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NRA Letter To Washington Post

Monday, October 29, 2001

Below is a letter to the Washington Post in response to an op-ed by former Clinton Administration Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder. Holder exploits the fear of global terrorism left by the attacks of September 11 by trying to link terrorism to gun shows.

The op-ed by former Clinton Administration Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder was a desperate effort to mislead readers. Holder, whose experience in the Department of Justice included countless trips to Capitol Hill to defend the Clinton Administration`s failure to enforce federal firearms law, 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?" To distort the truth to such an extent is an insult to your readers. Without exception, as a convicted felon, Boumelhem was prohibited from purchasing a firearm anywhere in the U.S.

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 simply 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 collapses the bridge gun control groups are deceitfully attempting to build between gun shows and terrorists.

Americans deserve the truth. Fraudulent attempts to further restrict the rights of the law abiding must be challenged. The NRA will continue to pursue freedom and the objectives of our bylaws, "to promote public safety, law and order and the national defense."

James Jay Baker, Executive Director
National Rifle Association - Institute for Legislative Action
Fairfax, Virginia

Read Eric Holder`s op-ed.

For more information see Gun Shows in our Research section.

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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.