WASHINGTON, D.C. –-(Ammoland.com)- Did the National Rifle Association (NRA) let down gun owners? That is a question many gun owners have been asking with the passing of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA), which was part of the Omnibus spending bill passed by the U.S. Senate. According to the NRA, the answer isn’t as black and white as many would make it.
The NRA-ILA (NRA lobbying branch) released a statement yesterday on the passage of VAWA explaining their lack of pushback. It came on the heels of rumors that the NRA told Senators that the organization was neutral on the bill. On Saturday, AmmoLand News reached out to the NRA for comment on the talk.
The NRA-ILA points out that it lobbied for the so-called “boyfriend loophole” fix to be removed from VAWA. The term refers to dating partners of people being subjected to a protective order being allowed to own firearms. Due to immense pressure by almost all national gun rights organizations, the “boyfriend loophole” fix was removed from the bill. The NRA, to its credit, did lobby against that provision.
The NRA states it did not support two of the anti-gun provisions in the bill, but the gun rights organization also did not state that it opposed the measures either. The rumor was not that the NRA supported VAWA but that the organization was “neutral” on the bill. Many gun owners on internet forums and groups view this omission as proof that the NRA did not lobby against the bill.
The NRA claims that federal authorities are “constitutionally prohibited from making state or local law enforcement act on NICS denials.” The grey area is that the bill would authorize the deputization of local law enforcement. The question is if that deputization would make those officers agents of the federal government as well as local law enforcement?
The second part of that statute does not deal with NICS at all. It refers to gun confiscation for certain people. The prohibited people could be domestic abusers or convicted of certain misdemeanors. The NRA believes that this statute is just redundant since there is overlap with current federal law. Speaking to one high profile gun advocate who asked not to be named, he stated that because there is already a law on the books, we shouldn’t be OK with another one because now, instead of getting rid of one bad law, you must get rid of two.
The NRA-ILA also addressed the NICS Denial Notification Act, which was a part of VAWA. The NICS Denial Act requires all denials to be investigated, making Americans subject to a criminal investigation. The organization claimed that they could not find any source for the high rate of NICS denial notifications. According to the most conservative estimates, the false denial rate is in the double digits. According to the U.S Department of Justice, 94.3% of all NICS denials are “not referred to field, overturned, or canceled.”
The NRA-ILA also pointed out that 13 states conduct their own background checks. These are single point of contact states, and people are still processed through NICS. Thirty-seven states are not single point of contact states, and the Federal Firearms Licensees (FFL) must still contact the FBI to run the buyer’s information through NICS.
ACCORDING TO WHISTLEBLOWER DR. MIGUEL FARIA, the CDC has been caught in the past coming up with predetermined outcomes and finding evidence to fit its narrative when it comes to gun violence research. VAWA also included federal funds for gun violence research. This provision was not addressed by the NRA-ILA at all. This omission could be an error, or the NRA could have deliberately omitted it from their statement.
Many other gun rights groups pushed back against VAWA. A coalition of pro-gun groups lobbied Senators not to pass VAWA. These groups include GOA, NAGR, Independent Women’s Voice, Concerned Women for America, the Family Research Council, and Heritage Action for America. In the end, the bill was passed. Maybe the NRA joining the coalition would have made a difference. Perhaps the outcome would have been the same. We will never know.
In the end, it is up to gun owners to decide if the NRA betrayed gun owners or if people are overreacting. One thing is for sure; gun owners believe that the Senators who voted for gun control should be held accountable.
About John Crump
John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, or at www.crumpy.com.