It has now been 46 straight weeks of Mitch McConnell blocking the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act from coming to a vote. Every week, we tell you the latest story of a law-abiding gun owner who gets arrested and caught up in the country's patchwork system of gun laws.
A few weeks ago, I told you the story of Donna Marie Gracey, a 59-year-old Florida woman who was arrested in New Jersey for carrying a pistol in her car. She was pulled over for having "tinted windows." As she was fumbling for her driver's license, the police officer spotted her Florida-issue concealed weapons permit. He then used that as a reason to search the car and eventually found a pistol in her purse.
Her pistol permit was valid in Florida and 36 other states, but New Jersey doesn't recognize her right to bear arms. Now, she is facing multiple felony counts, all because she was exercising her right to bear arms.
Well, now there is another heartbreak story. 28-year-old Haley Leach is a Colorado resident who was vacationing in upstate New York earlier this month. When she showed up to the airport to return home, she started filling out the proper paperwork to declare she would be traveling with a pistol in her checked bag.
She legally owned the pistol. She wasn't a criminal or felon. However, because she did not have a New York-issued pistol or carry permit, she was arrested on the spot for illegally carrying a gun. She has been charged with criminal possession of a weapon, a felony, all because she was trying to take her legally owned pistol back home to Colorado.
None of these tragedies would have occurred if Mitch McConnell and the GOP did their jobs. None of this would have happened if they just passed the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act and put it on Trump's desk!
26% of all Americans live in states like New York and New Jersey that refuse to honor the 2nd Amendment's right to bear arms. These states refuse to issue carry permits to their own citizens and do not honor out of state permits either. Basically, these are 2nd Amendment dead zones.
The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act uses Congress' power under the 14th Amendment to force states to honor out-of-state concealed weapons permits.
When the Founders ratified the 2nd Amendment, they didn't include a caveat that the right to bear arms only exists in your home state. This right, like freedom of speech and the right to a jury trial, exists nationwide.
For far too long, liberal anti-gun states have spit on the Constitution and made it next to impossible for residents to defend themselves in public. Sure, they have a process to apply for a concealed weapons permit, but unless someone is a celebrity or has a dangerous job, it is practically impossible to be approved for a permit.
The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act would change that. States would instantly be required to recognize other states' legally issued permits (even non-resident permits). That means that someone like Donna Marie Grace with a legal Florida carry permit wouldn't be facing decades in prison for bringing her gun into New Jersey. If someone can legally carry a concealed firearm in one state, they would be allowed to do so in every state. They would still need to know each state's self-defense and use-of-force laws, but they would no longer need to disarm when they cross state borders.
The 14th Amendment states that "no state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law..." This was written to force states to recognize the citizenship and rights of newly freed slaves. But it equally applies to the 2nd Amendment as well.
A minority of states are refusing to honor the 2nd Amendment and punishing people for exercising their rights. The 14th Amendment says that when states refuse to respect Americans' liberty, "The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article."
Congress doesn't just need to pass the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, they have a Constitutional obligation to pass it. And you must FORCE them to!
For 46-weeks, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act has collected dust on Mitch McConnell's desk. Actually, by now, he has probably thrown the bill away.
The legislation passed the House with a bipartisan majority, but Paul Ryan seems content with just leaving it in the pile of 300+ other bills that Senate Republicans refuse to vote on. Ryan could have equally added the legislation to a must-pass spending bill to force the Senate to vote on it. But he refuses.
Meanwhile, innocent Americans continue to be arrested and persecuted by liberal states that despise the 2nd Amendment.
There is absolutely no reason for this at all. Congress has the legislation that would end all of these unjust arrests. They have the power to send it to Trump's desk right now. Yes, they would need Democrat support in the Senate, but does anyone actually think that someone Democrats running for re-election in Montana, West Virginia, and North Dakota would dare vote against the 2nd Amendment? There are 10 Democrats up for re-election in states Trump won. We have the votes.
The only thing missing is forcing the GOP leadership to take up the bill.
Our message is clear: a right delayed is a right denied and we will remove anyone -- Republican or Democrat -- who denies citizens their 2nd Amendment rights!
Don't give up!