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GOA Opposing Bill to Expand Carry Rights Only for Police

GOA Opposing Bill to Expand Carry Rights Only for Police
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Generally, legislative proposals expanding concealed carry are met with open arms by organizations working to protect the Second Amendment rights of their members. But a bill that would expand a national carry permit that would apply only to off-duty and retired police officers has one such group up in arms. Gun Owners of America is taking aim at HR 354, a measure that would allow qualified active and retired law enforcement officers to carry concealed firearms and ammunition (including magazines) in school zones; in national parks; on state, local, or private property that is open to the public; and in certain federal facilities that are open to the public.

“Make no mistake: Gun Owners of America would never oppose the expansion of Second Amendments rights,” the group said in an alert to members. “But what we object to is Congress showing special favoritism to one class of citizens—like police, military, judges or prosecutors—but leaving every other gun owner like you in the dust.”

While over half of the states now have constitutional carry laws on the books, many do not, causing a problem—and a danger—for those crossing state lines and wishing to carry their firearms in a state other than where they reside. National concealed carry reciprocity has been a goal of gun-rights supporters for more than a decade, but this measure only affords that freedom to those with a badge. As U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie explained last week: “The problem is: Here we are carving out special rights for people that carry a badge. In fact, these are rights that were enshrined, protected—given to us by God, but protected—by our Founding Fathers in the Constitution, a document that we have sworn an oath to defend and uphold…. We need legislation that goes further!”

GOA agrees with that sentiment, pushing for a law that eases restrictions on all gun owners, not just current and retired LEOs.

“The Second Amendment does not discriminate against different classes of citizens,” the group said. “Every American has the God-given right to keep and bear arms. Period.”

In the end, GOA leaders see this as an opportunity for Republican lawmakers who say they support the Second Amendment to put their money where their mouth is.

“House Republicans need to schedule a hearing, a markup and a floor vote to restore your right as an American to carry firearms in public for self-defense—regardless of anti-gun state licensing schemes or other gun control laws,” the organization said. “This is the Republican Party’s chance to prove that their promises were more than just empty slogans on the campaign trail.

“With the 2024 election nearly in full swing, we’re asking gun owners like you to hold your Representative’s feet to the fire and demand that they recognize concealed carry rights for ALL Americans.”


About the Author

Freelance writer and editor Mark Chesnut is the owner/editorial director at Red Setter Communications LLC. An avid hunter, shooter and political observer, he has been covering Second Amendment issues and politics on a near-daily basis for nearly 25 years. 


If you have any thoughts or comments on this article, we’d love to hear them. Email us at FirearmsNews@Outdoorsg.com.




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