Fairfax, VA- The U.S. Senate has voted 55-43 to accept an amendment to S.A. 3, the "Legislative Transparency and Accountability Act", removing a proposal that would have drastically limited the First Amendment rights of Americans in the political process. The Bennett - McConnell Amendment, offered by Sens. Robert Bennett (R-Utah) and Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), removes Section 220 that would have forced ordinary citizens to register with the federal government as "lobbyists," with all the attendant restrictions, costs, and penalties.
“The First Amendment protects an unqualified ‘right of the people to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. That is one of the cornerstones of American politics.” said Chris W. Cox, chief lobbyist for the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA). “ Sec. 220 would have, for the first time in American history, severely regulated and restricted ‘the voluntary efforts of members of the general public to communicate their own views on an issue to Federal officials.’
“On behalf of 4 million NRA members and tens of millions of gun owners, hunters and sportsmen across the country, I want to thank Senators Robert Bennett and Mitch McConnell for their leadership in preserving political free speech for all,” concluded Cox. “We are also grateful to the 55 senators who voted for the Bennett - McConnell Amendment.”
Established in 1871, the National Rifle Association is America’s oldest civil rights and sportsmen's group. Four million members strong, NRA continues its mission to uphold Second Amendment rights and to advocate enforcement of existing laws against violent offenders to reduce crime. The Association remains the nation's leader in firearm education and training for law-abiding gun owners, law enforcement and the military.