that people with unpaid traffic tickets who are considered “fugitives from justice” will have their names added to the banned list. Additionally, military veterans who have seen a counselor for conditions like PTSD and who require help with their finances will also be added to the list.
The NCIS fix enjoys broad bipartisan support in both the House and Senate. Now the combined bill goes to the Senate where it is expected to die… or see the reciprocity portion of it stripped out so the stand-alone NCIS fix portion can be passed and sent back the House.
According to GOA, the dirty secret of NICS is that already there are hundreds of thousands of people in the database who are law-abiding Americans and did nothing wrong, unless you count “service to your country” and/or “speeding.” The NICS Fix would make that even worse because many of the names which the “Traffic Ticket Gun Ban” would add would largely fall into these categories.
But when it boils down to it, any law requiring a permit to carry a weapon – concealed or otherwise – is a violation of the 2nd Amendment and therefore unconstitutional. But you won’t see even the staunchest conservative national politician with the courage to say that.