GOA Fights for 2A Rights as Congress Exploits Tragedy for Gun Control

Gun Owners of America Pushes Back on Gun Control Legislation

BearingArms.com, June 17, 2022

“GOA lobbyists have been on the Senate side of Capitol Hill. We have not only communicated with every Senate Republican office, but we have held policy meetings with Senate staffers who handle the gun issue, who have then, in turn, personally taken our concerns and recommendations to their bosses,” [GOA’s Erich] Pratt said in an email on Thursday….

“Our message is simple: Oppose all gun control – even gun control “lite” – and stop rendering our schools as soft targets. Hence we have encouraged Senators to repeal the Gun Free School Zones Act and allow willing teachers to be armed – a solution supported by 81% of police,” Pratt said. He added, “Finally, we have also encouraged Senators to limit their attention to other school-hardening proposals that do not in any way infringe on our rights protected by the Second Amendment.”

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Daily Wire, June 25, 2022

“Once again, so-called ‘conservative’ Senators are making clear they believe that the rights of American citizens can be compromised away,” Erich Pratt, GOA’s Senior Vice President, said.

“Let me be clear, they have NO AUTHORITY to compromise with our rights, and we will not tolerate legislators who are willing to turn gun owners into second-class citizens,” Pratt continued. “GOA fully opposes this unconstitutional legislation and will continue to encourage our millions of members to make their voices heard to their elected officials on this bill.”

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Business Insider, June 22, 2022

In their message of opposition, House Republican leaders claimed the bill “fails to provide explicit due process requirements” for red-flag gun seizures and includes unnecessary funding. In addition to gun manufacturers, House Republicans cite opposition from conservative groups such as Gun Owners of America and Heritage Action for America.

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Townhall, June 22, 2022

Gun Owners of America Senior Vice President Erich Pratt released a statement blasting Republican senators who backed the bill and voted for it to move forward.

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Open Secrets, June 14, 2022

Gun Owners of America mounted a swift, strong opposition to both the House bill and Senate framework. 

Gun Owners of America urged gun rights supporters to contact their Senators to stop the deal, and the group tweeted that the “red flag” laws and expanded waiting periods in the framework are “chiefly of concern.”

The “no-compromise gun lobby” group, which boasts more than 2 million members, has spent more than $43.2 million on lobbying since 1998. Gun Owners of America has more than doubled its annual lobbying expenditures since 2012, from $1.3 million in 2012 to almost $2.8 million in 2021.

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CNN, June 13, 2022

It’s a sign of just how hard it will be for Republicans to hold on to the support they have and expand it, as outside groups like Gun Owners of America and others whip up supporters against the framework.

In interviews with more than a dozen rank-and-file Republicans, CNN found most are holding back on throwing their support behind anything until they have the final legislative text, a task that could take days or even weeks.

Read more at CNN 

The Washington Post, June 15, 2022

Already some hard-line gun rights groups have taken up firm positions against the bill. Gun Owners of America, which bills itself as the “no compromise” gun lobby, told its supporters this week that it was a “do-or-die moment” for the Second Amendment and that they were “being sold out and exploited” by Senate Republicans.

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The Washington Post, May 25, 2022

On Wednesday, Aidan Johnston, director of federal affairs for Gun Owners of America, accused gun control advocates, including President Biden, of trying to co-opt the Uvalde shooting in service of a political agenda. Johnston said his group advocates for allowing teachers to be armed in the classroom.

“Nothing should come between a teacher who wants to defend children and their right to carry a firearm,” Johnston said. He called Robb Elementary School a “soft target” because it, like most Texas schools, is subject to the federal Gun-Free Zone Act. 

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New York Times, May 29, 2022

[S]pikes in demand for gun control that occur after mass shootings also tend to revert to the partisan mean as time passes.

“The same poll also reported that a slim majority of Americans support arming teachers — a solution touted this week by the Gun Owners of America.”

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USA Today, May 31, 2022

Aidan Johnston, director of federal affairs at Gun Owners of America, asserted in an interview Tuesday that the organization is “the only no-compromise gun lobby in Washington DC.”

“That means that we’re not going to stop fighting to defend the Second Amendment and to restore it to an uninfringed state, until all gun laws are repealed,” Johnston said. 

He said “semi-automatic weapons are the best self-defense tools available right now.”

“The Second Amendment is about defending yourself from an attacker, be it a criminal, or a tyrannical government,” Johnston said. “And so Americans need to have the same weaponry as the military.”

He said no legislation would have prevented what happened in Uvalde, since a determined shooter would have found a way to get a weapon anyway, regardless of age limits or background checks or assault weapons bans.

“We will be working night and day to make sure that gun control doesn’t pass, that anti-gun politicians and groups are not able to abuse the deaths of children in order to pass an unrelated gun control agenda,” Johnston said.

Read more at USA Today