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Gun Rights in 2017: A Year in Review

As 2017 draws to a close, it’s the ideal time to evaluate what happened throughout the year with regard to gun rights.

During 2017, there were several victories and some setbacks when it came to Second Amendment rights. On the federal level, there were many positive movements, while gun rights on the state level saw some mixed results.

Ban on Bump Stocks

After the mass shooting during the Route 9, 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas, there was a renewed focus on banning bump stocks on all levels, federal, state and local.

There were four federal bills that ranged from adding bump stocks to the existing National Firearms Act control all the way to complete bans. Only one measure made it past the committee level, this being the H.R. 38. It is a national concealed carry reciprocity bill.

On the state level, there were eight states that tried to pass sweeping prohibitions. Gun rights advocates in many of these cases felt the ban was too broad, including most semi-auto firearms. Thankfully, only the state of Massachusetts was able to ban the devices outright, joining New York and California in banning bump stock devices.

Changes in Campus Carry Laws

The right to carry on campuses across America made several notable expansions throughout the year.

In Georgia, Governor Nathan Deal signed House Bill 280 into law. This allows permit holders to carry their firearm at “any public technical school, vocational school, college or university or other public institution of post-secondary education.”

Kansas and Arkansas created measures that will invalidate existing gun-free zones in certain state-operated schools. The state of Texas went even further by expanding campus carry to their community colleges.

Unfortunately, 2017 didn’t bring only good news for campus carry laws. California Governor Jerry Brown removed the already limited allowance that was currently enjoyed in the state. In addition, Bill 424 was signed near the end of the year in October — removing the right for a school district superintendent to give special permission to a specific person to carry on campus. Therefore, 2017 was a mixed bag for campus carry laws.

National Reciprocity

Sliding through the House early in December with a vote of 231-198, was H.R. 38. This bill was viewed positively by the trade and gun industries, for the most part. However, there were some on the right who weren’t exactly overjoyed with the measure due to the presence of some language that required expanded reporting to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System on prohibited firearms.

The Senate reciprocity bill, S.446 is still languishing in the Committee on the Judiciary, where it has remained since February.

Social Security And Gun Ownership

President Trump signed a repeal in March that ended the Obama-era rule that would have prohibited some Social Security recipients from owning firearms. This move was, of course, applauded by pro-Second Amendment organizations and civil liberties groups alike.

The above are just a few of the legal moves that were made on both the state and federal levels with regard to gun rights throughout 2017. Hopefully, 2018 will bring more positive developments.

~ Firearm Daily


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