12/98 1998: The Year In Review

GOA Members Slam the Hatch on More Federal Gun Control

“Rarely have I found an issue over which interest groups were so determined.”

–Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT)

Gun control.

Perhaps no other issue this year so clearly demonstrated the power of the grassroots.

Representative government still works, and the grassroots did an excellent job communicating opposition to Hatch’s Horror bill,” said GOA Executive Director Larry Pratt to members and activists right after Congress adjourned.

Indeed, the gun lobby showed in 1998 that it still carries a big stick.

GOA uncovers massive gun control in Hatch’s Horror Bill (S. 10)

Early last year, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) introduced a Republican juvenile crime bill that was fraught with gun control.

Many anti-gun provisions were buried in the bill, and were only discovered after GOA attorneys waded through the mass of verbiage, looking for any provision that would be harmful to the rights of gun owners.

Sen. Orrin Hatch lamented that fierce opposition
from grassroots groups like GOA was able to
sink his legislation.

Several provisions were found, including some that would bring an end to the Second Amendment as we know it today.

S. 10 would cripple the gun industry

GOA found provisions in the bill that treated gun owners and gun dealers who make more than one paperwork violation as though they were Mafia hit men.

These provisions could easily have threatened the livelihood of every gun dealer and the very existence of the gun industry itself.

Under these racketeering charges (or RICO penalties, as they are known), gun dealers could have been sent away to prison for up to 20 years.

Continued below

Disgruntled Conservative Voters Send Republicans Packing;
1994 Voters Stay Home

The punditry of Washington has for weeks been dissecting the November elections, attempting to explain why conservatives took such a drubbing.

According to The Washington Post, which ran a glaring headline reading “For Voters, It’s Back Toward the Middle,” voters rejected the principled conservative stance in favor of a more moderate approach.

The counter spin was that the alleged more conservative of the two major parties was without message, messenger, or meaning, and therefore determined its own destiny.

But what about gun control and its impact on the elections? Pro-gunners were instrumental in sweeping anti-gun Democrats out of office in 1994, thus turning control of the Congress over to the Republicans.

Yet these voters, such a powerhouse four years ago, did not elect more pro-gun congressmen in 1998. Why did tossup races that were supposed to land in the hands of conservatives go to liberal, anti-gun Democrats?

The answer to that question lies not so much with the pro-gun voters, as with the politicians who were begging for their votes.

Consider a couple examples of candidates who could have easily mobilized pro-gun voters, but who instead took those votes for granted and squandered any opportunity for victory.

Neumann Fails to Take Stand

In Wisconsin, Representative Mark Neumann took on incumbent Senator Russ Feingold in one of the most-watched senate races of the year.

Conservatives bragged that Nuemann ran “the perfect” campaign, and yet Feingold was able to squeak by with a 50-48% margin.

But did Nuemann run a perfect campaign? Certainly not with respect to the Second Amendment.

Neumann did little to energize and mobilize Second Amendment voters. When Gun Owners of America sent a candidate questionnaire (several times), Neumann refused to respond, holding to the same old tired position of “My record speaks for itself.”

Maybe that was the problem. Voters intended to elect more in 1994 than a ‘decent’ vote. They wanted leaders who would roll back the Clinton gun control agenda, but they were left with an empty Republican bag.

Considering that a pro-second amendment issue on the state ballot won handily and that conservative candidates won races for U.S. House seats in Wisconsin, Neumann should have edged out Feingold.

It is likely that if Neumann emerged as a pro-gun leader, by committing to sponsor legislation to undo the Clinton gun control damage, he would have captured another 1% plus one of the votes and would now be in the U.S. Senate.

Ensign Miscalculates Gun Voters

The starkest example of a challenger losing because of an inability to mobilize pro-gun voters was in the Nevada senate race. Representative John Ensign was well positioned to defeat incumbent Harry Reid.

Reid had accepted money from Handgun Control, Inc., which he earned with his consistent anti-gun voting record.

Clearly, Ensign had the edge in this race. All he had to do was exhibit some pro-gun leadership. But When GOA sent out the candidate questionnaire, Ensign balked.

John Ensign never went on record saying he would take a leadership role on Second Amendment issues. That wasn’t supposed to matter because he had a better voting record than Reid on gun issues, and he thought he had the gun vote locked up. Not so.

Ensign lost by a mere 500 votes. The libertarian candidate, who was unequivocal in his pro-gun position, picked up about 8,000 votes, while another 8,000 pulled a lever for “none of the above.”

The assistant editor of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Vin Suprynowicz, noted that it was Ensign’s lukewarm support for gun owners that cost him the election. Suprynowicz, no doubt speaking for countless other gun owners, opined that,

Mr. Ensign instead decided to take the “moderate” road, betraying a vital, core constituency [gun owners]. So, like 7,650 other Nevadans, I cast my single precious vote for the “hopeless” candidacy of Libertarian Michael Emerling Cloud. And you know what? I’ve been feeling better and better about voting my principles ever since.

Clearly, this seat was winnable for Ensign if only he abandoned the misguided notion that gunnies would vote for him just because he was slightly better on the issue than Senator Reid.

“Lesser of Two Evils” Strategy Fails for Conservatives

The problem with the above listed candidates was not that they were died-in-the-wool Chuck Schumer-like anti-gun extremists. Their problem was that they took the pro-gun vote for granted.

These candidates apparently calculated that gun owners had no where else to turn.

But pro-gun voters proved to be not so naive. They were not about to settle for the “lesser of two evils” strategy.

The most important voters in the 1994 election did not bother to go to the polls. According to The Washington Post, “The proportion of voters who described themselves as conservatives and who traditionally can be counted to show up strong on Election Day dropped 6 percentage points compared with 1994.”

The spin of liberal pollsters, that voters took a sharp turn toward the middle, was betrayed by the polling results. Conservatives did not lose because they were too conservative, but because they were too liberal.

Reps Paul and Chenoweth Easily Retain Seats

Interestingly, elected officials who took a principled stand on the Second Amendment and were leaders on the issue did well on Election Day.

Most notably, Texas representative Ron Paul, who is a Republican representing a majority Democratic district, had no problem dispensing with his opponent. In a year in which Republicans were being trounced all across the country, Ron Paul actually increased his 1996 margin in a Democratic district.

In Idaho, Representative Helen Chenoweth had been on the most vulnerable incumbent list for many months before the election. Her challenger was quick to point out that Ms. Chenoweth was “too extreme” for the state, offering himself up as a moderate alternative.

Voters rejected his middle-of-the-road position and elected Chenoweth to a third term with a wider margin of victory than two years ago.

How Does a Gun Owner Spell trouble? S-c-h-u-m-e-r

In other election related stories, radical anti-gunner and liberal democratic shill Charles Schumer defeated moderate Senator Al D’Amato in New York State.

Schumer was the most ardent anti-gunner in the House of Representatives, and is expected to push his gun control agenda with renewed vigor in the Senate. Senators Lautenberg (of misdemeanor gun-ban fame), Ted Kennedy and Diane Feinstein may pale in comparison to this extremist anti-gun zealot.

Pro-gun Stalwart Wins in NC

Gun Owners of America– Political Victory Fund endorsee Robin Hayes also won a House seat in the 8th District of North Carolina.

Congressman-elect Hayes has pledged in writing to sponsor and support pro-gun legislation in the upcoming session in his signed response to the GOA Federal Candidate Survey.

GOA members and supporters can look forward to a new voice for their gun-rights on Capitol Hill this year in Mr. Hayes.

Pratt to Gun Owners: Prepare for Increased Attacks on Liberty

GOA Executive Director Larry Pratt implored gun owners, especially those who stayed home or voted for pro-gun Third Party candidates on Election Day, not to withdraw from the political battle.

“With Schumer unleashed in the senate, and an untested leadership in the House, gun owners’ rights are going to be under greater attack than ever,” Pratt said.

“Considering that the Democratic-held Congress gave us Brady and the semi-auto ban and the Republican-held Congress shoved the Lautenberg and Kohl gun bans down our throats, there’s no telling the damage that could be done to the Constitution by this new Congress, which is largely two Parties rolled into one.”

What They’re Saying about GOA in 1998…

Leading the push for the Smith Anti-Brady amendment

* Sen. Bob Smith (R-NH): “When it really counted and I needed help, Gun Owners of America was there fighting for my amendment. I could never have done this without your help!”

* Sen. Bob Smith (R-NH): “[GOA’s] leadership was essential in marshalling the grassroots support in favor of this amendment.”

* The Hill (7/29/98): “Lobbying on the [Smith amendment] was intense, and it continues. The Gun Owners of America’s 200,000 grassroots members covered Hill offices with phone calls, faxes and e-mails [right before the vote].”

Fighting Hatch’s Horror Bill (S. 10)

* Legal Times (3/2/98): “Using a sophisticated Web site, the Gun Owners of America has mounted a massive lobbying campaign to mobilize its 200,000 members, focusing on conservative Republicans who were among [S. 10’s] Senate cosponsors.”

* The Hill (3/4/98): “[Sen. Jeff] Sessions’ Press Secretary John Cox noted that ‘the Gun Owners of America generated a significant number of postcards’ registering complaints about the bill.”

* The Hill (3/4/98): “The defecting [seven] senators, echoing the concerns of the GOA, are apprehensive about the violation of Second Amendment rights.”

Driving for the full repeal of the Lautenberg Gun Ban

* Rep. Helen Chenoweth (R-ID): “I appreciate the hard work Gun Owners of America and its members have put into pushing my bill to repeal the Lautenberg gun ban, H.R. 1009. Your strong support has helped H.R. 1009 get more cosponsors than any other bill dealing with this pernicious law. Thank you again for the tremendous work your organization has put into fighting for our Second Amendment rights.”

Pushing for a complete repeal of the Brady Instant Registration Check (H.R. 2721)

* Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX): “Gun Owners of America has been there whenever I needed help in the past. Your members and supporters are second to none in their activism and determination to defend America’s gun rights. I need a substantial number of cosponsors for H.R. 2721. . . . I know Gun Owners will do everything it can to help.”

Serving gun owners nationwide as the “no compromise” gun lobby

* Legal Times (3/2/98): “[Gun Owners of America’s] unwavering opposition to gun ownership restrictions makes the National Rifle Association look like a liberal interest group.”

* Las Vegas Review-Journal, assistant editorial page editor Vin Suprynowicz (2/8/98): “Gun Owners of America prefers a more high-pressure approach, putting the fire to the feet of lawmakers to make sure they know that a vote against gun rights will cost them their next election.”

* Las Vegas Review-Journal, assistant editorial page editor Vin Suprynowicz (2/8/98): “Congressman Ron Paul, R-Tex., has called Gun Owners of America ‘the only no-compromise gun lobby in Washington.’ . . . If Gun Owners of America sold stock, I’d be buying.”

Smith Wins Round One for Gun Owners–

But decries the gutting of his “Anti-Brady” Amendment

“I am disappointed. I am angry. But I will not give up.”

— Senator Bob Smith (R-NH)

GOA worked closely with Sen. Bob Smith who
championed the rights of gun owners in the
105th Congress.

In late July, Senator Bob Smith (R-NH) forced a vote on an amendment to keep the FBI from registering and taxing gun owners through its implementation of the Brady Instant Registration background check.

At first, everything seemed to be going well.

The amendment passed overwhelmingly with a veto-proof majority of 69 votes– out of a total of 100 Senators.

The amendment was part of a “must pass” spending bill, meaning that President Clinton faced a difficult choice: veto the bill (and shut down the government) or sign the bill (with the Smith amendment) into law.

Gun owners were energized. Support by GOA’s grassroots was crucial to getting both Democrats and Republicans to vote for Smith’s amendment in July.

Smith later thanked GOA Executive Director Larry Pratt after the vote, saying that, “You and your members are great patriots. I could never have done this without your help!”

Indeed, it was about to be a tremendous victory for freedom-loving Americans.

But then something went awfully wrong. And many gun owners were left asking, “Why couldn’t the Republican leadership just leave a good thing alone?”

Smith vents his anger at the “decimation” of his pro-gun provision

While the Smith amendment went into the spending bill intact, it came out substantially gutted by a House-Senate conference committee.

As a result, Sen. Smith blasted his fellow legislators for decimating his amendment:

I am deeply disappointed that those who negotiated this bill with the Clinton Administration have ignored the legislatively expressed will of 69 United States Senators by rendering meaningless– in fact, gutting– the second, and eliminating altogether the third, provisions of the Smith Amendment.

Smith was referring to the gutting of the anti-registration provision and the elimination of the private cause of action. This latter provision was the “teeth” of the amendment since it allowed an individual gun owner to sue the FBI for violating the “no tax” and “no registration” provisions of the amendment.

The anti-registration provision was crucial as well. And unfortunately, the dismembering of this provision has basically put gun owners back to square one.

The final language merely states that all background information must be “destroyed”– a requirement that could simply represent the status quo before the Smith amendment passed.

To this demand, the FBI makes an argument that goes something like this: “We are complying with the law. We’re going to destroy gun owners’ names– after 18 months.”

That is why the Smith amendment was so important. The Smith language required the “immediate destruction” of gun buyers’ names, and if not, that any private citizen could take the FBI to court and recover attorney’s fees for their trouble.

FBI stripped of taxing power

Not everything went sour, however. One part of the Smith amendment did survive the torturous legislative gauntlet and became law in October.

That was the anti-tax provision which now prohibits the FBI from charging a fee on the purchase of every retail firearm.

Were it not for Senator Smith and for the members of Gun Owners of America, gun buyers would now be facing at least a $14 tax instituted by the FBI.

The amount is inconsequential. The principle is everything.

If the FBI can charge a $14 tax on the purchase of a firearm, they can later increase it to $1,000 if they so choose.

As the famed Chief Justice John Marshall once stated, “The power to tax involves the power to destroy.”

GOA supporters put Smith amendment on the map

Gun owners should be encouraged by what they were able to accomplish.

GOA members helped promote Smith’s pro-gun agenda and began pushing his legislation from the very beginning.

In fact, Gun Owners of America began the organized campaign for passage of the Smith amendment well before the Senate vote in late July.

The grassroots support made all the difference in the world.

Senator Smith lauded the members of Gun Owners of America for their grassroots efforts in helping the amendment to pass.

“Your leadership was essential in marshalling the grassroots support in favor of this amendment,” he told GOA Executive Director Larry Pratt.

“When it really counted and I needed help, Gun Owners of America was there fighting for my amendment.”

Indeed, GOA members and activists won a tremendous victory in the Senate. And Sen. Smith was not the only one taking notice.

One of the newspapers of record in Washington, D.C.– The Hill newspaper (July 29, 1998)– credited Gun Owners of America with flooding the Senate in favor of the pro-gun agenda:

Lobbying on the [legislation] was intense, and it continues. The Gun Owners of America’s 200,000 grassroots members covered Hill offices with phone calls, faxes and e-mails [right before the vote].

The Smith amendment passed easily.

Smith pledges to tackle Brady once again

Encouraged by his initial success, Sen. Smith plans to reintroduce his legislation early next year as a stand-alone bill.

There is little doubt that his language could pass both houses of Congress with a veto-proof majority. With such overwhelming support, Clinton’s opposition becomes irrelevant.

GOA will continue to keep gun owners up to date with the latest information on Smith’s next move.

But until then, gun owners should “keep their powder dry.” The next legislative battle is just around the corner.

GOA Survey Program Lays Foundation for Winning State Battles

GOA Members Are the Best Lobbyists

The work of GOA members through the GOA Candidate Survey Program has brought pro-gun issues to the forefront with legislators and governors across the country.

Building on successes in 1997 and 1998, GOA members are poised for fights on real right to carry and Brady Cutoff in several states.

The work members do “putting the heat” on candidates and insisting they respond to the survey allows GOA staff to target precious resources where they can do the most good. Grassroots activists are GOA’s best lobbyists. Members’ vigorous activism allows GOA to do more with less, whether it’s defeating anti-gun bills or pushing repeal of existing gun control, or working toward Vermont-style right to carry.

Gun switchers and “wafflers” lose at the state level

In many states, politicians who “waffled” on gun rights were stung at the polls. Consider just two of the examples where notable gun compromisers went down to defeat:

* Illinois. One time pro-gunner turned Sarah Brady “flunky” Al Salvi (R) was finally sent packing. Salvi ran on a pro-gun platform in 1996 when he nearly pulled off an upset. This year he renounced gun owners and was defeated in his bid for Secretary of State in Illinois. Part of the reason was his alienation of the pro-gun vote that Mr. Salvi spurned right after his defeat for U.S. Senate in 1996.

* South Carolina. Another gun switcher who lost was Governor David Beasley (R). Beasley alienated his conservative gun-owning base early in his career. Then roughly two months before the election, Governor Beasley betrayed gun owners. Beasley signed an executive order (#98-19) committing the State of South Carolina to carry out the Clinton-Reno Brady Law.

When Beasley’s pro-Brady Executive Order was found out by gun rights activists, his campaign phone lit up.

In response to pro-gun callers, Beasley’s staff tried to argue and divert the issue. But Beasley’s spin was to no avail. On Election Day pro-gun voters abandoned Beasley because of his “sellout” to President Clinton and Attorney General Janet Reno.

Several pro-gun candidates returning for another tour of duty

While many compromisers were being sent home to an early retirement, gun owners can take comfort in the fact that many pro-gun leaders who ran strongly principled campaigns were returned to office.

These candidates understood that issues matter and knew how to attract gun owners to their effort much like a magnet attracts iron filings.

The GOA Political Victory Fund supported state legislative leaders like Rep. Teresa Forcier (PA), Rep. Ron Hood (OH), Rep. Lisa Lutz (NM), Rep. Riley Seibenhenner (AL), Sen. Carol Martin (OK), Sen. Marilyn Musgrave (CO), and Rep-elect Mark Young (SD).

In Oklahoma, where Vermont-style right to carry finally gained the public support of Sen. Frank Shurden (D-8), GOA members picked up four new votes in the House.

GOA members and supporters will be working with these and other key legislators to fight the likely wave of anti-gun bills.

GOA Executive Director Larry Pratt debates the legislative sponsor
of an NRA- supported Instant Registration Check in Alabama.
Pratt, who opposed the bill, led the grassroots fight resulting in
the defeat of the legislation.

GOA Makes the Difference in Key Legislative Fights

It’s good to remember the no-compromise, principle-based approach to politics is really paying off.

Alabama and South Carolina: Brady Instant Check defeated. GOA members bombarded their state legislators with postcards, faxes and email– asking them to vote against a state version of the Brady Instant Check. As a result of the intense grassroots pressure, both bills died in their respective legislatures.

However, South Carolina Gov. David Beasley single-handedly destroyed gun owners’ hard work by signing the executive order to unilaterally expand a state-level Brady law.

Georgia: Gun Owners post an “upset” victory. A “Lock up Your Safety” bill was expected to pass easily this year– until gun owners finally heard of it. Several “pro-gun” compromisers felt the heat generated by the grassroots. After a long and contentious battle, SB 407 was defeated.

West Virginia: GOA members derail concealed carry restrictions. Thanks to the work of GOA members and activists, the Mountain State will not be burdened by additional restrictions on the right to carry. SB 98 had already passed the state Senate 34-0 when GOA learned about the bill and entered the fight. GOA worked with concerned citizens from all over the state and was able to put enough “heat” on legislators to defeat the anti-gun bill in the House.

Get Ready Now for Future Battles

In 1997-98 GOA members and supporters turned back anti-gun “lock up your safety” laws, state- based Brady checks, and gun bans in many states. In offensive action GOA members pushed Vermont-style right to carry, Brady Cutoff and efforts to repeal existing, unconstitutional gun control restrictions.

These will continue to be fights gun owners face in 1999 and 2000.

GOA remains committed to making politicians feel the heat. Without your continued support our gains could be reversed, which is why GOA will continue to alert you to both opportunities and threats in state legislatures across the country.

The Year In Review

Continued from above

Moreover, just leveling RICO charges against a dealer (even before there’s a conviction) would allow government agents to confiscate the dealer’s business, home, car or any other possessions used in connection with the gun business.

All of this because a gun dealer might have made two paperwork mistakes!

How many dealers could afford to stay in business with this “Sword of Damocles” hanging over their heads? Not many to be sure.

But these anti-gun RICO provisions were only the tip of the iceberg. A myriad of provisions could have imprisoned gun owners for conduct that was simply not “politically correct.”

Gun Owners of America leads opposition to anti-gun Hatch bill

Majority Leader Trent Lott identified S. 10 as one of the Senate’s top priorities in 1997.

As a result, the Senate Judiciary Committee began to hold hearings on the legislation early in the legislative year.

And that’s when postcards from GOA members started raining on Capitol Hill.

Throughout most of last year, Gun Owners of America remained the only national gun rights organization to actively lobby against this bill.

“My heartfelt thanks goes out to every one of the GOA members who worked with us this past year,” said Pratt from GOA’s headquarters in northern Virginia.

“Because of your support, Gun Owners of America was there to fight one of the most important battles of the decade.”

GOA asked members to mail their Senators, urging them to oppose a bill that was both unconstitutional and, specifically, harmful to Second Amendment interests.

The resulting avalanche of mail was tremendous. One Senate staffer conceded that Capitol Hill had been hit with “significant amount of mail” on the issue.

GOA members encourage seven Republican cosponsors to jump off S. 10

At the same time, GOA lobbyists began contacting every Senate office with the specific details of Hatch’s Horror Bill.

Several offices responded by telling GOA they could not support the bill as it was then drafted.

And then the defections started.

Senators Wayne Allard of Colorado and Bob Smith of New Hampshire were the first to have their names removed as cosponsors.

More waves of GOA postcards continued to pound the desks in the Senate. More defectors jumped ship.

And when the fog had finally cleared, a grand total of seven Senators had told Senator Hatch that they could not support a crime bill that was laden with gun control.

GOA activists accomplish an unprecedented feat in lobbying history

The hemorrhaging was so unprecedented that anti-gun Democrats couldn’t resist taking a shot at Hatch on the Senate floor.

“The bill [S. 10] has lost a quarter of its Republican cosponsors since introduction!” gloated Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) on the Senate floor. “S. 10 . . . is a bill laden with problems.”

The media also noted the defectors from the bill, and emphasized GOA’s role in bringing this about.

“The defecting [seven] senators, echoing the concerns of the GOA, are apprehensive about the violation of Second Amendment rights,” reported The Hill newspaper last March.

“The Gun Owners of America [has] generated a significant number of postcards” and registered several complaints about the bill.

Undeterred, Hatch kept plugging away at S. 10. He made some revisions and then pushed the bill out of the Judiciary Committee.

GOA members ask Sen. Smith to hold up the Horror Bill

In early February of this year, GOA members began sending postcards, telegrams, faxes and emails to Sen. Smith, asking him to put a “hold” on S. 10.

Later that month, Sen. Smith heeded the call and went to bat in defense of gun owners’ rights. Smith placed the “hold” on the bill, thus making it more difficult for S. 10 to come to a vote.

Months passed with no observable action on S. 10. The Smith “hold” was having the intended effect of slowing down the legislation.

Hatch continued trying different ways to bring S. 10 to the floor for a vote. But Smith stood his ground; and S. 10 died as the clock ran out on the legislative session.

One committed pro-gun Senator plus thousands upon thousands of active gun owners was all it took to derail the “S. 10 Express.”

Efforts to Ban Gun Owners’ Speech go down in flames

GOA members and activists also worked this year in coalition with other groups to defeat legislation that would have restricted the free speech of gun owners.

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) was one of the “brain childs” behind the so-called campaign finance reform bill– legislation which would have seriously hindered the ability of groups (like Gun Owners of America) to help pro-gun candidates and to educate pro-gun voters.

In fact, the McCain bill was more about protecting incumbents than it was about reforming campaign finance laws.

This legislation would eventually have put GOA and other grassroots organizations out of business, simply for reporting the positions of candidates in election races.

Syndicated columnist Robert Levy stated in The Washington Times that “by any rational standard, the bill is an appalling assault on political expression and makes a mockery of the First Amendment.”

Thankfully, this legislation never made it to the President’s desk.

GOA: Taking the offense

In addition to the battles mentioned above, GOA led the charge in favor of the Smith “Anti-Brady” amendment.

The work of GOA members and activists also brought more cosponsors (78) on board the Citizen’s Self-Defense Act than ever before.

And GOA members were instrumental in pushing one of Rep. Helen Chenoweth’s bills to the front of a crowded field. Of all the bills in Congress, only H.R. 1009 (introduced by Mrs. Chenoweth) sought to repeal the misdemeanor gun ban in full. Gun Owners’ support resulted in more cosponsors backing her bill than the other compromise versions.

In many respects, this was a momentum building year for gun owners. More pro-gun legislation was introduced during this Congress than at any other time in the past decade. Gun rights activists lobbied hard to get their legislators onto these bills.

But the Republican leadership chose not to push any of the truly pro-gun bills in Congress.

Legislation like the Citizen’s Self-Defense Act– as well as legislation to repeal the Lautenberg gun ban, the Brady “Registration” Law and the semi-auto ban– all died without even a vote being scheduled in the subcommittee.

Next year could be different, if gun owners can successfully deliver the message to the Congressional leadership, that their political future depends upon a vigorous defense of gun owners’ rights.

GOA will continue to push Rep. Roscoe Bartlett’s bill protecting the rights of citizens’ to use a firearm in self-defense.

GOA will continue to fight for the full repeal of the Lautenberg misdemeanor gun ban, as well as the dismantling of the Brady and semi-auto bans.

GOA will also resume its push for real concealed carry reform.

With your support, Gun Owners of America will continue to defend the Second Amendment well into the 21st Century.