Independence Day is a time for everyone in the United States to celebrate this country’s proud history and reflect on how it came to be. For Second Amendment activists, part of that reflection should focus on our accomplishments so far and the long road ahead of us in preserving our constitutionally guaranteed right to keep and bear arms.
First, the successes. On the first of this month, Florida became the 26th state to decriminalize permitless concealed carry by law-abiding citizens, soon to be followed by North Dakota next month. Around 45% of the U.S. population now lives in constitutional carry states. Last June, the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision in NYSRPA v. Bruen upheld the individual right to carry a firearm outside the home, theoretically striking down unfair may-issue permitting laws nationwide. Closer to home, SDCGO won the Miller v. Bonta lawsuit in December, striking down SB 1327 and allowing the organization to continue challenging California’s unconstitutional gun laws in court.
Now, the failures. At the Federal level, BATFE’s illegal and unjust final rule governing pistol stabilizing braces is, for the time being, still in effect. A Congressional resolution to overturn it failed by a two-vote margin in the Senate. As the President’s mental condition appears to further deteriorate, he has only intensified his assault on the Second Amendment. State legislatures in New York, California, and elsewhere have proposed bills that directly contradict the Bruen decision and attempt to further restrict people’s right to carry. Aggressive self-promoter that he is, Governor Gavin Newsom’s latest publicity stunt involved proposing a new constitutional amendment that would directly attack the Second.
All in all, it is impossible to characterize the state of the Second Amendment as better or worse than it was one year or five years ago. We have made some important gains and suffered some serious setbacks. There will always be pundits and policymakers who fear what they do not understand and desperately want to take away your ability to defend yourself. On the other hand, those people are but a small minority. Millions of Americans, whether they realize it or not, are simply uninformed; you as an individual can help the cause by educating them. The path forward for SDCGO members and Second Amendment activists nationwide is clear: continue engaging in outreach, continue educating non-gun-owners, and continue donating to organizations that actually work in your interest. Most importantly, don’t be discouraged by failures along the way. Together, we can win.