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National Reciprocity in the Senate

I’m becoming less optimistic about the prospects for National Concealed Carry, mostly because the GOP seems more interested in election year posturing than actually passing anything. In order to actually pass something, it requires cooperation from the Democrats. It must be a bipartisan bill to achieve success.

We had a bill introduced, S. 2188, which started off the gate with bipartisan support, being sponsored by Mark Begich (D-Alaska), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia). Then Senator Vitter and Thune introduced their bill, S. 2213. The Thune bill is identical to the one that failed last time in the Senate, which including a measure to deal with Vermont, allowing Vermonters to carry without a permit in any state. I’d be happy to have this measure, but I think it has a few political problems:

  • It’s not in the House version, so it’ll complicate things in conference.
  • Schumer had a several of votes in his pocket against the identical bill last time. Schumer played a very clever game: he lined up all his no votes, then once it became clear he could defeat the bill, he allowed some of his vulnerable no votes to switch to yes. One of those was our Senator Robert P. Casey Jr. Remember that when he tells you he’s pro-gun this election.

Senator Crapo has pulled his co-sponsorship of S. 2188 and given it to S. 2213. S. 2188 added Senator Tester (D-MT) and Senator Baucus (D-MT). S. 2213 has 29 co-sponsors, but they are all Republicans. Not a single Democrat has signed on to S. 2213. While it’s quite good to have both parties competing for our votes, the end result of this partisan divide is going to be that we don’t get a bill passed. Without cooperation from the Democrats who control the Senate, it’s just not going to happen.

The Republicans are essentially treating gun owners as a hobby horse, to be trotted out and ridden at election time. We had an opportunity for a bipartisan bill, but that’s not the direction the GOP wants to go. Strategically, I think this is a mistake. It would far better benefit the GOP to put a bill on Obama’s desk than it would trying to snipe at a handful of Democrats who the GOP thinks are vulnerable. Perhaps the GOP is worried if they did that, Obama just might be tempted to sign it? I don’t think he can politically, especially not with this Florida thing blowing up on him.

My bet is we get no National Reciprocity bill this Congress.

13 Responses to “National Reciprocity in the Senate”

  1. harp1034 says:

    The Republians think that they can gain control of both the Senate and White House in Nov. Then pass it next year. Don’t bet on it. Incumbents are hard to beat. Obama is not the dummy some people think he is. Come Sept. or Oct. he bomb might Iran or something like it. Don’t count the Democrats out.
    As you say I thgink he would sign with the Zimmerman/Martin thing going on.

  2. Ben Moser says:

    This bill is a no brainer, which is why government will not, cannot pass this bill. Why would doing the right thing, like standarizing a law, making it easier on the gun owner, and law enforcement make sense to the dolts in office ? We wont see this bill or any other meaningful legislation passed in an election year, thats for sure.We the people, and gun owners, and those that carry like Myself are screwed as always !

  3. I could live with either bill but I agree that I just don’t see either version gathering the 60 votes needed for cloture on a fillibuster that would surely come from the anti’s.

    I also agree that this is one issue that really needs both Republicans and Democrats on board. HR 822 was introduced by Cliff Stearns (R-FL) and Heath Shuler (D-NC) and I think that is one reason it based the House in such numbers.

    To those against either bill in NC, I’d just point out that it does for the rest of the country what NC law does now – recognize all CCW permits.

  4. Jacob says:

    This sort of thing is normal. Variations on this bill go back like 15 years.

    • Sage Thrasher says:

      Republicans should have attached national concealed carry as a rider to the health care bill. Seriously.

  5. Alpheus says:

    I have mixed feelings about this. If Obama vetoed the bill, doing so might make it harder, politically, to bring up again later. Thus, the ironic effect of avoiding bi-partainship right now, might be to allow it to be politically feasable in the future.

    Furthermore, since it’s clear that bipartianship is there in the Senate, it’s possible (I hesitate to say “likely”, because seeking to “go it alone” right now might annoy those in Congress now, who want bipartianship on this issue, and they might refuse to play next time) that bipartianship will be available next session as well.

    With regards to incumbants–I would agree that incumbants are difficult to remove, at least for the House and Senate. For the Presidency, I’m not so sure: I remember seeing a recent article that discussed how in this last century, two-thirds of the presidencies didn’t get a second term. While I don’t doubt that Obama will try an “October Surprise” of some sort, it’s also not that clear to me, that Obama has done so much for the country (in a bad way), that it would be difficult for people to vote for him.

    I cannot think of a single thing–up to and including the bombing of Iran–that would scare me enough for me to vote for a second term of Obama. If something like that happens, I’d rather have a new person deal with it!

    Come to think of it, one reason I feel this way, is that my wife this morning was looking at an article from HotAir: “http://hotair.com/archives/2012/03/26/obama-to-medvedev-ill-totally-cave-on-missile-defense-in-my-second-term-if-putin-will-give-me-space/” In that story, Obama (thinking he was off-mike) said that he needed to win the election, so he could have more “wiggle-room” in negotiations.

    As one commenter (quoted in the first quote on page 2) said: “Anyone else have that skin-crawling feeling while reading that?”

    And it’s that creepy skin-crawling feeling that Obama is running against, as much as anything else.

  6. David says:

    This bill was tried before with a president who would have signed it, and, it didn’t happen then. It’s not going to happen now. The only hope is with court victories, like the recent MD case that could make MD shall issue. The pending non resident CO case that could open up more reciprocity in CO.

  7. Ayuh says:

    Great post, thanks for writing it.

    My bet is we get no National Reciprocity bill this Congress.

    I concur, but I think it sets a great precedent. Once Illinois adopts may-issue cc and once a million or two Democrats get their permit/license then it will be a different ball game.

    • NukemJim says:

      ” Once Illinois adopts may-issue cc ” Don’t hold your breath. After this mess in Florida there is no way Illinois is going to pass any CCW shall or may issue.

      Don’t get wrong I would love to be wrong on this, I live in Illinois, but realistically it is not going to happen this year and I doubt it next year either.

      IMHO Illinois’s only hope is a court case.

      NukemJim

  8. N says:

    “The Republicans are essentially treating gun owners as a hobby horse, to be trotted out and ridden at election time.”

    Indeed. Pro-gun laws won’t get passed if gun owners are considered just a part of the Republican coalition, rather than a single-issue bloc. The example on the opposite side would be gay rights, Dems only take baby steps, because really, where else are gay-friendly voters going to go?

    • Sage Thrasher says:

      Makes you wonder how Pink Pistols members ever manage to choose whom to vote for at all.

  9. Sage Thrasher says:

    The old adage “don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good” seems to apply here. Thune & Vitter seem not to understand the lesson. I have no doubts Thune is sincere in what he’s trying to get (using “sincere” and “Vitter” in the same sentence is another matter), but the my-way-or-the-highway routine is getting really old.

  10. factchecker says:

    Why didn’t the republicans pass this when they had the house,senate,wh?

    The trouble with second amendment supporters is that they take things for granted and their money, folks just vote against a few bills with the nra
    and expect to get full support.

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