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The Coming Storm

Friday, March 27, 2009

Even before Inauguration Day, the Brady Campaign provided President Barack Obama with a wish list of gun-prohibition measures it’s hoping he will champion in the coming months.

by NRA-ILA Staff

No one, including the Brady Campaign, seriously believes Barack Obama was elected president because of his support for gun control. But the Bradys are pretending they provided Obama with the margin of victory and, even before the inauguration, provided him with a very long list of gun bans and other restrictions that they expect from him in return.

If for no other reason, Obama might want to tell Brady “no” because if he were to do their bidding, they would be sure to demand that he do even more. That’s demonstrated by the Bradys’ statement that their current request “is not intended to present an exhaustive list … but does provide a starting point.”

Here is a list of some of the demands the Brady Campaign was quick to send to President Obama:

A California-Style “Assault Weapon” Ban For several years, the Brady Campaign has referred to California’s “assault weapon” ban, which is far more restrictive than the federal ban of 1994-2004, as the “model” for the rest of the nation. The Brady Campaign doesn’t say so, but it clearly supports--as does the Violence Policy Center--the California-like ban that Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-N.Y., has proposed in Congress since before the 1994 semi-automatic firearm ban expired.

Among its differences from the 1994 ban, the McCarthy bill would ban rifles like the AR-15, even if they do not have a flash suppressor, bayonet mount or adjustable-position stock.

It would ban the m1, the m1 Carbine, the Ruger Mini-14 series, the SKS and many other semi-automatic rifles not previously labeled as “assault weapons.” And it would ban every semi-automatic shotgun by banning its receiver.

Repeal The Recent Department Of The Interior Rule Allowing State Law To Determine How Firearms May Be Carried In National Parks And Wildlife Refuges The Brady Campaign offers no evidence to support its claim that allowing Right-to-Carry on federal land would “increase the risk of gun crime, injury and death in the parks and wildlife refuges.”

As for Brady’s hunches, for the last 20 years it has predicted that allowing people to carry guns for protection will cause murder rates to soar, but people now carry guns for protection in 40 states, and since 1999 murder rates have been lower than any time since the miD-1960s.

Repeal The Tiahrt Amendment And The Protection Of Lawful Commerce In Arms Act (PLCAA) The Brady Campaign complains that the Tiahrt Amendment “restricts disclosure of data to law enforcement,” and prevents the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) from disclosing firearm-tracing data to the public.

The first claim is a lie. The amendment allows BATFE to provide the data to any law enforcement agency involved in a bona fide investigation related to a traced firearm.

Tracing data is not released to the public so that, among other reasons, criminals won’t know that the police are investigating them. That’s why the Fraternal Order of Police supports the Tiahrt Amendment. Brady should just tell the truth for once: Even though the BATFE and Congressional Research Service repeatedly state that tracing data are not reliable enough to draw conclusions about the criminal use of guns generally, Brady wants the data so it can concoct bogus claims to use in lawsuits against firearm manufacturers who comply with every applicable firearm law. 

These predatory lawsuits are currently prohibited by the PLCAA, which the Brady Campaign hopes to overturn.

Require All Firearm Sales To Go Through NICS (Advocated By Obama’s Choice For Attorney General, Eric Holder), And Allow The FBI To Retain The Records Of All NICS-Approved Firearm Transfers It used to be that the Brady Campaign claimed that the only private firearm transfers that it wanted run through NICS were those taking place at gun shows.

Now, it’s all private transfers, including gifts between family members and sales or trades between friends. And it wants the FBI to record all transfers. Translation: gun and gun-owner registration, no two ways about it.

Allow A NICS Check To Reject Someone Whose Name Is On An FBI Watch List This is yet another idea recommended by Attorney General Holder and Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.

The obvious problem with it is that you can get on one of these lists by having the same name as a suspected criminal or terrorist, and if you are on a list, you may not be able to determine which one you are on, much less get yourself removed. Sen. Ted Kennedy even ended up on a “no-fly” list, for reasons that have not been made public.

Prohibit The Sale Of More Than One Handgun To A Single Individual In A 30-Day Period, Allegedly To Thwart “Large-Volume” Illegal Gun Traffickers Federal law already requires a dealer to report to law enforcement authorities instances when a person buys more than one handgun in a five-day period.

This proposal amounts to the rationing of a constitutional right with no crime-reduction benefit.

Require All New Guns To Micro-Stamp Ammunition With A Serial Number Linking The Owner In A Federal Gun-Owner Registration Database Most crimes are solved by other means, not by ammunition markings, and criminals could easily deface the firearm parts that would bear the serial number.

In truth, Brady’s agenda isn’t about solving crimes; for them, micro-stamping is another way of achieving gun and gun-owner registration.

A Ban On Standard Magazines Designed For Self-Defense The Brady Campaign calls them “high-capacity,” but magazines that hold more than 10 rounds are designed for self-defense, as demonstrated by the fact that most guns that use standard defensive magazines (those holding more than 10 rounds) are handguns designed for self-defense and used for that purpose by private citizens, law enforcement officers and military personnel alike.

Now is as good a time as any to dispel one blatant lie that Brady includes with its wish list. Brady says, “Beginning with the Brady Law in 1993, the assault weapon ban in 1994 and other Clinton administration policies, our nation experienced an historic decline in gun crime and violence,” adding, “during the Bush years, gun crime increased as the administration and Congress … allowed the assault weapon ban to expire [and] gave the gun industry special legal protection.”

The truth is, violent crime began declining in 1991, three years before the Brady Act and the semi-automatic firearm ban, and more than a year before Bill Clinton took office. And the nation’s violent crime rate declined another eight percent during President Bush’s terms in office.

Moreover, in 1998, the Brady Act’s waiting period on gun sales ceased when it was replaced by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), which the Brady Campaign opposed (though they try to take credit for it today, inappropriately referring to NICS checks as “Brady checks”).

And, contrary to the Brady Campaign’s prediction that crime rates would soar if the semi-automatic firearm ban expired, violent crime rates have actually decreased since the law was allowed to sunset in 2004, to the lowest point anytime in the last 31 years.

Require Consumer Safety Standards For Firearms Even the vehemently anti-gun Violence Policy Center has said this would lead to standards too difficult for firearm manufacturers to achieve, thus ending firearm production.

In the list of firearm-prohibition requests, the Brady Campaign pushed this new “big lie” on the new president:

“These proposals are clearly constitutional under the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent Second Amendment decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, and they pose no threat to the interests of law-abiding gun owners,” the Brady Campaign said in the letter.

However, the Heller decision clearly states that laws cannot deprive people of the Right to Keep and Bear Arms for defensive purposes.

As for “the interests of gun owners,” we’ll follow the Supreme Court’s example, and let gun owners speak for themselves. The court declared D.C.’s handgun ban unconstitutional because gun owners consider handguns to be the type of firearm best suited for self-defense.

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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.