What should be in a 21st Century Firearms Owners’ Protection Act?
United States – -(AmmoLand.com)- In 1986, the Firearms Owners’ Protection Act was passed and signed into law by President Ronald Reagan. It had the effect of greatly reducing the burden on law-abiding citizens who wished to exercise their Second Amendment rights – even though the Hughes Amendment was included. As Duane Liptak said, even though that poison pill was inserted, FOPA was worth it.
Suppose, though, we could get a Firearms Owners’ Protection Act II passed in 2021, assuming President Trump wins re-election, the House of Representatives has pro-Second Amendment leadership, and more pro-Second Amendment Senators are elected. What should be in that bill?
This is one area where setting priorities will be crucial. Legislation like FOPA is hard to get through. In the 2000s, the big fight was short-circuiting the strategy of suing firearms manufacturers into submission to an anti-Second Amendment agenda – an abusive strategy coordinated by Andrew Cuomo two decades ago. That is how we got the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. How important is that legislation? Well, look at the efforts to repeal it, coming from some of the most vocal anti-Second Amendment extremists in Congress.
This upcoming version will not be a complete rollback of laws. A big part will be addressing new threats to our Second Amendment rights, especially from corporate gun control. But there may be other things we can do. Here are a few suggestions for what to include.
Limiting Corporate Gun Control
The recent actions by Salesforce, as well as a number of banks, have now shown that the threats to our Second Amendment rights don’t just come from politicians. What happens in corporate boardrooms can be as devastating. What good is a sweeping Supreme Court ruling if a firearms dealer can’t keep a bank account, acquire insurance, or has the rug pulled out from under them by a software company?
So, what may be vitally important is to prohibit discrimination against the firearms industry and those who are acting in defense of our rights. No, I don’t like the expansion of government power, but with the actions of corporations, it is necessary to do so.
Designating Silicon Valley as Publishers
The recent actions of Silicon Valley have made it clear that they are acting as publishers in pursuit of an agenda. The fact that this agenda is anti-Second Amendment is immaterial. Under Section 230, they only have immunity from liability if they are acting as platforms, not publishers. It’s time to drop the hammer on Silicon Valley’s pro-second-amendment censorship.
Fixing NICS and Overriding State Licensing Laws
Two recent mass shootings took place because disqualifying convictions were not in NICS. This is unacceptable, no matter how you feel about NICS. Think about how much effort we had to spend on defense because of those shootings. Fixing NICS also opens another opportunity – we can use the NICS fixes as a way to wipe out the absurd licensing laws in New Jersey, New York, Illinois, and other states.
Require Pre-Clearance of Gun Control Laws
Kamala Harris has done it again. Earlier, when she came out publicly about owning a gun for self-defense, I argued we should defend her right to do so. She recently said that on an unrelated controversial issue, the Justice Department should be given the power to require states to pre-clear laws relating to that. Well, when it comes to our Second Amendment rights, that is a capital idea, especially in the cases of California, Illinois, and New York.
Concealed Carry Reciprocity
Many anti-Second Amendment extremists often mistakenly claim that firearms licensing and registration is a good idea by citing the way we do it with cars. Skipping the rights vs privileges discussion, our driver’s license is good in all 50 states, so let’s make concealed carry licenses good in all 50 states and the assorted territories.
Second Amendment Guarantee Act
This legislation will work hand-in-hand with the pre-clearance requirement. In areas where federal law speaks, the states should not be able to create a patchwork of stricter laws, especially when people are traveling.
National Firearms Act Reform
These days, a lot of technology has changed, and perhaps it is time for the procedures of the National Firearms Act to be updated. The Hearing Protection Act is just part of what should be included in this. We should also repeal the Hughes Amendment. In addition, if NICS is fixed, then there is no need to have a police chief sign off, nor should there be a months-long wait for approval.
The fact is, we are well overdue for a second Firearms Owners’ Protection Act. It’s time to figure out what we should be pushing for when we get the chance. Lets her what you want to see in FOPA2.0?
About Harold Hutchison
Writer Harold Hutchison has more than a dozen years of experience covering military affairs, international events, U.S. politics and Second Amendment issues. Harold was consulting senior editor at Soldier of Fortune magazine and is the author of the novel Strike Group Reagan. He has also written for the Daily Caller, National Review, Patriot Post, Strategypage.com, and other national websites.