The National Shooting Sports Foundation sent out an email yesterday analyzing the midterm elections for their impact on the firearms industry as well as on firearm regulations. They will also be having a pair of webinars next Tuesday afternoon which I hope to be able to watch. I’ll report on those afterwards.
I think the NSSF is correct in that a lot of bills will be proposed and may even pass the House dealing with gun control. These will then die in the Senate. They refer to the Senate as the Red Wall. I think they are also correct that the pace at which new judges will be confirmed will pick up.
From the NSSF:
A Blue Ripple, A Red Senate Wall And What It Means For The Firearms Industry
results are still trickling in on Wednesday, but we’re getting a
clearer picture of what we can expect when it comes to the next two
years for gun laws in the United States.
wisdom says that the party in the White House loses “bigly” when it
comes to the midterm elections, but last night’s results are proving
different. We’re seeing more of a mixed bag in the Congressional
results, a changing landscape in the governorships and gun control
advocates that spent big and claim victory. But that call might be a bit premature.
House of Representatives
The U.S. House of Representatives will flip back to Democrat control in the 116th Congress.
There are several West Coast races still awaiting final counts, but Fox
News’ Karl Rove predicted the final count will be 228-207 in favor of
Democrats, which will see the Speaker of the House’s gavel change hands.
Prevailing sentiment says Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will again become house speaker, but many incumbent and congressmen-elect have vowed to not support her
for the top leadership spot. We can expect short-term leadership
power-plays, but they will have little effect on what we will eventually
see in the next two years from the House.
What it Means
The “Blue Wave” wasn’t the tsunami gun
control advocates expected, but that doesn’t mean we won’t see a flood
of gun control bills. Rep. Pelosi promised Floridians when she visited
there in October that gun control would be a “top priority” in the
coming year. She said then that she’d push for a gun background check bill, which we can only assume means what she’s already advocated for in universal background checks.
Expect more. Virginia Democratic Congresswoman-elect Jennifer Wexton defeated Rep. Barbara Comstock on a platform that included banning AR-15 modern
sporting rifles and standard-capacity magazines. She’s just one of
several newly elected members of Congress who will be looking to make
good on their campaign promises.
the House to turn from a legislative body to an investigative body.
Democrats will take over every committee chairmanship. We should expect
little to get done in the way of legislation because they’ll be more
interested in investigating everything from impeachment to Russian collusion to President Donald Trump’s tax returns. And firearms will be in the mix too. Expect hearings on
taxpayer-funded gun violence research, magazine restrictions,
ammunition bans, age-based gun bans and attempts to outright ban entire
classes of firearms.
the House was the “Blue Ripple,” the U.S. Senate served as the Red
Wall. And it got bigger. Republicans appeared to pick up at least net
three seats, including North Dakota’s Kevin Cramer beating Heidi
Heitkamp, Missouri’s Josh Hawley defeating Claire McCaskill, Florida’s
Rick Scott topping Bill Nelson and Indiana’s Mike Braun overcoming Joe
Donnelly. Nevada’s Sen. Dean Heller lost to Jacky Rosen, turning one
Republican seat blue. Votes are still being counted in Arizona, and
Mississippi is headed for a runoff. The first and most glaring lesson is
that with the exception of Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), each of these
Democratic senators voted against Supreme Court Justice Brett
What it Means
importantly, the Senate has been called the saucer that cools the hot
tea that comes over from the House. It’s been a frustrating
characteristic at times, but now will become a reality that benefits the
firearms industry and gun owners. Legislation can pass the House by
simple majority, even if it’s just one vote. But it only takes one
senator to kill a bad bill.
It also means that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is going to keep up the blistering pace of
confirming judges to the bench and Trump Administration nominees won’t
be automatically mired in the morass of politics. That’s especially important when
it comes to the Supreme Court. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Stephen
Breyer are in their eighties. Neither has indicated a desire to retire,
but no one foresaw that President Trump would nominate and confirm two
justices in his first two years either.
More to Come
still sifting through all the results, including state governorships,
state legislatures and ballot initiatives. Tune in when NSSF hosts webinars on
what the midterm election results mean to our industry and what we can
expect. You can know this much: NSSF will remain engaged, fighting
against legislation that hurts our industry and that infringes on our
rights while working to America safer while respecting our liberties.