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Three more wins in Congress for Gun Owners

Thursday, December 22, 2011

H.R. 2055—the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2012—has been passed by the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate and has been sent to the President for his expected signature.  This bill contains three NRA-backed provisions that will strengthen our Second Amendment rights and prohibit your federal tax dollars from being used to advance an anti-gun agenda. 

Stopping Your Tax Dollars From Funding Anti-Gun Studies

One of the protections expanded and strengthened can be found in Sec. 218 of the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education (Labor-H) division of the bill.  This section prevents the National Institutes of Health (NIH) from using taxpayer dollars to promulgate junk science designed to paint legal gun ownership as a public health hazard.  Since 2002, the NIH has spent nearly $5 million on this “research” even though their counterparts at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have been prevented from funding similar studies since being blocked in 1996 by a NRA-backed provision.  The following are just a few examples of the anti-gun research funded using taxpayer dollars:

  • $2,639,453 was spent by the NIH to investigate whether adolescents 10-19 years old who were treated at the hospital for a gunshot wound were more likely to have consumed alcohol and/or carried a firearm during the time period surrounding their injury than victims of a non-gun assault.  Basically, the researchers wanted to know why teenagers who possess firearms illegally and engage in underage drinking and consort with those who do the same-were likely to be involved in violent situations.
  • $1,980,327 was allocated by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, a division of NIH, to determine the relationship between gun violence and the presence of bars and liquor stores.  The researchers posited that communities could lower homicide and suicide rates by improving zoning regulations for “alcohol outlets.”
  • $35,933 in federal funding was used to “understand the determinants of firearm ownership and storage practices” and “measure attitudes and beliefs about firearms” among parents.  The study was funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development through NIH, and aimed to solidify the notion that a “home free of hazards” was essential to children’s safety and well-being.

These junk science studies and others like them are designed to provide ammunition for the gun control lobby by advancing the false notion that legal gun ownership is a danger to the public health instead of an inalienable right.

No Tax Dollars to Lobby and Promote Gun Control

The second is a new NRA-backed provision that is found in Sec. 503 of the Labor-H division.  This section prevents federal funds from being used for lobbying efforts designed to support or defeat the passage of legislation being considered by Congress, or any state or local legislative body.  Too often, community action groups are utilizing federal money to lobby for increased regulation of firearms including trigger locks, bans on semi-automatic rifles, regulated magazine capacity, etc.  This funding subverts the Second Amendment and allows anti-gun Administrations to fund grassroots gun control efforts using taxpayer dollars.  We are grateful that H.R. 2055 prohibits further use of this gun control scheme.

Protecting Historic Firearms and Spent Brass Casings from Destruction

Finally, a long-standing provision, found in Department of Defense (DOD) Sec. 8017 division A, preserves the opportunity for American gun owners to purchase surplus firearms that are no longer of use to the U.S. military.  This includes M-1 Carbines, M-1 Garand rifles, M-14 rifles, .22 caliber rifles, .30 caliber rifles and M-1911 pistols.  Starting in 1979, different versions of this language have prevented these firearms from being needlessly destroyed.  In 2009, Congress amended this language at the urging of the NRA to prevent the destruction of spent brass casings, a boon for gun owners and reloaders concerned about the rising price of ammunition.

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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.