Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Letter From Chris W. Cox To Members Of Congress Regarding Conyers - McCarthy "Assault Weapons" Bill

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Chris W. Cox, Executive Director of the NRA Institute for Legislative Action, sent the following to members of Congress in response to a "Dear Colleague" letter from Representatives John Conyers and Carolyn McCarthy seeking cosponsorship of their "Assault Weapons Ban and Law Enforcement Protection Act of 2003."
March 25, 2003

Dear Member of Congress:

You may have received a "Dear Colleague" letter dated March 10 from Representatives John Conyers and Carolyn McCarthy seeking your cosponsorship of the so-called "Assault Weapons Ban and Law Enforcement Protection Act of 2003."

Unfortunately the letter repeated many of the tired falsehoods—as well as made some new claims—that were used to deliberately mislead Members of Congress and the public when the current misguided law was enacted by a narrow margin in 1994 as part of an omnibus crime bill (P.L. 103-322). Please consider these facts:

    • The U.S. House of Representatives voted to repeal this law less than two years after its passage (H.R. 125 on March 22, 1996), a clear indication that while Congress supported the Omnibus Crime Bill of 1994 there was not support for this ill-conceived gun ban. The House vote to repeal the Clinton gun ban was 239-173, including 56 Democrats.

  • The ban has done nothing for public safety. An Urban Institute study mandated by the original law stated, "At best, the assault weapons ban can only have a limited effect on total gun murders, because the banned weapons and magazines were never involved in more than a modest fraction of all gun murders." Neither that study nor two follow-up studies by the same authors found the law to have any effect on attacks against police officers.

  • The only "evidence" for criminal misuse … was a lie. Advocates of the ban irresponsibly propagated figures from Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) trace data, ignoring the Congressional Research Service’s warning that:
    Firearms selected for tracing do not constitute a random sample and cannot be considered representative of the larger universe of all firearms used by criminals, or of any subset of that universe. As a result, data from the tracing system may not be appropriate for drawing inferences such as which makes or models of firearms are used for illicit purposes.

    Literally dozens of studies by criminologists, journalists and federal, state and local law enforcement agencies have found that these guns are involved in only about one percent of crimes – both before and after the ban was adopted.

  • There is nothing "unique" or dangerous about the characteristics of the guns that were banned. The law prohibits the manufacture of semiautomatic firearms with two or more features such as pistol grips, barrel shrouds and bayonet lugs; yet no advocate of the ban has ever proven the relevance of those characteristics to criminal activity. That hasn’t stopped anti-gun proponents who want to expand these provisions even further.

  • True assault weapons were banned in 1934, not in 1994. True assault weapons – machine guns or firearms capable of fully automatic fire – were effectively banned through the passage of the National Firearms Act in 1934. The firearms banned in the Clinton Crime Bill were semi-automatic guns that look, but do not function, like actual assault weapons. These firearms only fire one round per trigger pull, are incapable of continuous fire, and thus should not be considered assault weapons.

  • As usual, gun-ban activists are going back on their word. The "grandfather clause," allowing possession of existing firearms, was included to ease fears that new restrictions would be imposed on those who already owned these guns. As Senator Diane Feinstein stated on the Senate floor, “everything that is legally in possession is essentially grandfathered . . . All guns, lawfully possessed before the date of enactment, are exempt from this legislation.” (November 9, 1993) Now they want to abandon that promise by banning even more legitimate firearms.

  • Gun-ban Members have a much broader agenda. This ban was first promoted by an anti-gun activist who was frustrated by his movement’s inability to ban handguns. It was expanded by Senator Feinstein, who told “60 Minutes” that if she’d had enough votes she would have sought to “ban them all [guns].” And it was supported by the Washington Post, which admitted, “No one should have any illusions about what was accomplished [by the ban]. Assault weapons play a part in only a small percentage of crime. The provision is mainly symbolic; its virtue will be, if it turns out to be as hoped, a stepping stone to broader gun control.”

The call by Reps. Conyers’ and McCarthy for further restrictions on the transfer of legally owned guns between law-abiding citizens, and for controls on sales of gun parts, confirms their broader agenda. We urge you to ignore their call for more restrictive legislation. Instead we ask for your support of common sense, rational proposals to reduce crime while protecting the constitutional rights of law-abiding American citizens. At this time in our nation’s history, we need serious solutions to real problems, not empty rhetoric that makes Americans less safe and does nothing to reduce crime. As always, if you have any questions or need additional information about this issue, please call NRA Federal Affairs.

Sincerely,

Chris W. Cox
Executive Director
NRA Institute for Legislative Action


For more information read Chris W. Cox's article
"Mr. and Mrs. America, turn them all in."
TRENDING NOW

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Florida Alert: YETI Drops NRA Foundation

For years YETI Coolers have been a hot item for sportsmen at the Friends of NRA Foundation Banquet and Auction events around the country.  Suddenly, without prior notice, YETI has declined to do business with The ...

Dick’s Sporting Goods/Field & Stream to Destroy Firearms Inventory

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, April 20, 2018

Dick’s Sporting Goods/Field & Stream to Destroy Firearms Inventory

Dick’s Sporting Goods took their campaign to alienate law-abiding gun owners to an extraordinary new level last week. The beleaguered retailer announced that in addition to removing certain types of semi-automatic rifles from their stores, the company ...

Another Group of Anti-Gun Celebrities Forms!  In Other News, The Sun Rose Today.

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, April 20, 2018

Another Group of Anti-Gun Celebrities Forms! In Other News, The Sun Rose Today.

In case you were worried there were not enough anti-gun organizations working to eradicate the rights of law-abiding gun owners, a new one has formed, and it’s called NoRA.  Get it?  The name implies that the ...

Illinois: Committee Passes Bill to Allow Local Infringement of Second Amendment

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Illinois: Committee Passes Bill to Allow Local Infringement of Second Amendment

The Illinois state Senate could vote on legislation to allow localities to infringe upon Second Amendment rights as early as today.  Senate Bill 2314 was moved to third reading after it had passed the Senate ...

NRA Salutes “the Gunny” and Mourns the Passing of an American Patriot

News  

Friday, April 20, 2018

NRA Salutes “the Gunny” and Mourns the Passing of an American Patriot

America, and the NRA, lost a true friend and a staunch defender of freedom with the passing of R. Lee Ermey on April 15 from complications of pneumonia. He was 74 years old. 

Rhode Island: 19 Gun Bills to be Heard in House Judiciary Committee Tuesday

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Rhode Island: 19 Gun Bills to be Heard in House Judiciary Committee Tuesday

A marathon gun bill hearing is on tap for next Tuesday night in Providence, and NRA and local pro-Second Amendment groups are calling for all-hands-on-deck.

Keep Calm and Carry On: Pro-Gun Sentiment Reasserts Itself in Wake of Antigun Blitz

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, April 20, 2018

Keep Calm and Carry On: Pro-Gun Sentiment Reasserts Itself in Wake of Antigun Blitz

Like the long-delayed coming of spring to the Mid-Atlantic, evidence is appearing that Americans are regaining their senses and reverting to an instinctual embrace of freedom after a withering barrage of some the nastiest and most ugly ...

Bailed-out Banks Launch Coordinated Attack on Law-abiding Gun Owners

News  

Friday, April 13, 2018

Bailed-out Banks Launch Coordinated Attack on Law-abiding Gun Owners

There is growing evidence that some of America’s financial elite want to create a world in which America’s public policy decisions emanate from corporate boardrooms in Manhattan rather than from citizens and their elected officials.  ...

Unfriendly Skies: Delta CEO Claims Bashing NRA Members is Good Business

News  

Friday, April 13, 2018

Unfriendly Skies: Delta CEO Claims Bashing NRA Members is Good Business

In the wake of the Parkland, Florida, murders, there has been an unusual amount of anti-gun and anti-NRA commentary by private corporations with plenty of problems of their own.   In February, Delta announced it was ending a ...

New Jersey: Senate Committee Approves Gun Control Bills

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

New Jersey: Senate Committee Approves Gun Control Bills

On Monday, the Senate Law & Public Safety Committee approved several gun control bills during a hearing that stretched over five hours. 

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.