Your membership in — and activism with — Gun Owners of America has made a world of difference over the past several months.
The past couple of years were supposed to be the worst on record, as far as gun rights are concerned. With the election of Barack Hussein Obama, Americans went rushing to gun stores and generated a buying spree that created shortages of firearms and ammunition around the country.
Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid were in charge of the legislative branch, and with the election of Obama, everyone was bracing themselves for the worst.
But even with the deck stacked against us, Gun Owners of America began working with friendly congressmen to get good legislation passed… and to defeat most of the anti-gun bills that were thrown our way.
What follows here is a record of what ALL OF US were able to accomplish by working together. As you read about the amazing success that gun rights activists achieved, please also consider joining Gun Owners of America if you have not yet renewed your membership for next year.
For your convenience, you can go to http://www.gunowners.org/ordergoamem.htm to update your membership.
We thank you for your support, which makes this e-mail and web service possible.
And now for this year’s highlights. The following paragraphs review some of the major achievements that we accomplished together in 2010.
* The year begins with GOA taking the offensive in the battle against the anti-gun ObamaCare legislation. While both houses of Congress have passed different versions of the bill, the fight against this legislation is far from over. A conference committee will most likely have to iron out differences between the two bills and then send the finalized version to each chamber for another vote.
* Gun Owners of America gets involved in the Scott Brown race in Massachusetts. Even though a month earlier, Brown was about 30 points down in his run for the U.S. Senate, GOA is hoping that a win in the Bay State will kill ObamaCare for the year.
After all, replacing the late Sen. Ted Kennedy with someone who opposes ObamaCare will give Republicans the exact number of votes to filibuster the health care bill. Amazingly, Brown pulls off a dramatic come-from-behind win, and political pundits are declaring ObamaCare is now on life-support — if not dead for the year.
* In a case where GOA has submitted an amicus brief, the U.S. Supreme Court rules in favor of free speech rights in the Citizens United case. The Court ruled unconstitutional huge portions of the McCain-Feingold law, which means that GOA will have greater freedom to hold legislators accountable for their anti-gun voting records.
* GOA begins rallying the grassroots in several different states to pass Firearms Freedom Act legislation. These laws stipulate that a firearm which is made in a state — and stays in the state — is immune from federal gun laws that rely on the Interstate Commerce Clause for their justification.
February – March
* GOA continues its campaign to enact good Firearms Freedom Acts (FFAs). Of special note, GOA works with the sponsor of the Wyoming bill to put “teeth” in his bill, thus making it the toughest FFA in the nation. The Wyoming act criminalizes any federal official who attempts to impose a federal gun ban in contravention to The Cowboy State’s law.
* The National Parks gun ban finally expires! GOA worked with Senator John Ensign (R-NV) to get a repeal added as an amendment to a must-pass bill in 2009. This effort succeeded, and the repeal of the Reagan-era gun ban takes effect on February 22.
* The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments in a very important gun-related case known as McDonald v. Chicago. As Gun Owners of America submits a hard-hitting amicus brief in this case, USA Today asks Gun Owners to submit the Opposing View editorial taking aim at Chicago’s gun ban.
* House Speaker Nancy Pelosi cajoles enough “Blue Dog” Democrats to walk the political plank and vote for ObamaCare. Because the House voted for an identical version of the legislation that passed in the Senate last year, Congressional leaders can send the anti-gun bill straight to the President’s desk, thus avoiding a Senate filibuster (now that Scott Brown is in the Senate).
GOA was able to gain modest protections for gun owners in ObamaCare. Nevertheless, GOA is committed to repealing this law at the federal level.
* In Virginia, GOA works to successfully pass anti-ObamaCare legislation in the state that will prevent citizens in the Old Dominion from being forced to comply with the insidious federal mandates in the new anti-gun health care law. Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) signs the legislation.
April – May
* One of GOA’s top priorities is getting permitless carry passed in states around the country. To this end, GOA helps lobby for new legislation in Arizona (allowing concealed carry on one’s person) and in Virginia (allowing concealed carry in one’s car or boat) — without having to jump through government hoops. Both bills are signed by the respective governors of each state.
* GOA begins a fierce lobbying campaign against Elena Kagan as the next Justice for the U.S. Supreme Court. Of special note, GOA targets Senator Jon Kyl in his home state of Arizona. Kyl, the Senate Minority Whip, goes on record saying that Republicans will probably not filibuster Kagan’s nomination.
* By the end of the state legislative season, several states have passed Firearms Freedom Act laws, including Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming.
June – July (Part One)
* The Supreme Court hands down the McDonald decision, stating that Fourteenth Amendment applies the right to keep and bear arms (in the Second Amendment) to all 50 states. GOA uses this opportunity to discuss the impact of the McDonald decision in dozens upon dozens of media outlets.
* Gun Owners of America is the only national gun group on Capitol Hill lobbying to defeat the DISCLOSE Act, which would hinder our ability to expose congressmen’s records around election time. As the first battle is fought in the House, DISCLOSE narrowly passes by a mere seven votes.
* Erick Erickson of RedState.com thanks GOA for taking a strong stand against DISCLOSE, stating: “I support Gun Owners of America, which is a consistent and uncompromising defender of the Second Amendment, not a weak little girl of an organization protecting itself while throwing everyone else under the bus.”
June – July (Part Two)
* The fight against DISCLOSE moves to the Senate, where GOA marshals the grassroots to inundate Senate offices with opposition to the bill. Thankfully, there are enough votes to filibuster the anti-free speech legislation, as it dies on a party line vote. (Scott Brown’s earlier victory is now paying tremendous dividends.)
Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) congratulates GOA for its hard work against the bill, saying that, “Gun Owners of America has been one of the key players in opposing the DISCLOSE Act.”
* GOA attorney Bill Olson testifies before Congress against Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan, telling Senators that, “If [Kagan] were to go on the Court, with what we know about her now, she could be the most anti-gun justice on that Court.”
* The U.S. Senate debates the nomination of Elena Kagan. Senator John Thune, a Republican from South Dakota, uses GOA testimony to underscore the problems with Kagan: “After reviewing Ms. Kagan’s record and testimony at her confirmation hearing, the Gun Owners of America concluded that, ‘The available evidence portrays her as a forceful advocate of restrictive gun laws and driven by political considerations rather than rule of law.'”
* The Senate votes 63-37 to confirm Elena Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court. While this was very disappointing, it is important to note that we got more votes against Kagan than we have ever gotten against a Supreme Court Justice that we’ve opposed — more than we garnered against Justices Sotomayor or Ginsburg. (On Justice Gingsburg’s nomination, there were only three negative votes.)
Bottom line: we gained tremendous ground in our fight against Kagan. There were Senators who voted against Kagan in August who had never before voted against a Supreme Court Justice. And by the way, Senator Kyl was one of the Senators who supported the filibuster against her (see “April – May”).
September – November
* GOA’s Political Victory Fund has been busy all year long, working to get good candidates elected. Some of the more notable highlights include knocking off long-time compromisers such as Sen. Bob Bennett in Utah, while helping many good candidates get their party’s nomination — like Kentucky’s Rand Paul in May and Florida’s Marco Rubio in August.
* In October, GOA publishes its biannual Congressional Voter Guide. For 20 years, GOA has been the only gun group publishing an open-source national rating for gun owners to use. Our rating has been so devastating in smoking out the anti-gun bias of phony politicians that the Brady Campaign even took us before an administrative court three years ago to try and silence us. They lost.
* On November 2, scores of candidates backed by Gun Owners of America won tremendous victories. In many cases, GOA was the ONLY national pro-gun organization to actively oppose Nancy Pelosi’s “Blue Dogs” Democrats. Our aggressive opposition to these Representatives — who are mistakenly considered to be somewhat conservative — was well worth the effort as Pelosi was reduced to minority status.
* GOA, having spearheaded the victorious lobbying campaign against the Amtrak gun ban, celebrates its demise this month. The repeal language was authored by Republican Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi. The Wicker language takes effect December 15, 2010, and enforces a policy similar to airlines, so that firearms can be transported in checked bags on the trains so long as they are declared and carried in a prescribed manner.
Stand with Gun Owners of America!
As you can see, your activism helped us to accomplish many great things this year. And this should encourage you and anyone you know who is concerned about Second Amendment rights.
. We are going to be fighting a lot of battles in the next Congress, and it’s good for gun owners all across the country to go into these skirmishes with a reminder that we can accomplish much together (and that we have done so in the past).
As you know, we were able to get two gun bans repealed this past year — the National Parks ban and the one on Amtrak trains. Now we are going to be lobbying to shut down the BATFE (or to put a straitjacket on them, at a minimum); to liberalize concealed carry (so good people aren’t registered like sex offenders before exercising their rights); to block UN gun control; to pass Firearms Freedom Acts (which allow states to imprison any federal official who tries to enforce unconstitutional gun control laws); and much, much more.
Thanks for standing with us. You can go to http://www.gunowners.org/ordergoamem.htm to make sure that your support remains current.