The Second Amendment in the 116th Congress

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Every two years, we get a new Congress. That means the political terrain is changing with regards to our Second Amendment rights – at the federal level. So, as the 116th Congress is seated, it’s time to take a sober look at what the new Congress means for our rights.

The House of Representatives will be controlled by the Democrats, while the Senate will see an increased margin for the Republicans. This means that the 116th Congress will be a mixed bag for Second Amendment supporters. There will be good news and bad news for both the long-term and short-term outlooks over the next two years. Let’s take a closer look at each of the chambers.

House of Representatives

The Democrats controlling the House of Representatives show a universal lack of respect for our Second Amendment rights. The top leaders have all been avowed opponents of our rights. Jerrold Nadler, who will chair the House Judiciary Committee, is as anti-Second Amendment as Charles Schumer, only he isn’t quite as addicted to being in front of TV cameras.

We can write off any pro-Second Amendment legislation from passing here barring one of two factors: It is either included in must-pass legislation, or it is part of a deal for something else on the agenda of Pelosi and company. For the short term, we will not see any pro-Second Amendment legislation pass, and anti-Second Amendment legislation will be promoted.

That short-term hit will be tough, but it will also expose what those who want to take away our rights see as the most important. That knowledge can help us come up with strategies and tactics to blunt their efforts – or defeat them outright.

It will be a tough two years, but if Second Amendment supporters do their jobs, it will only be for two years. Many of the House races were close, and better effort (and good candidates) could very well flip these seats from reliable votes to take away our rights, to reliable votes to defend our rights.

United States Senate

The biggest gain for Second Amendment supporters is the fact that the GOP picked up a net of two Senate seats. Now, while it is disappointing that Jon Tester and Sherrod Brown won re-election, and Martha McSally’s arrival is as an appointed replacement for Jon Kyl as opposed to defeating Kyrsten Sinema, this still means that the judicial confirmation machine is going to run smoothly.

This is the long-term gain that Second Amendment supporters will get in this Congress. The judges that get confirmed will be extremely likely to uphold our Second Amendment rights. This will provide a future bulwark should an anti-Second Amendment president take office. For instance, the Seventh Circuit may be where we can force the Supreme Court to finally hear cases on semi-auto bans.

Also, while the Democrat-controlled House will be pushing anti-Second Amendment legislation, all 53 Republican Senators have either good track records, or have expressed support for our Second Amendment rights. Gun-control bills will, barring very drastic unforeseen events, be DOA in the Senate over the short term.

Preserving this majority in the 2020 elections will be almost as important in preserving our Second Amendment rights as ensuring President Trump’s re-election. As long as Trump (or any other pro-Second Amendment president) and a pro-Second Amendment Senate are nominating judges, the Second Amendment’s long-term future will be assured.

The 116th Congress will have its share of challenges, but there will also be great opportunities for Second Amendment supporters. It will just be a matter of seizing them.


Harold Hu, chison

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.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Constitutional rights are not negotiable among politicians..Either they respect them or not ,according to whom they serve…

  2. We are the only country in the world that has a Second Amendment.
    There has never been a government that banned it’s own ARMED FORCES from “Keeping and Bearing” ARMS.
    Find one government in the history of humanity that felt a need to document a “RIGHT” for it’s ARMED FORCES to possess ARMS.
    Oppressive Governments are ALWAYS banning the People’S RIGHTS to arms.
    The claim that the Founding Fathers wrote the 2nd Amendment to give Our ARMED FORCES a “right” to keep and carry ARMS is S-T-U-P-I-D.
    The only reason for the Second Amendment is to clearly spell-out the GOD GIVEN RIGHT of INDIVIDUALS to keep & bear ARMS.
    The only reason for the BILL(list) of RIGHTS was to codify INDIVIDUALS’ GOD GIVEN RIGHTS.
    Has there ever been a government that was not chock full of it’s “rights” up to and including declaring itself to be the Lord God Almighty?! (Rome, Egypt, Israel,etc)
    Does the 1st Amendment mean the GOVERNMENT is allowed to give speeches? Try shutting up any Politician. But THEY would LOVE to shut YOU up, hence the FIRST Amendment.
    Anyone who tells you the 2nd Amendment applies to the Army or State Militia, is telling you they think you are STUPID.
    There has NEVER been a government that felt it had to codify it’s army’s/soldier’s “RIGHT” to “Keep and BEAR ARMS” because there has NEVER been a government that refused to allow It’s own soldiers to KEEP and BEAR ARMS!
    The Second Amendment was written for the People, like the other 9 Amendments in the Bill of Rights. This was confirmed by the SCOTUS in the DC vs Heller decision, where they stated that the “People” in the Second Amendment were the same “People” that are mentioned in the First and Fourth Amendment.
    The 2nd Amendment clearly codifies the “right of the PEOPLE to keep and bear arms”, and certainly not “the Militia”.
    Why would “the Militia”, a type of army manned by citizen-soldiers as opposed to full-time “regulars”, need a constitutional amendment to guarantee they have the right “to keep and bear arms”?
    Is there any specific statement anywhere in the Constitution that the army Congress is empowered to raise has the “right to keep and bear arms”? Of course not. …………. That is assumed.

    the 2nd amendment,, specifies that the RIGHT to bear arms is the right of the people,, NOT the militia,,,, it is the people who will make up the militia,, but the right is not the right of a “well regulated militia” it is the right of the people, We the people were BORN WITH INALIENABLE RIGHTS, meaning they come from GOD.

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