Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

The Fight Is On

Monday, April 1, 2013

By Chris W. Cox, NRA-ILA Executive Director

As winter ends, the NRA springs into action against attacks on the Second Amendment.

Throughout the 2012 elections, the NRA warned gun owners that if given a second and final term, President Barack Obama and his congressional allies would unleash a full-scale, government-wide assault on the Second Amendment. The president and his media supporters scoffed but, as January turned into mid-February, events—including multiple White House events, multiple Senate hearings, and the introduction of some of the most sweeping anti-gun legislation in U.S. history—have proven us right. 

On Jan. 16, Obama held a press conference at which he outlined his “solution” to the unimaginable tragedy that took place a month earlier in Newtown, Conn. Unfortunately but unsurprisingly, rather than proposing real security for our schools and communities, or an overhaul of our broken mental health system, he did little more than promote the major initiatives of anti-gun extremists from the past 20 years.

Obama’s legislative plan calls for passage of a new ban on “assault weapons,” a ban on standard-capacity magazines that hold more than 10 rounds, and—the centerpiece of activists such as New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg—criminalizing private transfers of firearms between law-abiding people.

Of course, none of these so-called “solutions” will stop another tragedy, nor will they prevent the criminals who rule the streets in many of our cities, including Obama’s hometown of Chicago, from continuing their violence. Even as Obama and his allies called for new gun controls, police in Chicago—home of gun laws that include gun licensing, gun registration, mandatory training, an “assault weapons” ban and even a ban on possessing a gun in your own garage—reported that the city had seen more than a 15 percent increase in murders from 2011 to 2012.

The president reiterated his demands in his State of the Union address on Feb. 12, calling for expanded background checks and for a ban on “weapons of war and massive ammunition magazines.”

But while Obama may call these proposals “commonsense reforms,” what do his own experts say? 

According to an unpublished Jan. 4 white paper from the National Institute of Justice (NIJ)—the research and evaluation arm of the Obama Justice Department—an “assault weapons” ban could only be effective “if coupled with a mandatory gun buyback and no exemptions,” and even then “would not have a large impact on gun homicides.” Likewise, a magazine ban could only be effective if it included “a massive reduction in supply” through “restrictions on importation, manufacture, sale, and possession.” And as for so-called “universal background checks,” the NIJ said their effectiveness would depend on “requiring gun registration.” (NRA-ila obtained a copy of the document and released it—along with a strong ad highlighting its findings—the night of the State of the Union speech; to view the ad and read the entire memo, go to www.NRAila.org/obamasexperts.)

What’s the next step in our legislative battle? With the State of the Union address behind us, the fight is now under way in Congress, beginning with the introduction of a flurry of anti-gun bills, hearings and “task force” reports.

On Jan. 24, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., introduced s. 150, a new and sweeping ban on common semi-automatic firearms. (Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-N.Y., introduced an identical bill, H.R. 437, in the U.S. House.) Contrary to media misreporting, the bills would do far more than just reinstate the 1994-2004 gun and magazine bans; key elements of the bills include a definition that bans any semi-automatic rifle with a detachable magazine and any semi-auto shotgun unless specifically exempted. The bill also bans magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. While existing guns and magazines could still be possessed, guns legally owned before the ban could only be sold through licensed dealers. Magazines, on the other hand, couldn’t be transferred at all, even to your heirs.

Feinstein is promoting this new ban in spite of all the evidence that the previous ban had no real impact on crime, in part because the guns it affected were only used in a tiny percentage of crime. It is clear her goal is to deny legal ownership of these guns by law-abiding Americans—no surprise, given her support for a handgun ban in her hometown of San Francisco.

Support for Feinstein’s ban—and the rest of the president’s agenda—came, also unsurprisingly, from a “Gun Violence Prevention Task Force” of House Democrats, appointed by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. (To read the report, go to www.NRAila.org/pelositaskforce.) Their report parroted Obama’s anti-gun agenda, endorsing all of his anti-gun goals. Like the president’s plan, it fails to address the root causes of violent crime or mass shootings by prosecuting criminals or fixing our broken mental health system in any meaningful way.

Meanwhile, kicking off a series of congressional hearings, the U.S. Senate Judiciary committee held a hearing on Jan. 30 entitled, “What Should America Do About Gun Violence?” 

The hearing (which can be viewed online at www.NRAila.org/judiciaryjan30) consisted of a single panel that included NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre, Second Amendment scholar David Kopel, pro-gun attorney Gayle Trotter, Baltimore County, Md., police chief James Johnson, and gun control supporter Mark Kelly, the husband of former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. (Rep. Giffords, who deserves credit for her determined recovery from a January 2011 attack by a madman, made a brief opening statement to the committee before the other witnesses took their seats.)

A familiar group of anti-gun politicians including Sens. Feinstein, Richard Durbin, D-Ill., and Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., made the same emotion-laden arguments they’ve made for decades on why government should restrict Second Amendment rights. But as always, they failed to provide any rational evidence that their so-called solutions would reduce ordinary street crime, let alone stop the kind of tragedies that have recently shocked our nation.

Wayne LaPierre, on the other hand, stood firm in the face of repeated calls for more gun laws.

In his testimony, he made clear that the NRA would not go along with new restrictions on the rights of honest Americans. “Law-abiding gun owners will not accept blame for the acts of violent or deranged criminals,” he said, “nor do we believe that government should dictate what we can lawfully own and use to protect our families.”

In particular, he stressed that Congress should focus on solutions that work: “the immediate protection of all—not just some—of our school children; swift, certain prosecution of criminals with guns; and fixing our broken mental health system.” (To read Wayne’s full testimony, go to ww.NRAila.org/wlptestimony.) 

The pro-Second Amendment members of the panel, including Sens. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., John Cornyn, R-Texas, Mike Lee, R-Utah, Ted Cruz, R-Texas and Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., helped face down the attacks by making strong statements in support of gun owners’ rights. One of the most dramatic examples came from Sen. Graham, who addressed the issue of magazine capacity by describing a recent case in which a Georgia woman used a revolver to defend herself and her family against a home invader: “My basic premise is that one bullet in the hand of a mentally unstable person or a convicted felon is one too many. Six bullets in the hands of a mother protecting her twin 9yearolds may not be enough.”

In a follow-up hearing on Feb. 12, the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights heard testimony on “Protecting Our Communities While Respecting the Second Amendment.”  Testimony at the hearing ranged from the scholarly—by former Assistant Attorney General Charles J. Cooper (who has long represented the NRA in major constitutional cases) and Harvard Law School’s professor Laurence Tribe, a gun control supporter—to the dramatic, with an appearance by former Texas state representative Suzanna Gratia Hupp. 

Rep. Hupp’s entry into politics was sparked by the 1991 mass murder at Luby’s Cafeteria in Killeen, Texas, where she saw her parents murdered while her handgun was tragically out of reach in her car, in compliance with Texas law. 

Once again, the subcommittee’s ranking Republican, Sen. Cruz, and  South Carolina’s Sen. Graham deserve credit for standing up for Second Amendment rights. (Video and written testimony are available online at www.NRAila.org/2ahearing.)

At press time, an additional Senate Judiciary Committee hearing was scheduled for Feb. 25. But all these are just the opening act; what happens next will be crucial. Second Amendment opponents are pushing for action as fast as possible, and by the time you read this article, we may well be in the midst of an all-out floor debate in the U.S. Senate. 

Wherever things stand at that point, one thing is certain: the NRA will continue to oppose new restrictions on our freedoms. NRA members must stand up now and be heard. Let your elected officials know you will not be blamed for the actions of criminals or the dangerously mentally ill. 

To identify and contact your legislators in Washington, D.C., use the “Write Your Reps” feature at www.NRAila.org, or call your U.S. senators and House members at (202) 224-3121. 

TRENDING NOW
Gun Control Lobby Seeks to Thwart SHARE Act with Hysteria, Fear Mongering

News  

Hunting  

Friday, September 22, 2017

Gun Control Lobby Seeks to Thwart SHARE Act with Hysteria, Fear Mongering

The panic is now starting to set in amongst the gun control lobby, which is desperately searching for ways to smear a bill that has been around for years in various forms without attracting much ...

Washington Post Employs Deceptive Tactic on “Children” and Guns

News  

Friday, September 22, 2017

Washington Post Employs Deceptive Tactic on “Children” and Guns

The Washington Post has surpassed the Brady Campaign and Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety to take a place alongside the New York Times as the premier anti-gun propagandists in the country.

Wall Street Journal/NBC News Poll Throws Wrench in Anti-gun Agenda

News  

Friday, September 8, 2017

Wall Street Journal/NBC News Poll Throws Wrench in Anti-gun Agenda

Demonstrating the importance of the gun issue to the American electorate, 35 percent of respondents reported that “gun rights or gun control” had an impact on their voting behavior. The issue was the highest-rated answer, ...

Reuniting The United States With Reciprocity

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Reuniting The United States With Reciprocity

Most concealed-carry permit holders understand the potential pitfalls of traveling with a firearm, given the outrageous patchwork of state laws involved in even a short interstate trip. And while we haven’t posted much about reciprocity ...

Long Term Trends in Gun Sales Remain Strong

News  

Friday, September 22, 2017

Long Term Trends in Gun Sales Remain Strong

Discussion of the state of the firearms industry began again with the release of the August NICS numbers. Allegations of a fading industry recur every month. Obama was the greatest gun salesman ever, Hillary Clinton ...

UK: Growing Support for Arming More Police

News  

Friday, September 22, 2017

UK: Growing Support for Arming More Police

The UK’s fear of firearms, and potential weapons of all kinds, is well-documented. Subjects are urged not to carry any item, such as pepper spray, that might be adapted for self-defense. Officers take to social media to boast of ...

Rhode Island:  House Gives Final Approval to Gun Control Bill

Friday, September 22, 2017

Rhode Island: House Gives Final Approval to Gun Control Bill

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello summoned lawmakers back to Providence in a rare September session, and the House passed an anti-gun bill Tuesday afternoon.  The session had abruptly ended in June with the budget and a ...

Anti-Gun Politicians: Blocking Out The Facts About Suppressors

Hunting  

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Anti-Gun Politicians: Blocking Out The Facts About Suppressors

As soon as the Hearing Protection Act was put forward on Jan. 9, 2017, leftists came out of the woodwork to criticize and misconstrue the goals of those who supported removing suppressors from the auspices ...

National Reciprocity Bill Nears Goal Line in the House but Needs Your Support to Reach the End Zone

News  

Friday, September 15, 2017

National Reciprocity Bill Nears Goal Line in the House but Needs Your Support to Reach the End Zone

Gun owners received good news this week with the passage of the SHARE Act by the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources (see related story). Meanwhile, progress continued to be made on another NRA legislative ...

House Committee Passes SHARE Act by Wide Margin

Hunting  

News  

Friday, September 15, 2017

House Committee Passes SHARE Act by Wide Margin

As we have reported, this year’s version of the SHARE Act is the most expansive and far-reaching yet. Besides previously-introduced provisions aimed at enhancing opportunities for hunting, fishing, and shooting and broadening access to federal lands ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -
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.