• Pro-gunners Squeak Out a 2-0 Victory in the Senate

    -- Rubio & Jordan introduce bill to repeal D.C. gun ban Read More
  • Legislative Shoot-out Expected in the U.S. Senate

  • Senate to Vote on Crapo Amendment to 'Choke' Operation Choke Point

  • ATF Makes a “Tactical Retreat” in the Face of Overwhelming Opposition to its Ammo Ban

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GOA News

  • CCW Reciprocity
  • Budget Battle
  • Loretta Lynch
  • Response to Tyranny
  • Obama Defeated

Constitutional Carry Reciprocity Advances 2nd Amendment Rights

Recently, some of our good friends issued a statement criticizing federal reciprocity legislation.  We agree with them that the Nugent bill (H.R. 402) has problems, because it would force Americans in “constitutional carry” states to obtain permits in order to exercise their God-given rights. 

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GOA rallies its members as gun debate heats up in Senate budget battle

Gun rights groups are rallying their members behind a series of budget measures aimed at strengthening the Second Amendment and restricting gun control efforts. 

As the Senate debates the federal government’s 2016 budget, Republicans and gun advocates are pushing for a number of amendments that would expand concealed-carry laws and block the Obama administration from issuing what opponents call a “backdoor” ban on guns.

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Gun groups rally against Loretta Lynch

Gun rights groups are making a vigorous push to stop the Senate from confirming Loretta Lynch as President Obama’s next attorney general.

Advocates are organizing petitions, drawing up letters and hitting the phones to urge Senate Republicans to oppose Lynch in a floor vote that could take place as early as next week.

The National Rifle Association (NRA) has sent an alert to its members warning that Obama’s nominee would put gun rights at risk....

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States Moving to Block Federal Gun Control
By Larry Pratt

There have been positive developments in the fight to block the enforcement of federal gun control around the country.

More than a dozen states have introduced bills this year to put federal officials on notice that they will get no assistance in helping federal agents carry out unconstitutional actions.

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Over and Over Again, You Have Cleaned Obama’s Clock 
-- The battle over AR-15 ammo is just the most recent victory

Recently, our Legislative Counsel was on a radio program.  And the host commented about how "frustrating" it was for the Second Amendment community to have to battle Barack Obama's repeated, seemingly unending string of illegal gun grabs.

Our Counsel was stunned.  His jaw dropped to the ground.

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Self-Defense Corner

  • Home Intruder
  • Widowed Mother
  • Masked Gunman
  • Home Alone
  • Pizza delivery

Catawba County, NC Homeowner Shoots and Kills Intruder

A Catawba County homeowner used a shotgun to defend his home against two intruders.  Shooting and killing one, while the second is still outstanding.  The homeowner initially heard them break in and grabbed his shotgun and called the police.  When the intruders kicked in a hall door and came towards the homeowner and his wife, the homeowner he fired one shot, striking one of the intruders in the chest, killing him.  The second subject fled the home and is still out standing.

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Son Gives His Widowed Mother a Gun Out of Concern for Her Safety. Then, One Week Later…

A woman was startled out of her sleep early Thursday morning when she heard what sounded like someone breaking into her home. It turned out to be a robbery suspect who police believe was breaking into neighborhood homes in West Columbus, Ohio.

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Masked Gunman’s Plan Foiled by the Second Amendment — and the Surveillance Camera Caught It All (GRAPHIC)

When a man wearing a bandanna over his face walked into a Pinch, West Virginia, pharmacy on Wednesday, a surveillance camera was rolling and Don Radcliff apparently tried using humor at first to diffuse the situation.

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Woman Home Alone Pulls Gun, Shoots, Ends Alleged Home Invasion 

On February 9, a woman home alone in Madison County, Alabama, pulled a gun and opened fire on four suspects who allegedly forced their way into her home.

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A Tale of Two Pizza Delivery Girls: One had a gun, the other was raped

For those of you who may have forgotten I recently covered a story concerning a female pizza delivery driver from Papa John’s who fought off two would be thieves/rapists by SHOOTING one of them in the face.

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John McCain's Lobbying Reform Provisions Unconstitutional And Would Protect Corruption
by Mark Fitzgibbons

Editor's note: trashing the First Amendment rights of groups like GOA in 2002 with the infamous McCain-Feingold law -- better known as the Incumbent Protection Act -- wasn't enough for Sen. McCain. He's back for more in 2006 with S. 2128, the Gag Act.

Proposed regulation of the grassroots, such as Section 110 of S. 2128 (the Lobbying Transparency and Accountability Act), with similar provisions in counterpart bills before the House of Representatives, would harm America.

Not only does such regulation abridge freedom of speech, of the press, the right of the people to peaceably assemble, to petition the Government for redress of grievances, and to exercise our respective faiths, but such regulation would actually protect the corruptive influences that these lobbying and ethics reform bills are purportedly intended to fix.

Through the grassroots, citizens across the country assemble peaceably, though perhaps not always politely, on political and social matters of importance to them. The problems Congress purports to cure through its recent efforts are the quid pro quo of legislation for gifts or other "consideration." Whatever the problems inside the Beltway, none of those problems can be blamed on too much citizen participation in public policy matters. Any efforts to regulate the grassroots, therefore, are misplaced.

The grassroots, of course, are the People. They are whom Justice William Brennan called "citizen-critic[s] of government." More than merely critics of government, the grassroots are populist means of criticizing corporations, even entire industries. They are critics of the institutional, mainstream media as well as critics of the new and alternative media. Grassroots organizations are critics even of other grassroots organizations.

S. 2128 would require registration and reporting of "paid" efforts to "stimulate" the grassroots. Section 110 of the bill defines these as efforts "to influence the general public... to contact one or more... legislative or executive branch officials (or Congress as a whole) to urge such officials... to take specific action" on matters of public policy. "Attempts to influence" 500 or more citizens by any person or entity receiving or spending $25,000 or more in any quarter trigger these grassroots lobbying registration and reporting requirements.

The thresholds triggering registration and reporting may be met by the placement of just one media ad or just the postage for one direct mail letter mailed nationally. It is not merely that these thresholds are low; they are unconstitutional. These provisions directly violate the "constitutional rights" identified in 2 U.S.C. 1607(a) of the underlying lobbying registration statute that S. 2128 amends (not that constitutional rights need statutory recitation of the fact that they exist). What possibly could have made these constitutional rights fall out of favor since 1995, when the Disclosure of Lobbying Activities bill was first passed?

The registration requirements are a prior restraint on the exercise of First Amendment rights, and the reporting requirements are burdens on such rights, with civil and even criminal sanctions in some of the legislative proposals for failure to register and report. Registration is a prior restraint because failure to register within a set period of agreeing to engage in such rights sets off penalties. Speech and press rights must therefore obtain government clearance in advance of communications being issued.

James Madison, in describing the distinction between the American version of a free printing press versus the British version, said that

    a law inflicting penalties on printed publications would have a similar effect with a law authorizing a previous restraint on them. It would seem a mockery to say that no laws should be passed preventing publications from being made, but that laws may be passed for punishing them in case they should be made.

Section 110 of S. 2128 is a prior restraint. Section 106 of the bill amending 2 U.S.C. 1606 would create substantial penalties for that to which all Americans have guaranteed and constitutionally protected rights "paramount to laws," as Madison said.

Such regulation would stifle speech, but more so, it would effectively censor small, start-up and unpopular causes already strapped for cash. These bills would treat small and unpopular citizen causes the same as large corporations hiring high-priced K Street lobbyists, and would penalize or completely shut out some of the most valuable means of citizens protecting their own freedoms.

It is well-settled law that paid efforts to engage in First Amendment rights merit no fewer constitutional protections than unpaid volunteer efforts. Journalists who receive paychecks are no less protected than unpaid bloggers.

The paid ads of the Committee to Defend Martin Luther King "communicated information, expressed opinion, recited grievances, protested claimed abuses, and sought financial support on behalf of a movement whose existence and objectives are matters of the highest public interest and concern." New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254, 266 (1964). Such "editorial advertisements," of course cost money to prepare, to place, to print and to disseminate. They are "the promulgation of information and ideas by persons who do not themselves have access to publishing facilities -- who wish to exercise their freedom of speech even though they are not members of the press." Id.

There are many other examples, too long to list in this letter, of why "paid" efforts to engage in protected First Amendment activity are not only as protected constitutionally, but are as important and as valuable as unpaid efforts. For example, paid efforts to circulate petitions are "core political speech" subject to the "zenith" of First Amendment protections. See, Meyer v. Grant, 486 U.S. 414, 421–422 (1988). The bottom line is that First Amendment protections of speech, the printing press, petitioning and association rights are not lost merely because it costs money to communicate in today's world of mass media.

Regulating "paid" efforts to stimulate grassroots activity merely gives the appearance that Members of Congress and their respective Republican and Democratic Party committees would prefer for their own professional political consultants to have a leg up in the marketplace of ideas and donations. Members of Congress may already send communications at taxpayer expense under their "free" franking privileges, and as 535 of the most important people in the country, easily have more access to express their views for free through the mainstream media.

Costs of compliance with quarterly reporting requirements will effectively reduce the ability of marginal grassroots efforts to communicate, and will silence cash-strapped unpopular causes. Corporations and large, established causes that are already wealthy will be able to comply. Thus, your bills would effectively silence some critics and allow the wealthier ones to communicate. Such censorship through regulation merely protects the corruptive influences inside the Beltway.

Since the apparent ethics issues are the quid pro quo, it seems that a better solution, and certainly one without constitutional prohibitions, would be to require Members of Congress who sponsor legislation or amendments to sign, under penalties of perjury, that such legislation is submitted without gifts or promises of some consideration.

The expansion of the grassroots these past 40 years has empowered Americans, and that is a good thing. The grassroots are the very antithesis of corruptive influences inside the Beltway. Whatever the solution to the complex problems of congressional ethics, a vote to regulate the grassroots would be the equivalent of a vote to protect the corruptive influences.

Op-Ed Articles