Patriot Act

NRA Claims Rand Paul's Gun Amendment Would Have Hurt Gun Owners More Than PATRIOT Act

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Earlier today Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) announced that the National Rifle Association had joined Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans in opposing Rand Paul's gun amendment to the PATRIOT Act. The amendment, which was tabled after an 85-10 vote, "clarifies that the authority to obtain info under the USA PATRIOT Act does not include authority to obtain certain firearm records." The NRA has responded to these charges twice this evening. 

Here's the first email: 

Hi there,

Please find below a letter that was sent to Senators from Chris Cox regarding Amendment #363.

Best,
Rachel

Dear Senator,

Thank you for asking about the National Rifle Association's position on a motion to table amendment # 363 to the PATRIOT Act.

The NRA takes a back seat to no one when it comes to protecting gun owners' rights against government abuse.  Over the past three decades, we've fought successfully to block unnecessary and intrusive compilation of firearms-related records by several federal agencies, and will continue to protect the privacy of our members and all American gun owners.

While well-intentioned, the language of this amendment as currently drafted raises potential problems for gun owners, in that it encourages the government to use provisions in current law that allow access to firearms records without reasonable cause, warrant, or judicial oversight of any kind.

Based on these concerns and the fact that the NRA does not ordinarily take positions on procedural votes, we have no position on a motion to table amendment # 363.

Sincerely,

Chris W. Cox

Here's the second, angrier, more policy-focused email: 

As often happens with complex issues, NRA's position on Sen. Rand Paul's defeated PATRIOT Act amendment is being mis-reported by those who either don't understand the facts, or prefer their own version of "facts."

This amendment was rejected by 85 Senators, which included many of the strongest Second Amendment supporters in the U.S. Senate.  Unfortunately, Senator Paul chose not to approach us on this issue before moving ahead. His amendment, which only received 10 votes, was poorly drafted and could have resulted in more problems for gun owners than it attempted to fix. For this reason, the NRA did not take a position on the amendment.

To be more specific about the amendment and its problems, the amendment would have prohibited use of PATRIOT Act legal authority for any "investigation or procurement of firearms records which is not authorized under [the Gun Control Act]." There have been no reports of the current PATRIOT Act being abused with respect to firearms records, however supporters suggested a far-fetched scenario in which every firearms sales record in the country–tens or hundreds of millions of documents dating back to 1968–could be sought.  Again, we nor anyone else is aware of any case in which this authority has been used to abuse gun owners.  (In fact, published reports indicate that few of these orders are ever sought for any reason.)

In particular, the amendment appeared to be aimed at so-called "section 215 letters"–orders from the FBI requiring the disclosure of "tangible things" such as records and documents.

Under the current PATRIOT Act, an application for this type of order with respect to firearms sales records has to be approved no lower than the director or deputy director of the FBI, or the Executive Assistant Director for National Security.  The application is made to a federal judge based on "a statement of facts showing that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the tangible things sought are relevant to an authorized investigation … to obtain foreign intelligence information not concerning a United States person or to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities."  The judge has the power to modify the order and must direct the use of "minimization procedures" to protect the privacy of Americans.

If the Paul amendment were adopted, the FBI would have used other ways to access whatever firearms records it might need for intelligence or anti-terrorism investigations. This is especially troublesome for gun owners.

This would result in United States Attorneys simply demanding the same records through grand jury subpoenas, which require no judicial approval before issuance. Fighting a subpoena after the fact can be very costly and carries legal risks of its own, including possible charges for obstruction of justice.

Even worse, the government would have used the Gun Control Act's provision that allows the Attorney General to "inspect or examine the inventory and records of [a licensee] without … reasonable cause or warrant" during a criminal investigation.  That means by simply characterizing its activities as a "criminal investigation," it would enter a licensee's premises and demand these records without "reasonable cause or warrant"–in other words, without judicial oversight of any kind, and without any of the procedural limits imposed by the PATRIOT Act.

Therefore, given all of these potential problems for gun owners, the NRA could not support this poorly drafted amendment.

Bolding mine. It's the most interesting part of the NRA letter because it implies that the current process for acquiring gun records is an open one.  

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  1. The NRA takes a back seat to no one when it comes to protecting gun owners’ rights against government abuse.

    *spits out beer comedically*

    Oh fuck, I think he’s serious.

    1. Who’s more effective in protecting 2nd Amendment rights in the US Congress?
      I have quite a few disagreements with the NRA but think where we’d be without them.

      1. This.

        The Brady Campaign would eat GOA and SAF for breakfast.

        1. or if they wanted a kosher breakfast- the JPFO

          1. or if they wanted to DATY — the Pink Pistols.

            1. yup. lox on a bagel would take care of both orgs!

        2. The Brady Campaign is quite literally in shambles. They’re not really in a position to eat anyone for lunch, not when they’re spending what piddling funds they have to keep their employee’s checks from bouncing.

          However, unorganized resistance from statist hacks is still a problem. And in that instance, the GOA certainly would be eaten alive. I don’t think the people running the show there are really serious, and they don’t have any big accomplishments.

          SAF, on the other hand, has gotten some pretty good results. They’re not as big as the NRA, though, so they don’t have as much muscle in Congress.

        3. The Brady Campaign can’t afford to eat breakfast anymore!
          Matter of fact, I hear they wheeled ole James down to the interstate where he holds a sign on the offramp that reads “Will Usurp the Constitution for food”

      2. “think where we’d be without them”

        Probably, libertopia by now.

  2. Love this editorial!! From your post i got a lot of information

  3. Love this editorial!! From your post i got a lot of information

  4. Therefore, given all of these potential problems for gun owners, the NRA could not support this poorly drafted amendment.

    So the NRA is saying because these “potential” problems actually already exist in legislation, supporting Paul’s amendment is meaningless?

    Good thing my membership just expired. Why should I give these guys any more of my money?

    1. Why should I give these guys any more of my money?

      The same reason you gave them money in the first place?They are reputedly “the most feared lobby on Capitol Hill”. The NRA does a hell of a lot to protect our rights.The NRA is not perfect but they are effective.

      1. gun grabbers almost exclusively refer to the NRA when directing their hate, misdirection, etc.

        that alone should tell you something. it’s GOOD to be feared by the gun grabbers, and it’s the NRA that gets the fear and scorn.

        1. *shrug* And soccer moms direct all their fear and hate towards random stranger child molesters when pushing for more child safety laws. That doesn’t mean that there are actually a huge number of effective random stranger child molesters; they direct their hate at something they imagine to be fearful, rather than something that actually is fearful.

          1. i was kind of waiting for this counterargument, so maybe i should have clarified by saying they have a legitimate fear. because the NRA *is* powerful… unlike the liberal fear of the gun company lobby, since US gun companies don’t have 1/10 the market capitalization of any # of other industries. it’s small

            but yes, that is a point. liberals fear a lot of bogeymen. in the case of the NRA, their fear is legitimate

            1. Ignorance is bliss. Define – LIBERAL? I’m liberal in that I don’t care an iota about homosexuals marrying, my children having black friends, old folk collecting the Medicare/Social Security they paid for and were promised, the government wanting to keep firearms out of the hands of those with mental/emotional issues and/or rock music being played in “houses of worship.” With that said, I AM A GUN OWNER! I am against Congress putting ANY controls on my right to own/carry a firearm unless those controls are within reason (ie: Jared Loughner). So, lose the “liberal” tag and move on with a well thought out (defined as removing any all encompassing terms such as “liberal”)comment. With that said, if I hear one more IDIOT in this country saying that owning a firearm is a “God Given Right” I may actually go on a shooting rampage against anyone who makes such a moronic statements!

              1. Owning a gun may not be God-given, but it is a right. Just like my right to not catch a bullet from your shooting rampage against anyone who makes such a moronic statements!

              2. The right to self defense is a Science-given right.

              3. i am well aware there are SOME liberals who support RKBA and the 2nd amendment. good for them

                i have had numerous convo’s on lib sites like daily kos and democratic underground with them

                more power to them

      2. The NRA does nothing to protect my rights as a collector of Title II firearms. They have sold owners of unpopular, scary firearms down the river too many times for the claim that they “protect our rights” to be believable. They made no attempt for ten years to force repeal of the magazine capacity limit / “assault weapon” ban. They opposed the Heller lawsuit before they tried to steal credit for winning it. The NRA exists primarily to maintain itself and its power.

        1. This. The NRA is an enormous unwieldy bureaucracy. I don’t trust any bureaucracies, no matter what their supposed mission is.

    2. Yeah, it sounds like they’ve morphed from a citizen’s lobby into another quasi-government propaganda organ, just like the chamber of commerce has.

      1. They are also a major industry representative. NRA has no stake in fighting importation bans, because their base of domestic firearms manufacturers wants to keep imports low to improve their sales. They don’t honestly care whether you can have an “assault weapon,” or own an authentic imported AK rather than a domestically produced one, etc. They care whether the domestic suppliers are the ones providing them to you. In the case of the assault weapons ban, they had no incentive to oppose it once it was passed, since domestic manufacturers were making a killing selling their existing inventory of “pre-ban” magazines and firearms, and the modifications necessary to get around the law were trivial to them. It was about the manufacturers’ preference, not the gun-owning public’s right to own what they want.

        1. Funny commentary as they don’t seem to have any issues producing all of the “swag” that they push on their website over in China…

          1. This makes no sense at all. Could you please elaborate? What is the antecedent of “they” in your comment? In mine, it was “the NRA.”

            1. antecedent

              Whoa, wanna holster that grammar? You could put an eye out.

    3. Fuck the NRA.

  5. Unfortunately, Senator Paul chose not to approach us on this issue before moving ahead. His amendment, which only received 10 votes, was poorly drafted and could have resulted in more problems for gun owners than it attempted to fix. For this reason, the NRA did not take a position on the amendment.

    Paul’s amendment was a tactic in his opposition to, and attempt to delay, the Patriot Act. If he was equally concerned with passing the amendment he should have approached the NRA first.

    1. Unfortunately, Senator Paul chose not to approach us on this issue before moving ahead.

      It looks more like the NRA are pissed that Rand Paul did some gun rights legislation without them.

      “Oh you want Gun Rights and you went around us….well, we will see about that.”

      This is looking more and more like a get off our turf move then anything else.

      1. Rand Paul wasn’t very successful with his ” gun rights legislation”. He was very successful in making an issue out of the Patriot Act with the tactical move of introducing the amendment.

        1. It was grandstanding and posturing and the sheep in Congress bent to the whim of a rookie out of fear of the TEA-BAGGERS click. He got his point across and helped his “brand” in the process and that was all this was meant to do…

      2. Yeah, big case of butthurt.

    2. Are you saying legislators should consult with lobbies before introducing legislation?

      1. legislators should consult, time permitting (and it usually is) with as many different sources of information as they can as to the propriety, possible unintended consequences, etc. for ANY legislation they pass

  6. Looking forward to see more fantastic posts from you.

  7. Shorter NRA:

    Hey, look, someone in authority! ::gets on knees::

  8. They won’t be getting a dime from me anymore.

    1. If Obama gets any more SCOTUS appointments the NRA will be rollin’ in dough when Heller and McDonald are overturned.

      1. If they are overturned, there might no longer be a Supreme Court.

  9. WHAT!? An “issues-based” lobby group turns out to be nothing but a bunch of shills for the leadership of one of the two major parties? Now I’ve seen EVERYTHING!

    1. Yeah, that’s why the NRA backed Harry Reid. Blind partisanship.

      1. Yeah. THAT’S a convincing defense.

  10. I see you guys aren’t done with your collective temper tantrum yet.

    You’d think the NRA supported a national handgun ban by the way you’re reacting.

    1. No, but they damn well should ALAWAYS…not sometimes, ALWAYS…stand up for gun rights. Not just when it’s convenient, but even when it means going against the full GOP, if that’s what it takes. If they’re a single-issue lobby, then they can’t fuck up even once on that single issue. If they do, fuck em, no more of my money.

      1. They didn’t know they were “fucking up” on any issue since Rand Paul didn’t consult with them before introducing this amendment.It was a political tactic more than a serious proposal.

        1. They damn well found out about it before the vote was taken. Which means they could have supported it. I didn’t know the NRA was only supposed to uphold gun rights if notified in advance. You’d think that’d be the DEFAULT position they’d take.

        2. I suspect that’s the reason they don’t take positions on procedural votes — a lot of them are not serious proposals but attempts to force your opponents to cast an embarrassing or unpopular vote.

          1. This ^ is good analysis

          2. Making your opponents actually cast votes is serious. It helps out people like me who otherwise occasionally get tricked by candidates like Senator “At least I promised to filibuster it before I voted for it”.

        3. you’re right. the NRA showed during the Heller and McDonald cases that it is more concerned with institutional vanity than with 2nd amendment rights.

          by failing to seek NRA approval before deigning to propose a pro-gun-rights bill, Paul doomed his chances to gain their precious approval.

        4. And an organization willing to oppose someone advancing their very reason for existence because he didn’t consult with them is a serious organization?

          It sounds a lot more to me like they are more interested in protecting their political egos than protecting gun rights.

        5. They didn’t know

          I find this defense, not just in this situation but in almost any one I’ve heard it, to be utter horseshit.

    2. You know what, the NRA actively supports the national machinegun ban, and through inaction, supported the “assault weapons” ban for ten years.

      1. Agreed!

  11. While well-intentioned, the language of this amendment as currently drafted raises potential problems for gun owners, in that it encourages the government to use provisions in current law that allow access to firearms records without reasonable cause, warrant, or judicial oversight of any kind.

    Based on these concerns and the fact that the NRA does not ordinarily take positions on procedural votes, we have no position on a motion to table amendment # 363.

    Your mother’s a whore and all, but I have no position on your mother’s chastity.

  12. I’m not even clear how this amendment not passing actually affects gun rights. It’s extremely unlikely that the “master list of gun purchasers” would ever be sought in the first place, and even if it was, I don’t see how the R2K&BA; implies a right to privacy about whether you own a gun.

    1. “Tulpa|5.26.11 @ 11:47PM|#
      I’m not even clear how this amendment not passing actually affects gun rights. It’s extremely unlikely that the “master list of gun purchasers” would ever be sought in the first place…”

      Translation:

      Don’t worry about it! It’s unlikely the government will ever seek to abuse this, so really, it’s a non-issue. You can trust them!

      1. Even if they did, how does it violate gun rights?

        If the govt wants to illegally grab guns from law-abiding citizens, they don’t really need a list to do it. They can just search every house (which would probably be a more effective tack anyway since gun owners move and of course many guns are possessed illegally and thus not found in FFL records)

        1. Tulpa|5.26.11 @ 11:59PM|#
          “Even if they did, how does it violate gun rights?
          If the govt wants to illegally grab guns from law-abiding citizens, they don’t really need a list to do it. They can just search every house…”

          Makes the search easier?

          1. It might, but we all know the govt doesn’t like to make things easy.

        2. Most legally owned guns are not in government-accessible FFL records. Firearms can be legally transferred like used lawnmowers in most states.

        3. No, they wouldn’t do that. They would pass a law requiring all gun owners to self-identify with a grace period. Once the grace period was up, they would use sales records to identify and contact each person on the list with a threatening letter asking why they hadn’t registered their existing firearms. Then they would take legal action against and holdouts. There would be no reason to go to the level of house-to-house searches. Everything would be done in dry legalese, with as little controversy and force as possible, until they reached a hard core of holdouts. Your suggestion that they would immediately go to the most invasive, violent, rights abusive method is almost too ridiculous to respond to.

          1. Wasn’t it done in Australia, after the Hobart shootings, pretty much as db describes?

    2. I am not worried about the “master list”

      I am worried about the FBI getting gun records without talking to a judge first.

  13. It’s funny that Reason is dragging NRA through the muck for the sin of not taking a position on a procedural vote… but nary a word about their new mancrush Paul Ryan voting to extend the Patriot Act.

    1. Hell, Reason gives Ryan a pass on TARP and the UAW bailout.

    2. While I agree with you about Ryan/PATRIOT act/Reason, don’t you think it’s a bit silly to imply Reason is “dragging the NRA” through the muck? All they did was post NRA’s own e-mails. This is muckraking? I think Upton Sinclair would have a few words for you.

  14. i think the idea that the NRA bows to authoritah is a little rich. this is the same org that penned the “jackbooted government thug” thang (in reference to the BATFE (ATF at the time) iirc), which, whatever you can say about it, certainly evidenced an ability to say fuck you to federal power.

    1. They backed off big time on that attitude after OKC though.

      1. Can you blame them?

        It was worth it just to make GHW Bush resign his membership.

    2. BATFE should have a statue of Tim McVeigh in their headquarters — he really did save that agency from obliteration.

      1. yea. they are somewhat of a ‘revenuer’ old skool treasury agent anachronim.

        i’m suprised they haven’t lobbied to amend themselves into the

        BATFEBS – Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms Explosives and Biological Stuff

        Probably some sort of turf dispute over the FBI. they aint giving up bioweapons jurisdiction with those potzers at the BATFE!

        (note: from my experience, FBI agents think that they are far superior to BATFE and especially DEA. DEA think FBI are a bunch of accountant nerds with guns. )

    3. Tulpa, much as I disagree with him earlier in this thread, is completely correct here. My “free” subs to their magazines for being a member are ALL about the LEO and military worship these days.

      Didn’t used to be like that, but as Tulpa correctly pointed out, after OKC, everyone forgot about Ruby Ridge & Waco.

      1. fuck, *i* know a lot of cops who rant about how fucked up ruby ridge was. that one gets no love from us.

      2. The NRA has always been friendly with the military and police who in turn are largely staunch supporters of minimally restricted civilian gun ownership.

        1. this is correct. fwiw, i constantly hear (mostly on liberal sites) how cops SUPPORT gun control. that’s ludicrous. they then quote IACP and other COP-O-CRAT orgs for “proof”. IACP is to the average cop, as the CEO of a company is to the average assembly line worker. iow, … not at all

          and cops generally support civilian carry ime NOT because of the whole 2nd amendment legal scholarship thang, but primarily because of experience. they see that lawful gun owners are a benefit, not a detriment to society.

          iow… it’s the real world data.

          1. Do cops support heavier restrictions on more powerful firearms though?

            1. not that i have seen. ime, they generally support people having stuff like .454 casull (the largest production caliber handgun made iirc) (friend has one) and like .50 cal rifles and stuff like that. when you get into actual machine guns (fwiw, i’ve never even SEEN a machine gun, and i am not talking full auto SUBmachine guns, i’m talking MACHINE guns, you might get some opposition), but in general my experience is that we support people have pretty much anything you can carry (you can’t carry machine guns generally speaking, just submachine guns)…

              that may be less true in cops that work anti-gun places like NYC, because like it or not, we are products of our environment

              i think most reasonoids and most cops would be on relatively common ground when it comes to RKBA.

              1. dunphy, back in the early 90’s the 454 Casull was the largest pistol caliber available, however in the 20 years since there have been several .50 caliber pistols developed for instance, .50 GI, .50 Action Express, .500 S&W Magnum, .500 Maximum, plus three or four others.

                1. if that’s true, i stand corrected. i’ve shot the .454 and it’s a fucking BEAST, but if there’s a bigger round (more energy, etc.) i’m now corrected

                  1. the SW 460 is a 454casull on steroids. the 460 has better ballistics then the .50SW

                    im not familiar with the 500max though.

              2. dunphy, What’s your distinction between a submachinegun and a machinegun? The technical categories can be broken down as submachineguns (pistol calibers), assault rifles (rifle calibers), light machineguns (belt or large magazine fed rifle calibers), heavy machineguns (belt fed large rifle calibers), etc., which are all subsets of machineguns (there is some overlap in the definitions of light and heavy machineguns, and I’m allowing the “assault rifle” category to include things like the M14 and FAL which are really battle rifles with full auto capability)

                Legally, anything that fires more than one shot with a single pull of the trigger is a machingeun, so federal code makes no distinction between the above categories.

                Are you saying that LEOs would draw the line at, say, assault rifles like an M16, not allowing an M249 or 1919A4, or would they be more likely to oppose things like the .50 cal M2?

                1. i’m thinking more like the latter. ime, most lEO’s i work with think that civilians should have the same kind of access to firearms that the average patrol guy has – ar15, pistols (with high capacity mags), shotguns, etc.

                  machine guns (sub or otherwise) have always required a bunch of extra crap with the feds, and i don’t think most of us have a problem with it. the thing we know is that CCW’ers are MUCH more likely to help us than hurt us and that the vast majority of people who shoot us or at us are convicted felons and generally longtime scumbags.

                  there are some exceptions. e.g. monfort (tried to kill a bunch of SPD officers with bombs, then shot two (and killed one) officers who were simply sitting in their car, going over paperwork.

                  he had about as clean a record as you can get. he’s an anomaly

  15. I am wondering why SIV and Tulpa are not pissed that there are gun ownership records in the first place.

    Why does the government need to know if someone owns a gun again?

    1. presumably, it’s to monitor actual dealers. individuals don’t have to register the sale or purchase with the feds when they deal with each other.

      moral: if you want to protect your privacy, buy from a private party.

    2. Govt has a compelling interest in making sure violent felons and mentally ill people don’t get access to firearms… and it’s impossible to enforce that if people purchase guns anonymously.

      1. Which many people already do at gun shows everyday. So I would ask you; would you favor heavier restrictions at gun shows in order to screen everyone? Not trolling, seriously asking. I’m sure though you can imagine my position on such a matter.

        1. it has nothing to do with gun shows. just for clarity (i tire of liberals, not you of course, referring to the gun show loophole). it has to do with WHO is selling the guns

          dealers at gun shows are just as beholden to reporting regs as they are elsewhere. private sellers are just as unbeholden.

          1. I honestly didn’t know that about dealers v. private sellers having the same rules apply at shows. I suppose I’ve only ever bought from private individuals at gun shows, and never had the issue come up. Learn something new every day.

            I would most definately be up in arms though if they tried to push some kind of legislation through limiting/regulating private sales though; SCOTUS aside, what I buy from another free person is exactly two people’s business: mine and his.

            1. hey, you’re welcome.

              1. Does that vary by state at all?

                1. does what?

                  are you referring to private sellers not having to fill out a bunch of paperwork and register their sale?

                  i am not 100% sure, but i know where i have lived, there is no paperwork requirement for the sale.

            2. what I buy from another free person is exactly two people’s business: mine and his.

              Unless it’s stolen or the state has compelling public safety interest in preventing the would-be buyer from possessing the item.

              1. “…the state has compelling public safety interest in preventing the would-be buyer from possessing the item.”

                Freedom fail. They use that “compelling interest” bullshit line to justify everything. It’s a compelling interest to not have a 4th amendment that’s worth a damn, etc.

                1. Without a compelling interest exception, death threats and perjury are protected by the 1st amendment.

                  1. As well they should be.

        2. Enforcing IBC at gun shows would be a logistical nightmare. But I wouldn’t be up in arms if someone wanted to close the loophole.

          1. Oh no, I tire dunphy.

            YAWN BABY YAWN!

            1. do you refer to the mythical “gun show loophole?”

              y’know, the thing that does not exist, but is named by gungrabbers and therefore has been “believed” into some sort of quasi-reality?

              repeat after me: there is NO such thing as a “gun show loophole”

              1. The “gun show loophole” is gungrabber speak for perfectly legal private transfers of firearms by an individual not doing so as part of earning a living.
                If you are a resident of my state, and are not known to me as legally ineligible to own a gun, I can sell you one. The government is not involved in the transaction in any way.

                1. exactly. and fwiw, i would have no problem with the feds OPENING up some sort of way for private sellers to at least be reasonably confident the buyer is not a prohibited person, but it would have to be implemented as an instant check and not privacy violative.

                  as of now, there is no affirmative burden for a private seller to do a background check on a buyer, nor should there be

                  1. A lot of private sellers in Washington ask that you show your concealed pistol license before they’ll sell to you. That at least lets them know that at the time you got the license you were not a prohibited buyer. Since the licenses last 5 years, there’s a window of time in there where you could commit a felony, but I think the odds are against that.

                    1. and of course a private seller CAN do that if he wants to. that’s part of a free market.

      2. Felons (who have served their sentences) and the “mentally ill” don’t have rights Tulpa?

        What part of “shall not be infringed” don’t you understand?

        1. fwiw, the mentally ill CAN legally possess and bear firearms.

          it’s more limited than that.

          personally, i think, at a minimum, those convicted of NON-violent felonies should be able to carry.

          hey, it would help mark furhman too!

          what is especially ridiculous is that those not convicted of ANY crime, but subject to a domestic violence order cannot carry

          THAT isn’t even remotely close to due process

          i say again: the war on domestic violence has hurt more innocents (in regards to ignoring their rights) and average run o the mill joes than the war on drugs has (on a year to year basis)

          1. True, but at least the state has some justification for getting involved in cases of domestic violence. The drug war is stupid from top to bottom, not just in its implementation.

            1. look, i think the drug war is just as stupid as you think it is .

              my point was about due process. it’s only in DV cases where the govt. can strip you of your gun rights merely based on a civil hearing w/o right to a jury etc. etc.

              it’s also only in DV cases where a judge can issue a no contact order (and thus strip you of gun rights) even if the “victim” is OPPOSED to the order being in place, if he believes it’s for his/her own good

              that doesn’t just strip gun rights. it strips the right to free association.

              think about it.

              i would also argue that FAR more **actually innocent** people get arrested for DV offenses than drug offenses, and probably convicted as well , due to the dynamics of the “he said/she said” bullshit to quote limp bizkit

              the reality is thus that an average joe, and especially an average didn’t actually break any law joe is WAY more likely to get fucked over by the war on DV and more likely to get his rights stripped with less due process.

              heck, even the right to confront one’s accuser has been seriously eroded by the war on DV

              1. I’m probably just lazy, but it’s a LOT easier to get behind somebody who abuses substances than it is to get behind somebody who may or may not abuse their SO.

                I’m going to pick the low hanging fruit before I start reaching for that higher up shit. Unfortunately, government being what it is, there’s an awful lot of low hanging fruit before I get to the war on domestic violence.

                1. for the 100th time, the point is the war on DV affects people who VERY WELL may not have done ANYTHING.

                  did you read the part about actual innocents being arrested all the fucking time (far more often than gun crimes), and/or being deprived of FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS (free association, RKBA etc.) withOUT due process.

                  the point is this

                  1) people who have committed no crime whatsoever are more likely to get caught up in the WODV than the WOD net
                  2) it takes FAR LESS process and nowhere near “due” to have fundamental rights infringed.
                  3) even “victims” are often fucked by things like nocontact orders issued AGAINST their wishes

                  let me give you a simple reality. if you are in a relationship or live with somebody

                  and…

                  they make (for example) claims to the cops that you threatened to kill them (even better with a weapon like a kitchen knife, gun, whatever) you are … fucked

                  the allegation is all… that … is … needed to get you

                  1) arrested
                  2) kept out of YOUR house for weeks or more
                  3) restrained from carrying a firearm or possessing one (that will take a mere he said/she said hearing)

                  there need not be physical evidence (like there usually must be in drug cases) and furthermore, there is FAR more likelihood of getting falsely accused of DV if you REALLY piss a domestic partner off

                  in the civil stuff (TRO’s etc.) you are basically guilty until proven innocent

                  etc.

                  just because DV abusers suck, and drug users don’t, is not the point

                  even a REAL guilty dv abuser often doesn’t deserve the shit that comes down nor does ANYBODY … even a criminal deserve to have their rights taken away w/o due process

                  and a COMPLETELY innocent person can also get … proper fucked

                  let’s face reality . a much higher %age of people fucked by the drug war are actually… wait for it.. guilty.

                  not that this stuff SHOULD be crimes in the first place, but the reality is you gotta work HARD to get jail time for marijuana (hard!) and even with hard drugs in many jurisdictions (pretty damn hard – in mine, first offense felonies are now diverted to misdemeanors) you get at least one strike before you get jail time and if you don'[t have the drugs in the first place , it’s pretty rare to get fucked over…

                  in DV crimes, all it takes is a vindictive domestic partner

                  that’s it

                  1. I’m with Dunphy. Either you believe in due process or you do not. The heinousness of the alleged crime should have no bearing on whether or not the defendant gets due process.

      3. Compelling ? Legitimate

      4. i thought the PATRIOT ACT was about terrorists not felons or lunatics…

    3. I’ve commented here for a long time. If you’d paid attention you’d know I am very pissed there is any government at all.

      1. Government’s probably not happy about you existing either.

        1. I pay all my taxes and fees. Participate in their sham political contests.Work for them through private contractors. I even showed up for jury duty once.

          I’m a fucking model citizen Tulpa, and very civically engaged.

          1. So you’re like Julia from 1984, minus the Pornosec gig.

  16. Two things strike me here. First, the NRA seems kind of butt-hurt that Rand didn’t come to them, hat in hand, asking what kind of amendments to offer. Second, NRA seems to think that the government having two ambiguous overlordly techniques finding gun owner information is better than just one.

    Neither item paints the NRA to be especially competent in defending our second amendment rights. Maybe it’s just a bad moment – they HAVE done a pretty good job so far.

    1. Bingo, Joshua.

      1. Actually, I think we have entered the time of “all political decisions adopted must be the most fucked up thing imaginable”. Kind of an awkward label for this period in US history, but there it is.

    2. NRA is probably butthurt because people like Mike Riggs are spreading misinformation, saying that NRA opposed the Paul amendment. I’d be butthurt too if I were them.

      1. “I am opposed to Rand Paul.

        I take no position on Rand Paul.”

        If someone said those two things in succession would you think they have taken no position on Rand Paul?

        They were opposed to the amendment and tried to cover it up with lobbyist bullshit speak.

        1. There’s no evidence that they were ever opposed to the amendment.

          1. While well-intentioned, the language of this amendment as currently drafted raises potential problems for gun owners, in that it encourages the government to use provisions in current law that allow access to firearms records without reasonable cause, warrant, or judicial oversight of any kind.

            This looks like opposition to me.

            1. The thing is, if they come out in opposition to it, that basically means they’re going to be including it in their grading. They didn’t want to do that.

          2. I’m not on the NRA=Devil bandwagon, but I think it’s obvious that the NRA opposed the amendment. They went out of their way to talk about the problems that the amendment had. If that’s not opposition, I don’t know what is.

            It’d be like somebody saying “Tulpa fucks goats, and this is a problem; that is not to say that I am OPPOSED to Tulpa.”

            1. Sadly, I don’t even have access to goats. I heard they eat poison ivy with no ill effects.

    3. That’s the trouble. The statement is saying that by closing off this one bad thing gov’t might (but would be very unlikely to) do, they’re saying it would increase the likelihood of their doing it some other, worse way?

  17. So, if the Feds aren’t granted authority to rife through gun records, then they’ll just nefariously use laws already on the books to rife through gun records. Perfectly clear to me!

  18. I’m really angry at the NRA. Their arguments for why Rand Paul’s ammendments would hurt gun owners are insulting to anyone with critical reasoning ability.

    If the Feds already have the ability to use laws that are bad for gun owners, then the passage or non-passage of the ammendment is entirely moot. It changes nothing. There is no way that by eliminating one bad avenue you are making it worse because there are still more bad avenues.

    I plan on letting my membership expire and putting my resources behind one of the other organizations that truly support my rights!

  19. The NRA is the most powerful gun control lobby in the world. Because of them we have the 1934 and 1968 gun control acts. Say what you will about Rand Paul but he just pulled off one of the greatest political moves I’ve seen in the past 2 decades. He was able to get the NRA to tip its hand. The NRA is more dangerous than the Brady bunch in that it is aggressively pushed “concealed carry” – a gross destruction of second amendment rights – for the past 2 decades while pretending it is standing up for second amendment rights. There is no “reasonable” gun control law that it hasn’t supported and now its leadership is freaking out. “How could a freshmen Senator from podunk Kentucky have stolen our shorts this way?”

    1. That. ^^^

      1. ridiculous. as any objective look at evidence will show, firearms rights have GREATLY expanded over the last few decades. far more states are SHALL issue, etc.

        the reality is, and of course the NRA is not completely the source of credit, scores of millions more people can carry firearms in public now than could 20 , 30, yrs ago

        1. Not ridiculous at all. Shall issue is a repudiation of privacy rights if not Gun Rights. It is not an expansion of rights. Try carrying without a “permit” – which itself gives the government all the information it needs to not only come get your guns when it deems it necessary, but also gives it the basis by which to revoke your “rights” on any basis the legislature deems necessary. Such as, an accusation in a civil court that you’ve “abused” a family member. All of this is of course put in place and supported by the NRA because “not just everyone should own a gun.” Wake the hell up. The NRA is no friend of liberty and never has been. Every major gun control law in existence was enacted with their express written consent and many times by their design. Screw the NRA.

          1. IN MY STATE, i CAN carry w/o a permit openly. and several states have moved to recognize that concealed carry is legal – NO PERMIT REQUIRED.

            you can keep up these “best is the enemy of the good” arguments all we want.

            the REALITY is that rights have greatly expanded over the last few decades, scores of millions of more people can now carry/possess firearms legally due to changes in the law, and the NRA has been instrumental in fighting at both the legislative and judicial level (the latter, see: Heller)

            these are facts. nothing you have said has refuted any of them

            fortunately, MOST RKBA advocates don’t buy your rubbish

          2. It’s an expansion of liberty. If you need permission for something, anything that makes it easier to get permission is an expansion of liberty. If you choose not to ask permission, you’re no worse off than if permission hadn’t been made easier to get, but if you choose to ask for permission, then you’re ahead of the game.

            1. If you don’t ask permission and are caught with a concealed handgun, you’ll have your rights “removed” after they charge you with a felony. Anything that requires I get permission before exercising a “right” has converted said right into a crime.

              That is not by any stretch of the imagination an expansion of my rights.

              1. not in my state. carrying concealed (if you are not on your own property) w/o a permit is a MISDEMEANOR

                hth

                1. So they treat it as if it isn’t a right but ordinarily a crime. That is exactly what the NRA has been promoting: conversion of what is a fundamental human right into a crime. And your state is lenient. So what? It will still cost you. What does it become the second offense?

  20. Everybody calm down please. While the NRA may have erred, it’s still a great organization. Baby, bathwater, etc.

  21. Why do you think the government has so many gun-records? The NRA. Of course it doesn’t want to keep the government from looking at them. It worked very hard to get us to by into the idea that asking permission is the same as a right.

    1. That’s ridiculous. Permission was required before they were successful in agitating to make permission easier to get. They had nothing to do with the requirement for permission to begin with.

    2. ^ This. L. Neil Smith was right about them twenty years ago. America’s #1 gun control lobby.

  22. I joined the NRA about two years ago. I have never filled out or donated to a political campaign. Two months after becoming a NRA member i received a letter from the Republican National Committee, asking me to fill out a survey for “Gun Owners”. I am not a registered republican. Interesting how a organization supposedly concerned about my gun rights had no problem sharing my information with a political party notifying them that i was a gun owner.

    Go buy any new gun Long or hand…and you will find one very common piece of paperwork included. There will be a NRA membership form, often with a discounted price.

    The NRA has over 4 million members. 4 MILLION. As far as their numbers go, they should represent far more political power then they do…in fact if the NRA truly represented those peoples wishes, things like the Assault Weapons Ban and other gun restricting legislation, could NEVER be enacted.

    Wake up! The NRA supported those restrictions!!! THE NRA is used first and foremost as an body that ENABLES gun laws. Name another organized group with as many paying members that has bent to establishment wishes. The truth is with the numbers the NRA has, it has no need to bend, on any issue relating to protecting gun rights.

    It does, and will continue to be nothing more the an incremental means to an end. It is concerned with the industry, and it power, nothing more. Viewed in that light NRA decisions are quite clear.

    1. I don’t hate the NRA, but I’ve bought several guns since 2007 and you are 1000% correct – there’s the paperwork for the NRA membership, each time.

      The gun shop in Ohio I used to buy from apparently put me on an e-mail list, and I used to receive e-mails either from the NRA or someone/institution supporting them. Back in 2008, I was frequently receiving e-mails warning me that if Obama was elected, I would lose my concealed carry rights and my guns. Each e-mail ended with a call for donations to the NRA.

      Two years in, and I don’t see any attempts to take my guns…

      1. Obama was too crafty to try to take our guns, he knew we’d never let him. He went after ammunition instead!

    2. You’re basing your idea of the effectiveness of 4,000,000 people on…what? High Times had a circulation of about 400,000; would you say it should have 1/10 the effect? AARP has 40,0000; should they have 10X the effect? So does PokerStars, but they’re now unable to do business in the USA.

      You can’t just handicap by the numbers. There’s no way to say that with this many, you “should” be this effective.

      1. I meant AARP & PokerStars have 40 million members each. I left out one comma and a couple of zeros.

  23. I have questions about some of the claims in NRA’s second letter. They say this:

    “…an application for this type of order with respect to firearms sales records has to be approved no lower than the director or deputy director of the FBI, or the Executive Assistant Director for National Security.”

    But the next sentence says this:

    ” The application is made to a federal judge…”

    So, which is it? I have always had the impression that these “section 215 letters” and other parts of the Act were terrible for the fact that they enabled the executive to operate without any judicial oversight. Is this not fully true?

    I guess I could get off my ass and research it myself…

  24. The NRA: protecting the rights of country club Republicans to transport their unloaded shotguns to the club for some skeet shooting for 30 years (or so).

  25. Mandatory permits, registration, and even specific licensure for firearms dealers are a few of the unconstitutional and morally indefensible results of the reprehensible machinations of authoritarian government. The National Rifle Association is, at best, a conspicuously lukewarm advocate of liberty.

    On an unrelated note, hasn’t New Jersey (and other likeminded shitholes) committed insurrection against the republic by disobeying explicit constitutional restraints upon the authority of government?

  26. The NRA has become more dangerous to gun freedom than helpful with their opposition to Rand’s amendment.

  27. As anyone bored enough to read anything I write knows very well, IANAL, just an angry, semi-sane individualist who avoids work until the last possible moment by spending his time firing-off profanity-laced political rants about everything I hate about the world (which gives me plenty of ammo).

    However, even though I am of the laity, I have to wonder, with regard to this second email, umm….

    How were American’s rights protected before the PATRIOT Act (and why the fuck is that always capitalized, anyway?)

    I mean, to read that second email, you’d think the constitution was legally inapplicable without the PATRIOT Act. WTF?

    I am done with NRA. (Actually, I was done with them sometime around 2008 when I let my membership expire through laziness.) But now I’m REALLY done with them.

    1. The reason it is capitalized is because it is actually an acronym. It stands for: (USA PATRIOT Act)
      Uniting and Strengthening America Act by Providing Appropriate Tools to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001.

    2. The enemy is the establishment. The establishment usurped our government in 1913. We’re not supposed to have IRS or a Federal Reserve Bank.

      End the Fed.

      I am a member of the NRA. Not only that, Rand Paul inspired me to join NAGR as well.

      check my page: http://lango.us

  28. NRA is a tool of the establishment.

    they endorsed John McCain, sheesh!

  29. “This would result in United States Attorneys simply demanding the same records through grand jury subpoenas, which require no judicial approval before issuance.”
    THAT WOULD MEAN THE SUBPOENA WOULD BE DONE WITH PUBLIC NOTICE (& court record) NOT IN A SECRET PROCESS!!!
    Well, as long as our overlord bureaucratic masters allow us to trap shoot & hunt deer, right?
    youtube.com/watch?v=CdkvZFoqbWc&feature=player_embedded#at=446

  30. The NRA is bought and paid for by the Anti-Libery Right. Look at the Patriot Act votes –most were Republicans voting against our Liberty.
    If you love Liberty and you love the Constitution join GOA.

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