December 21, 2022
By Guns & Ammo Staff
Without question, the 2022 Midterm Elections were not what Republicans were expecting or hoping for. Though the Senate races in Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania seemed winnable for Republicans, the Democrats ran the table. A Republican sweep in the House races also failed to materialize. Whoever or whatever is to blame, the results are in and the GOP will not control both houses of Congress. The Senate is split 51-49 in favor of the Democratic Party (counting independents that caucus with them) while Republicans control the House of Representatives 222-213. Divided government isn’t all bad, though.
When it comes to gun control issues, we can be thankful that our founders were wise enough to devise a system of government where one legislative chamber can effectively stop bad policies from moving forward. The House Republican Caucus will pick a Speaker in January to lead that chamber. The frontrunner for that position is Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), a savvy and experienced legislator who has been among the House leaders for a decade. McCarthy has strong pro-gun credentials and can be expected to block anti-gun initiatives from moving through his chamber. The House also controls the purse strings of government, allowing the GOP to use the budget as a mechanism of effecting policy outcomes. The House will be our backstop.
The Senate is a different story. The bad news is that Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), one of the most stridently anti-gun politicians of the past three decades, will continue to lead the upper chamber. Even under his leadership and with a Democratic majority, though, there is no guarantee that the Senate could advance gun ban legislation. At least two members of that caucus have expressed concerns about such efforts, creating a tough road. Further, Republican Senators can use the filibuster as a blocking mechanism since neither party can muster the 60 cloture votes necessary to it shut down. Keep a close eye on 40-year-old Katie Britt, the newly-elected Senator from Alabama — she is a rising star and likely one of the future leaders of Conservatism.
The Biden Administration will, without a doubt, continue to exert its executive authority, nibbling away at the edges of gun control. That said, we are unlikely to see any major pro or anti-gun bills become law in the 118th United States Congress. If we look back on the years that Obama Administration controlled the executive branch, we can find a great deal of similarity to the position that we are about to be in. Despite Democrats’ best efforts to advance an anti-gun agenda, their proposals died quietly in the House under the Speakerships of John Boehner and Paul Ryan. We can expect similar results under our next Speaker.
The bottom line is this: While these election results aren’t what many of us had hoped for, we are nonetheless in a position where losing ground is unlikely. Expect the President to continue to make bombastic and nonsensical statements in support of various gun control proposals, and expect that those same efforts die a quiet death in Congress. Take a sigh of relief and go out and peacefully exercise your Second Amendment rights. We can thank James Madison for our good fortune.
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