Legal Frontlines – by C.D. Michel
San Diego, CA –-(Ammoland.com)- Gun ban proposals are about as bad as they can be right now. The NRA needs every civil rights advocate active in the fight.
As the old adage goes, if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. So true, especially now.
Sometimes when I ask people if they are National Rifle Association (NRA) members, they tell me “I don’t want my name on a list.” These folks fear that joining makes them vulnerable to junk mail, email solicitations, or worst case scenario, a knock on their door by a government agent.
I respect these concerns. And I have a solution for you.
But first I’ve got news for you – your name is already on a list. Many lists. More lists than you can count. Whether you choose to own a gun or not, whether you choose to join the NRA or not, consumer “data mining” is no longer theoretical. It’s big business. Every time you buy a gallon of milk at the grocery store and swipe that discount card through at the register, your name and exactly what you bought is logged on to a server you’ll never see, and your data will be analyzed by someone you will never know. You will receive coupons, solicitations and other marketing litter based on your personal demographics and buying habits.
That store’s list with your name on it — it’s likely for sale too. In fact, there is one consumer data corporation in Florida that claims to have a profile on every person in the country, grabbing new birth records to make sure they stay current.
California gun owners are on more lists than everyone else. Are you a licensed hunter? There’s a list. Do you have a fishing license? There’s a list. Every time you bought a handgun since 1991, that firearm was registered under your name on a list with the state of California. Since 1989, any so called “assault weapon” had to be registered in your name and recorded in a state database.
There has been an exception for long-guns that aren’t considered “assault weapons,” but effective January 1, 2014 those rifles and shotguns will be registered with the state of California too. And so will you.
That’s not to say that most guns in California are registered to their owners with the state. Many still aren’t, and it’s perfectly lawful for them not to be. But even those old handgun and long-gun purchases were recorded at the gun store. By law that paper trail sits in the retailers’ filing cabinets. Those gun sales records can be accessed at a moment’s notice by BATFE, by California Department of Justice agents, or by local police. And when guns get “traced,” they are.
Unlike some other Second Amendment advocacy groups, the NRA does not make its member lists or demographic information available outside the NRA. NRA not only respects your privacy, it fights for it. NRA has successfully fought off all efforts to have its membership lists revealed in court litigation or anywhere else. In fact, the NRA set legal precedent barring the production of any kind of membership list. (For example, NRA v. City of South Miami, 12/27/2000 District Court of Appeal of Florida, 3rd District, No. D 00-3094). So NRA keeps its membership information away from lawyers, data mining mills, marketers, and other crafty people.
Still worried about junk mail from NRA? Have you checked your mailbox lately? Half the mail we get these days is junk. If you don’t want to read it, throw it in the recycling bin with those ads for deals on lap-band surgery. But don’t be too dismissive – lots of NRA members still get their primary information through postal mail. Understand that trying to cull between those who want to receive information that old-fashioned way and those who don’t is a big job. The NRA isn’t quite there yet, but it’s working on it.
So there is no real privacy downside to joining the NRA. Your name will be on the NRA’s private and legally protected members list, along with over 4.5 million (and climbing) civil rights activists who support the association, support its willingness to fight for your Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, and support your choice to own a gun with which to defend yourself and your family.
Still not convinced? Then here is an easy solution for you. The NRA is not critical of the names or addresses it receives on membership applications. It is not in the business of confirming that you are who you say you are. NRA does not particularly care if you join under your real name or under an alias. It just wants good, law-abiding people who are interested in the cause to have access to its information so they can make fully-informed decisions and stand with other NRA members and be part of the NRA’s grassroots — the underlying source of the NRA’s power.
So how do you reconcile your fear of getting “on a list” with your desire to contribute to NRA’s noble cause?
- Sign up your dog,
- Receive mail at a P.O. Box,
- Get NRA’s alerts and NRA’s informative magazines sent in electronic form to an extra email address. Setting up extra email addresses is easy, so set up [email protected]
Then read your dog’s informative NRA mail (Fido won’t be reading it). I understand that cats are also quite interested in joining the NRA. So are hamsters, rabbits, parrots and even ferrets. Pet snakes apparently, not so much.
So join the NRA. Today. Now. Or give your faithful pet a gift that will benefit you, your children, and every other believer in the right to keep and bear arms. And consider that maybe, when your dog shows you her unconditional affection, she is telling you in her unique way to donate a few extra bucks to the cause (member or not).
You can join NRA through multiple channels, including at www.calgunlaws.com.
CalGunLaws.com is an online research resource designed primarily for use by attorneys and interested firearm owners. CalGunLaws.com strives to provide easy access to and facilitate understanding of the multitude of complex federal, state, and local firearm laws and ordinances, administrative and executive regulations, case law, and past and current litigation that defines the California firearms regulatory scheme in theory and practice. CalGunLaws.com is designed and organized to make it easy to research the law and to locate source materials and related information. All of the articles are cross referenced. Note the two sections on the right: Related Items and Related Law. Related Items will take you to any article related to the one you are currently viewing. Related law takes you to the related law and statutes for the item you are looking at.