Thursday, March 02, 2006

McCain Still Trying To Gag Gun Owners From Criticizing His Anti-gun Record

McCain Still Trying To Gag Gun Owners From Criticizing His Anti-gun Record

Gun Owners of America
8001 Forbes Place, Suite 102
Springfield, VA 22151

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

A few weeks ago, we alerted you to legislation -- introduced by anti-gun Senator John McCain (R-AZ) -- which is aimed at squelching the First Amendment rights of grassroots groups like Gun Owners of America.

That bill, S. 2128, is ostensibly aimed at dealing with some of the congressional controversies that have hit the media in recent weeks. A true reform bill would focus the spotlight on members like John McCain, who was one of the original Keating Five senators who were deeply implicated in the savings and loan scandal.

Instead, McCain began his war on real transparency in 2002 when he teamed up with anti-gun Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) to push the Incumbent Protection Act into law -- an act that stifles the ability of organizations like GOA to criticize elected officials before an election.

Now with the Gag Act (S. 2128), McCain wants to target his wrath on groups like GOA -- requiring them to register their "grassroots" communications and to file twice as many frivolous reports.

If McCain succeeds in pushing an expansive interpretation of his bill (as he did when he convinced the courts to regulate the Internet under McCain-Feingold), then we could see a host of draconian restrictions affecting both GOA and you.

For example, if we wanted to alert you to gun ban that is moving in our nation's capital, we could first have to tell McCain (and all his other buddies in Congress) about what we're planning to do, who we're planning to alert (that is, grassroots folks like yourself), how much money we plan to spend, etc.

Because of Section 105 in this bill, everyone with whom GOA contracts to get the word out (advertisers, printers, etc.) could be required to tell Congress twenty days in advance about GOA's public information campaign.

In effect, we would end up alerting Sarah Brady every time we plan to wage a grassroots campaign in opposition to gun control.

This is ridiculous!

No doubt, the Gag Act is further proof that grassroots lobbying works. It works so well, that John McCain wants to muzzle it.

S. 2128 -- or a bill that is similar to it -- is now likely to come to the floor of the Senate in early March, according to Majority Leader Bill Frist. It is imperative that we contact our Senators today.


1. Please urge your Senators to oppose the Gag Act (S. 2128). And, if your Senator has cosponsored the bill, then he or she especially needs to hear from you. Senators who have cosponsored this bill are:

Conrad Burns (R-MT)
Norm Coleman (R-MN)
Jon Kyl (R-AZ)
Joseph Lieberman (D-CT)
Bill Nelson (D-FL)
Olympia Snowe (R-ME)

You can visit the Gun Owners Legislative Action Center at to send your Senators a pre-written e-mail message such as the one below.

2. Take action and then please forward this alert to your pro-gun friends and family!

----- Pre-written letter -----

Dear Senator:

Now that the Senate is looking to pass so-called lobbying reform legislation, I hope you will NOT support any bill that would gag grassroots lobbying organizations.

To be sure, John McCain's bill (S. 2128) would do just that!

In 2002, Senators McCain and Feingold teamed up to pass the Incumbent Protection Act, a bill that infringes upon the First Amendment rights of gun owners and other Americans by squelching their ability to criticize elected officials before an election.

Now, Senator McCain wants to pass the Gag Act (S. 2128). In this latest version, McCain targets his wrath on grassroots organizations -- requiring them to register their "grassroots" communications with their members and to file twice as many frivolous reports.

Please oppose S. 2128 or any other "reform" bill that would scapegoat outside groups, through which American citizens are better able to petition their government and which serve as government watchdogs.


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