President-elect Donald J. Trump, during his campaign, had a not-so-clearly stated position on guns that supported the Second Amendment, and opposed excessive gun control. Let’s take a look back at his statements, which are not entirely consistent.
In his book, The America We Deserve, published in 2000, he wrote: “I generally oppose gun control, but I support the ban on assault weapons and I support a slightly longer waiting period to purchase a gun. With today’s Internet technology we should be able to tell within 72-hours if a potential gun owner has a record.”
Opposing assault weapons and having a three-day (apparently federal) waiting period is not very conservative. Here, he sounds a lot like many liberal Democrats.
But during the campaign season, he moved more toward the right on gun control.
On concealed carry:
“I have a concealed-carry permit that allows me to carry a concealed weapon. I took the time and the effort to get that permit because the constitutional right to defend yourself doesn’t stop at the end of your driveway. That doesn’t apply just to me either. It applies to all our driveways or front doors.
“That’s why I’m very much in favor of making all concealed-carry permits valid in every state. Every state has its own driving test that residents have to pass before becoming licensed to drive. Those tests are different in many states, but once a state licenses you to drive, every other state recognizes that license as valid.
“If we can do that for driving–which is a privilege, not a right–then surely we can do that for concealed carry, which is a right, not a privilege. That seems logical to me.” [Crippled America, by Donald Trump, p. 110 , Nov 3, 2015]
On gun control:
“Q: Are there any circumstances that you think we should be limiting gun sales of any kind in America?
“TRUMP: No. I am a 2nd amendment person. If we had guns in California on the other side where the bullets went in the different direction, you wouldn’t have 14 or 15 people dead right now.” [Fox Business 2016 Republican 2-tier debate , Jan 14, 2016]
So the question is whether a President Trump will make any changes to federal gun laws? With a Republican controlled House and Senate, he could pass a wide range of different bills. But if he waits too long, the mid-term elections may see Republicans lose control of one or both houses of Congress. So he has two years to act.
He could use Executive Orders, perhaps to speed up approvals for NFA items, or loosen federal interpretation of some gun restrictions.
Another way that Trump could affect gun rights is by appointing a new Supreme Court Justice. This is a tricky decision. Conservative Presidents have been fooled in the past, appointing a judge that thought was conservative, who turned out to be liberal. If he makes a prudent decision, a swing to the right in the court could help shore up gun rights.
As for Veep-elect Mike Pence, he is also conservative on the topic of gun control. See this page at On The Issues.
To my mind, gun rights are a prepping and survival issue because guns are necessary for self-defense. When the SHTF, two things happen in tandem. Criminal violence will increase a great deal. Desperate people do desperate things. And then also, you won’t be able to count on the police to help you, because they will be overwhelmed by the sudden increase in violent crime. So we need laws that enable citizens to defend themselves.
Here’s hoping that Trump and Pence do more than talk about gun rights.