Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News Second Amendment

Rotary International Gives the Boot to Gun Owners, Cites “Reputation Risk” In New Firearms Ban

Friday, March 31, 2017

Rotary International Gives the Boot to Gun Owners, Cites “Reputation Risk” In New Firearms Ban

Anger is mounting over an anti-gun policy adopted in January by the international service and networking organization, Rotary International (RI).

A letter announcing the rules, set to take effect in on July 1, claimed they were a response to “a lack of clarity around RI’s policy … when participating in activities involving guns, weapons, and other armaments, and when interacting with gun companies, including for sponsorship purposes.”

The new rules – codified in Chapter II, Article 2, Section 2.100 of Rotary Code of Policies – unfortunately feature their own ambiguities and contradictions.

But one thing is clear: Those who prize America’s Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, or who simply appreciate the many benefits of owning firearms, are no longer welcomed within the group’s ranks.

The new policy bans any Rotary entity – including clubs and districts – from selling, raffling, or transferring firearms. It also bans these entities from participating in activities where any sort of firearm raffle or other transfer occurs, whether or not Rotary is the owner of the items. Rotary entities are also prohibited from sponsoring or conducting gun shows or other exhibitions involving guns. 

The new policy even bans Rotary entities from “accept[ing] sponsorship from any entity whose primary business is the sale or manufacturer of guns, weapons or other armaments.” The policy manual goes on to classify such items as “addictive or harmful products and activities.” 

While the policy does not go so far as to completely ban Rotary events involving sport shooting or other handling of firearms, it does state: “In no instance shall any of the Rotary Marks be used in any visual that includes guns, weapons or other armaments.” Further, “The Rotary Marks may not be used in combination with the name or logo of any entity whose primary business is the sale or manufacture of guns, weapons or other armaments.”

Some have pointed out the hypocrisy of the “primary business” clause, which would allow high-volume manufacturers or retailers of firearms to associate with Rotary and participate in its functions, so long as the company made more money from other lines of business. Yet that same language serves to punish and exclude small “mom and pop” type firearms dealerships.

Also, sport shooting events or firearms education are good enough to occur under Rotary’s auspices but they may not be memorialized on film as such. 

Rotary District 5320 has posted frequently asked question sheet (FAQ) about the new policies on its website. 

The FAQ claims the policy arose from inquiries by clubs that wanted to hold a gun show and use a Rotary trademark on a firearm. 

It denies any political or ideology basis for the policy but then goes on to state it was “done strictly to limit Rotary financial and reputational risk,” as if association with lawful firearm-related businesses or activities was somehow a per se harm to the group’s reputation or standing. It also suggests that sponsorship by firearm companies is inconsistent with Rotary’s mission.

The decision itself, according to the document, was made by RI’s 19-member Board of Directors, four of whom are U.S. citizens, and all of whom were elected by RI’s membership. It acknowledges that RI’s constituent clubs were not involved in the decision, but claims that the board has the “basic responsibilit[y]” for RI’s “name and reputation.” 

Among Rotarians who have taken exception to the new policy is Wisconsin State Rep. Bob Gannon (R-West Bend), who announced last month he was taking a leave of absence from RI and considering quitting the organization in response.  Gannon noted that in providing aid to other countries, RI does not dictate political terms to them. “Rotary International is now saying there are conditions on any money collected in the United States,” he told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “We're being held to a different standard."  

Gannon’s comments were an apparent reference to the fact that some of RI’s international members do not appreciate the unique role that firearms play in America’s history, culture, and constitutional structure. 

We certainly hope that RI will revisit this unnecessary and ill-conceived policy, which threatens to create a rift between members of an organization that claims to be devoted to the common good.  It’s hard to imagine the 1.2 million members and 35,000+ affiliated clubs of which RI boasts have a monolithic approach to firearms. 

Of course, RI is within its rights to enact the new policy. 

And its many members in the U.S. and elsewhere where firearm ownership is common and respected are just as clearly within their rights to channel their philanthropy and civic engagement into other groups. Some who oppose the RI board’s anti-gun stance may even wish to consider supporting groups that actively promote responsible firearm ownership, America’s constitutional values, and the basic human right of self-defense.

IN THIS ARTICLE
Rotary International
TRENDING NOW
Now With More Banning! Dianne Feinstein Introduces “Updated” Federal “Assault Weapons” Ban (S. 66)

News  

Friday, January 11, 2019

Now With More Banning! Dianne Feinstein Introduces “Updated” Federal “Assault Weapons” Ban (S. 66)

On Wednesday, longtime gun control extremist Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) introduced the latest version of her perennial bid to rid America of its most popular types of rifles, as well as the standard capacity magazines that ...

Washington: Committee Hearings Scheduled on Anti-Gun Bills

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Washington: Committee Hearings Scheduled on Anti-Gun Bills

Anti-gun bills will be heard on January 21st at 10:00AM by the Washington state Senate Committee on Law & Justice and by the House Committee on Civil Rights & Judiciary on January 22nd at 10:00AM.

Wisconsin: Governor Evers Starts Session with Gun Control Push

Monday, January 14, 2019

Wisconsin: Governor Evers Starts Session with Gun Control Push

With the 2019 Wisconsin Legislative Session convened, Governor Tony Evers and Attorney General Josh Kaul are already working with legislators to pass sweeping gun control.

Keep Telling Your Members of Congress to Oppose “Universal” Background Check Bills

News  

Friday, January 18, 2019

Keep Telling Your Members of Congress to Oppose “Universal” Background Check Bills

On January 8, two bills were introduced in Congress to impose so-called "universal" background checks. The bills, H.R. 8 and S. 42, are being misleadingly described as simply requiring background checks on all sales of firearms, but this is ...

Illinois: Gov. Pritzker Signs Firearm Registration & Dealer Licensing Bill

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Illinois: Gov. Pritzker Signs Firearm Registration & Dealer Licensing Bill

Today, Governor J.B. Pritzker signed Senate Bill 337 into law.  Passed by the previous legislature in 2018, SB 337 will establish a firearm registry and shut down your local gun stores with government red tape.  Senate ...

Canada’s Gun Control Advocates Boast Handgun Ban is “Within Reach”

News  

Friday, January 11, 2019

Canada’s Gun Control Advocates Boast Handgun Ban is “Within Reach”

On August 28, 2018, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau instructed Bill Blair, his minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction, to examine the feasibility of “a full ban on handguns and assault weapons in ...

Monster Mistake, Take Two?

News  

Hunting  

Friday, January 11, 2019

Monster Mistake, Take Two?

Capitulating to radical, anti-gun extremism has become acceptable to some within the business community in recent years, especially for companies that seem to care little about our rights protected by the U.S. Constitution.  We’ve seen banks ...

Law for Thee But Not for Me: Pittsburgh Officials Defy DA’s Legal Advice in Gun Control Push

News  

Friday, January 18, 2019

Law for Thee But Not for Me: Pittsburgh Officials Defy DA’s Legal Advice in Gun Control Push

Pittsburgh City Council member Corey O’Connor wants local residents to relinquish important aspects of their Second Amendment rights. If they refuse, he would have it cost them their liberty and treasure. But O’Connor himself apparently ...

Virginia: Gov. Northam’s Anti-Gun Bills to be Heard in Committees

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Virginia: Gov. Northam’s Anti-Gun Bills to be Heard in Committees

This week, committees in both chambers of the Virginia General Assembly will be hearing an array of bills that are part of Governor Ralph Northam’s agenda to impose sweeping gun control in the Commonwealth.  The ...

Background Checks: No Impact on Criminals

News  

Friday, January 11, 2019

Background Checks: No Impact on Criminals

We have seen a generation of gun-grabbers rise and fall. The new generation of gun-grabbers are pushing for the same tired and baseless policies that won’t so much as inconvenience criminals. We understand the emotional ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

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.