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Ashcroft - Under Attack For Obeying The Law

Friday, December 7, 2001

Once again, shameless gun-ban extremists are using the specter of terrorism to promote their anti-gun agenda. The gun-ban lobby formally known as HCI and the obscure gun-ban organization known as the Violence Policy Center (VPC), along with numerous anti-gun editorialists, have all launched a coordinated attack on Attorney General John Ashcroft. This time, they object to him obeying the law!

Specifically, Ashcroft`s Department of Justice (DOJ) has stated that the records generated by the National Instant Check System (NICS) that do not result in an individual being denied the ability to purchase a firearm cannot be used for anything other than what the Brady Act—which established NICS—allows. The gun-ban community, however, insists that Ashcroft violate federal law by allowing non-denials through NICS to be used in a fishing expedition for possible connections to the attacks of September 11. In reality, however, gun-ban groups are using the issue to promote their agenda to expand NICS towards a national registration scheme of all law-abiding gun buyers.

While the gun-ban advocates at HCI and VPC demand federal law be violated—shamelessly invoking "homeland security" to advance their agenda—Ashcroft has stood his ground, and correctly stated the Brady Act forbids using records on transfers that are not denied through NICS for anything other than auditing the system. The Act, as passed in 1993, even includes language that calls for the destruction of all records of transfers that are not denied, although the law does allow for the retention and use of records on transfers that are denied. If any of the individuals who are currently being detained are prohibited from purchasing a firearm, and they were run through NICS, the system should have denied them. NRA fully supports prohibiting the illegal transfer of firearms to alleged terrorists, as well as any other prohibited individual. Unfortunately, NICS was designed and implemented by the anti-gun Clinton Administration, and it has serious flaws that must be corrected. The Bush Administration has committed to fixing the system, but in the meantime, the anti-gun community`s cynical attempt to force AG Ashcroft to violate federal law should be vociferously rejected.

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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.