Gun Rights

http://www.gunowners.org
Mar 2006

Who Is GOA?

Gun Owners of America (GOA) is a non-profit lobbying organization formed in 1975 to preserve and defend the Second Amendment rights of gun owners. GOA sees firearms ownership as a freedom issue.

GOA was founded in 1975 by Sen. H.L. (Bill) Richardson (now retired). Richardson continues to serve as the Chairman of Gun Owners of America, bringing his many years of political experience to the leadership of GOA. Richardson is also an avid hunter and outdoorsman.

The GOA Board of Directors brings over 100 years of combined knowledge and experience on guns, legislation and politics. GOA’s Board is not satisfied with the “status quo.” Americans have lost some of our precious gun rights and WE WANT THEM BACK! This is why GOA is considered the “no compromise” gun lobby.

From state legislatures and city councils to the United States Congress and the White House, GOA represents the views of gun owners whenever their rights are threatened.

GOA has never wavered from its mission to defend the Second Amendment — liberty’s freedom teeth, as George Washington called it.

Over the last 30 years, GOA has built a nationwide network of attorneys to help fight court battles in almost every state in the nation to protect gun owner rights. GOA staff and attorneys have also worked with members of Congress, state legislators and local citizens to protect gun ranges and local gun clubs from closure by overzealous government anti-gun bureaucrats.

As an example, GOA fought for and won, the right of gun owners to sue and recover damages from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) for harassment and unlawful seizure of firearms.

Associated with GOA are: Gun Owners of America Political Victory Fund, Gun Owners of California and Gun Owners Foundation.

Gun Owners of America Political Victory Fund is the political action arm of GOA. It raises funds to support the election of pro-gun candidates at all levels of government. GOA has a record of helping pro-gun candidates defeat anti-gunners in hundreds of races across the country over the past 30 years, and will continue to do so as long as our supporters provide the necessary financial resources.

Gun Owners of California operates solely within California, where it was also founded by Senator Richardson to address the pivotal gun issues arising in that state.

Gun Owners Foundation is a non-profit, tax-deductible education foundation. It is the research arm of GOA. Among the activities sponsored by GOF are seminars which inform the public, the media and government officials about key issues affecting the Second Amendment. GOF also publishes books and articles concerning gun issues as they affect people throughout the world.

Strength comes with numbers, and the more concerned Americans join Gun Owners of America, the more we can do to protect the Second Amendment and our freedom. We need you! Shouldn’t you become a member of Gun Owners of America? Join here.



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5 Responses to “Gun Rights”

  1. Patrick Sperry Says:

    Monday, July 24, 2006

    Anti-gun zealot Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) is going after your guns…
    again. HR 1415 was reported out of a House subcommittee in May and
    is now scheduled for a full committee vote on Wednesday.

    When you look at the list of cosponsors on HR 1415, you find a “Who’s
    Who” of the anti-gun Democratic elite: Reps. Howard Berman (D-CA),
    John Conyers (D-MI), Diana DeGette (D-CO), Barney Frank (D-MA), Zoe
    Lofgren (D-CA), and Pete Stark (D-CA) among others. They are all
    F-rated Representatives.

    HR 1415 — the McCarthy bill — would require states to “make
    electronically available to the Attorney General records relevant to
    a determination of whether a person is disqualified from possessing
    or receiving a firearm under [federal law]” [Section 102(c)(1)(A)].

    Among other things, the bill will help FBI officials to effectively
    stop thousands upon thousands of Americans from purchasing a firearm.
    Already, millions of Americans have been disarmed by the Lautenberg
    Gun Ban which President Bill Clinton signed in 1996.

    Because of the Lautenberg ban, people who have committed very minor
    offenses that include pushing, shoving or, in some cases, even
    yelling at a family member have discovered that they can no longer
    own a firearm for self-defense. Consider just some of the many
    examples:

    * A Delaware member of GOA testified in Congress as to how the
    Lautenberg gun ban had disarmed him for life — simply because he
    swatted his child with an open hand on the buttocks. At the time,
    this father was going through an ugly divorce, and so his estranged
    wife, with the encouragement of her mother, reported the man to the
    police for child abuse. After a nasty court battle, this father was
    forced to accept a domestic violence misdemeanor conviction. He has
    sold his firearms collection and is now disarmed for life by the
    Lautenberg gun ban, simply because he spanked his child.

    * In Fairfax County, Virginia, a wife (Judy) was carted off to the
    police station for slightly tearing her husband’s pocket — even
    though her husband refused to press charges. The husband, Tom,
    states he had only called the police to get “documentation in a
    custody dispute.” Nevertheless, Virginia’s zero-tolerance law
    requires the police to press charges in such cases. For Judy to
    plea-bargain to a misdemeanor and pay a minimal fine means that she
    forfeits her Second Amendment rights forever because of the
    Lautenberg ban.

    * The Lautenberg gun ban has even slapped sons and daughters with a
    lifetime gun ban, for nothing more than the slightest of infractions.
    The Washington Post Magazine reports that twenty-one year old Lora
    lost her temper and flung an empty water bottle and her car keys.
    Unfortunately for her, the car keys landed near her mother. For
    that, Lora was arrested, booked, and told she must not have any
    contact with her mom for three days, even though she was still living
    at home. Officer Mike Twomey, who assisted in the arrest, remarks
    that “in the old days, the proper response would have been to say,
    ‘hey, ladies, cool it.’ Now, arrest is the only option.”

    Let’s not forget, that because of the Lautenberg domestic violence
    MISDEMEANOR gun ban, the “new days” means that if Lora pays a $25
    fine — just to get the issue “behind her” — she loses her gun
    rights forever.

    These examples are just the tip of the iceberg.

    But the anti-gun nuts in Congress are upset because many of the
    states’ criminal records are incomplete. As a result, the FBI does
    not access all of these records when screening the background of
    someone who purchases a firearm from a gun dealer.

    So HR 1415 will grant millions of dollars to the states to improve
    their criminal records. Specifically, the bill would send taxpayer
    monies to the states so they can provide the FBI with the names of
    those people who are disqualified by the Lautenberg gun ban.

    Obviously, this starts with a huge computer network of felonies and
    misdemeanors — with the FBI trolling through records of bar fights
    or domestic disputes to determine if you spanked your kids or yelled
    at your husband and are therefore disqualified from owning a gun
    under the Lautenberg amendment. Congress should be repealing the
    Lautenberg gun ban, not extending it to disable even more people from
    owning guns.

    But the problem is much broader than that:

    * Federal law prohibits illegal aliens from owning guns [18 U.S.C.
    922(g)(5)]. But, in order to identify illegal aliens, “relevant”
    records could mean that the FBI would demand state tax returns of ALL
    American citizens, employment records, or even library records — all
    in the name of making sure that you’re not an illegal.

    * And did you know that veterans who have suffered from
    post-traumatic stress disorder have been deemed as mentally
    “incompetent” and are prohibited from owning guns under 18 U.S.C.
    922(g)(4)? Records of those instances certainly exist; and, in 1999,
    the Department of Veterans Administration turned over 90,000 names of
    veterans to the FBI for inclusion into the NICS background check
    system.

    The bottom line is this: The “Instant check” program has hardly
    worked well enough to justify giving the Attorney General the right
    to go on a fishing expedition through EVERY personal record on every
    citizen in your state. This bill would expand the power of the
    federal government in the most ridiculous of ways.

    But McCarthy, who could care less about raising the debt limits in
    this country, would take an already financially-overburdened
    government and slap it with additional burdens, requiring millions of
    dollars to be spent on tracking the personal information on millions
    of law-abiding Americans. That’s the “carrot” for the states:
    update your records, provide them to the federal government, and get
    millions of dollars in return.

    Well, if the Second and Tenth Amendments were to be obeyed, the
    Federal government would be prohibited from passing laws that allow
    the FBI to search through the records of HONEST, LAW-ABIDING
    citizens.

    Never mind the fact that all this data is handled with less care than
    the records of a farmer’s livestock. Consider that CNSNews.com
    reported in June that 25 million Social Security number records of
    veterans were recently hacked. The more that our private data gets
    added into government computers, the more likely we are to have our
    identity compromised.

  2. Patrick Sperry Says:

    Monday, July 24, 2006

    Anti-gun zealot Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) is going after your guns…
    again. HR 1415 was reported out of a House subcommittee in May and
    is now scheduled for a full committee vote on Wednesday.

    When you look at the list of cosponsors on HR 1415, you find a “Who’s
    Who” of the anti-gun Democratic elite: Reps. Howard Berman (D-CA),
    John Conyers (D-MI), Diana DeGette (D-CO), Barney Frank (D-MA), Zoe
    Lofgren (D-CA), and Pete Stark (D-CA) among others. They are all
    F-rated Representatives.

    HR 1415 — the McCarthy bill — would require states to “make
    electronically available to the Attorney General records relevant to
    a determination of whether a person is disqualified from possessing
    or receiving a firearm under [federal law]” [Section 102(c)(1)(A)].

    Among other things, the bill will help FBI officials to effectively
    stop thousands upon thousands of Americans from purchasing a firearm.
    Already, millions of Americans have been disarmed by the Lautenberg
    Gun Ban which President Bill Clinton signed in 1996.

    Because of the Lautenberg ban, people who have committed very minor
    offenses that include pushing, shoving or, in some cases, even
    yelling at a family member have discovered that they can no longer
    own a firearm for self-defense. Consider just some of the many
    examples:

    * A Delaware member of GOA testified in Congress as to how the
    Lautenberg gun ban had disarmed him for life — simply because he
    swatted his child with an open hand on the buttocks. At the time,
    this father was going through an ugly divorce, and so his estranged
    wife, with the encouragement of her mother, reported the man to the
    police for child abuse. After a nasty court battle, this father was
    forced to accept a domestic violence misdemeanor conviction. He has
    sold his firearms collection and is now disarmed for life by the
    Lautenberg gun ban, simply because he spanked his child.

    * In Fairfax County, Virginia, a wife (Judy) was carted off to the
    police station for slightly tearing her husband’s pocket — even
    though her husband refused to press charges. The husband, Tom,
    states he had only called the police to get “documentation in a
    custody dispute.” Nevertheless, Virginia’s zero-tolerance law
    requires the police to press charges in such cases. For Judy to
    plea-bargain to a misdemeanor and pay a minimal fine means that she
    forfeits her Second Amendment rights forever because of the
    Lautenberg ban.

    * The Lautenberg gun ban has even slapped sons and daughters with a
    lifetime gun ban, for nothing more than the slightest of infractions.
    The Washington Post Magazine reports that twenty-one year old Lora
    lost her temper and flung an empty water bottle and her car keys.
    Unfortunately for her, the car keys landed near her mother. For
    that, Lora was arrested, booked, and told she must not have any
    contact with her mom for three days, even though she was still living
    at home. Officer Mike Twomey, who assisted in the arrest, remarks
    that “in the old days, the proper response would have been to say,
    ‘hey, ladies, cool it.’ Now, arrest is the only option.”

    Let’s not forget, that because of the Lautenberg domestic violence
    MISDEMEANOR gun ban, the “new days” means that if Lora pays a $25
    fine — just to get the issue “behind her” — she loses her gun
    rights forever.

    These examples are just the tip of the iceberg.

    But the anti-gun nuts in Congress are upset because many of the
    states’ criminal records are incomplete. As a result, the FBI does
    not access all of these records when screening the background of
    someone who purchases a firearm from a gun dealer.

    So HR 1415 will grant millions of dollars to the states to improve
    their criminal records. Specifically, the bill would send taxpayer
    monies to the states so they can provide the FBI with the names of
    those people who are disqualified by the Lautenberg gun ban.

    Obviously, this starts with a huge computer network of felonies and
    misdemeanors — with the FBI trolling through records of bar fights
    or domestic disputes to determine if you spanked your kids or yelled
    at your husband and are therefore disqualified from owning a gun
    under the Lautenberg amendment. Congress should be repealing the
    Lautenberg gun ban, not extending it to disable even more people from
    owning guns.

    But the problem is much broader than that:

    * Federal law prohibits illegal aliens from owning guns [18 U.S.C.
    922(g)(5)]. But, in order to identify illegal aliens, “relevant”
    records could mean that the FBI would demand state tax returns of ALL
    American citizens, employment records, or even library records — all
    in the name of making sure that you’re not an illegal.

    * And did you know that veterans who have suffered from
    post-traumatic stress disorder have been deemed as mentally
    “incompetent” and are prohibited from owning guns under 18 U.S.C.
    922(g)(4)? Records of those instances certainly exist; and, in 1999,
    the Department of Veterans Administration turned over 90,000 names of
    veterans to the FBI for inclusion into the NICS background check
    system.

    The bottom line is this: The “Instant check” program has hardly
    worked well enough to justify giving the Attorney General the right
    to go on a fishing expedition through EVERY personal record on every
    citizen in your state. This bill would expand the power of the
    federal government in the most ridiculous of ways.

    But McCarthy, who could care less about raising the debt limits in
    this country, would take an already financially-overburdened
    government and slap it with additional burdens, requiring millions of
    dollars to be spent on tracking the personal information on millions
    of law-abiding Americans. That’s the “carrot” for the states:
    update your records, provide them to the federal government, and get
    millions of dollars in return.

    Well, if the Second and Tenth Amendments were to be obeyed, the
    Federal government would be prohibited from passing laws that allow
    the FBI to search through the records of HONEST, LAW-ABIDING
    citizens.

    Never mind the fact that all this data is handled with less care than
    the records of a farmer’s livestock. Consider that CNSNews.com
    reported in June that 25 million Social Security number records of
    veterans were recently hacked. The more that our private data gets
    added into government computers, the more likely we are to have our
    identity compromised.

  3. Patrick Sperry Says:

    Firearms sales and red tape
    TODAY’S COLUMNIST
    By John R. Lott Jr and Maxim C. Lott
    July 28, 2006

    It is tough operating a gun shop with harassment from the federal government and unjustified media attacks. But the harassment could get a little better with legislation by Reps. Howard Coble and Bobby Scott which may fix some of the problems.
    Since 1992, when Bill Clinton was elected president, the number of federally licensed firearms dealers in the United States has plummeted by 80 percent. Kmart no longer sells guns, Wal-Mart just recently stopped selling guns at one-third of its stores and tens of thousands of other gun shops have gone out of business. With all the talk of recent legislative success by the National Rifle Association, it is winning some battles but may be losing the war. The gun-control movement may ultimately be winning where it really counts.
    Part of the drop in licensees was simply due to fees imposed by the federal government. Many licensees used the licenses only for their own personal purchases or only for selling a small number of guns, and the fees made that unprofitable.
    The constant breakdowns of “instant” background-check systems during the Clinton administration halted gun sales for hours or even days at a time, costing stores untold sales and causing them to raise their costs. Even by the end of the Clinton administration, from September 1999 to December 2000, the system was down about one hour for every 16.7 hours of operation. The breakdowns often came in big blocks of time, the worst during a period covering 60 hours during two weeks in the middle of May 2000. Try running a business where neither customers nor sellers are ever informed of how long outages are expected to last.
    Fortunately, the background-check problems are fixed. And there are no new fees. So, why are gun shops still going out of business? There were still about 100,000 license holders at the end of Mr. Clinton’s last term. Today that has been cut almost in half.
    The Washington Post’s front page on Sunday illustrated the problems with both the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives abuses as well as the media’s out-of-control attacks. The article examined the supposed abuses by Sandy Abrams’ gun shop in Baltimore, a shop he took over from his father in 1996. The second paragraph points out that “there were 422 firearms missing — more than a quarter of his inventory.” The count listed guns as missing if there were simple paperwork mistakes (e.g., two digits in a number transposed).
    Taking all these mistakes since Sandy Abrams took over the store in 1996 and comparing them to his current inventory, not the 25,000 guns that he has sold over the last decade, borders on journalistic malpractice. It surely doesn’t provide readers with an accurate understanding of what is happening.
    So, what is the right number of missing guns? Mr. Abrams claims it is 19. Nineteen out of 25,000 isn’t perfect, but .076 percent is a lot less scary than 25 percent — a difference of 329 fold. More importantly, the government has apparently never connected any of those guns to crimes committed. As Mr. Abrams notes, “we have had the paperwork and successfully traced every gun whenever [the government] asked.”
    Is this the type of gun dealer who should lose his license? The BATFE thinks he is a prime candidate. Nine hundred rules violations over 10 years certainly sounds impressive — that is until you realize that violations include writing “Balt.” instead of “Baltimore” or that his government-approved ledger was apparently missing a column. Of course, the information the column was supposed to record was redundant anyway.
    Part of the problem may simply be a government agency that manipulates numbers to make the problem seem a lot worse than it is so that it can fight for more resources. But Messrs. Coble and Scott’s legislation would reduce the discretion currently available to the BATFE and allow licensees who face revocation to be heard before a neutral administrative judge.
    Over the years we have had Chicago’s Mayor Richard Daley’s undercover sting operations with video but no audio of the conversations in the gun shops. This was perfect so that CBS’ “60 Minutes” could twice show the tapes with the city’s version of what was said. Their legal cases against the sellers were flops, but the press had lost interest by then.
    The Coble-Scott legislation may not reverse the massive decline in licensed firearm dealers, but it is a start.

    John R. Lott Jr. writes frequently on the issue of crime and guns. Maxim Lott is an intern at Fox News

    * Yet another grand example of others knowing what is best for you and yours. BATFE et all are criminals. It is that simple.*

  4. Patrick Sperry Says:

    Friday, July 28, 2006

    On Tuesday, GOA-supported legislation passed the House of
    Representatives by a whopping 322-99 vote. The bill — introduced by
    Rep. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) — is similar to the Vitter amendment which
    passed the Senate earlier this month.

    GOA has kept its members abreast of Jindal’s important bill (HR
    5013), as it would legislatively block federal agents from
    confiscating firearms during an emergency. Jindal’s language would
    even give aggrieved gun owners a cause of action in federal court to
    recover their firearms and would recompense victorious plaintiffs for
    their attorney’s fees.

    Both the House and Senate have passed Emergency Protection language,
    albeit in different forms. So GOA will keep you updated on progress
    related to this important legislation.

    You can go to http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2006/roll401.xml to see how
    your Representative voted on the Jindal bill.

    In other news, the House Judiciary Committee was supposed to consider
    McCarthy’s Brady Enhancement legislation, H.R. 1415, this past
    Wednesday. This bill will spend millions of dollars to further prop
    up the unconstitutional Brady Law and would allow the federal
    government to troll through state misdemeanor, diversion,
    psychiatric, tax, and even library records — all for the purpose of
    finding new reasons to seize guns from law-abiding Americans.

    Thankfully, there are some Representatives who are getting your
    message of opposition loud and clear. A few Republicans on the
    committee are ready to vote against the bill, but we don’t know yet
    if it will be enough to kill it in committee.

    While the bill is not scheduled to come up until September, GOA asks
    you to keep an eye out for future alerts on this subject throughout
    the summer. We will be asking many of you to contact your
    Representative in the district — when he or she is home during the
    August recess.

    Your response in opposition to the McCarthy bill is important because
    GOA is the only national pro-gun group opposing the bill in Congress.

    So please stay tuned. Thank you.

    ****************************

    Stop Supporting the Big Anti-gun Internet Service Providers!

    The parent companies of AOL / Time Warner / Sprint / Mindspring /
    Earthlink, and Southwestern Bell — just to name a few — have all
    given money in the past to Sarah Brady. But, there is an ISP
    dedicated to freedom and restoring constitutional liberties. Plus, if
    you switch, a full 20% of your reasonable monthly fee is donated
    directly to GOA. (They also offer broadband.) Especially if you have
    been frustrated with your current provider lately, please stop by
    http://www.theapn.us to check out the offer.

  5. patricksperry Says:

    Just have to love posts that lead to links to no where.

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