Over dinner Thursday night with two experts on gun law politics, the subject of media bias against Donald Trump took center stage, and as if to underscore that, Friday morning’s Associated Press story about the president’s scheduled appearance in Atlanta led thusly: “Donald Trump, darling of the National Rifle Association, has custody of the Oval Office.”
Where nine months ago, many gun owners were bracing for a Hillary Clinton presidency filled with gun control, today they are gathering in Atlanta to hear President Trump. He may offer some encouragement for legislation to “make the Second Amendment great again,” as Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, has challenged him to do.
Gottlieb is among an expected 80,000 NRA members who are descending on Atlanta this weekend. He told the Washington Times Thursday, “If I had to grade him based upon everything that’s on his plate that he has to deal with, I’d have to give him an A. There’s no doubt that he calmed the fears of gun owners around the country that the federal government [will] be used as a tool to take their constitutionally protected rights away. I mean, there’s no two ways about that.”
The Associated Press noted that one major issue is concealed carry reciprocity. It was on a list of things Gottlieb proposed last December, and one that the NRA has been pushing for. There is now a bill in Congress to accomplish this, and the gun prohibition lobby is determined to derail it.
John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety, the gun control lobbying group launched by anti-gun billionaire Michael Bloomberg, told the Associated Press, “We’re planning for this never to get to the president’s desk.”
But Feinblatt and his comrades have a serious problem. Many states already have reciprocity agreements with one another. For example, as noted by WSB in Atlanta, Georgia has such an agreement with 32 states. As a result, licenses and permits from those states are recognized in Georgia.
“Those states,” the station reported, “are Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.”
The NRA convention continues through Sunday, and today’s event featuring Trump’s appearance — the first time a sitting president has appeared before the group since Ronald Reagan more than 30 years ago — gets underway at 12:30.