NRA OK's Strategy to Force Pro-Gun Senators to Support Assault Weapons Ban, Gun Show InstaChecks

Feb. 24, 2004 - Your worst nightmare has come true!

Tomorrow morning (10 am Eastern Time on Feb. 25, 2004), the Senate leadership –- headed by the feckless Sen. Bill Frist (R-Tenn) –- is prepared to push a comprehensive gun package which includes:

  • the gun liability bill (S. 659);
  • an extension of the so-called "Assault Weapons" ban;
  • a "Gun Show Loophole" bill, which will kill all gun shows.

And the NRA-ILA is getting ready to urge supposedly pro-gun senators to vote for the entire package!

When the bill comes to the Senate floor, Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif) and John McCain (R-Ariz) are expected to offer amendments to re-enact the so-called "Assault Weapons" ban and to "close the gun show loophole."

Insiders with decades of experience lobbying Congress on gun issues report one or both of these amendments are likely to pass with the NRA's silent backing.

The “gun show loophole” amendment would effectively eliminate gun shows. This is because it would be a felony to fail to notify each and every “person who attends the [gun show] of the [requirements of the Brady Law].” Thus, if the person responsible for handing out “Brady Law pamphlets” goes to the bathroom, each and every member of the board of the sponsoring organization could go to prison.

What everyone on the Hill knows is that, if the the NRA's silent deal stands, there are a majority of votes in the US Senate to reauthorize the Assault Weapons ban, and there may be the votes to close the "Gun Show Loophole."

The NRA and Frist will quietly pressure pro-gun senators to vote for these amendments –- complete with an extension of the Assault Weapons gun ban and the McCain language to eliminate gun shows.

Of course, the NRA is publicly opposing the Assault Weapons ban amendment, but know quite well that their silent deal will enable it to pass.

The gig is up -- the NRA has crossed the line. The Assault Weapons ban is the most important piece of legislation to ever face gun owners, and they are playing games with it, all for a bill that will have only limited effect on manufacturers of firearms.

The gun liability bill is a big priority for the NRA and the Senate leadership. It would supposedly limit frivolous lawsuits against gun dealers and manufacturers. BUT it would CONTINUE TO ALLOW SUITS FOR NEGLIGENCE (dubbed "negligent entrustment" in the bill) AND FOR DESIGN DEFECT.

Since 34 (out of 34) local government suits raise charges of "negligence" –- and 27 out of 34 raise allegations of "design defect" –- S. 659 may not do much, and shouldn't be considered on the same plane of importance as the "Assault Weapons" ban reauthorization.

The NRA's strategy is to risk the permanent ban of all military style "assault weapons" so that they can pass a liability protection bill of dubious merit.

But their risk is our loss.

As part of the NRA silent deal, not one piece of mail has been dropped by the NRA to their members alerting them to the upcoming attack by the anti-gunners. Their silence has allowed the anti-gunners a golden opportunity to forever ban dozens of semi-auto firearms (and large capacity magazines) and destroy gun shows as we know them.

Of course, as all pro-gunners know, the only way gun owners win is when we all mobilize to defeat gun control. That's what we are doing right here, and right now.

This is a classic case of the dog that didn't bark. The NRA didn't warn members: as of the writing of this e-mail, there is nothing on their website regarding this deal.

Right now the only pressure on the US Senate is from the anti-gunners and the anti-gun media.

This will allow NRA operatives to quietly cut the deal to pass gun control, and say "This is the best we can do."

They'll chalk up one victory (the liability portion) and two defeats (assault weapons and gun shows), and hope the bill gets better in Conference. This kind of cavalier gambit is what they have used for decades, and gun owners always lose on these insider games.

What you can do:

Call the NRA-ILA immediately toll-free at 800-392-8683 and/or e-mail them at

You can also e-mail one of the NRA-ILA Director of Federal Affairs, Chuck Cunningham, at

Tell the NRA to immediately drop this idiotic plan to let the Assault Weapons ban -- or any other gun control -- be tacked onto any legislation, and to pull out all the stops to defeat these gun controls, or lose your membership forever. If you are not an NRA member, tell them you are not a member because of these kinds of appeasements of the gun-grabbers.

Also contact both of Colorado's US Senators. Don't wait until later: use the below sample communication to e-mail, fax, or call our US Senators immediately. Or better yet, contact them in all three manners

Senator Wayne Allard
Phone  (202) 224-5941
Fax  (202) 224-6471

Contact via internet: (type letter in the online form, or paste the text below)


Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell
Phone (202) 224-5852
Fax  (202) 228-4609

Contact via internet: (type letter in the online form, or paste the text below)



Dear Senator:

Senator Bill Frist will ask you to vote for an anti-gun package containing:

-- S. 659, the gun liability bill;

-- an extension of the so-called "Assault Weapons" gun ban;

-- a gun show amendment which would effectively put gun shows out of business.

S. 659 is not worth swallowing an extension on the Assault Weapons ban or restrictions on gun shows. Both of these measures would constitute very egregious violations of Congress' constitutional authority. I hope you will do everything in your power to make sure these amendments do not end up in the bill.

Please know that any senator who votes to extend the Assault Weapons ban –- in whatever form –- or to restrict gun shows will be recognized as the anti-gun politician that he is. I will be watching how you vote. Thank you.



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