Letter to the Senators

Honorable Members of the United States Senate:

As Congress returns from recess, the radicals of President Obama’s “Organizing for Action,” the Bloomberg fabrication calling itself “Mayors Against Illegal Guns,” and the media have begun a final push for whatever gun control they can foist on the American public.

Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has promised to bring the latest “universal background check” bill, S. 649, to the Senate floor as early as this week. By all accounts, he has also promised Senator Dianne Feinstein a vote on her ban on modern rifles and standard capacity magazines as an amendment to the bill.

Despite propaganda about “reasonable compromise,” the position of the millions of Second Amendment supporters represented by the thirty-nine (39) national and state organizations of the National Coalition to Stop the Gun Ban (NCSGB) remains unchanged: We will accept no new gun control legislation from Congress, we will deliver coordinated action to politically target any legislator who supports such gun control, and we will not compromise on this issue.

Americans reject new gun laws

You have undoubtedly heard the claims that “40% of gun sales are done without background checks,” when, in truth, the long-debunked claim rests on a limited sample of transfers (not sales) done in the 1990’s, spanning years before the National Instant Background Check System (NICS) had even been implemented.

And you have doubtless seen the carefully parsed lie that “90% of Americans and 74% of NRA members” support background checks when, in truth, a March 26, 2013 by CBS News reveals that support for stricter gun laws has dropped to 47%, while those who favor keeping gun laws the same or making them less strict has grown to 50%.

But to Coalition members, polls are irrelevant: The words “universal background checks” are nothing less than gun ban code for “universal gun registration” — as evidenced in a Freudian slip made by MSNBC commentator Mike Barnicle, who accidentally described the measure in exactly those words.

The agenda behind ‘background check’ legislation

We remember quite well how the Clinton administration, despite congressional hearings, attempted to turn NICS into a defacto gun registration system by refusing to expunge transaction records in violation of the Brady Act — a practice that was reversed only later by President George W. Bush.

And we have carefully parsed the language of “background check” bills thus considered by the Senate which, despite disingenuously benign claims, would make it a 5-year felony to:

Leave town for more than 7 days, and leave your wife, partner, or roommate at home with your guns;
Lend a gun to a friend to take shooting or to go hunting;
Loan a gun to your mother if she lives at a different residence;
Hand a gun to someone at a gun club which is not a shooting range;
Teach someone to shoot on your own land, if you hand them the gun; or
Fail to report a gun as lost or stolen within 24 hours, even if you are on a hunting trip deep in the woods and are unable to do so.

No ‘deals’ on background checks or ‘anti-trafficking’

The National Coalition to Stop the Gun Ban will not accept any “compromise” on competing universal gun registration schemes — not between Sens. Charles Schumer and Tom Coburn, not between Sen. Joe Manchin and the NRA, and not the “alternative” being put together by Sen. Chuck Grassley. We have long ago learned that “compromise” in the gun debate defines a process in which we lose less freedom than under our opposition’s original proposal, but we still lose.

Similarly, we will not accept legislation which makes illegal acts like straw purchases “more illegal.” Hard earned experience has taught us that increased penalties and enforcement lead to increased prosecution of gun owners who make mistakes with no criminal intent, and dealers who are duped by criminals. These laws are supposed to be aimed at true criminals, but it doesn’t take long for enforcers to figure out that it’s easier to go after regular gun owners who run afoul of the complex laws.

As President Lyndon Johnson said, “You do not examine legislation in the light of the benefits it will convey if properly administered, but in the light of the wrongs it would do and the harms it would cause if improperly administered.” We look at all firearms-related legislation from this perspective, and nothing currently being proposed or discussed overcomes our concerns for the potential harm from improper administration.

Coalition will track votes & expects support for a filibuster

NCSGB will consider any vote for a “motion to proceed” to be a vote against the Second Amendment, and fully expects any freedom-loving member of the Senate to support a filibuster by Sens. Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Mike Lee or others.

“Politico” says: “…Reid intends to allow liberal amendments that would limit clip capacity and ban certain assault weapons to be offered — even though they would be defeated — to give Democrats a chance to vote on them. For moderate Democrats in competitive states, that amounts to an opportunity to vote no and show allegiance to gun rights.”

Even if the NRA or others track votes on such false displays of “allegiance” for candidate evaluation purposes, rest assured that NCSGB will not fall for the ruse.

No Republican sellout will be tolerated

As Gun Owners of America notes, passing the “Reid Nightmare” is only possible if Republicans sell out and fail to defeat the Motion to Proceed by filibuster, if necessary. To Sens. Chuck Grassley, Tom Coburn, Pat Toomey or any Republican contemplating such a sellout, understand that no earmark, no political cover will dissuade the NCSGB from targeting you for defeat.

Politicians have a habit of forgetting that they are not masters of the American people, but rather their servants. In 2014, millions of Second Amendment voters will endeavor to deliver that message to any Congressional representative who supports gun control.

The National Coalition to Stop the Gun Ban

Coalition Signatories

National Organizations:

The Firearms Coalition
Jeff Knox, Managing Director
Chris Knox, Director of Communications

Gun Owners of America
Larry D. Pratt, Executive Director

Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership
Charles Heller, President

John Pierce, Spokesman

Rights Watch International
F. Paul Valone, Executive Director

Second Amendment Sisters
Marinelle Thompson, President
Lee Ann Tarducci, Director of Operations

Dave Yates, Co-founder
Dave Van, Co-Founder

State-level organizations:

Arizona Citizens Defense League
Dave Kopp, President

Arkansas Carry
Steve Jones, Chairman

BamaCarry (Alabama)
Eddie Fulmer, Spokesman

Connecticut Citizens Defense League, Inc
Scott Wilson, Sr., President

Damas de la Segunda Enmienda
(Ladies of the Second Amendment, Puerto Rico)
Sandra R Barreras, Executive Vice President

Firearms Owners Against Crime (Pennsylvania)
Kim Stolfer, Chairman

Florida Carry, Inc.
Sean Caranna, Executive Director
Richard Nascak, Executive Director

First State Firearms Freedom Association, (Delaware)
Sean McClanahan, Executive Director

Grass Roots North Carolina
F. Paul Valone, President

Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance (Minnesota)
Joe Olson, President

Gun Owners of California
Sam Paredes, Executive Director

Gun Owners of Maine
Shane Belanger, Executive Director

Gun Owners of Utah
Charles Hardy, Public Policy Director

Gun Owners of Vermont
Ed Cutler, Legislative Director

ICarry.org (Illinois, Wisconsin)
Shaun Kranish, Founder

Iowa Gun Owners
Aaron Dorr, Executive Director

Michigan Gun Owners
Jeff LaFave, President

Michigan Open Carry, Inc.
Phillip Hofmeister, President

Montana Shooting Sports Association
Gary Marbut, President

Nebraska Firearms Owners Association
Wesley Dickinson, President

New Hampshire Firearms Coalition
Jonathan R. Evans, Esq, President

New Jersey 2nd Amendment Society
Frank Flamingo, President

Oregon Firearms Federation
Kevin Starrett, Executive Director

Peaceable Texans for Firearms Rights
Paul Velte, President

Pennsylvania, ACSL
Kim Stolfer, Legislative Committee Chairman

Shooters Committee on Political Education, NY
Stephen Aldstadt, President

Utah shooting Sports Council
Clark Aposhian, Chairman

Virginia Citizens Defense League
Philip Van Cleave, President

West Virginia Citizens Defense League
Keith Morgan, President

Western Missouri Shooters Alliance
Kevin Jamison, Press Officer

Wisconsin Carry, Inc.
Nik Clark, Chairman/President