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GOA Exec. Dir. Larry Pratt (courtesy

“We should get rid of background checks, and we should destroy the databases that have been used to run those background checks and the databases holding names of gun owners that have, for certain, been created illegally.”” – Gun Owners of America Executive DirectorLarry Pratt, quoted in Gun Owners of America: Abolish Background Checks. Destroy Linked Database [via]

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    • Indeed. I am *sick* of the NRA bragging about instacheck (NICS) as if it’s a wonderful idea instead of something they made the other side settle for. Come to think of it, they don’t actually claim the instacheck is something they made the other side settle for; that’s just something their supporters read into their rhetoric because they can’t (won’t) believe the NRA isn’t their friend.

    • He is wrong. Constitutional Carry is based on NOT being a prohibited person. Thus if you can pass a NICS check (ONCE) in AZ you get to keep buying until you screw the pooch and get DQ’d by law. Sounds right.


      • “Constitutional Carry is based on NOT being a prohibited person.”

        Constitutional Carry means there are no prohibited people, except the citizens who freely choose not to own a gun. The free market allows the seller of the firearm, the ability to make a transaction or not to. Granted that only works in a moral society, like our Constitution.

        • Almost right. Even those who choose not to carry aren’t prohibited from doing so, they are still allowed to do so.

          Also, I doubt the framers intended for people actually in prison to have a gun. Though I tend to agree they imagined people not in prison (even ex-cons) would have the RKBA.

  1. I joined GOA when the NRA was full of compromising Fudds. It wasnt until 2012 that I joined the NRA as well seeing them turn finally turn away from Fuddism even slightly.
    Pratt and GOA are awesome. Putting fire under the NRA’s ass is good for all of us.

  2. I’m a Life NRA member, and I will get a life GOA membership ASAP. GOA does the real legal heavy lifting, despite NRA taking credit for it. NRA’s primary benefit is in lobbying, but to win in the courts, GOA is the team to back.

  3. The NRA is still one of the heavy hitters in court. They have the financing to pay the lawyers. They are not perfect and they have done some stupid things but they are still on our side.
    GOA is a fantastic group as well. Another heavy hitter in filing lawsuits is the SAF (Second Amendment Foundation).
    Above all, be sure to join your State Rifle Assiciation (in Texas, that is the TSRA) since most gun laws appear at the local and state level before the go national. We have to fight them in the trenches on the local front before they gain momentum in the national media.
    Allan, Larry and Wayne are all good people—take your pick. But, above all else, join your state group!

  4. No more compromise. GOA all the way.

    I’m a member of the NRA, but I look to GOA for the real skinny on where different congress critters stand on the 2nd.

    NRA plays too fast and loose (plays politics) with thier grading system for the Liars in office.

    Also their continued support for NICS means their just another gun control orginization, just not as severe as MDA.

  5. Not that any level of scrutiny is appropriate for something constitutionally protected against any and all infringement; but applying strict scrutiny, background checks clearly fail. They have not altered the gun-acquiring behavior of criminals. They do not lead to arrest and conviction of so-called “prohibited persons” who attempt to purchase firearms through FFLs.

    All background checks have done is to burden law-abiding citizens in the exercise of a natural, constitutionally protected right, while establishing a de facto registration of law-abiding gun owners, which is inherently a violation of the constitutional protection against government infringement.

    I agree 100%.

  6. Arguably, the NRA made a mistake by offering NICS as the alternative to the waiting period. From the Monday-Morning-Armchair, perhaps we would have had a better outcome by fighting Brady’s original 5-day waiting period; e.g., reducing it to 4 then 3 then 2 then 1 then getting rid of it. But hashing-over this argument is fruitful ONLY to the extend that our conjectures of the alternate scenario might inform our strategy today. NRA bashing on this judgement-call isn’t particularly fruitful.
    Now that we have FFL-BC via NICS we ARE facing the slippery-slope consequence of arguing against UBC. In the public mind, UBC is the logical extension of FFL-BC. We recognize the difference; but, we are doing a POOR job of explaining that to the general public who can digest only a 45-second sound bite.

    The real question we face TODAY is: How to frame our objections to NICS in such a way as to undermine UBC?

    I THINK that a DIRECT assault on FFL-BC is probably a WEAK approach. The general public isn’t much concerned about the principles we hold dear. Getting the general public to agree to a roll-back of an existing law is harder then undermining their support for an extension to an existing law.

    I THINK that a stronger assault on UBC is to criticize NICS in the existing form of FFL-BC. Ask: Before you extend an existing law, don’t you want to know how well or poorly the existing law works? The obvious answer ought to be: Yes, I want to know more.

    Now, what arguments do we raise against the existing law? I don’t think that most of OUR arguments will sway the general public. We need to look for arguments that WOULD influence the general public.

    The fact that the criminal justice system RARELY pursues prohibited-persons who patronize FFLs is pretty compelling. Nor do they pursue straw-buyers. So:
    – if the government isn’t prosecuting crimes occurring at FFLs,
    – why should we imagine they would prosecute crimes under UBC?
    Shouldn’t we figure out why FFL-BCs don’t work before we expand this system?

    Such an argument MIGHT have considerably more impact than any of the other objections we promote. Such an argument puts us on the high moral ground. We would be complaining about NON-ENFORCEMENT of an EXISTING law. We are inviting our fellow voter to consider the question:
    – Do you really want to waste more money on a new law
    – when what you are spending on the existing law is a waste?
    Don’t you first want to TRY enforcing the existing law?

    I (not you) would say: I don’t have a problem with the FFL-BC, personally. It takes an extra 3 minutes out of my day once or twice a year. The Feds might be building an illegal database using BC inquiries; but I don’t think so. To me, the FFL-BC is merely a minor nuisance; AND, a complete waste of time. The government doesn’t enforce the law. If they did, every criminal or crazy who wanted a gun would get one through some other means. However, to expand the FFL-BC to a UBC is a totally different can-of-worms; one which I can not abide.

    I think my posture plays better to a non-committed voter than the alternative.

    You MIGHT say: The FFL-BC is un-constitutional. It infringes on my rights. Some day I might be delayed by as much as 3 days to acquire a new gun. Some people have to spend weeks or months fighting with the FBI to prove that they are law-abiding people and have been confused with some criminal who has a similar name. The FBI is almost certainly building an illegal database of people who buy guns at gun shops.

    While all these arguments might be entirely valid, they are unlikely to persuade today’s voter that FFL-BCs are intrinsically a bad idea. It’s truly a tragedy that voters don’t fully appreciate the wisdom of these arguments; but, the fact is, they don’t. By spending our 45-seconds of the voter’s attention span on these arguments we have wasted our time at-bat. Moreover, he’s likely to be suspicious that we are trying to “get out of” a seemingly reasonable regulatory scheme because it’s in our personal interest to do so.

    We need to identify the most persuasive argument available to us and advance that argument first. The argument we find most compelling to our personal sensibilities is NOT NECESSARILY the most persuasive to the voter who’s opinion we seek to alter.

    • Only ask “Do you want to try enforcing the existing law?” if that’s a step toward showing that the existing law can’t possibly work — which it can’t. The best way to do that would be some research on how often firearms change hands among criminals and they ignore the law. If the public can absorb the idea that not a single criminal cares at all about the background check law, then there will be a foundation for getting them to see how much money is being wasted.

  7. I too joined the GOA thinking that I was adding my voice in addition to being a Benefactor Member of the NRA. What I did not know was that my email inbox would be inundated with URGENT!!!, ACT NOW!!! OBAMA IS COMING FOR YOUR GUNS!!! fund raising appeals. I have written to them, emailed them and asked them politely to stop sending me the fund appeals. I’m retired and can’t afford it. They not only ignored my requests but the volume increased. So now their emails go directly to my junk mail folder. I review them once in awhile to se if there is anything worth reading. There isn’t and I delete them.

    It’s sad. I agree with what Larry says.

    • I get those emails from GOA as well (but not in such volume), as well as other groups I never joined.

      I’ll take that over the stunt the NRA pulled on me, sending me registered mail that I had to take time off from work to pick up at the post office (I lived alone at the time, and I am sure my circumstances weren’t unique), that was simply another “sky is falling” mail. When I told them how much they had inconvenienced me, they insisted that they were justified in doing so.

      • They got a lot of flak over that one. But that’s what happens when you have a PR firm calling the shots for what the organization is going to do, which has been the case for day-to-day matter since LaPierre brought in a PR firm and effectively put them in charge.

      • I called the office and asked to be taken off the fund raising mailing lists. I don’t get them anymore. Occasionally I will get an insert in the magazine but I just recycle it.

  8. BTW, I wouldn’t destroy the data base; I say they should offer it to the GOA, JPFO, and NRA to run for those who want to know the record of those they’re selling to. But all _government_ copies of the data should then be destroyed!

  9. I’m an anti-gun CA cop, and I absolutely support background checks. Before citizenship is granted. With an appropriate appeals process, of course. My purchase of a .338 Lapua got delayed due to a false positive, and I’ve got nothing on my record (unless those speeding tickets in 1997 and 1999 still show up).

    The government has displayed time and again that they are incompetent at maintaining records. Really, the greatest skills of our current government are spending money, causing delay, attending meetings and making motivational speeches.

    I’m so vehemently anti-gun that I’m an NRA, GOA, CalGuns, SAF, and FPC member. That way I can keep close tabs on those “crazy right wingers” who think that gun rights are important.

    Now I’m going to go shooting at Burro Canyon.

  10. I contribute to the NRA, SAF and GOA. When I look at the post-Sandy Hook legislation defeated in Congress, and the Heller and McDonald cases, I can see that my money was well-spent. Then again, none of those advances were the result of activity by the GOA. It was all NRA and SAF.

    And let’s not forget that it was the SAF who supported Manchin-Toomey, and the NRA that fought against it tooth and nail. Well, Alan Gottlieb’s generally been a stand-up guy, so I’ll forgive him for that one mistake.

  11. Until we get a presidential administration with balls, one who is interested in attaching to the Constitution, we will be screwed. Thanks to GOA, NRA and SAF, they all do great work.

  12. ‘…that have, for certain, been created illegally.’

    Well, only if you consider the US Constitution to be a law or something. Most everyone in DC think of it more as a list of suggestions, including the members of SCOTUS.

    • Unless I’m mistaken, the law which created NICS also made using it to create that database (at the time called registry) a felony. IOW, much more recent than the constitution, much more specific. I thought it stupid at the time, who is going to prosecute the government, which is the only agency capable of using NICS to create a database, and I have seen at least one credible story of agents bragging to a reporter about how sly they were in their compilation of a database from 4473s. Federal agents are not afraid of laws which make them felons, those laws are for other people, do not apply to them. We need to pass a federal law which says that anyone found with such a registry will be prosecuted for a capital offense, regardless of how it was obtained. That is the only way they will ever be destroyed.

  13. Join the NRA and GOA, vote in NRA elections for true gun-rights advocates and support GOA to push the NRA toward being more pro-gun. The NRA’s numbers and reputation are essential for the political power of the gun rights movement, but we also need smaller less compromising organizations like the GOA to remain active and keep pushing the NRA to be more committed to gun rights. So far, GOA has done very well in this regard. Join the NRA and vote in their elections to make it more pro-gun. If all the pro-gun advocates had jumped ship over the years we’d still have the Fudd, anti-weapon sportmen’s NRA that supported the the National Firearms Act and rolled over for the Gun Control Act of 1968 and the Firearm Owner’s Protection Act with it’s Hughes Amendment. The NRA has changed because true gun rights advocates have stayed to change the direction of the NRA toward protecting the right to keep and bear arms.

    I also love and am a member of JPFO and joined Armed Citizens United (because I like Sootch00 and Military Arms Channel, both board members, and think they’re valuable advocates for our cause).

    • Fully agree. Join the NRA, then give more than $35/year to GOA or SAF.

      The way to the NRA’s heart is through your wallet. If you join the NRA (for 5 years or life) and vote then you count. Otherwise, you are a nullity to them.

      Now that you count – i.e., you vote – then you vote in the way that registers with them. You show them that you support the principles and priorities of GOA or SAF or some other organization.

      The NRA – like every other organization – wants your support. They want you to vote for their official slate of board candidates; but, your financial support is far more important than any other consideration. Your vote for non-officially-slated candidates is the stick. The carrot is your donation.


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