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USA FREEDOM Act Would Curtail Government Surveillance Programs

Friday, September 19, 2014

Americans are justifiably proud of our military, intelligence, and law enforcement forces.  Their bravery, dedication, and sacrifice help keep this nation safe and free.  They have the gratitude of the NRA, its members, and the American people.

Americans can also take pride that the nation’s commitment to a free and open society has largely survived efforts to enhance security and intelligence-gathering both abroad and throughout the homeland.  This preservation of important principles has required sustained and dedicated efforts on the part of many, including your NRA.  We take a backseat to no one in our support of the men and women of America’s Armed Forces and law enforcement communities.  We also understand that the constitutional safeguards our Founding Fathers built into the American system of government were designed as much for challenging times of upheaval and insecurity as for times of peace and calm.

For these reasons, your NRA has been actively involved in efforts to ensure the incredible technological and surveillance capabilities that have arisen in the last decade do not overwhelm fundamental civil liberties, including the privacy of your Second Amendment choices.  As we reported in January, NRA has been participating in a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) that challenges the National Security Administration’s mass collection of communication data under Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act.

Specifically, the litigation asserts that the data collection is not authorized by that act and violates Americans’ First and Fourth Amendment rights.  In its original friend-of-the-court brief and a follow-up filing with the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, NRA has argued that NSA’s data collection program violates the First Amendment rights of NRA members by potentially chilling their willingness to communicate.  It also asserts that the NSA program could use sophisticated metadata analysis to circumvent statutory protections barring the federal government from collecting gun ownership records.     

While the ACLU case continues to make its way through the federal courts, Congress has also responded to the privacy concerns raised by a broad coalition of civil rights and privacy advocates with legislation aimed at curbing the excesses of NSA’s runaway data collection.  The USA FREEDOM Act of 2014, sponsored by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.), strengthens safeguards against abuse of the surveillance activities targeted by the ACLU litigation.  It requires enhanced justification for these activities, limits their scope and duration, requires destruction of information collected that is not relevant to foreign terrorist activity, and enhances executive and judicial oversight of data collection.

The NRA supports the USA FREEDOM Act--currently pending as S. 2685 and H.R. 3361--as a positive step toward protecting the privacy of innocent Americans and ensuring that surveillance activities are properly and narrowly focused on actual threats to the nation’s security.  As well as the NRA and the ACLU, the bill is supported by a diverse range of interest groups, including the American Library Association, the Center for Democracy and Technology, the Center for National Security Studies, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and the Sunlight Foundation.

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Monday, April 24, 2017

Lawsuit Filed Against California's Assault Weapons Control Act

The National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) today announced it is supporting, along with the California Rifle and Pistol Association (CRPA), an important Second Amendment lawsuit challenging California’s newly expanded Assault Weapons Control ...

“F” Stands for Fail: School Jeopardizes Student’s Future for Possession of Squirt Gun

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Second Amendment  

Friday, April 21, 2017

“F” Stands for Fail: School Jeopardizes Student’s Future for Possession of Squirt Gun

Public education’s long-running “zero tolerance” war against anything that suggests the idea of a firearm (including, for example, clothing, gestures, toys, food, computer images, and favorable opinions of self-defense) has claimed another victim. This time ...

The Prosecutors and the Pagans: Two Sides of the Empire State’s Gun Laws

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Second Amendment  

Friday, April 21, 2017

The Prosecutors and the Pagans: Two Sides of the Empire State’s Gun Laws

Early this month, members of the gun-control group Prosecutors Against Gun Violence met at a “Manhattan Summit” and took the time to express their dismay and alarm over federal bills proposing national concealed carry reciprocity. ...

Chicago: Mayor Emanuel Demands Tougher Laws for Gun Dealers as Straw Purchaser Gets Probation

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Friday, April 21, 2017

Chicago: Mayor Emanuel Demands Tougher Laws for Gun Dealers as Straw Purchaser Gets Probation

On Tuesday, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel met with representatives of the UCAN organization to make the case for further gun controls to combat the city’s violent crime. Chicago’s WLS reported that Emanuel used the opportunity ...

South Carolina: Senate Subcommittee to Hear Multiple Gun Bills Tomorrow

Monday, April 24, 2017

South Carolina: Senate Subcommittee to Hear Multiple Gun Bills Tomorrow

Tomorrow, a subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing to discuss several firearm-related bills, and subcommittee members need to hear from you.

California: Open Carry Ban Passes in the Assembly

Friday, April 21, 2017

California: Open Carry Ban Passes in the Assembly

Yesterday, the state Assembly passed Assembly Bill 7 by a vote of 44 to 29.   AB 424 was not considered during yesterday’s floor session, however it remains eligible for a vote at any time.  

Brace Yourself: ATF Reconsiders Obama-Era Policy on Stabilizing Braces

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Gun Laws  

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Brace Yourself: ATF Reconsiders Obama-Era Policy on Stabilizing Braces

News broke this week that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has reconsidered and “clarified” its Jan. 6, 2015 Open Letter on the use of stabilizing braces as shoulder stocks.

Rhode Island:  House Committee Will Hear Over a Dozen Gun Bills Tuesday Night

Monday, April 24, 2017

Rhode Island: House Committee Will Hear Over a Dozen Gun Bills Tuesday Night

On Tuesday, April 24, the House Judiciary Committee will hold a marathon hearing on several anti-gun bills.

Oregon: Anti-Gun Bill Heads to Senate Floor

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Oregon: Anti-Gun Bill Heads to Senate Floor

Yesterday, on the deadline for policy bills to move out of committee, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to pass Senate Bill 719 with its -5 amendment.  Because a number of bills were effectively dead for ...

For 2017, A Historic NRA-ILA Leadership Forum

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, April 21, 2017

For 2017, A Historic NRA-ILA Leadership Forum

For the past decade, NRA-ILA has sponsored leadership forums that have allowed our members to hear directly from national leaders.  Next Friday, that tradition continues and the line up of speakers is top notch.

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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.