Are Republicans Delaying National Concealed Carry Reciprocity To Sabotage Vulnerable Democrats?

By , in Guns on .

Recently, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 advanced out of the House Judiciary committee on a 19-11 vote, on its way to an eventual floor vote:

National reciprocity for concealed carry passed the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday is expected to receive a floor vote before the end of the year.

The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 was introduced by Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC) on January 3, 2017. It changes federal law that so concealed carry permits are treated like driver’s licenses, making a permit from one state valid in the other 49. This would fix the complicated and often confusing patchwork of concealed carry laws currently in effect throughout the country.

And while Breitbart believes the full House floor will vote on CCW Reciprocity by year end, many (including myself) thought a vote was imminent when the bill was first introduced in February.  And still, the year is almost over, and legislation has been delayed to the point where the bill is just now coming out of committee.

Why has it even taken this long to advance the bill?

While some have stated that House Speaker Paul Ryan is blocking a CCW Reciprocity vote…

“Why haven’t we seen movement over either 38 or 2909 since the horrific events in Virginia?” Walters asked, noting the Republicans control the House and the Senate and both Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell appear to be blocking bills advancing the right to keep and bear arms.

“You know what?” Massie replied, “The Speaker told me he didn’t think the timing was right. And I think this is the exact timing to bring this bill.”

…I alluded to a different possibility on a recent episode of the Free Market Shooter Podcast; that Ryan, McConnell, and other Congressional Republicans could be deliberately delaying the vote.

Why would they be doing this?  Simple – to put vulnerable Senate Democrats on the spot right before the 2018 elections.

As I’ve covered in the past, the Senate election map in 2018 is extremely unfavorable for Democrats:

Bloomberg is going to devote his resources to gun control’s last possible avenue of opposition – the Senate.  Currently Republicans hold a 52-48 majority, which is not enough to meet the threshold to overcome a filibuster, however, the last time a CCW reciprocity bill went before the Senate in 2013, the vote count was 57-43.  

Of the 33 who voted against but are still in office, five in particular are in states that elected Trump, and presumably could be flipped in 2018:

The map is far worse for Democrats in 2018.  There are 34 seats up for reelection, and Republicans are only defending 9 of them.  Republicans have two “close” races, while Democrats have nine.

Senators Jon Tester (D-MT), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Joe Manchin (D-WV)

And again, it is important to mention that it is extremely difficult for a Democrat to win a Senate election in a “red” state…

…there has to be at least some moderation on a few key issues to attract Republicans.

Some notable examples are:

  • North Dakota’s Heidi Heitkamp: has an “A” rating from the NRA, supports the Keystone XL pipeline, and votes with President Trump’s positions 51% of the time
  • Indiana’s Joe Donnelly: has an “A” rating from the NRA, considered “pro-life”, and is a staunch supporter of defense spending
  • West Virginia’s Joe Manchin: “identifies” as “pro-life”, co-sponsored Republican balanced budged amendments, and was the only Democrat to support the Energy Tax Prevention Act

…as all three of the above Democrats voted for CCW Reciprocity in 2013.

Perhaps the Republican delay was part of a bigger plan to pit Nelson, McCaskill, Brown, Baldwin, and Casey against a number of their constituents who care deeply about CCW Reciprocity.

It is important to note that this is just a hypothesis of mine; Ryan and McConnell have in the past displayed extremely weak leadership on gun rights. In particular, Paul Nehlen, a primary challenger of Paul Ryan’s, has been deeply critical of Ryan’s inability to advance more gun rights legislation in Congress:

Indeed, if history is any measure, Ryan and McConnell will find themselves unable and/or unwilling to pass this legislation – we won’t know for sure until it actually comes up for a vote.  However, it is worth considering the possibility that the Republican party could have been playing an elaborate game of rope-a-dope for the purpose of putting vulnerable Senate Democrats on the spot in their re-election campaigns.

If that is the case, Democrats will be put in the difficult position of either 1) voting against their own party platform, or 2) making their re-election campaigns significantly more difficult by alienating CCW holders.  Given their behavior towards gun owners in recent years, they will certainly deserve whatever fate a CCW Reciprocity vote would bring them.