Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

De-Clintonizing America

Thursday, August 24, 2006


By Chris Cox

Thanks to your votes and grassroots efforts, efforts, pro-Second Amendment majorities in Congress have ripped out most of Bill Clinton`s anti-gun legacy. Now, however, anti-gun forces are working to take over control of the Senate and House in November.

There`s no better way to figure out where you need to go than to look at where you`ve been. As the 2006 elections approach, it`s worth looking back at where the Second Amendment stood just a few years ago. The year was 1998. Bill and Hillary Clinton were in the White House. Al Gore was vice president. Janet Reno was attorney general. Consequently, the Right to Keep and Bear Arms was under unrelenting attack.

Lawsuits | Starting in 1998, dozens of cities sued the firearms industry, trying to blame gun makers for the acts of violent criminals. Eager to help the big-city politicians and greedy trial lawyers, the Clinton administration unleashed then-Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Andrew Cuomo, who loudly threatened to throw the federal government`s weight behind the suits.

Several of those lawsuits have now been dismissed under the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, championed by Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, and Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., and signed into law in October 2005. Others have been dismissed in state courts under longstanding common law principles or even withdrawn by plaintiffs as hopeless causes. A handful of cases remain active--including one in the Brooklyn courtroom of Judge Jack Weinstein, who`s helped the plaintiffs at every turn--but there`s no question the industry is in a much stronger position to defend itself today.

Delay and Deny | In 1998, days after the Brady Act`s "waiting period" expired on schedule, Bill Clinton used his weekly radio address to announce that one of his "top priorities [would] be to pass legislation to require a minimum waiting period before a handgun sale becomes final." Top Clinton advisor Rahm Emanuel backed up his boss, claiming the waiting period "is very, very important."

But a pro-Second Amendment Congress wisely rejected Clinton`s anti-gun legislative priorities and, let`s note, crime continued to go down. The bad news is that, unlike the waiting period, the Clinton team has not faded into the sunset. Hillary Clinton sits in the U.S. Senate while plotting a return to the White House, and Rahm Emanuel, now an anti-gun congressman from Illinois, chairs his party`s congressional campaign committee, working day and night to make F-rated Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., the next Speaker of the House.

Janet Reno`s top courtroom lawyer wrote that the Second Amendment doesn`t protect an individual right. John Ashcroft`s Justice Department took the opposite view.

Privacy | In 1998, the Clinton administration--specifically, Janet Reno`s Justice Department--published the first proposed regulations on the National Instant Background Check System (NICS). Despite Congress` language in the Brady Act making clear that NICS couldn`t be used to create a national gun registration system, the Clinton-Reno regulations proposed keeping purchase records on law-abiding gun buyers for up to six months.

Meanwhile, anti-gun plaintiffs` lawyers lined up to rake through confidential batf firearm trace records for evidence to support their conspiracy theories against the gun industry. batf itself released a steady flow of meaningless "trace studies" that provided grist for the anti-gun propaganda mill.

Today, those fishing expeditions have run aground, since a pro-Second Amendment Congress passed several appropriations amendments that prohibit release of sensitive trace information outside law enforcement. The sponsor of those pro-privacy amendments,

Rep. Todd Tiahrt, R-Kan., was one of the new U.S. representatives swept into office in the 1994 voter backlash against Clinton`s anti-gun schemes, particularly his semi-automatic firearm and magazine ban.

Taxes | Chief Justice John Marshall famously declared, "The power to tax involves the power to destroy." In the `90s that, too, was part of the Clinton agenda. At a 1993 Senate hearing on the ill-fated Clinton health care plan, anti-gun Senator Bill Bradley, D-N.J., asked Hillary Clinton if Congress should impose a 25 percent sales tax on handguns to pay for health care. The First Lady replied, "Speaking personally, I`m all for that."

Then
Now

Reckless lawsuits against gun companies

Illegal record-keeping on gun sales

Taxes on gun buyers

Gun show bans

Second Amendment scorned

Clinton semi-auto firearm and magazine ban

National five-day waiting period

Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act

Tiahrt Amendment to protect gun owners` privacy

Fair tax exemption for gunsmiths

Gun law reforms

Second Amendment supported

Clinton ban sunset

National Instant Check System online

In 2005, by contrast, President Bush signed a little-noticed amendment to federal law that exempts small custom gun makers from federal excise taxes on firearm manufacturing. This seemingly small provision reflected a decades-long effort by NRA and some of America`s finest craftsmen--who had faced extinction due to the government`s occasional efforts to collect years` worth of back payments of a tax that was never meant to apply to them. It also was a direct rejection of anti-gun plans to tax gun ownership out of existence.

Taking the Initiative | We`ve been talking about 1998. But just a year after that, a horrific attack on a Colorado high school shocked America. And although the two killers violated a score of federal firearm laws, many in Congress--egged on by the Clinton White House--wanted to prescribe more of the same bad medicine. The Congress began a grueling, months-long debate over restrictions on our Second Amendment rights, including a plan to register gun show visitors and dealers, then regulate the shows themselves out of business. Senator Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., even wanted to ban online advertising of firearms.

Today, congre

TRENDING NOW
National Concealed Carry Reciprocity Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them

News  

Friday, January 13, 2017

National Concealed Carry Reciprocity Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them

On January 3rd, Congressman Richard Hudson (R-N.C.8th) introduced H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, which simply allows lawful firearm carriers from any state to carry a concealed firearm in any other state. The bill ...

Your Members of Congress Need to Hear from You on the Hearing Protection Act of 2017

News  

Friday, January 13, 2017

Your Members of Congress Need to Hear from You on the Hearing Protection Act of 2017

On Monday, Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID) – joined by co-sponsors Sens. Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Rand Paul (R-KY) – introduced S. 59, the Hearing Protection Act of 2017 (HPA). Similar legislation was introduced in the ...

Supreme Court Asked to Review California’s Restrictive Carry Regime

News  

Friday, January 13, 2017

Supreme Court Asked to Review California’s Restrictive Carry Regime

On Thursday, the NRA-supported case Peruta v. California took an important step towards restoring the right to bear arms in California.  The plaintiffs in the case, California gun owners and the California Rifle and Pistol ...

The NRA Bids Farewell to Roy Innis, Civil Rights Champion: June 6, 1934 – Jan. 8, 2017

News  

Friday, January 13, 2017

The NRA Bids Farewell to Roy Innis, Civil Rights Champion: June 6, 1934 – Jan. 8, 2017

America lost a civil rights icon and a true free thinker with the death of Roy Innis on Jan. 8. For the NRA, his departure was personal. Mr. Innis served on the NRA’s Board of ...

Jeff Sessions’ Devotion to the Constitution Shines Through in Contentious Confirmation Hearing

News  

Friday, January 13, 2017

Jeff Sessions’ Devotion to the Constitution Shines Through in Contentious Confirmation Hearing

On January 10 and 11, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee held the confirmation hearing for President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for United States Attorney General, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.). Throughout his distinguished career in public service, ...

Alert: WA State Proposes Draconian Gun Ban Bills

News  

Friday, January 13, 2017

Alert: WA State Proposes Draconian Gun Ban Bills

Inspired, perhaps, by Oscar Wilde (“Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess”), Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson has announced two new sweeping gun control bills, with Sen. David Frockt (D-Seattle) and Rep. ...

NRA Applauds the Introduction of the Hearing Protection Act, H.R. 367

News  

Hunting  

Monday, January 9, 2017

NRA Applauds the Introduction of the Hearing Protection Act, H.R. 367

FAIRFAX, Va. – The National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) applauded Congressmen Jeff Duncan (SC) and John Carter (TX-31) on Monday for introducing the Hearing Protection Act, an important bill that gives gun owners and sportsmen ...

Increase in Violent Crime: National Trend Driven by Local Politics?

News  

Friday, January 13, 2017

Increase in Violent Crime: National Trend Driven by Local Politics?

The FBI released its Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report earlier this week and the bad news is that violent crime increased for the second consecutive year.

Gun Shy Professor Claims Need to Counter Campus Carry

News  

Friday, January 6, 2017

Gun Shy Professor Claims Need to Counter Campus Carry

Do you look back on your college years and remember the impassioned debates, when disagreements over the Periodic Table of Elements, theories of supply and demand, or the status of Pluto as a planet could ...

New Mexico Legislature Convenes Next Week - Make Your Opposition Known to Pre-Filed Gun Control Bills SB 48 and HB 50

Thursday, January 12, 2017

New Mexico Legislature Convenes Next Week - Make Your Opposition Known to Pre-Filed Gun Control Bills SB 48 and HB 50

The New Mexico Legislature convenes for its 2017 Regular Session on Tuesday, January 17.

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.