Donald Trump holds up a replica flintlock rifle awarded to him by cadets during the Republican Society Patriot Dinner at the Citadel Military College in Charleston, South Carolina, on February 22, 2015. RICHARD ELLIS/GETTY

Trump Could Be The Most Pro-Gun President In History

It’s impossible to overstate the importance of the election of Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton in last week’s presidential election when it comes to the Second Amendment. The Constitutional right to keep and bear arms dodged a bullet when Hillary was defeated. Clinton’s views on gun rights are well known; she supports an “Assault Weapons” ban, opposes the Heller v D.C. decision, wants to repeal the immunity firearms manufacturers have when a criminal misuses their produts, wants to set up a federal registry of all handguns, and supports closing loopholes that don’t exist. If Hillary had won, the Supreme Court would have been stacked against gun rights for a generation. The push to ratify the UN Arms Trade Treaty would have picked up steam, and she certainly would have used all executive power available to limit Americans’ right to defend themselves.

History has shown that just because a Republican president is in office doesn’t mean our Second Amendment rights will be protected. Reagan did, after all, sign a ban on civilians buying new automatic weapons, and Bush Sr. banned foreign-made “assault rifles.” Mr. Trump, himself, has made some comments which might irk firearms owners. That said, he could go down in history as the most pro-gun president of all time.

On his first day in office President Trump could use his executive authority to repeal the ban on carrying a firearm on military installations and recruitment centers. The U.S. Department of Defense issued a directive in February 1992 affecting the carrying of firearms on bases by military personnel. That directive was eventually implemented in March 1993, two months after President Bill Clinton assumed office, turning military bases into gun free zones. This nonsensical policy allowed Nidal Hasan to murder 13 and injure 32 others at Fort Hood in 2009 and Aaron Alexis to kill 12 at the Washington Navy Yard shooting in 2013. If active duty members of the military can’t be trusted with loaded weapons, then who can? Mr. Trump’s campaign website lists the repeal of this restriction as one of his top priorities and he could keep his campaign promise with the simple stroke of a pen.

For years, President Obama has blocked by way of executive order the re-importation of thousands of historically significant firearms that the United States left behind after the Korean War. While not a campaign pledge, it is certain that President Trump would sign into law the Collectible Firearms Protection Act which would allow law-abiding US citizens to return home wildly popular and historic M1 Garand rifles and M1 carbines as well as M1911 pistols and other historic firearms that have been used by the US military overseas.

Although it is doubtful that any meaningful reforms or repeals of the National Firearms Act will be passed, even by a Republican controlled Congress, the removal of suppressors from NFA restrictions is one change that will likely make it to President Trump’s desk to sign into law. Restricting a hearing safety device was one of the dumbest things ever done under the Administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt (and that’s saying a lot). The Hearing Protection Act will be re-submitted next congressional session and has wide support within the Republican Party. This is common sense gun legislation that would allow gun owners to better protect their hearing and we can surely expect President Trump to sign it into law.

Perhaps the most significant reform Donald Trump has proposed to firearms legislation and the one most likely to impact ordinary Americans is full nationwide reciprocity of concealed carry permits. Mr. Trump has said many times that self-defense is a right which should not end either at your doorstep nor when you cross state lines. Unlike driving, which is a privilege, Americans do not enjoy the automatic right to carry concealed outside their home state. Currently a patchwork of agreements between individual states extend this right, but it is not universal and changes constantly. There have been many cases of otherwise lawful gun owners being arrested and incarcerated for the “crime” of accidentally carrying their firearm into a state which restricts their rights. President-elect Trump made it a campaign promise to sign into law national right to carry legislation. This act would essentially abolish “good cause” restrictions and other burdensome requirements placed by many “may issue” states and localities by allowing US citizens to carry with a permit issued by any US state as well as protect the rights of travelling citizens from Constitutional Carry states which do not require any permit to exercise Second Amendment rights.

These four measures on their own would make President Trump the most pro-gun president in recent memory. Firearms ownership was under constant attack by the Obama administration, either through demagoguery, threats of punitive gun control measures or executive actions. The highlight of the Bush Jr. years was the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act which, although incredibly important in protecting firearms manufacturers, changed almost nothing for gun owners, the Clinton years gave us the now expired Assault Weapons Ban. Even going back to the elder Bush’s administration we don’t see any major expansion of gun rights at the federal level. The last landmark piece of gun related legislation to (mostly) expand Second Amendment rights was the Firearm Owners’ Protection Act signed into law by President Reagan in 1986. While this law had many positive aspects, such as the “safe passage” provision and a federal ban on firearms registries a last minute amendment now infamously known as the Hughes Amendment effectively banned the sale of new automatic weapons to law abiding civilians.

While impressive in their own right and definitely a positive shift in gun politics, especially nationwide reciprocity of concealed carry permits, President Trump could go down in history as the most pro-gun president due to the importance of the Supreme Court in defining the scope of the Second Amendment. Ever since the high court’s ruling in Heller v DC that the Second Amendment applies to individuals irrespective of service in a militia and its subsequent incorporation onto the States in McDonald v. Chicago the Court has left open the question of how far Second Amendment rights go. The Court has yet to rule on whether the right to bear arms extends outside the home, whether bans on “assault rifles” and “high capacity” magazines are lawful, and whether the States may require justifications for the issuance of concealed carry permits.

Donald Trump has promised to appoint Supreme Court justices who will “uphold the Second Amendment.” If his campaign rhetoric is to be believed then this means not just uphold the status quo, but radically broaden the meaning of the Second Amendment as it applies to individuals. This fundamental shift in exactly how far the Second Amendment goes is not breathing in new meaning to the Constitution, but rather clarifying what the Foundering Fathers meant when they said “shall not be infringed.” President Trump has the opportunity to appoint traditional textualist jurists who will restore the original meaning to the Second Amendment and enshrine Trump as the most pro-gun president in American history.


  1. Haha trump supported Bill Clinton gun control plan Obama gun control plan assault rifle ban and want to bring back stop and frisk and take guns away but he pro- second amendment right don’t believe it . Trump also promised to stop gun violence in black community’s how will he do that gun control

    • The stop and frisk like you stated would be the plan. Gun control wouldn’t do anything they know gangs already have guns. He’s also changed his views on abortion but he’s attacking that now. Like he said he would.

    • “stop gun violence in black community” – easy make sure the good law abiding people that are victims of violent crime are trained and have the tools for self defense.

  2. Cool. When and where can I buy an all-original Browning Automatic Rifle?

    Just for safe keeping. Not gonna go all Bonnie and Clyde on the world or anything.

  3. A good article. A couple of minor issues should be fixed. I think the author means “cannot be overstated”, when he writes “understated”. I believe he meant “shall not be infringed” instead of “shall not be restricted”.

  4. Trump DOUBLES DOWN on joining Democrats for no-fly no-buy gun list! » The Right Scoop –

    If the government can revoke your right to access firearms simply because it has decided to place you on a secret, notoriously inaccurate list, it could presumably restrict your other rights in a similar manner. You could be forbidden from advocating for causes you believe in, or associating with like-minded activists; your right against intrusive, unreasonable searches could be suspended. And you would have no recourse: The government could simply declare that, as a name on a covert list, you are owed no due process at all.

    President Obama and Hillary Clinton are wrong to think that arbitrary lists are a valid and legal means of stripping Americans of their gun rights.

    It would be nice if the Republican Party had chosen as its standard-bearer someone who could articulate the conservative case for the Second Amendment and due process. Instead, it chose Trump. Now gun rights will be in jeopardy, no matter which of the two charlatans currently seeking the presidency prevails.

    reason .com

    • The current “no-fly” list is a mockery. It needs to be radically revamped and appointment of federal judges that actually can read and understand our Bill of Rights is the best case cure of this problem.


        If you are one that believes the Supreme Court is the final arbiter of what
        is lawful and constitutional, then you have believed a lie and a myth that
        Jefferson warned about. The States still retain their rights to this day to defy
        the federal judiciary, which has become an oligarcy. We just need strong
        statesmen as governors and legislatures to make that stand!

        In writing to William Jarvis, Jefferson said, “You seem . . .
        to consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions;
        a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the
        despotism of an oligarchy.”

        The germ of dissolution of our federal government is in the constitution of the federal Judiciary; an irresponsible body (for impeachment is scarcely a scare-crow) working like gravity by night and by day, gaining a little today and a little tomorrow, and advancing its noiseless step like a thief, over the field of jurisdiction, until all shall be usurped.”

        • Yes, I understand that issue. However, today we have states like CA, NJ, NY, WA, IL … that obviously trample on the civil rights of their citizens. The SCOTUS is the only solution short of civil war to stop such infringement. With a few very highly populated cities, the state elections are controlled by a very select segment of the population. Things like the Senate and Electoral College seem to not go nearly far enough to give equal representation.

          • The “supreme court” makes NO “decisions” ….

            they only tender the “majority opinion” and the “dissenting opinion” …. no more, no less.The “court” is SPECIFICALLY FORBIDDEN THE MAKING OF LAW … as is the “executive branch” … ONLY “congress” may make, or un-make, “Law” … and then, IF AND ONLY IF, the “legislation” is in FULL ACCORD with the Constitution.

    • Actually, the republican party did NOT choose the Donald. He was chosen by the people. The ‘party’ apparatchik disavowed him, but they and the rest of the world were shocked by the vote of disapproval of not only the democrat/socialist party but the establishment GOP as well. The people are fed up with business as usual in DC, where lobbyists control congress, and congress weenies are only interested in fund-raising to feather their nest, and winning the next election at any cost.

  5. Trump Releases His Plan for 2nd Amendment… Leaves Millions Furious..

    Trump proposed a national right to carry, a national concealed carry reciprocity law that would compel states to recognize the concealed carry permits of any other state, exactly as drivers licenses from anywhere are accepted by all states today.
    Is the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act Constitutional – Its a Trojan Horse..
    The bill is a dastardly trick and a Trojan horse for institutionalizing licenses, permits, national ID cards, etc.
    And the end game of all those licenses, permits, national ID cards and such is eventual confiscation of all arms. And after that extermination.

    Here is the 2014 edition:

    Also, the federal government has no constitutional authority to make ANY laws dictating who may and who may not carry arms; or under what circumstances people may and may not carry arms across State borders! Arms control of the people is not an enumerated power!

    video on arms, here it is:

    State concealed carry laws which require a “permit” is an idea crafted in the pits of he ll. The real purpose is to register gun owners! People think it is so cool to have a permit for concealed carry – they don’t understand that it is like the free sample of heroin.

    • This bill is necessary and is long over due. Now, all of the “sky is falling” in your post is all possible but not more likely because of this bill. And, likely a lot less reasonable as a result. With more and more states going to unlicensed carry makes such predictions even less likely.

  6. The more that I see Trump’s actions rather than the press’s view of his speech, the better I feel.
    I think he is a person that can take a second or third look at the facts and change course based on logic and fact, not political agenda.

  7. Dear NRA…..
    Stop “negotiating” excuses to INFRINGE on OUR RIGHTS.

    If there must be background checks, let’s try this idea…
    Are there any ‘legislators’ that are interested in a Constitutional Background Check?

    Since SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED means exactly that..

    Let’s try a “Background Check” that DOES NOT INFRINGE on anybodies RIGHTS…
    A FULL, IN DEPTH background check for ALL Politicians, Bureaucrats, and ALL
    government employees, and set MINIMAL INTELLIGENCE, JOB SKILLS AND CHARACTER QUALITIES that must be met before they can run for office, be appointed or hired.

    That way, WE, THE PEOPLE, get a much better class of politicians and bureaucrats, as well as EMPLOYEES that can be trained to do the jobs they are being hired for.

    Any bets on how hard the political class will fight to prevent it?

    THAT would be a Background Check that nearly ALL AMERICAN CITIZENS will support and I don’t much care if the illegals and their sycophants don’t like the idea.

  8. …”in history”? Come on. And George Washington was soft on guns? Several of the founding fathers were incredibly pro-gun ownership by the common citizen. A number of presidents since then have been sufficiently pro-gun to compare to Washington. And besides, Trump’s actual stance is yet to be tested.

    • Trump Vows to Trash the Constitution..
      Pence has it wrong: The US Constitution and the Quran/Sharia are conflicting Documents..

      There you have it. Trump freely admits that he won’t let the Constitution
      and its pesky limits on government power get in the way of his agenda.

      The idea that the Constitution “is not a suicide pact” has always been the
      last refuge for the worst sort of censors, warmongers, and authoritarians
      throughout U.S. history. Just think about all the ways in which this line of
      thinking might be used to obliterate constitutional rights:

      Mr. President, you can’t declare war unilaterally. That power resides in Congress. “The Constitution is not a suicide pact.”

      Mr. President, you can’t censor the internet. “The Constitution is not a suicide pact.”

      Mr. President, you can’t forcibly shutter houses of worship. “The Constitution is not a suicide pact.”

      Mr. President, you can’t outlaw the private ownership of guns. “The Constitution is not a suicide pact.”

      Mr. President, you can’t take private property for public use without paying just compensation. “The Constitution is not a suicide pact.”

      Mr. President, you can’t order American forces to commit acts of torture and
      other war crimes. “The Constitution is not a suicide pact.”

      Congratulations, Republicans. This is your presumptive nominee for the presidency of the United States.

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