Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

NRA Supports Lawsuit Challenging NSA's Mass Surveillance and Collection Program

Friday, September 6, 2013

NRA supports the whole Constitution, and demonstrated that support this week by weighing in on an issue that's been of concern for decades.

On Wednesday, NRA filed a "friend of the court" brief in federal district court supporting an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit challenging the National Security Agency's (NSA) phone records surveillance and collection program.  The massive NSA data-mining program collects the records of millions of Americans.

First among the "Purposes and Objectives" listed in NRA's Bylaws is "[t]o protect and defend the Constitution of the United States," and especially the right to keep and bear arms guaranteed by the Constitution. The NRA's activities in support of that purpose have long included legislative advocacy and litigation concerning the rights of the NRA and its members to associate and communicate freely under the First Amendment (also demonstrated by our opposition to so-called campaign finance "reform" legislation), and the protection of gun owners against intrusive government surveillance or recordkeeping, such as the establishment of systems to register or compile lists of firearms or the owners of firearms.

NRA also stands second to no organization in its support for legitimate law enforcement, military, and national security activities to defend our nation against terrorism. Countless NRA members, including NRA employees, have served in that fight.

At the same time, NRA historically has made clear that counter-terrorism efforts must be conducted within the bounds of the Constitution.

The NRA brief argues that NSA's mass surveillance program threatens the rights of NRA and its members because it "could allow identification of NRA members, supporters, potential members, and other persons with whom the NRA communicates, potentially chilling their willingness to communicate with NRA."  Further, the brief argues that the mass surveillance program "could allow the government to circumvent legal protections for Americans' privacy, such as laws that guard against the registration of guns or gun owners."

For more than 50 years, the Supreme Court has recognized that involuntary disclosure of the membership of advocacy groups inhibits the exercise of First Amendment rights by those groups. For nearly as long--since the debates leading up to enactment of the Gun Control Act of 1968--Congress has recognized that government recordkeeping on gun owners inhibits the exercise of Second Amendment rights. The NSA's mass surveillance program raises both issues, potentially providing the government not only with the means of identifying members and others who communicate with NRA and other advocacy groups, but also with the means of identifying gun owners without their knowledge or consent, contrary to longstanding congressional policy repeatedly reaffirmed and strengthened by Congresses that enacted and reauthorized the legislation at issue in this case.

As the brief notes, "…it would be absurd to think that Congress would adopt and maintain a web of statutes intended to protect against the creation of a national gun registry, while simultaneously authorizing the FBI and the NSA to gather records that could effectively create just such a registry."

The brief concludes that, "if programs like those currently justified by the government's interpretation are allowed to continue and grow unchecked, they could also--contrary to clear congressional intent--undo decades of legal protection for the privacy of Americans in general, and of gun owners in particular."

Another brief was filed Wednesday by U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.), the principal House sponsor of the Patriot Act, which contained the provision at issue. Commenting in a statement, Rep. Sensenbrenner also noted the possible effects on gun owners: "The NSA's dragnet collection of data is a violation of Americans' privacy rights and a misinterpretation of the law.  Bulk data collection has frightening implications.  The Administration believes every phone call that every American makes is relevant to terrorism investigations.  Does it also believe every gun sale is relevant?  The same flawed legal argument could be used to build a national gun database, violating our Second Amendment rights."

TRENDING NOW

Monday, June 23, 2014

ALERT: Governor Rick Scott Makes History Signing 5 Pro-gun Bills

On, Friday, June 20, 2014, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed 5 pro-gun bills into law.  A strong supporter of the Second Amendment, Governor Rick Scott has now signed more pro-gun bills into law -- in ...

Outback Steakhouse: No Rights, Just Rules

News  

Friday, February 9, 2018

Outback Steakhouse: No Rights, Just Rules

The word “Outback” used to conjure images of Australia’s tenacious frontier spirit; of hunters, ranchers, and other adventurers who carved out a harsh existence from an unforgiving land.

Oregon: Anti-Gun Bills Scheduled For Vote

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Oregon: Anti-Gun Bills Scheduled For Vote

On February 15th, the Oregon state House of Representatives will hold a vote on House Bill 4145, which would significantly expand the class of persons who could be stripped of their Second Amendment rights. In ...

A Promise Kept: Trump Signs Repeal of Obama-Era Social Security Gun Prohibition Rule

News  

Friday, March 3, 2017

A Promise Kept: Trump Signs Repeal of Obama-Era Social Security Gun Prohibition Rule

On Tuesday, President Donald J. Trump signed the repeal of an Obama-era Social Security Administration (SSA) rule that would have resulted in some 75,000 law-abiding beneficiaries losing their Second Amendment rights each year. 

What the Media Doesn’t Want You to Know: Enactment of National Reciprocity is Closer than Ever!

News  

Friday, February 2, 2018

What the Media Doesn’t Want You to Know: Enactment of National Reciprocity is Closer than Ever!

Anybody who is exposed to the so-called news media these days faces a barrage of bewildering and often outlandish claims. “Breaking news” cycles through the public eye with such frequency and speed that knowing what’s ...

NRA Endorses Screnock for State Supreme Court

Second Amendment  

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

NRA Endorses Screnock for State Supreme Court

The National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF) is proud to endorse Judge Michael Screnock for the Wisconsin Supreme Court. 

Gun Laws  

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Citizen's Guide To Federal Firearms Laws - Summary

A Citizen`s Guide to Federal Firearms Laws A summary of federal restrictions on the purchase, sale, possession, and transportation of firearms and ammunition. Caution: Firearm laws are subject to frequent change and court interpretation.

News  

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Mental Health and Firearms

Since 1966, the National Rifle Association has urged the federal government to address the problem of mental illness and violence. As we noted then, “the time is at hand to seek means by which society ...

Washington: Gun Bills to Be Heard Next Week

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Washington: Gun Bills to Be Heard Next Week

On February 9th, the Washington state Senate passed Senate Bill 6298 to expand the category of persons stripped of their Second Amendment rights and it is now scheduled for a hearing in the House Judiciary ...

NRA Endorses Marco Rubio for U.S. Senate

News  

Thursday, July 7, 2016

NRA Endorses Marco Rubio for U.S. Senate

Fairfax, Va.— On behalf of our five million members across the country, the National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF) today endorsed Marco Rubio for the office of U.S. Senate in the Florida Republican primary.

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.