Another Threat From Sen. McCain

Sen. McCain Threatening To Bring Up Gun Control
— But good news on another, gun-related front

(Tuesday, May 14, 2002) — A national anti-gun group is waging a million dollar ad campaign around the country and in the nation’s capital, hoping to influence congressmen to support a bill sponsored by Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Joe Lieberman (D-CT).

Sen. McCain, who is the group’s poster boy, is threatening to offer his bill (S. 890) as an amendment to any one of a number of bills. S. 890 would ban private sales at gun shows unless the gun buyer submits to a registration background check.

Even more ominous, the McCain bill would threaten the very existence of gun shows. S. 890 would impose a five-year jail sentence on any gun show organizer if a single attendee of the show were not notified of his obligations under the Brady law. Obviously, if this bill were passed, an organization would be foolish to even sponsor a gun show.

The anti-gun group, Americans for Gun Safety (AGS), is sponsoring misleading ads that convey the message that cops support the McCain bill. “The 220,000 officers represented by NAPO call on Congress to pass the McCain-Lieberman bill,” the ad claims.

Of course, the ad makes no effort to show whether those 220,000 cops have been polled by the leadership of NAPO (National Association of Police Organizations). In fact, it is quite common for anti-gun police bureaucrats to use street cops as political pawns in support of gun control — even when those front-line officers are 100 percent against firearms restrictions.

For example, supervisors in Arlington, Virginia, forced several officers to attend a Capitol Hill rally supporting a Clinton gun ban in 1994. The Washington Times reported that officers were told they could be disciplined if they did not comply with the order.

By contrast, the National Association of Chiefs of Police (NACOP) does poll its members every year on a wide variety of issues — including gun control. NACOP’s polls consistently show that police overwhelmingly support the individual right to keep and bear arms.

In its 1999 survey, the NACOP poll showed that a majority of police do not think that gun shows are a “major source for sales of illegal firearms to criminals.” (In fact, a recent study by the Department of Justice bears out the fact that less than one percent of criminals get their firearms from gun shows.) In the latest NACOP survey, ninety-three percent of police stated that any law-abiding citizen “should be able to purchase a firearm for sport or self-defense.”

ACTION: If you are a police officer, please contact your two U.S. senators and tell them that NAPO — which is being featured in the AGS ads — does NOT speak for you when it claims that cops support the McCain-Lieberman bill (S. 890). Likewise, if you know police officers, please urge them to also convey this message to their senators. Everyone else should ask their Senators to oppose McCain and Lieberman’s attempt to end gun shows.

You can reach the Senate at 202-224-3121 or call toll-free at 1-877-762-8762.

Big Victory Over Anti-gun ICC

Many of you who receive GOA e-mails took action last month when we alerted you to the lurking dangers posed by the new International Criminal Court (ICC). Thankfully, the Bush administration announced last week that the U.S. was officially reversing the previous administration’s decision to become a signatory to the ICC treaty.

Some lawmakers are fuming at Bush’s decision, but gun owners should be thankful. The court represents a dangerous threat to our national sovereignty and would most certainly work to contravene the Second Amendment rights of American citizens. Gun owners should still encourage their congressmen to cosponsor and vote for H.R. 4169, introduced by Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX). This legislation would make it very difficult for a future president to re-sign the treaty and submit it to the Senate for ratification.

Bush Administration Stands For Individual Gun Rights — Sort Of

Many newspaper editors around the country are hopping mad about the Bush administration’s recent declaration that the Second Amendment protects an “individual right.” While this is VERY GOOD NEWS — and represents a break with the previous Clinton administration — gun owners should not start popping the champagne corks yet. The administration also stated that this individual right is subject to “reasonable” restrictions designed to prevent possession by “unfit persons” or to restrict the possession of firearms that are “particularly suited to criminal misuse.”

Well, let’s see. Handguns are the “weapon of choice” for criminals. Does that mean that the government can pass “reasonable restrictions” upon handguns? And who is an unfit person? A pilot? A teacher? A law-abiding resident of Washington, DC? All three groups of people are currently considered “unfit” to carry firearms for self-defense most of the time.

You see the problem? The administration’s statement leaves the door open for boatloads of gun control. So on the one hand, the Bush declaration is welcome news. But on the other hand, it could be a case of ‘one step forward, two steps back.’