The U.S. Senate has voted 55-43 to accept an amendment to S.A. 3, the “Legislative Transparency and Accountability Act”, removing an onerous proposal that would have drastically limited the First Amendment rights of Americans in the political process. Offered by Sens. Robert Bennett (R-Utah) and Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), the amendment removed 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 a sacred right of the American people.” said NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox. “ 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 53 other senators who voted for the Bennett-McConnell Amendment.”
While this was no doubt a victory for NRA, gun owners, and freedom, enemies of the First and Second Amendments are alive and well in the 110th Congress, and no doubt will continue to assault our rights. Our thanks to all of you who contacted your U.S. Senators on this most important issue.
To see how your Senators voted, please visit www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=110&session=1&vote=00017.