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Oct. 16, 2008
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Gun Law Update: Brady Backs Barack
Will Anti-Gun Group's Endorsement Help Or Hurt?
Anti-Gun-Rights Candidate Could Gut "Heller" Decision
Now that Barack Obama has received the endorsement of the Brady Campaign
gun-control group, will the Supreme Court's findings in the D.C. gun-ban
"Heller" case matter?
That's the question experts are asking in the wake of Obama's 11th-hour
support from America's leading gun-ban advocates. The late-date endorsement
was conspicuously absent from most large news outlets. Those groups have
repeatedly claimed that anti-gun-rights agendas were a key issue in the
Democrat election defeats of 2000 and 2004.
"Obama publicly supported Washington D.C.'s total gun ban until the
Supreme Court's 'Heller' case voided it," says Alan Korwin, co-author of
"The Heller Case: Gun Rights Affirmed," which was just released (see below
for news-media review copies). "His opposition to gun rights is well known
and carefully documented in the new book," he said. Obama swiftly reversed
his position after the High Court found that gun rights belong to
individuals, a point also documented in the new book.
"Before the ban was overturned, Mr. Obama supported the position of the
Court's dissenters -- that gun bans are fine and the Second Amendment in
the Bill of Rights does not protect people, it protects 'collective rights'
of states," Korwin notes. That position had little to support it in the
historical record, but was favored by people seeking to ban firearms from
public hands. The "collective rights" theory, a recent creation, was
dismissed with ridicule by the Court (equating it to Alice in Wonderland).
The Amendment itself speaks of "the security of a free state," and "the
right of the people."
As the first book released about the landmark gun-rights decision, "The
Heller Case: Gun Rights Affirmed" describes the events leading up to the
case, and precisely what the Court said, word-for-word and in plain
English. If Obama follows the Court's decree, the civil rights of the
general public should be fairly well safeguarded with respect to owning and
If he instead follows the lead of his endorsers in the Brady Campaign, gun
rights as America has known them for more than two centuries could easily
end. His campaign positions so far suggest the latter, if he is elected.
His widely available voting record is 100% consistent -- voting for every
restriction on law-abiding gun use, and against every proposed protection
for innocent individuals.
Virtually all recent gun-law proposals fall into those two categories --
bans on honest ownership and rights, or support for honest ownership and
rights. New laws targeting criminals are rare, since every imaginable
criminal activity with guns is already against the law and carries severe
The only thing left, according to leading experts, is to ban guns for
non-criminals, a policy choice adopted in some circles. Gun bans on
criminals have had embarrassingly little effect on street gangs, the drug
war and career criminals in general. Facing abject failure of crime-related
social policies, and unable to disarm criminals, many politicians are
turning instead to civil-disarmament schemes. Working against this trend,
"Disarm Criminals First" says one campaign slogan in the Marksmanship
The three publicly announced elements of the Brady-Obama anti-gun
positions include 1- Ban the freedom to sell firearms from one innocent
person to another, euphemistically called the "gun-show loophole"; 2- Allow
all law enforcement officers to fish through gun-dealer records looking for
paperwork or other violations, and compile data as they see fit,
euphemistically known as "repealing the Tiahart Amendment" (which prevents
them from doing so currently); and 3- permanently ban an enormous list of
perfectly legal firearms and accessories based on looks, names and
operating characteristics, euphemistically called an "assault-weapons
First, knowledgeable observers know assault is a type of behavior, not a
type of hardware, plus the ban seeks to outlaw all semiautomatic firearms.
Second, it's already completely illegal for criminals to buy firearms under
any circumstances, so the proposed private-sale ban would only affect
innocent citizens. And third, the Tiahart Amendment protects the innocent
from government registries and abuse, so all three proposals, as noted
above, have virtually no effect on stopping crime, but do crush freedoms
Americans currently enjoy.
A long wish list of other gun-freedom repeals have been previously
announced by Brady, Obama and their supporters, but have not shown up in
the candidate's platform yet. See some of them here:
and many more here:
including (as listed during the Clinton administration):
THE FIVE YEAR PLAN:
1. National Licensing of all handgun purchases.
2. Licenses for Rifle and Shotgun owners.
3. State Licenses for ownership of firearms.
4. Arsenal Licenses (5 guns and 250 rounds of ammunition).
5. Arsenal License Fees (at least $300.00, with a cap of $1,000.00).
6. Limits on Arsenal Licensing (None in counties with populations of more
7. Requirement of Federally Approved Storage Safes for all guns.
8. Inspection License. (Gun safe licenses, yearly fee for spot
9. Ban on Manufacturing in counties with a population of more than
10. Banning all military style firearms.
11. Banning Machine Gun Parts or parts which can be used in a Machine
12. Banning the carrying a firearm anywhere but home or target range or in
transit from one to the other.
13. Banning replacement parts (manufacturing, sale, possession, transfer,
installation) except barrel, trigger group.
14. Elimination of the Curio Relic list.
15. Control of Ammunition belonging to Certain Surplus Firearms. (7.62x54R
16. Eventual Ban of Handgun Possession.
17. Banning of Any ammo that fits military guns (post 1945).
18. Banning of any quantity of smokeless powder or black powder which
would constitute more than the equivalent of 100 rounds of ammunition.
19. Ban the possession of explosive powders of more than 1 kg. at any one
20. Banning of High Powered Ammo or Wounding ammo.
21. A National License for Ammunition.
22. Banning or strict licensing of all re-loading components.
23. National Registration of ammunition or ammo buyers.
24. Requirements of special storage safe for ammunition and licensing.
25. Restricting Gun Ranges to counties with populations less than
26. Special Licensing of ranges.
27. Special Range Tax to visitors. ($85.00 per visit per person).
28. Waiting period for rentals on pistol ranges.
29. Banning Gun Shows.
30. Banning of military reenactments.
Ban of all clips holding over 6 bullets.
Elimination of the Dept. of Civilian Marksmanship.
Ban on all realistic replica and toy guns (including "air soft" and
The right of gun-violence victims to sue, with financial assistance from
government programs, the gun manufacturers.
Taxes on ammo, dealers, guns, licenses to offset medical costs to
The eventual ban on all semi-automatics regardless of when made or
To own your own copy of this new book, look here:
[Backgrounder: Phoenix-based Bloomfield Press, founded in 1988, is the
largest publisher and distributor of gun-law books in the country. Our
website, gunlaws.com, features a free national directory to gun laws and
relevant contacts in all states and federally, along with our unique line
of related books and DVDs. "Gun Laws of America" for news-media review is
available on request, call 1-800-707-4020. Our authors are available for
interview, call to schedule. Call for cogent positions on gun issues,
informed analysis on proposed laws, talk radio that lights up the
switchboard, fact sheets and position papers. As we always say, "It
doesn't make sense to own a gun and not know the rules."
"We publish the gun laws."
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