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White House Plan Nothing New, Targets Licensed, Lawful Dealers

Friday, February 4, 2000

(WASHINGTON, DC) -- NRA`s chief lobbyist, James Jay Baker, responded to President Clinton`s latest election year stunt attacking guns, law-abiding gun owners, and the gun industry. "This is just the latest installment in the Clinton/Gore plan to drive lawful and licensed gun dealers out of business repackaged into a news event for an election year," said Baker. "According to press reports, everything he is proposing today is already authorized by federal law. I guess that begs the question that if authorities suspect some gun dealers of wrong doing, why haven`t they ALREADY been investigated? Nonetheless, I appreciate the White House`s efforts to educate the press about the many laws that make firearms dealers some of the most heavily regulated businessmen in the country." Since 1992, at the direction of the White House, the Treasury Department has used federal laws regulating gun dealers as a tool of harassment to reduce the number of Federal Firearm Licensees by almost two-thirds. "The White House is apparently targeting gun dealers who sell, in the Administration`s opinion, too many guns. They are also going after dealers who don`t sell enough guns. I think it would end a lot of confusion if the White House just told federally licensed dealers how many guns they should be selling," said Baker. "This is all beside the fact that the Administration`s entire initiative perpetuates the deceptive misuse of BATF trace data contrary to the repeated cautioning of both BATF and the Congressional Research Service." The non-partisan Congressional Research Service has reported to Congress that not all guns used in crime are traced -- there is an inherent bias in favor of tracing new guns -- and not all guns traced were necessarily used by criminals, so any broad conclusions drawn from tracing data are fundamentally flawed. "Now, the Administration has a plan to drive gun dealers out of business through arbitrary regulation. The Administration has a plan to drive gun makers out of business with tax-payer-funded junk lawsuits. The Administration has a plan to license law-abiding gun owners. The only group the Administration doesn`t have a plan for dealing with is armed criminals, despite the fact the American people want to see national implementation of Project Exile, the one plan proven to work."

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.