4/06/98 GOA Denounces Clinton Import Ban
Calls for Repeal of “Sporting Purposes” Test
For Immediate Release
Contact: Kathleen Gennaro (703) 321-8585
April 6, 1998
(Springfield, VA) — Gun Owners of America, a Virginia-based grassroots lobbying organization of 200,000 members, condemned President Clinton’s move today to ban the importation of many semi-automatic firearms.
“President Clinton has simply affirmed what he has believed all along, that the Second Amendment is about duck hunting,” said Larry Pratt, Executive Director of Gun Owners of America.
The President is capitalizing on provisions of the 1968 Gun Control Act, stipulating that imported firearms must be “particularly suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes.”
“This isn’t all Clinton’s fault. It’s up to the Congress to repeal the unconstitutional sporting purposes test,” said Pratt, referring to H.R. 2721, a bill in Congress that would repeal the sporting purposes provisions of the 1968 Act.
“If Congress were to repeal that aspect of the ’68 Act, the President would not be empowered to circumvent the Constitution by enforcing unconstitutional regulations,” Pratt said.
Mr. Pratt also noted that the newly banned firearms “are `particularly suited’ to the Second Amendment. The framers of the Constitution made clear that they did not want a situation where only those with firearms are the government and criminals. The founders believed that firearms in the hands of decent citizens is the greatest safeguard to individual safety and freedom.
“Recent history betrays the gun control theory. If gun control laws reduced crime, we should be a much safer society toady than we were prior to 1968. But that is simply not the case. In spite of literally thousands of gun control laws that have passed since ’68, in actuality, we have become a more violent society. The inescapable conclusion, therefore, is that gun control laws are actually a diversion to real crime fighting.
“Instead of thoughtlessly going along with this latest Clinton gun-grab, Congress should move quickly to pass H.R. 2721, freeing up law enforcement to go after real criminals,” Pratt said.