• GOA Case Goes Before the U.S. Supreme Court

    -- While on the political scene, GOA exposing lying politicians Read More
  • GOA Countering the Anti-gun Left’s New Strategy

    -- Plus, GOA publishes its 2014 Voter Guide   Read More
  • Does the Obama Administration Consider YOU a Terrorist?

    Plus, it’s payback time for gun owners; get the GOA Voter Guide! Read More
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Attention Gun Owner:  
Your Government Considers You to Be a Potential Terrorist

Gun Owners of America
Report to the American People Concerning

Government Agencies Viewing Gun Owners as Potential Terrorists

For the past decade, GOA has been tracking and exposing efforts across the country by the federal government and various state governments to cast suspicion on law-abiding gun owners.

Read More

Britain Shows Again Why We Are No Longer British

There are a few private gun owners left in England.  What they have to endure shows once again why Americans are no longer British.

To get a gun in England, the burden of proof is on the citizen.  And, no, self-defense is not one of the accepted reasons for wanting to buy a gun.  It doesn’t really matter, because guns have to be kept locked in a safe so they will not be available for self-defense.

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Obama Executive Order Boosts Protections for Employees of Gun Owners’ Least Favorite Agency

President Barack Obama issued an executive order Friday to provide added protections to employees of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, one of the most scandal-plagued agencies in the federal government in recent years.

The order allows more ATF agents to be converted to the career-employee classification, which would provide civil service protections that make it more difficult to fire such an employee. For an agency that has been accused of going rogue at times, with Operation Fast and Furious and more recently Fearless Distribution, that could be a problem.

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Most gun rights activists, groups remain silent on amnesty threat to gun rights 

Why is Gun Owners of America still the only gun group speaking out on the danger to gun owners?

“Immigration reform could be a bonanza for Democrats [and] cripple Republican prospects in many states they now win easily," GOA quoted Politico in a 2013 alert to its members. “We predict that ... California-style gun control could become a very real possibility in this country!”

Read More

Anti-gun measures could cost CO governor his office

A gun-rights organization is excited about the possibility that Colorado's Democratic governor, John Hickenlooper, could be headed to defeat this November.alt

In 2013 Hickenlooper signed strict anti-gun legislation that severely limits the size of ammunition magazines and imposes intrusive background checks on gun buyers.

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Self-Defense Corner

  • NC Grandpa
  • Pharmacy
  • CA Woman
  • 11 Year Old
  • Ohio Shootout

Gun-Toting Grandpa Defends Wife, Granddaughter From Rapists In NC Home Invasion

A North Carolina man exchanged fire with three home invaders after they tried to rob his house and rape his granddaughter, reports the Fayetteville Observer.

At his Lumberton home on Monday, Kenneth Byrd, 67, was approached by an individual claiming to have car problems. When Byrd invited the man into his home, he was rushed by two additional assailants wearing black clothes and ski masks.

Read More

Sheriff Praises Pharmacy Employee For Shooting Armed Robbery Suspect

An armed employee at Family Pharmacy in Taney County, Missouri didn’t waste any time when an armed robber burst into the business, waving a gun around and demanding pills.

The armed employee drew his own gun and opened fire on the suspect, striking him once.

After being shot, the suspect was much less inclined to continue the robbery and fled the business.

Read More

California Woman Had Gun Held to Her Head by Armed Robber, but She Has a Surprise…

TURLOCK, CALIFORNIA – A California woman who had a gun held to her head by an armed robber remained calm and realized that she had to get her gun.

The woman told the suspect that her valuables were stored in a safe. When she went to open it she didn’t pull out money or jewelry, she pulled out a handgun that was stored in the safe.

Once the armed robber realized he was now facing an armed victim he turned and fled the residence without further incident.

Read More

11 Year Old Girl Shoots Man Who Attacked and Stabbed Her Mother, Saves Her Life

Heroes come in all sizes and all ages, as illustrated by this story. An 11 year old girl in Oklahoma has certainly earned that title after her brave actions to defend her mother yesterday.

After a violent ex-boyfriend came to Brandy Moreno’s home (who she had a protective order against), he attacked and stabbed her. Fortunately, her 11 year old daughter knew just what to do. According to The Oklahoman,

Read More

[Video] Store Clerk Shoots and Kills 2 of 3 Armed Robbers in Gunfight

A Marathon gas station clerk in Canton, Ohio found himself in a gunfight with three armed robbers last night.

Despite the odds being stacked against him, it was the would be robbers that ended up on the losing end of the fight.

The clerk struck two of the suspects. All three suspects were able to flee the scene, but the two suspects who were shot were found nearby and taken to an area hospital, where they both died.

Read More
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