What has gun control orgs and their media cheerleaders really worried during this national emergency? Yes, the coronavirus pandemic is bad, but that will pass in time.
Much more concerning for them are the thousands and thousands of first-time gun buyers who have mobbed gun stores across the country. People who will now be much more difficult to convince that what this country really needs is to make it harder to buy a gun and enact stricter controls over the right to keep and bear arms.
So when a relatively small group of governors and counties mandated that gun manufacturers and retailers shut down (at the same time they were emptying jails) the industry got to work lobbying the federal government and filing lawsuits against those who issued the orders.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation, which represents retailers, manufacturers and distributors, led the push for new guidance, speaking directly to outgoing acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and incoming chief of staff Mark Meadows, as well as the office of Vice President Mike Pence, who is leading the White House Coronavirus Task Force, according to a person familiar with the outreach. The organization also spoke to Mulvaney counselor Michael Williams, a former law clerk for the NRA’s lobbying arm who later served as general counsel for the American Suppressor Association, an industry group pushing to ease restrictions on suppressors — more commonly known as silencers.
The group began lobbying about two weeks ago, making calls and writing letters to the Department of Homeland Security, which issued the guidelines, as well as to governors, counties, cities and mayors. Their argument: The industry supplies the military and law enforcement agencies, and Americans have the right to protect themselves.
“Food, water, shelter and adequate medical care are paramount for survival, but so too is the ability for an individual to defend his or herself, their family, as well as their home, business and property,” Keane wrote in a March 20 letter to DHS.
In recent days, Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Second Amendment Foundation, and Michael Hammond, legislative counsel for Gun Owners of America, also reached out to the administration through emails and calls. They alerted their supporters to do the same.
Dudley Brown, president of the National Association for Gun Rights, said gun supporters were angered when Trump suggested Rep. Thomas Massie, (R-Ky.), chairman of the House Second Amendment Caucus, should be thrown out of the Republican Party after he delayed the House vote on the recovery bill last week.
Brown, who notified his 6.5 million members on Facebook about the saga over the guidelines, said the revision will help Trump with his supporters.
“It’s a cheap and easy way to garner support to an already grumbling and disgruntled base,” he said.
– Anita Kumar in States were closing gun shops. Activists turned to the White House.