Gun Owners Win Free Speech Battle

(Thursday, October 9, 1997) — In a dramatic victory for pro-gun forces, gun grabbers failed in their effort on Tuesday, by a 53 to 47 vote, to shut down a filibuster of the McCain-Feingold campaign “deform” bill. Sixty votes would have been necessary in order to shut off debate.

Had it been successful, this “Incumbent Protection Bill” (S. 25) would have resulted in the government regulation of GOA’s newsletters and other communications with its members, while expanding the relative political power of the liberal media and other anti-gun forces.

Since January, GOA has taken the lead in actively fighting McCain-Feingold. At the beginning of the year, GOA proposed a package of “killer amendments” designed to destroy the bill. Ultimately, the Senate Majority Leader adopted a “killer amendment” strategy to prevent McCain and Feingold from “sweetening” their bill in order to attract more votes.

GOA spokesmen appeared on national television attacking the anti-gun bill, while, behind the scenes, GOA strategists led conservatives in plotting strategy.

Gun Owners Apply the Heat. GOA members can be justly proud of this victory on behalf of the First and Second Amendments. One senator, Tim Hutchinson of Arkansas, received so many calls from pro-gun constituents that his office phoned GOA in order to plead that we “call off the dogs.” Not surprisingly, Hutchinson switched his vote on the first McCain-Feingold roll call to a pro-gun vote on the second day.

Congratulations on your victory! Keep up the good work!

How They Voted. Every Democratic Senator voted to end the filibuster on the “Incumbent Protection Bill” — which, of course, means all these Senators voted to bring up this horrible bill for a vote. Joining the Democrats in voting anti-gun on Tuesday were eight Republicans:

       Republican Senators Voting Anti-gun (1-800-522-6721)

Chafee (R-RI) McCain (R-AZ)
Collins (R-ME) Snowe (R-ME)
Hutchinson (R-AR) * Specter (R-PA)
Jeffords (R-VT) Thompson (R-TN)

* Switched his vote on Wednesday

ACTION: Keep the heat on the above Senators! Senator McCain might still try to attach this monstrosity as an amendment to another bill. Call 1-800-522-6721 or 202-225-3121.