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
No Gov. Northam, Your Gun Ban is NOT Constitutional

News  

Friday, December 13, 2019

No Gov. Northam, Your Gun Ban is NOT Constitutional

As Virginia gun owners have shown their displeasure with Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s proposed attack on their rights in city and county meetings across the Old Dominion, Northam has been forced to answer questions about ...

Virginia Gov. Northam Seeks Gun Registration as Down Payment on Gun Confiscation

News  

Friday, December 13, 2019

Virginia Gov. Northam Seeks Gun Registration as Down Payment on Gun Confiscation

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) must think that Old Dominion gun owners are stupid. After months of Northam and his Michael Bloomberg-backed General Assembly allies advocating for the enactment of gun confiscation legislation, the governor ...

Bloomberg Bought Virginia Legislators Introduce Confiscatory Gun Ban

News  

Monday, November 25, 2019

Bloomberg Bought Virginia Legislators Introduce Confiscatory Gun Ban

Michael Bloomberg’s bought and paid for Virginia legislators have wasted no time introducing legislation that would make the Old Dominion’s gun laws worse than those of the billionaire’s home state of New York.

Pro-Gun Bill Introduced to Protect Lawful Gun Carriers from Federal-State Legal Trap

News  

Monday, December 9, 2019

Pro-Gun Bill Introduced to Protect Lawful Gun Carriers from Federal-State Legal Trap

Earlier this year, U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD) introduced a bill that would protect persons lawfully carrying firearms under state law, including in those states that do not require a carry permit, from being snared ...

Member Spotlight: Meet the hunter who stands up to those who call her a ‘murderer'

Hunting  

News  

Monday, December 9, 2019

Member Spotlight: Meet the hunter who stands up to those who call her a ‘murderer'

America’s hunters are increasingly under fire by political extremists. Hunter and philanthropic consultant Britt Longoria has been at the center of an online hate campaign by animal rights extremists who don’t understand where their food ...

Senate Confirms Hunter-Friendly Candidate to Oversee Wildlife Management

News  

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Senate Confirms Hunter-Friendly Candidate to Oversee Wildlife Management

The NRA-ILA applauds the U. S. Senate for confirming Aurelia Skipwith to serve as director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).

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.

Crooked California: Bad Gun Control Laws Once Again Foster Official Corruption

News  

Monday, December 9, 2019

Crooked California: Bad Gun Control Laws Once Again Foster Official Corruption

In news that will not shock gun rights supporters, the anti-gun utopia of California has provided further evidence that unjust gun control laws invite official corruption. According to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s ...

Breaking! Federal Court Finds California Magazine Ban Violates the Second Amendment

News  

Friday, March 29, 2019

Breaking! Federal Court Finds California Magazine Ban Violates the Second Amendment

In one of the strongest judicial statements in favor of the Second Amendment to date, Judge Roger T. Benitez of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California determined on Friday that California’s ...

Background Checks for Family Members?! Bloomberg-Bought Virginia Legislature Seeks to Ban Private Firearms Transfers

Friday, December 6, 2019

Background Checks for Family Members?! Bloomberg-Bought Virginia Legislature Seeks to Ban Private Firearms Transfers

Michael Bloomberg’s bought-and-paid-for new Virginia majorities have wasted no time introducing an extremist bill that would make the Commonwealth one of the most hostile states for law-abiding gun owners.

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.