2000 GOA Members Dodge A Gun Control Bullet

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What They’re Saying About GOA

Rep. John Hostettler, (R-IN)

“Gun Owners of America is the pit bull of the Second Amendment. They are relentless and never give any ground whatsoever to the gun grabbers.”

Retiring Rep. Helen Chenoweth (R-ID)

“GOA is close to standing alone in Washington. They do not tell their members one thing and do another inside the beltway. They are tough and they don’t give up.”

U.S. Senator Bob Smith, (R-NH)

“You and your members are great patriots.”

Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX)

“GOA is the only no-compromise gun lobby in Washington.”

Roll Call, the newspaper of record on Capitol Hill:

“Gun Owners of America is considered the most aggressive pro-gun lobbying organization.”

GOA Members Dodge a Bullet This Year After Hard Work Kills Gun Control

“Members of Congress work in dread of receiving the hundreds, even thousands, of postcards, letters, and phone calls…. When Senator Patrick Leahy [D-VT] voted in favor of a relatively minor piece of gun-control legislation, ‘we got hundreds of postcards overnight,’ said a Leahy aide.” — Boston Globe, 8/7/00

It was supposed to be a done deal.

“Accord near on gun bill,” one headline blared on September 24, 1999.

Negotiators are “close to agreement,” opined the Associated Press. New gun controls were imminent.

Indeed, many people thought the “fix” was in.

Gun owners were facing new gun bans, gun owner registration and self-defense restrictions. Supposedly, there was nothing we could do.

Some gun owners were even suggesting that we agree to gun control “lite” to minimize the damage.

The media, those in Congress and the White House — all of them agreed that something was going to pass.

Well, that was September 1999.

More than a year later, those same experts were pronouncing the gun bill dead.

What happened?

What happened was that Capitol Hill felt the power of the grassroots.

GOA members unleashed a torrent of postcards and letters upon Washington. Legislators were flooded with complaint after complaint as e-mail, faxes and phone calls upped the pressure even more.

Legislative offices told Roll Call, the newspaper of record on Capitol Hill, that the collective voice of GOA members was quite loud. “Gun Owners [of America] is… much more active. They moved quickly and we heard from their people,” said one House leadership source close to the juvenile crime issue.

The victory over the anti-gun juvenile bill (H.R. 1501) has clearly demonstrated the power that committed gun owners can have upon legislation in Congress.

There is no need to retreat in the face of our opponents. We don’t need to offer gun control “lite” as an alternative whenever Sen. Chuck Schumer wants another gun ban.

We don’t need to compromise; we just need to organize.

And that we did. Gun owners won big with the defeat of the anti-gun juvenile bill.

We won big with the passage of Rep. John Hostettler’s “gun owners protection act,” and with the defeat of several anti-gun measures. Consider just some of the victories we accomplished together this year:

* The Clinton administration cut a horrendous deal with Smith & Wesson in March that imposed new restrictions on gun buyers and dealers. GOA subsequently pushed a “gun owners protection act” — offered by Rep. John Hostettler of Indiana — which helps ensure that other gun makers will not join Smith & Wesson in selling out gun owners. The Hostettler provision became law in October and prohibits the military from rewarding S&W’s perfidy with fat government contracts.

* GOA activists won a key battle when they helped kill an anti-gun Schumer amendment that threatened to put gun makers out of business. The provision would have helped the cities bringing suit against gun makers by preventing them from declaring legitimate bankruptcy, thus discharging any enormous judgments that result from frivolous lawsuits.

* Holding a letter from GOA in her hand, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) stood on the Senate floor attacking GOA in March after we refused to support her gun control “compromise.” Boxer’s anti-gun amendment, which instructed House-Senate conferees to finish its work on the anti-gun juvenile bill, subsequently failed by one vote.

* GOA members put intense pressure on Utah Senator Orrin Hatch to change his position and stop supporting the anti-gun juvenile bill. After thousands upon thousands of postcards, letters and telephone calls, Sen. Hatch finally “saw the light.” President Clinton later lamented the fact that Sen. Hatch had changed his tune, noting that “there’s so much pressure on Senator Hatch not to call a meeting” to pass the anti-gun juvenile bill.

* Incredibly, after months and months of grassroots pressure from GOA members this year, almost 50 Representatives and Senators switched their votes away from their previous support for the anti-gun bill. The massive defections doomed the chances of post-Columbine gun control from passing.


And finally, GOA members and activists helped kill one of the sneakiest gun bans ever devised. The Defense Department would have been authorized to confiscate and destroy any military surplus item that had ever been sold by the government — M1 Carbines, 1903 Springfields, Colt SAAs, uniforms, ammo, scopes, antique planes, anti-aircraft guns in front of VFW posts, and much more. All these items could have been confiscated and destroyed by the government.

Gun Owners of America put out e-mail and fax alerts asking our members to contact their congressmen and demand removal of this incredible gun grab. The bill had already passed both houses of Congress by huge margins — nobody reads the bills — and was in a conference committee to iron out differences.

One of the members of that committee, anti-gun Republican Senator John Warner of Virginia, was crucial. GOA mailed postcards to our members in the state urging them to put the heat on Warner.

Two days after the mail went out, Warner’s office called asking what was going on. We told them they were on the verge of angering not only gun owners, but veterans as well. The message evidently got through.

Thanks to the tireless members of Gun Owners of America who are always ready when called, Congress felt the heat. The Pearl Harbor attack on the Second Amendment was averted by the flood of calls and e-mail directed to Congress.

This year’s success gives us hope for next year. We want to press forward for even greater victories.

GOA will fight for national concealed carry reciprocity. We will work to pass the Citizen’s Self-defense Act.

We want to stop the frivolous lawsuits against the gun industry — lawsuits that threaten to put an end to the buying and selling of guns in this country.

It is going to be a tough two years. But with your help, GOA will fight for these things.

With your help, GOA will battle the compromisers who want to sign off on gun bans at gun shows, to register private sales, and to impose anti-safety devices upon every handgun owner.

With your help, GOA will stand against the media pundits who continue beating the drums for more and more draconian restrictions.

GOA can do a lot with your help. But we need you to stand with us.

Thank you for supporting Gun Owners of America and making us your gun lobby.

If You’re Not Yet A GOA Member, Is It Time You Became One?

The ability of GOA to continue putting pressure on politicians depends on loyal activists like yourself. So if you would like to keep up on other issues; if you would like to get our special Fact Sheets which are only provided to GOA members; if you would like to receive our very informative newsletter and get pre-printed postcards that enable you to easily lobby your own Congressmen — even to the point of becoming an “arm chair lobbyist” while watching TV commercials — then please become a GOA member today!

Join GOA today online at http://www.gunowners.org/ordergoamem.htm or call 703-321-8585.

Or print and mail the following form.


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