Firearms enthusiasts who backed Donald Trump’s campaign and his full-throated support of the Second Amendment are expecting a sweeping expansion of gun rights under his administration and a Republican Congress, the Associated Press reports. Among their priorities: eliminating gun-free zones at schools, reducing requirements for background checks, and ensuring that concealed carry handgun permits from one state are recognized everywhere in the U.S. “This is our historic moment to go on offense and to defeat the forces that have aligned against our freedom once and for all,” says National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre. “The individual right to carry a firearm in defense of our lives and our families does not and should not end at any state line.”
The gun lobby’s GOP supporters could find themselves at odds with the Republican tenets of states’ rights and local control. “It would be ironic to see conservatives who long have professed a belief in states’ rights override states’ choices in this area,” said Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the University of California Irvine School of Law. A paramount NRA goal is getting Congress to require states to recognize concealed-carry handgun permits issued by any other state. Now, many permit holders leave their weapons at home when traveling to avoid violating other states’ laws. The NRA says permits should be treated like driver’s licenses. Trump endorsed the idea, but it will face opposition from Democrats in states with tight gun restrictions, including California and New York. States make their own judgments on concealed carry permits. Their eligibility requirements vary based on an applicant’s criminal history, age, and training. Police warn the change would mean seeing more guns during traffic stops and in tourist areas. With no national database, there is no way to easily check the validity of an out-of-state firearm permit.