Armed Pilots Is Now Law Thanks To Gun Owners
What They’re Saying About Gun Owners of America
“Let me reiterate my deep appreciation for the tremendous job being done by Gun Owners of America in the battle to defend America’s right to keep and bear arms. There is no question that without GOA, American gun rights would be in even greater peril today.”
— Retiring Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NC)
“Your membership in Gun Owners makes a difference on Capitol Hill every single day…. I know that GOA will continue to be the ‘no compromise’ leader in defending America’s gun rights and personal freedoms.” — Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX)
“I commend GOA members for their staunch support of the 2nd Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.”
— Rep. Virgil Goode (R-VA)
GOA Members and Activists Help Advance Gun Rights in 2002
The past year has been remarkable as far as gun rights are concerned. Virtually every gun control bill that was introduced in Congress failed to see the light of day.
Gun control was repealed. Federal law was changed to allow many pilots to carry firearms in airplane cockpits. And on Election Day, gun rights supporters elected additional pro-gun Congressmen to the House and Senate.
Next year will be just as busy. No doubt, we will have some unique opportunities, but we will also face some grave dangers as well. The misnamed assault weapons ban will certainly be debated in the next two years, as well as renewed efforts to register gun owners through ballistic fingerprinting.
While some might assume that the new 108th Congress will reject any gun control measures, it is interesting to note that the very last piece of gun control to pass the U.S. House was supported by most of the Republican leadership.
The so-called ‘Our Lady of Peace Act’ passed the House unanimously and was dangerously close to getting fast-tracked to the President’s desk (see a greater analysis below under “November”).
During the next year, Gun Owners of America will be vigilant in guarding against “gun control creep,” those seemingly harmless measures passed in the name of fighting crime that, in the end, have the same net results as the more aggressive gun control pushed by the anti-gun zealots.
But we will need your help. Please stand with us as the Minute Men of the 21st Century — concerned citizens who are ready on a moment’s notice to put the heat on their elected representatives and to hold them accountable.
Please also consider joining Gun Owners of America if you have not yet renewed your membership for next year. For your convenience, you can go to http://www.gunowners.org/ordergoamem.htm on the web to update your membership.
We thank you for your support, which makes this e-mail and web service possible.
And now for this year’s highlights. The following paragraphs review some of the major achievements that we accomplished together in 2002.
January – March
GOA activists fought a ferocious battle against the Incumbent Protection Act, which was generally supported by gun control advocates. The bill passed in March, whereupon the Brady crowd hailed it as a step towards breaking the power of the “gun lobby.”
While technically not a gun bill, this new law squelches the free speech rights of decent Americans and will make it much harder for groups like GOA to hold legislators accountable in the days leading up to an election.
Shortly after President George Bush signed the bill into law, Gun Owners of America joined with Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) in filing a lawsuit to challenge the constitutionality of the law.
Unlike similar lawsuits, the Paul/GOA effort goes beyond trying to overturn the Incumbent Protection Act. GOA’s suit, if successful, will overturn most of the existing campaign law, which also was designed to favor incumbents with reporting requirements, contribution limits and other burdens designed to perpetuate the status quo.
You can read GOA’s brief on our website. The suit, which is still pending, holds tremendous potential if we are victorious — as gun owners will be able to financially support pro-gun candidates to the best of their ability (and without limits).
April – May
Many issues were percolating during these two months. But GOA activists realized a small victory when the Bush administration announced that the U.S. was officially reversing the Clinton administration’s decision to become a signatory to the treaty establishing an International Criminal Court.
Some lawmakers fumed at the decision, but gun owners can be thankful for the calls and e-mails they sent to the Hill. The court represents a dangerous threat to our national sovereignty and would most certainly have worked to infringe the Second Amendment rights of American citizens.
June – Sept
Gun rights supporters realized the biggest legislative victory of the year in June and September, when the House and Senate voted OVERWHELMINGLY to arm the nations’ commercial pilots.
Unfortunately, some back room deals in the conference committee (in November) resulted in cargo pilots being stripped from the bill — pilots such as those who fly for FedEx, UPS, etc. It also appears that the Bush administration may make the training requirements unduly rigorous for commercial pilots that do apply to carry firearms.
Having said that, there is much to cheer. Gun control was repealed. The prohibition on pilots carrying guns has been lifted. And come next spring, we can look forward to the fact that there WILL BE pilots who are prepared and equipped to deal with the bad guys.
Gun owners should rejoice in the small step forward, while working to close the “loopholes” that prevent other qualified people (such as cargo pilots) from carrying on planes.
Oct — Nov
With a sniper on the loose, GOA representatives appeared on dozens of TV, radio and newspaper outlets around the country in an effort to diffuse misguided calls for more gun control.
From MSNBC to CNN’s Crossfire — and from ABC’s Nightline to the big print media (such as the Atlanta Journal and Constitution) — GOA was busy in October fighting for your right to keep and bear arms.
At the same time, GOA’s Political Victory Fund (GOA-PVF) was working overtime to help send some new pro-gun faces to Congress. GOA-PVF poured the majority of its resources into 23 specific Congressional races. Eighteen of those candidates were victorious — and not one was an incumbent.
GOA generally does not support incumbents (who win over 96% of the time) in elections, making the gains for gun owners all the more remarkable.
With the elections over, Congress returned for a “lame duck” session in mid-November. The House had passed legislation sponsored by anti-gun Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) right before the elections. The bill (H.R. 4757) was now headed to the Senate.
But GOA worked together with Senator Bob Smith (R-NH) to put a “hold” on the anti-gun bill, which, not surprisingly, was sponsored by the leading gun grabber in the Senate — Democrat Chuck Schumer of New York.
GOA activists also lit up the phone and e-mail lines in opposition to the bill. The dual strategy worked, as Senate recessed for the year without touching the Schumer-McCarthy bill. They will now have to reintroduce the bill next year and begin from scratch.
If You’re Not Yet A GOA Member, Is It Time You Became One?
— Become a full-fledged member of GOA today
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.
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