Tuesday’s opening of the annual Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show comes as gun rights issues are warming up in the states, and Second Amendment activists are all looking ahead to Friday’s inauguration of Donald Trump as president.
At Monday’s annual “Range Day” for firearms journalists, several people talked not so much about Trump in the White House, but what it means to not have Hillary Clinton headed to the Oval Office.
There were lots of “black guns” on the firing line Monday, and no doubt many will be on display over the next four days. The potential for making suppressors (aka “silencers”) more available to consumers by way of federal legislation known as the Hearing Protection Act is getting some attention.
But out in the states, efforts to strengthen gun rights continue. In Virginia, Second Amendment activists gathered in Richmond to push for reform measures, according to WWBT News.
In Iowa, 29 Republican state senators have signed onto a joint resolution proposing an amendment to the state constitution that would affirm an individual right “to acquire, keep, possess, transport, carry, transfer, and use arms to defend life and liberty and for all other legitimate purposes is fundamental and shall not be infringed upon or denied.”
Checking the State Senate roster confirms that not a single Democrat has signed onto Senate Joint Resolution 2. The proposal also states that, “Mandatory licensing, registration, or special taxation as a condition of the exercise of this right is prohibited, and any other restriction shall be subject to strict scrutiny.”
Republicans control the Senate 29-21, with 20 Democrats and one independent, David Johnson.
According to KIMT News, Iowa is one of six states without a specific right to bear arms provision in its state constitution. SJR2 appears designed to correct that and make it difficult for anti-gunners to erode the right through legislation or local regulation.
If SJR2 is adopted, it will be referred to the next general assembly for adoption a second time before being submitted to Iowa voters for ratification, so the proposal has a ways to go before it could become a reality.
Some of the journalists at Range Day suggested that it will be time for the Supreme Court, with a renewed conservative majority — depending upon Trump’s pick to fill the vacancy left by Antonin Scalia’s death last year — to take up right to carry. A strong ruling on that issue could rein in anti-gunners in states such as New Jersey, Maryland and California.
Tuesday night’s annual “State of the Industry” dinner will likely be a celebratory affair.