More than a dozen House Republicans have announced the resurrection of the Congressional Second Amendment Caucus (CSAC) with the intent of pushing pro-Second Amendment legislation when the new Congress convenes in January, Fox News reported.
The group will be chaired by Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky, and one measure they may have an early opportunity to champion is the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, which will reportedly be sponsored by North Carolina Congressman Richard Hudson. His name was not among the 14 members identified by published reports last week.
That “inaugural” group includes Reps. Jeff Duncan (S.C.), Ted Yoho (FL), Brian Babin (TX), Paul Gosar (AZ), Mark Meadows (N.C.), Ken Buck (CO), Alex Mooney (W.Va.), Justin Amash (MI), Jody Hice (GA), Dave Brat (VA), Warren Davidson (OH), Scott Perry (PA), and James Comer (KY), according to the Washington Free Beacon.
In a statement, the CSAC explained that “Caucus members will lead efforts in the House of Representatives to pass meaningful firearms legislation and protect Americans against infringements of the Second Amendment.”
With both the House and Senate under Republican control, and Donald Trump in the White House, gun rights activists and advocacy groups are already pushing an agenda that, according to Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, will “make the Second Amendment great again.” Gottlieb has already issued several recommendations to Trump and the upcoming GOP-controlled Congress, and high among them is national concealed carry reciprocity or recognition.
This, among other suggestions, is the kind of thing that makes gun prohibitionists furious. Trump’s election put such groups on the defensive. They had expected Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton to easily win the Nov. 8 election, and in the aftermath of her Electoral College rout, anti-gunners have been wailing.
In announcing his plan to submit the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, Hudson wrote, “Our Second Amendment right doesn’t disappear when we cross state lines, and I plan to introduce legislation in the first days of the 115th Congress to guarantee that. The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 is a common sense bill to provide law-abiding citizens the right to conceal carry and travel freely between states without worrying about conflicting state codes or onerous civil suits. As a member of President-elect Trump’s Second Amendment Coalition, I look forward to working with the administration to advance policies that support and protect our right to keep and bear arms.”
Trump indicated more than once that he supports the idea of national reciprocity for those licensed to carry concealed sidearms. John Lott, president of the Crime Prevention Research Center, recently estimated that more than 15 million Americans are currently licensed to carry. That number continues to grow.