Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

Gun-Ban Lobby Suffers Miserably At Polls

Sunday, November 10, 2002

Anti-gun lawmakers and candidates were not the only big losers on Tuesday, as the gun-ban lobby formerly known as HCI suffered enormous setbacks at the polls. Each election cycle, the extremist organization looks for what it considers to be the 12 most vulnerable pro-gun candidates that it can target for defeat. This year, the group’s "Dangerous Dozen" list went after 10 candidates endorsed by NRA, one candidate who was not initially endorsed but had been endorsed in the past, and another candidate not even rated by NRA, but who was running against one of the gun-ban lobby’s favorite federal lawmakers of all time—Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.). Lautenberg stepped in to replace U.S. Senator Bob Torricelli (D), whose ties to corruption had him heading for likely defeat. And while HCI’s endorsed candidate won that race, the vast majority of America’s voters continued to reject HCI’s extremist agenda. In the 10 targeted races where NRA had made an early endorsement, seven of our candidates won. HCI split the two remaining races, with Lautenberg winning against an unrated candidate, and pro-gun U.S. Representative Bob Ehrlich (R)— who received a late endorsment from NRA-PVF via a Get Out The Vote phone bank—winning his race for governor of Maryland.

In New Jersey’s 5th Congressional District, where NRA-PVF-endorsed Scott Garrett (R) trounced HCI-backed Anne Sumers (D), the campaign took a decidedly nasty turn when a Sumers ad tried to exploit the recent string of shootings in the Maryland/ Virginia/Washington, D.C. area. The ad pictured one of the accused killers, John Allen Muhammad, and implied Garrett’s pro-gun views may have contributed to the crime spree.

In the Maryland gubernatorial race, which pitted Bob Ehrlich against virulently anti-gun Lieutenant Governor Kathleen Kennedy Townsend (D), promoting attacks on law-abiding gun owners was one of Townsend’s central themes. Townsend, who was endorsed by HCI, also sought to exploit the crimes Muhammad has been accused of committing. According to the Washington Post, one day after her campaign promised it would avoid raising gun control as a campaign issue as long as the killer remained on the loose, Townsend reversed herself. An October 11 Post article stated Townsend "shipped a new ad to Washington TV stations that bashes her GOP opponent in the Maryland governor’s race for voting against a ban on [so-called] ‘assault weapons.’" Paul E. Schurick, a spokesman for Ehrlich, stated prior to the capture of the suspects, "We’ve got a killer on the loose, we have funerals taking place, and she and her campaign have decided to put that to use for their political gain. It’s shameful." And Townsend’s campaign went the added step of following up its "assault weapons" ad with one that called for "ballistic fingerprinting." A Townsend spokesman, Peter Hamm, defended his candidate’s strategy, stating "[I]t is certainly fair—and I think Washington [sic] residents will agree—to talk about where we both stand on the issue of gun control." Of course, Hamm should have been more concerned with what Maryland residents think, who clearly thought poorly of a politician who tries to use tragedy to promote her campaign. Ehrlich defeated Townsend, sending a Republican to the governor’s mansion for the first time in Maryland since the 1960s.

But HCI’s ineffectiveness at the polls was not confined to its "Dangerous Dozen" target list. HCI also failed to defeat any of the six pro-gun lawmakers it included in its "Dishonerable Mention" list. Furthermore, only three incumbent Republicans lost reelection in the House of Representatives, and two of those candidates were endorsed by HCI. And in many of the high-profile races where the gun-ban lobby made endorsements, such as in the gubernatorial races in Kansas and Pennsylvania, and U.S. Senate races in Colorado, Georgia, and Missouri, their candidates did everything possible to distance themselves from being labeled as anti-gun. In Missouri, where HCI-endorsed U.S. Senator Jean Carnahan (D) lost to NRA-PVF-endorsed Jim Talent (R), Carnahan tried disguising her anti-gun views by publicizing her fondness for skeet shooting and promoting her "Sportsmen for Carnahan" bumper stickers, although that tactic failed to win over the pro-gun community.

In the wake of what HCI should consider demoralizing losses at the polls, the gun-ban lobby’s tenuous grasp on reality has shown signs that it is slipping more than ever. Its press release on the elections makes the outrageous claim, "Where guns were a campaign issue, supporters of [gun control] won," and President Michael Barnes claimed, "The [NRA] did not win this election." The same release, however, also proclaims, "The NRA and their allies now control Congress...." And the release goes on to imply HCI’s anti-gun, anti-Ehrlich campaign in Maryland "was a winner." It’s hard to imagine how the group can consider the loss of Townsend, the candidate it supported more than any other, as "a winner." Especially considering both Townsend and HCI ran numerous ads attacking Ehrlich’s pro-gun record and his ties to NRA. Then again, this is the same organization that considers banning firearms, imposing ineffective licensing and registration schemes, and abusing our judicial system with reckless lawsuits designed to bankrupt law-abiding gun manufacturers as part of its "sensible gun policies."

TRENDING NOW
Maryland: Pro-Carry Legislation Pending Final Vote on House Floor

Monday, March 20, 2017

Maryland: Pro-Carry Legislation Pending Final Vote on House Floor

Today, the Maryland House of Delegates passed House Bill 1036 on second reading.

Ohio: Critical Self-Defense Law Takes Effect Today!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Ohio: Critical Self-Defense Law Takes Effect Today!

Today, March 21, the provisions of the critical self-defense legislation, Sub. Senate Bill 199, go into effect.  Thanks to your active involvement last session, this bill was signed by Governor Kasich last December.  This law ...

Maryland: House Passes Pro-Carry Legislation

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Maryland: House Passes Pro-Carry Legislation

Yesterday, the Maryland House of Delegates passed House Bill 1036 by a 97-41 vote.

Illinois: Gun Seizure Bill Could be Heard by House at Any Time

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Illinois: Gun Seizure Bill Could be Heard by House at Any Time

The Illinois House of Representatives could consider House Bill 2354 at any time.

Are Ear Plugs Better Than a Suppressor?

Hunting  

News  

Friday, March 17, 2017

Are Ear Plugs Better Than a Suppressor?

On March 13, the gun control group, Americans for Responsible Solutions, posted a tweet claiming:  “FACT:  Silencers do not protect your hearing.”  An infographic accompanied the tweet with the additional claim “You know what protects ...

Idaho: Senate Passes Concealed Carry Amendment

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Idaho: Senate Passes Concealed Carry Amendment

Yesterday, March 20, the Idaho Senate passed House Bill 93 by a 35-0 vote.  Introduced by state Representative Don Cheatham (R-3B) and sponsored on the floor by state Senator Marv Hagedorn (R-14), HB 93 would amend current law ...

Arkansas Action Needed: Anti-Gun Bill Which Undermines Concealed Carry Headed to House

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Arkansas Action Needed: Anti-Gun Bill Which Undermines Concealed Carry Headed to House

Today, the Arkansas Senate passed Senate Bill 724, an anti-gun bill which undermines some of the key advancements made with the passage and enactment of House Bill 1249.  SB 724 is now headed to the ...

Nevada: Senate Passes Anti-Gun SB 115

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Nevada: Senate Passes Anti-Gun SB 115

Yesterday, March 21, the Senate passed anti-gun Senate Bill 115 with a 12-9 vote.  SB 115 was sent to the Assembly for further consideration.  Sponsored by state Senator Moises Denis (D-2), SB 115 would expand the list ...

European Parliament Passes Stringent New Gun Controls

News  

Friday, March 17, 2017

European Parliament Passes Stringent New Gun Controls

On March 14, the European Union completed one of the final steps in imposing stringent new gun controls across the political bloc, when the European Parliament approved legislation to alter the EU Firearms Directive by ...

North Dakota: Constitutional/Permitless Carry Bill Passes Committee and Headed to Senate Floor

Monday, March 20, 2017

North Dakota: Constitutional/Permitless Carry Bill Passes Committee and Headed to Senate Floor

Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee recommended do-pass to House Bill 1169 by a 4-2 vote.  HB 1169 could go to the Senate floor as early as tomorrow.  Please contact your state Senator and politely urge them to ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -
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.