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Gun-Ban Lobby Continues to Exploit Fear over Terrorism

Friday, December 21, 2001

The gun-ban lobby formerly known as HCI is continuing its despicable tactic of exploiting our nation`s concerns over terrorism in order to further their attacks on our Right to Keep and Bear Arms. On Wednesday, the group`s president, Michael Barnes, held a press conference to announce the release of a "comprehensive report" he hopes will help rejuvenate several aspects of his stalled anti-gun agenda. This particular piece of propaganda, however, combines purposeful lies with sloppy fact checking in an amateurish attempt to link a number of anti-gun proposals to the war on terrorism.

The report offers nothing new, though. One aspect includes attacks on traditional American gun shows that consist of little more than a simple regurgitation of the myth that "terrorists" use gun shows to pose a threat to national securitya myth created by the anti-gun organization Americans for Gun Safety (AGS) that was completely discredited by NRA (see NRA-ILA FAX Alerts Vol. 8, Nos. 39 & 46).

Besides the terrorist/gun shows myth that has become widely popular among the anti-gun crowd, the gun-ban lobby`s report also promotes renewing the ban on so-called "assault weapons," implementing a firearm rationing scheme, establishing a registration system for all gun purchasers, and it also attempts to justify the reckless lawsuits designed to bankrupt law-abiding gun makers. Besides the terrorist/gun shows myth that has become widely popular among the anti-gun crowd, the gun-ban lobby`s report also promotes renewing the ban on so-called "assault weapons," implementing a firearm rationing scheme, establishing a registration system for all gun purchasers, and it also attempts to justify the reckless lawsuits designed to bankrupt law-abiding gun makers.

The report itself is a rather curious document, and in many ways, rather amateurishly constructed. As should be expected, it makes a number of outrageous claims regarding the "need" to pass new anti-gun laws, then tries to "support" them. For example, the report claims that no laws currently exist that prevent "terrorists from quickly amassing arsenals of weapons," although the fact is that there are numerous laws, including federal laws, that prohibit violent criminals from purchasing or possessing a single firearm. But strangely, to justify its claim, the gun-ban lobby`s report highlights a case that had nothing to do with a terrorist organization that had amassed an "arsenal." Instead, it discussed a single violent criminal who had knowingly violated current federal law when he acquired two handguns. And to further justify a firearm rationing scheme, the report also addresses "corrupt gun dealers," but cites three cases that actually showed existing laws worked to uncover criminal activity.

Targeting so-called "assault weapons," the gun-ban lobby boldly lies, claiming anybody can "purchase through the mail every part necessary to make a completed high-capacity, untraceable, assault weapon"—a claim that is absurdly false. And one case cited in the report is more an example of slipshod "research" than anything else. It states that Mir Aimal Kasi murdered two CIA employees and wounded three other individuals on January 24, 1997. This crime, however, took place on January 25, 1993, and other inaccurate dates confirm a complete disregard for accuracy.

Wednesday`s press conference was attended by the usual crowd of anti-gun lawmakers, including U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), and Jack Reed (D-R.I.), and U.S. Representative Henry Waxman (D-Calif.). Also on Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) pledged to bring Jack Reed`s anti-gun shows bill, S. 767, to the floor early next year. NRA members and the rest of the pro-gun community must continue to contact their federal lawmakers to object to the passage of any anti-gun legislation. Remind your elected officials that the war on terrorism will not be won by attacking the rights of American citizens. You can reach your U.S. Representative at (202) 225-3121, and your U.S. Senators at (202) 224-3121. You can also find additional contact information by using our "Write Your Reps" tool.

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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.