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Two Years Later: NRA Failed to Pass Its Top Federal Priorities During President Trump’s First Two Years in Office, Despite Controlling Both Chambers of Congress

January 2, 2019

Moms Demand Action Volunteers, Gun Safety Advocates Made Over 50,000 Calls to Congress, Urging Them to Reject the NRA’s Top Legislative Priority, Concealed Carry Reciprocity

The Bill to Roll Back Silencer Safety Laws Stalled After It Was Revealed That Silencer Lobbyists Wrote the Legislation

NEW YORK Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today released the following statement on the eve of the 116th Congress on the NRA’s failure to pass its top legislative priorities during the first two years of Donald Trump’s presidency. Despite having a Republican majority in both chambers of Congress, the NRA was unable to pass its top legislative priorities, concealed carry reciprocity and legislation to roll back silencer safety laws, due in large part to the activism by Moms Demand Action volunteers and gun violence survivors.


“After spending record amounts to elect a friendly President and Congress, the NRA went into 2017 with high hopes. Two years later, the NRA’s perfect storm has turned into a Category 5 disaster: its top federal priorities — concealed carry reciprocity and deregulating silencers — have gone nowhere, midterm voters rejected its candidates, and its political forecast for 2019 is even stormier.”

The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 was a dangerous, NRA-backed policy that would have gutted every state’s gun laws and made our communities less safe. Right now, every state sets its own rules for who can carry a hidden, loaded handgun in public. There is no national standard for who can concealed carry in public, and rather than create a uniform standard, concealed carry reciprocity would’ve forced every state to accept the concealed carry standards of the states with the weakest laws (including states that allow concealed carry without a permit), effectively turning the weakest link into the law of the land.

Starting in December 2016, Moms Demand Action volunteers across the country set out to defeat concealed carry reciprocity and legislation that would roll back silencer safety laws. By making phone calls, collecting and delivering hundreds of thousands of postcards, attending town hall meetings, meeting with their elected officials and more, Moms Demand Action volunteers used their grassroots strength to defeat these dangerous priorities.

When the House of Representatives voted for concealed carry reciprocity in December 2017, it ignored opposition from law enforcement, the public and editorial boards across the country in order to pass the “Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017.” However, a deeper dive into the House vote made clear that the bill was was doomed to failure in the Senate:

  • In 2011, concealed carry reciprocity (H.R. 822) passed the House by a 118-vote margin. When the House voted in 2017, with roughly the same partisan makeup, “concealed carry reciprocity” (H.R. 38) passed by just a 33-vote margin — a difference of 85 votes.
  • More than twice as many Republicans voted NO (14) than Democrats voted YES (6).
  • 18 House members who voted for “concealed carry reciprocity” in 2011 voted against it in 2017.
  • Shortly following the House vote, Sens. Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Tom Udall (D-NM) and Mark Warner (D-VA) all said that they would against “concealed carry reciprocity,” after previously voting for it in 2013.

Further cementing the NRA’s failure at the federal level, in December the Department of Justice issued its final rule to prohibit the production, sale, and possession of bump stocks by categorizing them as machine guns, and when the Department of Education issued its school safety report, the commission advocated for gun safety policies like Red Flag laws (a policy the NRA has routinely fought against in the states) and safe storage of firearms.

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