Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Bloomberg's Stealth Attack on Firearm Freedoms

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Bloomberg's Stealth Attack on Firearm Freedoms

Attention, Maine, Nevada and California: Anti-gun forces are passing restrictive state ballot measures off as “gun safety” initiatives, hoping to ensnare law-abiding citizens. 

As November draws near, the nation’s attention is naturally drawn to the battle between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton for the White House. While this is always the case in presidential election years, it is especially true in this cycle given Clinton’s desire to run a campaign centered on imposing gun control.

We’ve never had a presidential election like this one. It’s not an understatement to say that the Second Amendment is on the ballot this November. America’s choice for president will determine the fate of our gun rights for present and future generations.

At the same time, we must protect freedom everywhere it is under attack in November, especially where Michael Bloomberg has focused his vast fortune to push his gun control agenda at the state level. Under the guise of direct democracy, Bloomberg is funding several ballot initiatives to destroy the Second Amendment incrementally, one state, and one ballot question, at a time. 

Bloomberg has targeted two states for his stealth campaign—Maine and Nevada. Gavin Newsom, the vehemently anti-gun lieutenant governor of California, has followed Bloomberg’s lead and has introduced a ballot measure similarly attacking the Second Amendment freedoms of Californians, but in a more direct and comprehensive way. 

In all three states, the campaigns in support of these ballot questions are clearly aimed to deceive voters into believing they are benign “gun safety” measures that do not strip the law-abiding of their Second Amendment-protected rights. Nothing could be further from the truth. 

Let’s start with Maine and Nevada, because in both cases the imposition of a “universal” background check on the sale or transfer of any firearm between law-abiding individuals is at issue.

The initiatives in these two states are similar but not identical. For instance, there are minor differences in the exceptions provided. However, in actual practice, the effect is the same: the criminalization of simply lending a rifle, shotgun or handgun to a friend even for completely legitimate purposes.Forcing law-abiding people to submit to background checks on ammunition will have no impact on violent crime.

Both initiatives would forbid an individual from transferring a firearm to another person unless facilitated through a licensed firearm dealer. Both parties to the transfer must appear jointly at a willing dealer, who must conduct a background check through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) and comply with all state and federal requirements as though he were selling or transferring a firearm out of his own inventory. 

While proponents of the initiatives often refer to them as background checks on sales of firearms, the true effect would be to criminalize otherwise lawful behaviors with firearms. As a general rule, the background check requirement would apply to all transfers, not just sales. The Maine language specifically includes “sell, furnish, give, lend, deliver or otherwise provide” a firearm to another, with very limited exceptions.

Want to lend a rifle to your friend to go hunting? Under these initiatives you’d better think again. And that’s exactly what Bloomberg wants—to chill your Second Amendment-protected rights to the point where they effectively have been stripped away.

In fact, the Nevada initiative lacks a definition of “transfer” completely, but the inclusion of very limited exceptions implies that the simple act of handing a firearm to another person would be illegal if the initiative becomes law.  The overbroad nature of the initiative would criminalize many transfers that take place every day among our friends and neighbors, and as we know, these activities have nothing to do with violent crime. 

The only permanent transfers that would be generally exempt from the background check requirements of the Nevada measure are those by or to law enforcement agencies or their employees as part of their official duties; transfers of antique firearms; transfers between immediate family members; and transfers that are part of estates or trusts that happen due to the death of the former owner. 

So even with these new laws on the books, violent crime won’t be reduced and perfectly reasonable, law-abiding behavior will be banned.These initiatives will not stop violent criminals. Instead, law-abiding citizens will pay the price of increased red tape and potential criminal charges for failing to comply with background check requirements.

We all know that so-called “universal” background checks are not universal because criminals will never comply. Criminals will continue to break the law and acquire firearms as they always have—through the black market, straw purchasers, theft and other illicit sources on the street.

Further, according to the National Institute of Justice, “universal” background checks are unenforceable without requiring complete gun registration. So even with these new laws on the books, violent crime won’t be reduced and perfectly reasonable, law-abiding behavior will be banned. And you can trust that Bloomberg, if he’s successful in these states with these initiatives, will be back asking for registration so that background checks can be enforced. 

Bloomberg and his anti-gun allies are counting on voters in Nevada and Maine to buy into their misleading and emotional arguments, and ignore the hard fact that expanded background checks will only apply to people who willingly obey the law.

Exploiting the initiative process is a fast-growing tactic of the anti-gun movement. Having failed in most states to convince well-informed state legislators to enact their freedom-killing proposals, they are now adopting the initiative process as a way to impose their agenda.  

For more information on these initiatives, go to the following web page for more information:

For Nevada, go to www.VoteNoQuestion1.com/

For Maine, go to www.VoteNoQuestion3.org.

All gun owners need to learn this process and understand that even if the fight isn’t in your state this year, it could be coming soon. 

Having discussed Nevada and Maine, let’s turn to California.

California already has the most restrictive gun laws in the country. 

Registration. Waiting period. Semi-automatic ban. Magazine ban.

The list goes on. So what else does the gun control crowd want to add? 

The California proposal would require background checks for all ammunition purchases; require that any seller of ammunition have a state license; and ban the possession of standard capacity magazines. 

Almost 50 years ago, ammunition sales became regulated under federal law. After a few years, the law was so unworkable that Congress repealed it. As is so often the case, anti-gunners never learn from their failures. For politicians like Newsom, there is no gun law that goes too far. Forcing law-abiding people to submit to background checks on ammunition will have no impact on violent crime.The NRA is the nation’s strongest grassroots organization because our members and supporters understand that we must win every battle today, while never losing sight of the broader war to protect our freedoms.

Back in 2000, California banned the sale of standard capacity magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds. That law “grandfathered” magazines that were already owned by millions of gun owners. This initiative, however, would make mere possession of these currently legal magazines a crime. Therefore, magazines that were purchased legally 20 years ago or more and owned responsibly for decades would suddenly become contraband and turn law-abiding people into instant criminals.

Over the past two decades, California has succumbed to the idea that there is only one answer to violent crime—gun control. Anti-gun politicians pass a new law claiming it will fix the problem, and when that law fails, they call for more. The truth is, the multitude of anti-gun laws in California will not, and cannot, protect the public from violent crime. The laws on the books in California certainly did not stop the terrorist attack in San Bernardino last December, nor the mass murder in Santa Barbara prior to that.

But truth has never been a part of the debate for people like Newsom. And his latest initiative is proof that anti-gunners will never be satisfied until they completely outlaw gun ownership.

What is happening in these three states should be of great concern to all gun owners. Campaign finance reports show that by June, Bloomberg groups had contributed $3 million in Maine and slightly more than $3 million in Nevada. There is no telling what they might contribute in California. 

With millions of dollars from anti-gun billionaires like Bloomberg, the initiative process poses a serious threat to our fundamental freedoms. If you live in one of the 24 states that have an initiative process, take action now to learn how it works and how you can fight back if the anti-gun forces target your state. 

The NRA is the nation’s strongest grassroots organization because our members and supporters understand that we must win every battle today, while never losing sight of the broader war to protect our freedoms. We must come together and send a united message to elitist billionaires like Bloomberg, and radical anti-gun politicians like Newsom, that we will defend our rights no matter the venue, no matter the approach, and no matter how much money is spent to try and deceive the American people.

Chris W. Cox

BY Chris W. Cox

NRA-ILA Executive Director

Follow This Contributor

Chris W. Cox has served as the executive director of the Institute for Legislative Action, the political and lobbying arm of NRA, since 2002. As NRA’s principal political strategist, Cox oversees eight NRA-ILA divisions: Federal Affairs; State & Local Affairs; Public Affairs; Grassroots; Finance; Research & Information; Conservation, Wildlife & Natural Resources; and Office of Legislative Counsel. Cox also serves as chairman of NRA’s Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF), the Association’s political action committee; president of the NRA Freedom Action Foundation (NRA-FAF), which focuses on non-partisan voter registration and citizen education; and chairman of NRA Country, an effort to bring country music artists together with NRA members in support of our Second Amendment freedoms and hunting heritage.

TRENDING NOW
NJ Court: State Can’t Criminalize Possession of “Pencils” and Other Lawful Objects for Home Self-defense

News  

Friday, June 16, 2017

NJ Court: State Can’t Criminalize Possession of “Pencils” and Other Lawful Objects for Home Self-defense

It is refreshing to finally see some common sense coming out of a court in NJ, as the state is notoriously known for its illogical and Draconian gun laws that do little more than make ...

Goodyear Fires Australian Competitive Shooter over Simple Miscommunication

News  

Friday, June 16, 2017

Goodyear Fires Australian Competitive Shooter over Simple Miscommunication

In the United States there have been a handful of high-profile incidents in which an employer has terminated an employee following the employee’s use of a gun in self-defense while at the workplace. In recent ...

Rotary Turns 180 Degrees on Restrictive Firearm Policies

News  

Friday, June 16, 2017

Rotary Turns 180 Degrees on Restrictive Firearm Policies

In March, we reported on a series of restrictive policies governing firearms that had been approved by the governing body of the well-known networking and service club, Rotary International. This week came a welcome turn ...

Ohio: Pro-Gun Bills Scheduled for Committee Hearing Tomorrow

Monday, June 19, 2017

Ohio: Pro-Gun Bills Scheduled for Committee Hearing Tomorrow

  Tomorrow, June 20, several Second Amendment-related bills are scheduled to be heard in the House Committee on Federalism and Interstate Relations.  Please contact the committee members in support of the following pro-gun bills!

Delaware: Hearing Scheduled for Radical Gun Seizure Legislation

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Delaware: Hearing Scheduled for Radical Gun Seizure Legislation

Tomorrow, the House Administration Committee is scheduled to consider House Bill 222.

UK: Police Commissioner Suggests Value of Armed Citizenry, is Quickly Rebuffed

News  

Friday, June 16, 2017

UK: Police Commissioner Suggests Value of Armed Citizenry, is Quickly Rebuffed

Every once in a great while, an independent-minded United Kingdom official is overcome with a bout of common sense on firearms. However, such outbursts of reason are typically short-lived, as the gun control apostate becomes ...

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.

Kansas: Governor Brownback Allows Anti-Gun Legislation to Become Law

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Kansas: Governor Brownback Allows Anti-Gun Legislation to Become Law

Today, Governor Sam Brownback announced that he intends to let House Bill 2278 become law without his signature.  HB 2278 makes it unlawful for individuals to carry a firearm for self-defense into a state or municipal-owned ...

Why The United States Needs To Unite On Carry Reciprocity

News  

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Why The United States Needs To Unite On Carry Reciprocity

In an educational op-ed posted Thursday at newyorkdailynews.com, criminologist and author John Lott makes the case that the previous day’s shooting at a GOP Congressional baseball practice proves why the country needs national Right-to-Carry reciprocity.

California: Pre-Litigation Letter Sent to DOJ Opposing “Bullet Button Assault Weapon” Regulations

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

California: Pre-Litigation Letter Sent to DOJ Opposing “Bullet Button Assault Weapon” Regulations

On Monday, June 19, the NRA and CRPA’s legal team submitted a joint-letter to the California Department of Justice (DOJ) and Office of Administrative law demanding that the regulations be withdrawn or not approved as the regulations exceed ...

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.