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APPEARS IN Grassroots

Grassroots Alert: Vol. 8, No. 27 7/6/2001

BRADY BUNCH CONTINUES ATTACKS ON ASHCROFT

In what might best be considered ironic absurdity, the gun-ban lobby formerly known as HCI filed an ethics complaint against U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft on Tuesday. The complaint was filed because the AG stated in a letter to NRA-ILA Executive Director James Jay Baker that he understands the Second Amendment protects an individual right to arms—a view that is anathema to the lobby headed by Sarah Brady. This lobby, of course, is the same ethically-challenged organization that intentionally misled the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee during this year’s confirmation hearings for AG Ashcroft. On January 19, while testifying under oath before the Committee, HCI President Michael Barnes fabricated a Supreme Court quote and grossly exaggerated the number of firearm-related fatalities involving children, telling U.S. Senator Teddy Kennedy (D-Mass.), "...just under 11 children a day in the United States [die] from gun violence." In fact, there is an average of fewer than two firearm-related fatalities involving children each day in the U.S.

And if intentionally misleading the U.S. Senate while under oath is not unethical, then what about Brady and her group’s constant efforts to try to capitalize on tragedy to further their anti-gun agenda? One of the most egregious examples came in March, when HCI used the horrific murders at a high school in Santee, Calif., to not only promote its attacks on our Right to Keep and Bear Arms, but to turn the tragic event into an on-line fund-raising scheme.

AG Ashcroft took an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution (which does still include the Second Amendment, Mrs. Brady), so to hold a view contrary to the original intent of our Founding Fathers would be the unethical position—making the complaint filed by Brady’s group a decidedly ironic PR stunt. If you support the AG’s views on our Right to Keep and Bear Arms, let him know by contacting:

U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001
e-mail — AskDOJ@usdoj.gov

Also be sure to let President George W. Bush know you support Ashcroft’s views. You can contact the White House at:

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
e-mail — president@whitehouse.gov

MICHIGAN SUPREME COURT REJECTS RIGHT TO CARRY REFERENDUM

In a tremendous victory for the citizens of Michigan, the State Supreme Court ruled last Friday that the new law allowing law-abiding citizens to apply for a concealed firearms permit could not be subject to a referendum. The court ruled that a referendum cannot be held on the Right to Carry law because the legislation included a $1-million appropriation for implementation by the State Police. "We commend the Michigan Supreme Court for upholding the state Constitution which clearly forbids referenda on acts which appropriate money to state institutions," said Todd Adkins, Deputy Director of NRA-ILA’s State and Local Affairs. Michigan now joins 32 other states across the country that recognize this right through implementation of a non-discretionary permit-issuance system.

SCHUMER & McCARTHY PROPOSE REGISTRATION SCHEME

Gun-ban extremists reacted rather predictably to last week’s announcement by Attorney General John Ashcroft that he intended to make changes to the National Instant Check System (NICS) so that it would run more effectively and efficiently. U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and U.S. Representative Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.) responded to Ashcroft’s proposal to slash the amount of time allowed to keep records on law-abiding citizens that are generated by NICS to less than one day (a decision heralded by ILA’s James Baker as "a tremendous step in the right direction in protecting the privacy rights of gun buyers") by stating they would introduce legislation after the Independence Day recess that would require records on law-abiding gun purchasers to be retained for 90 days. We’ll be sure to alert the pro-gun community if this legislation begins to move in Congress.

NRA-ILA LAUNCHES IMPROVED WEBSITE

In a continuing effort to ensure that NRA members have fast access to the most timely and useful information possible to use to defend our rights protected under the Second Amendment, the NRA-ILA recently completed a comprehensive, top-to-bottom redesign of the ILA website—www.NRAILA.org. The new website is designed to be much easier to navigate, while providing up-to-date political and legislative information on the federal, state and local levels. The site includes a new link to state legislatures and natural resources divisions for every state. In addition, our "Write Your Reps" feature provides members immediate contact with Congress and local legislators.

Frequent visitors to the ILA site will notice a host of new features, including an "Archive" of articles and "Armed Citizen" columns that have appeared over the years in the American Rifleman and elsewhere. The "Armed Citizen" database, for example, covers the years 1958-2001, and is readily searchable using key words, date, year, or even the state referenced in the text. New informational and action items are posted on a regular basis, so to see what else is new on your website, please visit www.NRAILA.org today—and come back often.

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.