2012 GOA’s Mid Year Report
Your activism is positively impacting our gun rights!
— Your activism is positively impacting our gun rights!
“Thank you for making activism so easy! I can’t say enough how great a help it is to have the ‘contact your reps’ section on the GOA site! It makes it very easy for me to let those people in Congress know that we ARE out here and that we aren’t going away!” — MM, South Dakota
Gun Owners of America is fighting for your rights on all fronts — the political battle in Congress and in the legislatures around the country, the educational battle for the hearts and minds of Americans, and the legal battle to improve our standing in the courts.
Congress is currently on recess, and this means that now is a good time to reflect upon our recent accomplishments … together. After all, legislators will soon return, trying to limit magazine capacities, moving to confirm anti-gun judges, and trying to sneak through any kind of restriction they can in huge budget bills.
In the fog of war, it might appear like we are always on the defensive. But that’s because the media will not remind you about the victories we’ve achieved this year or the defeats the Obama administration has suffered. Sure, we’ve taken a few licks ourselves, but we’ve won a lot more battles than we’ve lost.
So as Congress gets ready to come back into session soon, get ready for the fight of your life — especially, the battle to kill gun control legislation and to get pro-gun candidates elected. And please be encouraged as you reflect on the highlights of what we’ve accomplished so far this year.
Supreme Court triumph! The year begins with a stunning victory in U.S. v. Jones, a case where Gun Owners of America filed a brief. The Supreme Court unanimously sided with GOA in finding that the placement of a Global Positioning Device on an automobile constitutes a “search” for purposes of the Fourth Amendment.
This decision will have dramatic ramifications for gun owners, as it strengthens Fourth Amendment protections which keep firearms safe from illegal “search and seizures.”
Muzzling of Gun Owners stopped. In the Congress, GOA wins a battle against efforts to “muzzle the web.” GOA hails the victory, as media outlets report that an amazing outpouring of opposition has resulted in Congress’ postponing the vote on so-called “anti-piracy” legislation.
In its final form, the legislation could have affected your ability to receive gun-related information from websites like GOA’s — allowing the Brady Campaign to shut down our GOA website and our organization (plus many other pro-gun websites) with a series of factually accurate, but legally frivolous complaints.
Spotlight on Fast & Furious. With Attorney General Eric Holder set to testify in Congress soon, Gun Owners of America fires up its grassroots network and continues calling for justice. At issue is the fact that Eric Holder oversaw Fast & Furious, an operation which put thousands of guns into the hands of Mexican drug traffickers and which resulted in hundreds of innocent deaths.
The Obama administration hoped to use the collateral damage from these firearms to demonize American gun rights and to justify additional gun restrictions in the US.
GOA addresses sheriffs. GOA Executive Director Larry Pratt speaks to hundreds of sheriffs, giving them many concrete examples of local interposition against out-of-control federal bureaucrats. This encouraged many sheriffs who admitted they had never even considered the authority they possess as the nation’s top elected law-enforcement officials.
February-March (Part One)
Having returned from encouraging sheriffs to engage in interposition, GOA jumps into a fight to nullify the recently-enacted National Defense Authorization Act. The NDAA could impact all Americans, including gun owners, by allowing them to be indefinitely detained without trial, based on simple membership in certain pro-gun groups.
Nullifying the NDAA. In Virginia, Delegate Bob Marshall (R) thanks GOA for helping push (into law) his important bill authorizing Virginia to nullify the federal NDAA.
“Twenty-four hours after the Virginia State Senate nearly killed my bill, thousands of Virginians [made] their views known,” Del. Marshall said. “Groups [like] Gun Owners of America … all publicly endorsed HB 1160” — thereby, keeping the bill alive so it could eventually make its way to the governor’s desk.
GOA fighting for “constitutional carry” at the state level. Gun Owners of America fought to liberalize carry laws around the country, so that Americans can conceal firearms without getting a permit, license or permission from state bureaucrats. In South Dakota, GOA helps push a “constitutional carry” bill all the way to the governor’s desk. Sadly, Gov. Dennis Daugaard (D) vetoes the bill, and the House subsequently fails to override.
GOA speaks to college students. GOA spokesmen travelled all across the country this year speaking to legislators or to citizens at local rallies. In February, GOA Director of Communications Erich Pratt goes on the firing line in Texas, debating students on the right to keep and bear arms.
Many students say that their views were changed because of the symposium. As stated by one: “You have given me more of an interest in my rights and changed my views on how I defend myself.”
February-March (Part Two)
GOA on Fox Cable News. GOA Executive Director Larry Pratt goes on Fox News to debate gun rights issues with hostess, Megyn Kelly, and a representative from an anti-gun organization. Among the issues discussed was whether George Zimmerman acted in self-defense in Florida and why gun sales were spiking around the country.
GOA fighting for “constitutional carry” at the federal level. One of the big pushes in recent years has been to pass reciprocity legislation at the federal level, so that armed gun owners can travel freely from state to state. Sadly, many of the bills would not protect so-called “constitutional carry” states, where citizens can carry without getting licenses.
Late last year, the House of Representatives passed weak legislation that would NOT protect constitutional carry states. So GOA springs into action to get a no-compromise version introduced in the Senate.
GOA’s efforts pay off handsomely when Senators John Thune (R-SD) and David Vitter (R-LA) sponsor S. 2213, a bill that would allow non-licensed persons (from constitutional carry states) to tote firearms across state lines. Not only that, GOA combines a lobbying and grassroots campaign that results in Thune and Vitter getting ten times as many cosponsors as the compromise version, which was introduced by Democrat Senator Mark Begich of Alaska.
Hence, the bill that YOU lobbied for is now the 800-pound gorilla in the Senate!
GOA’s petition-drive to light a fire under Speaker Boehner. Media reports indicate that House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) may be getting cold feet when it comes to holding Attorney General Eric Holder accountable for his role in Operation Fast & Furious.
Gun Owners of America launches a petition drive to let Speaker Boehner know that millions of gun owners are behind any and all House efforts to discipline or remove Holder.
One-gun-a-month restriction bites the dust. GOA celebrates the demise of a handgun rationing law that it has fought against for roughly 20 years. It all began in the early 1990s, when GOA launched an intensive campaign to kill the one-gun-a-month proposal in Virginia.
While the rationing proposal ultimately passed, GOA’s grassroots pressure succeeded in flipping several votes in the legislature to the pro-gun side. GOA also launched an intensive campaign to punish Republicans who had voted in favor of the bill. Some were forced to retire, while others quietly flipped to the pro-gun side.
To wit: Current Gov. Bob McDonnell was one of those who initially voted for the one-gun-a-month bill, but now, has done an about-face in signing its repeal into law. GOA thanks the Virginia Citizens Defense League, the state gun rights organization which did the heavy lifting this year in mobilizing support for the law’s repeal.
GOA goes to bat for Stand Your Ground laws. GOA appears on Fox Cable News to defend Stand Your Ground legislation, after these laws come under fierce attack following the Zimmerman-Martin shooting in Florida.
GOA also launches a national petition drive asking Florida Governor Scott to resist and, if necessary, veto any legislation that would repeal the state’s Stand your Ground law allowing citizens to use deadly force to defend themselves and their loved ones.
GOA helps defeat the most anti-gun Republican in the Senate. Gun Owners of America helps defeat anti-gun Sen. Dick Lugar in Indiana’s primary. GOA’s Political Victory Fund endorsed his “A”-rated challenger, Richard Mourdock, early this year and has strongly backed his campaign ever since.
Mourdock thanked GOA, saying, “I can’t thank Gun Owners of America enough for their early support of my campaign.”
Deep-sixing anti-gun judges. GOA has rallied the grassroots to fight against many of Barack Obama’s judicial appointments. The most recent battle is still ongoing, as GOA is providing ground troop support for Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) who is currently blocking Judge Elissa Cadish from being considered by the Senate.
In the past, Judge Cadish has indicated that she doesn’t believe there is an individual right to keep and bear arms — a position which has invited the ire of the gun-owning community.
Fighting UN gun control. With the United Nations getting closer to its July deadline of wrapping up the Arms Trade Treaty, GOA steps up its attack on the gun control accord.
Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS) is working to line up Senators against the ATT. Initially, only about 20 Senators are willing to sign Moran’s letter, which is addressed to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Obama. So GOA pledges to launch a national campaign to get Senator Moran more signatories before the deadline in July.
Efforts to nullify the NDAA in the Grand Canyon State. Similar to our efforts in Virginia, GOA lobbied to nullify the National Defense Authorization Act in Arizona. The good news is that the legislature sent the bill to Gov. Jan Brewer’s desk. The bad news? Gov. Brewer vetoed the bill.
For months, GOA has been pressing Congress to hold the Attorney General accountable for his cover-up of Fast & Furious and for his war against the Second Amendment. Given that the House Speaker is reportedly trying to postpone or delay action against Eric Holder, GOA continues to pursue other options for bringing him to justice.
GOA files suit, continues pursuing justice in Fast & Furious. In early June, the foundation of Gun Owners of America files suit in the U.S. District Court for D.C. to compel ATF to produce thousands of documents related to Operation Fast & Furious.
If the court finds in favor of the GOF complaint, the ATF will have to produce the requested documents or face “contempt of court” charges, which could result in Justice Department officials spending time in jail.
House finds Eric Holder in contempt of Congress. GOA thanks its grassroots activists for all their hard work on the heels of two key House votes on June 28, when Eric Holder is held in civil and criminal contempt of Congress.
The House leadership had been resistant to pushing a contempt citation — claiming it was a distraction during an election year. But the continual outpouring of grassroots support proved essential to countering this thinking and, ultimately, encouraging the House leadership to do the right thing.
GOA media campaign in wake of Colorado shooting. The nation reels in horror after learning that 12 people were gunned down in an Aurora theater — a so-called “gun free zone” — during the midnight showing of The Dark Night Rises.
Given that anti-gunners are now using this tragedy to push their agenda, GOA launches a media campaign to inform Americans on the truth behind guns and crime:
* GOA opinion columns and interviews appear in several outlets around the country, including US News & World Report, The Washington Times and CNN.com.
* GOA spokesmen appear on dozens of electronic media outlets, including National Public Radio and Spanish outlets like CNN Español.
Over and over, GOA emphasizes that Gun Free Zones actually embolden killers, who frequently choose these disarmament zones to perpetrate their crimes. But guns in good people’s hands often bring attempted massacres to a screeching halt.
GOA continues rallying the nation against UN gun control. GOA’s Larry Pratt appears on Fox Cable News to raise Americans’ awareness of the impending Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) that is scheduled to be completed later this month.
Plus, GOA continues pressing more Senators to sign onto Sen. Jerry Moran’s letter opposing the ATT. After a slow start, the grassroots “heat” generates a total of 50 co-signatories by the time Moran sends his letter to Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.
Grassroots pressure kills UN treaty for the year. Media reports cite the Jerry Moran letter (mentioned above) as one of the primary reasons the administration got “cold feet” and pulled its support for the UN treaty at the last minute.
But it was the grassroots which help Moran get a treaty-killing 50 co-signatures onto the letter — and it was that number (including the fact that several Democrat Senators were on the letter) which convince the administration that pushing this gun control treaty will cost it dearly in an election year.
GOA wins three important elections. With several primaries occurring around the country on July 31, Gun Owners of America jumps behind three important candidates, all of whom win their respective run-offs or primaries: Ted Cruz for Texas Senate, Steve Stockman for House District 36 in Texas, and Rep. Paul Broun in Georgia.
If each of them wins in the general election on November 6, Congress will not be the same next year, as all three are pro-gun leaders with proven track records!
Thanks again to everyone for fighting in the trenches with us!