Amendment X: The powers not delegated to the United
States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States,
are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
NRA to Firearms Freedom Act supporters: You’re on your own
From “NRA sits on sidelines of gun fight with feds”:
Dan, an NRA member and active gun rights columnist, said the NRA likely believes the legal fight is a losing one, and understands the high-profile group doesn’t want to give its anti-gun opponents ammunition by taking on a high-profile loss.
“That said, I would like to see stronger statements of support,” Codrea said. “I understand the perceived negatives, but sometimes it is important to fight on principles.”
If the case does get to the Supreme Court like backers hope, the NRA will have to support it and be tied to it anyway, Codrea said.
I’ve been pretty much exclusively focused on the Second Amendment rallies, but also want to point out another development in an ongoing story. We’ve discussed the Firearms Freedom Acts many times in the Gun Rights Examiner column, including the National Rifle Association declining to involve itself in the effort–to the point where they’ve warned supporters not to expect legal help from them if they run afoul of federal edicts (See “Related Articles” link.).
That’s what prompted Associated Press Writer Matt Gouras to contact me. He was doing a story on why NRA wasn’t involved in the FFA effort. I checked with Gary Marbut of Montana Sport Shooting Association to ask if he was familiar with the guy’s work and if he considered him fair and balanced and got back a positive report.
Goura called and we chatted for a while–unfortunately, I was in the middle of cooking dinner, so I asked him when his deadline was and if he could email me questions that I would be able to focus on and give undivided attention to.
Two hours, I was told. So I finished cooking and serving dinner and this was the exchange (I told him I gave him way more than he needed and to take what he wanted. I also asked him to excuse any grammar glitches, as I put it together in a rush to make his deadline, so I ask you to indulge me on that as well):
MG: Your post on the issue sparked some comments from folks angry with the NRA for not helping. Do you think that is fair criticism?
DC: The Firearms Freedom Acts lend themselves to being debated, as the legal argument they present are correct in principle but not necessarily supported by case precedents. So sides are going to disagree. Which means thoughtful criticism is valid.
I understand the frustration with NRA management. Although a Life Member, I’ve publicly disagreed with Association positions many times over the years. A large organization is, by definition, a bureaucracy, and independent activists like myself and some of the readers you mentioned can get discouraged and angered when we see those who are ostensibly our leaders take a conservative approach on issues where principle clashes with pragmatism and we want to see bold action.
I believe any fair reading of founding intent would conclude the national government has one commandment in regards to the right to keep and bear arms, that they shall not infringe it, and that the statutory and enforcement authority they claim is illegitimate.
If I weren’t in the minority, we wouldn’t be having this discussion.,
MG: Why do you think the NRA is hesitant to join the fray?
DC: I believe there are people at NRA who actually agree with my assessment, but who also understand that legal precedents have devolved us to the point where they don’t believe the FFA’s are winnable. They’re not alone in that assessment–much of the “pro-gun” community is divided.
The NRA is sensitive to any high-profile loss being used by their enemies and a largely unsympathetic media to affect their prestige, influence and ability to advance their agenda. As such, they tend to back cases, politicians, legislation they believe is winnable.
I believe they look at the FFAs and factor in what they perceive to be the likelihood of withstanding court challenges against precedent. I believe they look at the composition of the courts in making this determination.
Let’s look at the McDonald case currently being decided by the Supreme Court. The argument advanced by lead attorney Alan Gura, based on the 14th amendment privileges and immunities clause, was challenged by an argumentative bench, because it would have overturned the status quo established in the Slaughterhouse cases. The NRA’s attorney argued due process and the transcript shows the court seemed more receptive.
Understand I can’t claim to know, but that’s my read on their thinking. And I don’t claim to like it, but I do acknowledge it is a consideration that would affect their decision.
MG: Would you like them to be more aggressive or helpful?
DC: Again, I understand why they’ve taken their position–they couldn’t duck the issue and had to say something, and are in the position where they don’t want to support it but also don’t want to anger those who do. That’s probably not doable.
I also understand why they came out and said not to count on them for legal aid if you get in trouble challenging federal “authority.” They don’t want people putting themselves in jeopardy only to find out help isn’t on the way.
That said, I would like to see stronger statements of support. I understand the perceived negatives, but sometimes it is important to fight on principles. I doubt, and maybe I’ll be proven wrong, that if legal challenges advance and the Supreme Court agrees to hear them, that NRA won’t file an amicus brief. Which means they’re going to be tied in with it anyway, whichever way the decision goes.
Gun rights opponents are going to attack them regardless.
Yeah, I think he fairly distilled and represented what I had to say, especially when you consider I threw in everything but the kitchen sink. I just thought regular readers here would be interested in glimpsing behind the scenes and seeing the total exchange.
Oregon poll tax…I mean “gun fee” to rise?
From Oregon Firearms Federation:
As you know, in many states, background checks for firearms’ purchases are done by the Federal government. There is no fee for this check. However, in Oregon, the State Police do background checks for gun buys and charge $10.00
The State Police are now “reviewing” those fees. There is no reason to believe they are coming down.
Click here to read the rest of the alert.
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More from Gun Rights Examiners
Atlanta: Ed Stone | Austin: Howard Nemerov | Boston: Ron Bokleman | Charlotte: Paul Valone | Cheyenne: Anthony Bouchard | Chicago: Don Gwinn | Cleveland: Daniel White | DC: Mike Stollenwerk | Denver: Dan Bidstrup | Fort Smith: Steve D. Jones | Knoxville: Liston Matthews | Los Angeles: John Longenecker | Minneapolis: John Pierce | Parkersburg: Nicholas Arnold | National: David Codrea | Seattle: Dave Workman | St. Louis: Kurt Hofmann | Tucson: Chris Woodard