07/96 Dole Pushes Gun Control

What a Week — Dole Supports “Instant” Gun Registration;
Sides with Clinton in Veto of Gun Ban Repeal!

by Gun Owners of America
8001 Forbes Place, Suite 102
Springfield, VA 22151
(703)321-8585, fax: 321-8408

(Saturday, July 13) — Former Senator Bob Dole reversed himself yet again on Thursday on the issue of repealing the gun ban. The Washington Times reported yesterday that Dole “changed his position again on a repeal of the assault-weapons ban to support a veto of the GOP-led effort.”

When GOA staff called to confirm this quote, GOA was told that Dole “supports the Second Amendment.” [Editor: That’s good; Bill Clinton also “supports” the Second Amendment.] When GOA asked why Sen. Dole did not fulfill his promise and hold a vote on repealing the gun ban, the campaign answered that there were not enough votes to pass the bill. GOA staff then confronted the staff with what seemed to be a bit of hypocrisy. In the Macomb Daily last May 31, it was reported that Dole would schedule a “vote on the balanced budget amendment . . . even though he knows it will fail.” On June 7, USA Today quoted Dole as saying, “It’s not whether you win or lose [on the balanced budget amendment], but whether you’ve made the statement.” Why not use the same strategy, GOA asked, in regard to our Second Amendment rights and put all the Senators on record? Dole’s staff responded that, “The balanced budget was a priority.” [Editor: The Second Amendment is not?]

Yesterday’s Times article also reflected upon how Dole broke his promise to hold a gun vote:

Earlier this week, Mr. Dole abandoned his April 1995 pledge to the National Rifle Association to support repeal for the ban on the sale and manufacture of 19 specific assault-style firearms. Mr. Dole yesterday changed his position again and vowed — as Mr. Clinton already has — to veto any attempt to repeal the ban.

While the above report was disturbing, the following was even more upsetting. The Times reported that, “Mr. Dole went even further, saying he would lobby fellow Republicans to abandon efforts to repeal the ban on assault-style firearms.”

[This is the same problem that Republicans in Congress faced under President George Bush. Bush lobbied Congressional Republicans to support his gun control efforts. Contrast this to the situation in 1994. Congressional Republicans were free to oppose the anti-gun Democrat in the White House. Not having a Presidential leader from the same Party, Republicans rose up and opposed the gun ban. Even though they initially lost, they made it an issue in the elections and changed the Congress. And of course, changing the Congress is the real answer. Gun owners must work towards a veto-proof Congress.]

Instant Check and gun owner registration. On another “gun control front,” Dole took credit for the instant “registration” check earlier this week. Calling it the “Dole Instant Check,” Dole promised to impose this gun control system upon the states as soon as possible.

Many gun authorities have noted that the instant check — with its potential for illegal gun registration — is just as dangerous as the waiting period itself. After all, even though it’s technically illegal for authorities to record the names of gun buyers after conducting a background check, there is always the danger that authorities will keep the names. (Hasn’t “Filegate” taught us that if there is a will to evade privacy protections, there is a way to do it — despite legal prohibitions?)

What if a Craig Livingstone ends up running the instant check? Even the government has admitted that the instant check can result in gun owner registration as a result of the instant check. A Justice Department Task Force stated in 1989 that, “Any system that requires a criminal history record check prior to purchase of a firearm creates the potential for the automated tracking of individuals who seek to purchase firearms.” In truth, registration does occur during the instant check. The question is, can one be sure the government will truly get rid of the names after conducting the check? The answer would seem quite doubtful if the people running the check have the integrity of a Bill Clinton or a Craig Livingstone.


* Call the Bob Dole campaign and express your disappointment that Dole would back off the repeal. Encourage him to also reconsider his position on the instant registration system, and to support the Second and Tenth Amendments together. Contact Dole at ph) 1-800-262-3653, 202-414-6400; fax: 202-414-6345, 414-8007.

* Make sure you have called Western Union (1-800-651-1486) and have sent a mailgram to urge your Congressman to cosponsor H.R. 2470. This bill repeals the waiting period and the instant registration check!