Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

"Americans for Gun Safety:" Shamelessly Manipulating Acts Of War <BR>To Promote Political Agenda

Friday, October 26, 2001

Read about AGS

The national public policy debate was plunged to a new low October 25, 2001 by the single-issue lobbying group, Americans for Gun Safety (AGS). AGS is funded solely by Internet billionaire Andy McKelvey—a former board member of the gun-ban lobby known as Handgun Control, Inc.

The new group made an outrageous attempt to link the terrorist strikes against this country to a national tradition as old as America itself—gun shows. In an ad appearing in Roll Call, AGS showed it is no longer content to capitalize on the grief left in the wake of two homicidal teenagers at Columbine High School. It is now seeking to exploit the fear of global terrorism left by the attacks of September 11, but its attack on gun shows is simply the same tired gun control agenda in new packaging. Furthermore, the facts of the cited case do not support the AGS effort.

"This is political opportunism at its calculated worst, and it cannot be allowed to spread unchallenged," said James Jay Baker, NRA`s chief lobbyist.

"It`s time for full disclosure," Baker continued. "Americans for Gun Safety has zero Americans for members, and nothing to do with gun safety programs. It`s a billionaire`s pet project, staffed by the architects of the anti-gun agenda of Bill Clinton and Senator Charles Schumer, who are desperately seeking new justifications for pushing their tired gun control agenda." Baker said.

The president of AGS is Jonathan Cowan, who served as aide to the self-appointed anti-gun czar of the Clinton cabinet—HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo, whose agenda for fighting crime revolved around threatening nonsensical lawsuits against gun makers. Cowan is assisted by former White House political aide Matt Bennett, and by Jim Kessler, the former gun advisor to Senator Schumer. Internal documents from an AGS meeting reveal their "top national priority . . . passage of licensing and/or registration in the next Congress."

In its campaign to resurrect its gun show legislation, AGS desperately dug up a case the FBI began investigating over a year ago. The case involved a man suspected of attending gun shows in the Detroit area to purchase firearms for shipment overseas to the Hezbollah. The FBI placed the man under surveillance, and in due course, he was arrested, prosecuted and convicted in federal court. In other words, the system worked.

AGS` ad deceitfully fails to note that the suspect was a convicted felon and as such was prohibited from buying guns anywhere—including gun shows. To suggest he slipped through a "gun show loophole" is simply a lie. The aggressive enforcement of federal laws already on the books ended the career of this committed criminal.

AGS` previous misrepresentations of the facts in this case are telling. In an E-mail to Members of Congress, AGS` Jim Kessler states "an FBI informant previously has seen Boumelhem in Beirut unloading shipments of weapons and explosives." The Middle East Intelligence Bulletin, which AGS cites as its source, is much more specific, saying the FBI informant "had seen Boumelhem in Beirut unloading shipments of automatic weapons, explosives, grenades and rocket launchers."

Clearly, "automatic weapons, explosives, grenades and rocket launchers" was changed to "weapons and explosives." Why? Because AGS knows full well that since the passage of the National Firearms Act of 1934 none of those items can be bought or sold at any gun show.

The day the Roll Call ad ran, the Washington Post obligingly spread the AGS fraud, providing space to Eric Holder, whose past experience in the Department of Justice included countless trips to Capitol Hill to defend the Clinton Administration`s failure to enforce federal firearms law. Holder wrote: "previously convicted felon and terrorist, Ali Boumelhem, went to a Michigan gun show, where he was legally exempt from a background check, and purchased assault weapons, shotguns, ammunition and flash suppressors that he intended to ship to the terrorist group Hezbollah. A convicted felon "legally exempt?"

Holder also mischaracterized the case of four people convicted last year of illegally buying guns at a Florida gun show. He downplayed the fact that enforcing the law worked, because he was more interested in advancing the charge that the guns were purchased "for use by the Provisional Irish Republican Army." He failed to mention that the jury rejected the IRA connection charge. Admitting that fact would totally collapse the bridge his friends at AGS are deceitfully attempting to build between gun shows and terrorists.

AGS` attempt to link the terrorist actions of September 11—which, of course, in no way involved firearms—to gun shows is not only an assault on the truth; it is an attack on logic. As the editor of the Arab American News in Dearborn pointed out in commenting on the Boumelhem case last May: "Hezbollah is getting millions of dollars from Iran. They have plenty of weapons. They don`t need a few shotguns from Dearborn."

Baker continued, "This outrageous attack on Americans` Second Amendment rights proves that AGS is the same as every other radical fringe anti-gun group—they have the same solution to every problem, and are willing to sink to any depth to exploit the headlines in pursuing their pet agenda. America faces many difficult challenges in the months ahead. Those challenges should not include efforts that make it more difficult for law-abiding citizens to purchase and use firearms," Baker said. "True American public opinion is telling its own story. Since the attacks of September 11, media outlets have been filled with reports of Americans purchasing their first firearms and learning to use them safely and responsibly for self-protection."

"AGS is no doubt simply doing the bidding of its corporate master in going to such desperate lengths to justify anew its agenda," Baker continued. "Americans will be disgusted by this crass manipulation, because they understand that the tools of terrorism will not be found in their neighborhood gun show. But the threat of political opportunism taking hold is very real, and I urge every law-abiding American gun owner to contact their federal representatives to ensure that our rights do not become a casualty in the war against terrorism."

TRENDING NOW
Obama Lies about Guns… Again

News  

Friday, June 14, 2019

Obama Lies about Guns… Again

Despite no longer living in the White House, former President Barack Obama continues to be a headache to law-abiding Americans. On May 30, Obama spoke at a digital innovation event in Brazil. During the onstage ...

Tennessee: Governor Bill Lee Signs Self-Defense Legislation into Law

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Tennessee: Governor Bill Lee Signs Self-Defense Legislation into Law

Last week, Governor Bill Lee signed important self-defense legislation, House Bill 1264 /Senate Bill 705, into law.

Don’t Say They Didn’t Warn You: Left Leaning Voices Question Democrats’ Anti-Gun Proposals, Fervor

News  

Friday, June 7, 2019

Don’t Say They Didn’t Warn You: Left Leaning Voices Question Democrats’ Anti-Gun Proposals, Fervor

If the 2020 Democrat presidential primary is any indication, that party’s base and donor class will accept nothing less from their nominee than commitments to sweeping gun control. And the contenders appear happy to accommodate ...

Pittsburgh Mayor Presents DICK’S CEO an Award for Gun Control Advocacy

News  

Friday, June 14, 2019

Pittsburgh Mayor Presents DICK’S CEO an Award for Gun Control Advocacy

On June 4-5, the annual Yale Mayors College & CEO Summit was held in New York City. The theme of this year’s CEO Summit was “Trumpeting the Issues without Becoming the Issue: Selective Use of CEO Voice.” ...

Advice Columnist Tells Father to Evict Daughter from His House for Owning a Gun

News  

Friday, June 14, 2019

Advice Columnist Tells Father to Evict Daughter from His House for Owning a Gun

Amy Dickinson is an advice columnist who, according to the company that syndicates her work, “combines storytelling with advice that is rooted with honesty and trust.” “Ask Amy” appears in newspapers that include The Baltimore Sun, ...

New Jersey “Smart Gun” Law Gets an F Grade

News  

Friday, June 14, 2019

New Jersey “Smart Gun” Law Gets an F Grade

After signing six gun control measures into law a year ago, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy warned that “Our work is far from done.” Several new bills are now making the rounds in a state already notorious ...

Nevada: Deadline Tomorrow For Governor to Act on Anti-Gun Bill

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Nevada: Deadline Tomorrow For Governor to Act on Anti-Gun Bill

Tomorrow, June 14th, is the deadline for Governor Steve Sisolak to take action on Assembly Bill 291. 

Does a Suppressed Pistol Sound like a Nail Gun?

News  

Friday, June 7, 2019

Does a Suppressed Pistol Sound like a Nail Gun?

In response to reports that the Virginia Beach shooter used a firearm suppressor in carrying out his terrible crime, David Chipman, Senior Policy Advisor for the Giffords gun control group, claimed that a suppressed pistol ...

New Jersey: Assembly Judiciary Committee Begins Next Wave of Gun Control

Monday, June 10, 2019

New Jersey: Assembly Judiciary Committee Begins Next Wave of Gun Control

Nobody ever accused New Jersey of lacking gun laws, and yet, lawmakers in Trenton can’t seem to accomplish anything except pass gun bills.

Nevada: Gov. Sisolak Signs Anti-Gun Bill

Friday, June 14, 2019

Nevada: Gov. Sisolak Signs Anti-Gun Bill

Ignoring the constitutional rights of law-abiding Nevadans, on June 14th, Governor Steve Sisolak signed omnibus anti-gun Assembly Bill 291 into law.  Your NRA would like to thank the many lawmakers who stood with our members and ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

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.