Something pretty remarkable is happening: the Democratic leadership has actually given their party members permission to vote for pro-gun legislation. While blowhards like Dianne Feinstein continue to push for an Assault Weapon Ban, and there are even some Republican Congressmen dumb enough to get on board, Chuck Schumer doesn't want his party to make a serious push for gun control.
Schumer sees the writing on the wall. There are Democrat Senators up for re-election in Wisconsin, Florida, West Virginia, Indiana, Ohio, North Dakota, Montana, and Missouri. Not only are they all states that Trump won in 2016, but they are all states that believe in the right to bear arms. There is no chance of a Democrat winning in any of those states if they vote against the right to carry, so Schumer gave them permission to vote for nationwide concealed carry reciprocity.
It takes 60 votes in the Senate to pass the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act. 52 Republicans plus 8 vulnerable Democrats gets us to the magic number. And we already know that if the bill was put to a vote in the House today, it would pass.
Instead, Paul Ryan is blocking the bill from coming to the floor. He told Conservative House members earlier this month that if they wanted to pass a gun rights bill, they would have to replace concealed carry reciprocity with more onerous gun control provisions. When Conservatives said no, Paul Ryan effectively killed the bill.
Luckily, it is not up to him. There is a way around his sabotage...
Paul Ryan doesn't get the final say. The Founding Fathers knew a day might come when one person would block legislation from coming to a vote. So, they created a process to let Congress bypass the Speaker of the House and force a vote on legislation. It is called a "Discharge Petition" and there is a similar process in the Senate as well.
218 signatures onto a Discharge Petition would require that Paul Ryan schedule a vote. Right now, the bill itself has 213 people formally signed on as co-sponsors. When you include other people like Steve Scalise, who actually authored last year's version of the bill, there are more than enough supporters in the House to get this bill to the floor.
A discharge petition is a last-ditch strategy. It is used only in the most extreme circumstances. This is one of them.
We have waited long enough. We have the votes in the House to pass this. With so many vulnerable Democrats up for re-election, we have the leverage to push this through the Senate. And Conservatives are starting to break with their party and demand action.
In early September, Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) signed on as a co-sponsor of the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act. This is important because he is the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, the man who will ultimately decide whether this concealed carry bill passes through the committee. Yet, Paul Ryan is putting on the brakes and refusing to let the bill move forward.
Other Congressmen are also starting to get tired of Paul Ryan carrying the Democrats' water. Representative Thomas Massie (R-KY) recently admitted that Ryan told him personally that he was blocking concealed carry reciprocity because "he didn't think the timing was right."
This is a big deal. The fact that Congressmen are starting to publicly go after Paul Ryan for blocking this is a huge sign. If they are willing to publicly shame him on television and radio, then they are more than capable of signing a petition to force a vote!
The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act operates on a simple principle: If you are allowed to carry a concealed weapon for self-defense in one state, then you should be allowed to do so in every state. The 2nd Amendment protects an individual right to bear arms for self defense. That right, like the right to free speech or to practice religion, applies nationwide. For far too long, anti-gun politicians have chipped away at the 2nd Amendment. More than a quarter of all Americans live in states where the laws don't even allow for people to carry firearms in public. The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act would put a stop to all of this injustice.
If someone lives in an anti-gun state that ignores their 2nd Amendment rights, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act would allow them to obtain a non-resident carry permit from states like Utah or Florida and use it to carry in all 50 states. This would dismantle more than a century of unconstitutional anti-gun laws.
This is the biggest gun rights bill ever to be introduced in Congress. It would restore the 2nd Amendment's right to bear arms to the 26.15% of Americans who are having that right infringed upon and it would ensure that all law-abiding Americans have the right to carry nationwide.
The votes are there to pass it in the House and the the fact that there are more than eight Democrat Senators up for re-election next year in pro-gun Red states means the leverage exists to push it through the Senate.
Unfortunately, one man - Paul Ryan - is blocking this common sense bill from moving forward.
It is time to push Paul Ryan aside! Don't let him get away with this!
No more waiting.