Is The NRA Talking Out Of Both Sides Of Their Mouth
Colorado ––(Ammoland.com)- As I told you last week, during Senate debate on the mis-named “Patriot Act,” Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) introduced an amendment to protect gun owners' firearm purchase records from the warrant-less searches authorized by the mis-named “Patriot” Act.
U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), pictured here with NAGR Director of Operations Luke O'Dell, is a true champion for gun owners.
That sounds like a good cause for Second Amendment groups to get behind, right?
That's why the National Association for Gun Rights, other active gun groups and Senate leaders like Jim DeMint (R-SC) and Mike Lee (R-UT), all got behind the Paul Amendment.
But not the NRA.
They criticized Senator Paul for his efforts and OPPOSED the amendment!
And they did it publicly, in a letter that gave cover to every weak-kneed and anti-gun Senator to vote against the Paul Amendment.
The NRA claimed they “could not support” an amendment which only sought to exempt firearm purchases from Patriot Act provisions.
In true Orwellian fashion, the NRA told Senators that Paul’s amendment, “encourages the government to use provisions in current law that allow access to firearms records without reasonable cause, warrant, or judicial oversight of any kind.”
Even a cursory review of Paul’s amendment would have shown that it was written to prevent the very thing that the NRA claimed it was fostering!
Sen. Paul’s amendment said “nothing in the USA PATRIOT Act… shall authorize the investigation or procurement of firearms records which is not authorized under chapter 44 of title 18, United States Code.”
In other words, no warrant-less fishing expeditions of gun owners’ records — which is exactly what Chapter 44 of Title 18 prevents.
Think about that for a minute.
Rand Paul, champion of Second Amendment freedoms, desired to add a provision to legislation which would protect gun owners and firearms purchase records from the warrant-less searches authorized by the mis-named “Patriot” Act…
…and the NRA opposed it.
I would like to tell you that I think they have some sort of strategy here, but I’ll be honest, I’m struggling to see what it is.
My phones here have been ringing off the hook with people calling in and asking what in the world the NRA is thinking.
And I haven’t even told you the strangest part.
The day after the vote on Paul’s amendment, the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action released a press release that — you guessed it — confirmed Senator Paul’s concerns regarding Federal law enforcement agencies targeting law-abiding American gun owners.
They reported that the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the ATF have been circulating flyers demanding gun shops report “suspicious” customers to their “local Joint Terrorism Task Force.”
Their criteria for what constituted a “suspicious” person?
- paying in cash instead of credit cards
- an interest in concealed weapons
- purchasing large quantities of ammunition
- traveling “great” distances to use shooting ranges
- Knowing little about firearms
Gun shops are filled with law-abiding Americans — many of whom frown on debt and pay with cash — who are purchasing concealed weapons for self-defense and trying to learn as much as they can about firearms.
So on one day, the NRA publicly stated that they couldn’t support Rand Paul’s amendment on the basis that it was unnecessary.
And on the very next day their own legislative analysis team echoed Paul’s concern by stating that certain law enforcement agencies have gone “overboard” by targeting broad groups of American citizens with authorities granted by the Patriot Act.
They stated: “Since the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is responsible for enforcing federal gun laws, dealers and other federal firearm licensees typically contact that agency (or state or local police) when they encounter suspicious customers. So, it raised eyebrows when the FBI began circulating flyers in gun shops and ranges, encouraging owners of those businesses to report suspicious customers to ‘your local Joint Terrorism Task Force' instead.”
It is virtually certain that these same “suspicious” American citizens would then be tracked using provisions of the mis-named Patriot Act.
I cannot tell you what insider game NRA lobbyists may have thought they were playing.
What I can tell you with utmost certainty, however, is that the National Association for Gun Rights will never, ever compromise when it comes to Second Amendment freedoms. I have built this organization on that premise, and I will not back down now.
Nor will I ever.
We’re not going to oppose an amendment – sponsored by a hero of Second Amendment freedoms – in order to curry favor with weak-willed leadership (of both parties). Frankly, I’d rather close our doors than play these kinds of parlor tricks.
If you have a spare moment this afternoon, why don’t you click here and send Senator Rand Paul an e-mail. Please thank him for being a champion for gun owners.
For Liberty,Dudley Brown
The National Association for Gun Rights was founded in 2001 to serve as a grassroots gun rights group focusing on building state-level gun rights groups and lobbying for pro-gun federal legislation. Brown has been a gun lobbyist for more than 17 years. Visit: www.nationalgunrights.org