Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox's Letter to U.S. Senators on S. 3295, the DISCLOSE Act

Friday, June 11, 2010

/media/PDFs/SenDISCLOSEAct.pdf

Dear Senator:

There have been many questions regarding the National Rifle Association's position on
S. 3295, the DISCLOSE Act. The purpose of this letter is to express our opposition to
this bill as introduced.

Earlier this year, in Citizens United v. FEC, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the ban
on certain political speech by nonprofit membership associations such as the NRA. In an
attempt to characterize that ruling as something other than a vindication of the free
speech and associational rights of millions of individual American citizens, S. 3295
attempts to reverse that decision.

Under the First Amendment, as recognized in a long line of Supreme Court cases,
citizens have the right to speak and associate privately and anonymously. S. 3295,
however, would require the NRA to turn our membership and donor lists over to the
government and to disclose top donors on political advertisements. The bill would
empower the Federal Election Commission to require the NRA to reveal private, internal
discussions with our four million members about political communications. This
unnecessary and burdensome requirement would leave it in the hands of government
officials to make a determination about the type and amount of speech that would trigger
potential criminal penalties.

S. 3295 creates a series of byzantine disclosure requirements that have the obvious effect
of intimidating speech. The bill, for example, requires CEO and "top-five funder"
disclosures on television ads that mention candidates for federal office from 90 days prior
to a primary election through the general election. For radio ads during the same period,
CEO and "significant funder" disclosure is required. This is far worse than current law
and would severely restrict the various ways that the NRA communicates with our
members and like-minded individuals.

While there are some groups that have run ads and attempted to hide their identities, the
NRA isn't one of them. The NRA has been in existence since 1871. Our four million
members across the country contribute for the purpose of speaking during elections and
participating in the political process. When the NRA runs ads, we clearly and proudly
put our name on them. Indeed, that's what our members expect us to do. There is no
reason to include the NRA in overly burdensome disclosure and reporting requirements
that are supposedly aimed at so-called "shadow" groups.

On the issue of reporting requirements, the bill mandates that the NRA electronically file
all reports with the FEC within 24 hours of each expenditure. Within 24 hours of FEC
posting ofthe reports, the NRA would be required to put a hyperlink on our website to
the FEC's website - and keep that link active for at least one year following the date of
the general election. Independent Expenditure and Electioneering Communication
reports would have to disclose all individuals who donate $1,000 or more to the NRA
during the reporting period. There are literally thousands of NRA donors who would
meet those thresholds, so these requirements would clearly create a significant burden.

Some have argued that under the bill, all the NRA would have to do to avoid disclosing
our $ 1,000 level donors is to create a "Campaign-Related Activity Account." Were we
to set up such an account, however, we would be precluded from transferring more than
$10,000 from our general treasury to the account; all individual donors to that account
would have to specifically designate their contributions in that manner and would have to
limit their contributions to $9,999; the burdensome disclosure requirements for broadcast
ads would still apply; and the NRA would be prohibited from spending money on
election activity from any other source - including the NRA's Political Victory Fund (our
PAC). In sum, this provision is completely unworkable.

Unfortunately, S. 3295 attacks nearly all ofthe NRA's political speech by creating an
arbitrary patchwork of unprecedented reporting and disclosure requirements. Under the
bill, the NRA would have to track the political priorities of each of our individual
members - all four million of them. The cost of complying with these requirements
would be immense and significantly restrict our ability to speak.

As noted above, there is no legitimate reason to include the NRA in S. 3295's overly
burdensome disclosure and reporting requirements. Therefore, the NRA is opposed to
this bill as introduced.


Sincerely,

Chris W. Cox
Executive Director, NRA-ILA

IN THIS ARTICLE
Campaign Finance Reform
TRENDING NOW
Justice Scalia Made Clear the Second Amendment and Heller Prohibit “Assault Weapon” Bans

News  

Second Amendment  

Gun Laws  

Friday, July 13, 2018

Justice Scalia Made Clear the Second Amendment and Heller Prohibit “Assault Weapon” Bans

On July 9, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) offered the following ham-handed statement in an attempted attack on President Donald Trump’s U.S. Supreme Court nominee, D.C. Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Brett Kavanaugh is a true Second Amendment radical. ...

Delaware: Governor Signs Bill Legalizing Sunday Deer Hunting

Hunting  

Friday, July 13, 2018

Delaware: Governor Signs Bill Legalizing Sunday Deer Hunting

On July 11th, Governor John Carney signed Senate Bill 198 into law to expand hunting opportunities in Delaware by eliminating the prohibition against hunting for deer on Sundays and allowing for the harvesting of deer on Sundays ...

California DOJ Withdraws Proposed Regulations Expanding Application of “Assault Weapon” Definitions

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

California DOJ Withdraws Proposed Regulations Expanding Application of “Assault Weapon” Definitions

On Monday, the California Department of Justice, Bureau of Firearms (“CA DOJ”) officially withdrew the proposed regulations that would have expanded the improperly adopted “assault weapon” definitions, to apply in all circumstances. This withdrawal comes ...

NRA Files Comments in Support of Trump Administration’s Export Reform Effort

News  

Friday, July 13, 2018

NRA Files Comments in Support of Trump Administration’s Export Reform Effort

On Monday, the public comment period closed on a pair of rulemakings that could finally free American gun owners and small businesses from being trapped in a minefield of federal regulations designed for exporters of ...

Judge Brett Kavanaugh Has Earned NRA Members’ Support

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, July 13, 2018

Judge Brett Kavanaugh Has Earned NRA Members’ Support

NRA members can feel confident throwing their enthusiastic support behind President Donald Trump’s nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court. Throughout his time on the bench, Judge Kavanaugh has demonstrated deep respect ...

California: MASSIVE Data Breach and Significant Registration Problems with CA DOJ’s “Assault Weapon” Registration System

Saturday, July 7, 2018

California: MASSIVE Data Breach and Significant Registration Problems with CA DOJ’s “Assault Weapon” Registration System

Following the closure of the “assault weapon” registration period, NRA and CRPA received complaints from hundreds of individuals who were unable to register their firearms as required because CA DOJ’s online application system was unable ...

Mission Impossible: California Court Upholds Microstamping Law

News  

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Mission Impossible: California Court Upholds Microstamping Law

It is not surprising that gun control activists who harp endlessly about “common sense” gun restrictions and the need for ever more legislative reforms (here, here and here, for example) aren’t particularly interested in whether the various bans and ...

NRA Applauds Brett Kavanaugh's Nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court

News  

Monday, July 9, 2018

NRA Applauds Brett Kavanaugh's Nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court

Fairfax, Va. -The National Rifle Association (NRA) applauds the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to fill Justice Anthony Kennedy’s seat on the United States Supreme Court. 

Too Young or Too Old... To Own a Gun?

News  

Friday, July 6, 2018

Too Young or Too Old... To Own a Gun?

A common theme among anti-gun extremists is what we often refer to as the “Goldilocks” approach to limiting access to firearms by law-abiding citizens.  Rather than admit that the ultimate goal is to disarm all ...

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

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.