Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Gun-Rights Backers Vow to 'Go on Offense' during Trump Years

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Gun-Rights Backers Vow to 'Go on Offense' during Trump Years

Article excerpt

IOWA CITY, Iowa * Firearms enthusiasts who embraced Donald Trump's campaign and his full-throated support of the Second Amendment are expecting a sweeping expansion of gun rights under his administration and a Congress firmly in Republican hands.

Among their priorities: eliminating gun-free zones at schools, reducing requirements for background checks and ensuring that concealed carry handgun permits from one state are recognized everywhere in the U.S.

"This is our historic moment to go on offense and to defeat the forces that have aligned against our freedom once and for all," Wayne LaPierre, chief executive of the National Rifle Association, said in a video after the Nov. 8 election. "The individual right to carry a firearm in defense of our lives and our families does not and should not end at any state line."

In pursuing their agenda, the gun lobby and its GOP supporters could find themselves at odds with two other tenets of Republican orthodoxy: states' rights and local control.

"It would be ironic to see conservatives who long have professed a belief in states' rights override states' choices in this area," said Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the University of California Irvine School of Law.

One of the NRA's paramount goals is getting Congress to pass a law requiring all states to recognize concealed-carry handgun permits issued by any other state. Currently, many permit holders must leave their weapons at home when traveling or risk violating other states' laws.

Trump endorsed the idea during the campaign, but it is likely to face intense opposition from Democrats in states with tight gun restrictions, including California and the president-elect's home state of New York.

States make their own judgments on who should be allowed to have a concealed carry permit, and eligibility requirements vary.

Many law enforcement organizations warn the change would mean encountering more guns during traffic stops and in tourist areas. They also say there is no way to easily check the validity of an out- of-state firearm permit because there is no nationwide database. …

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