Gun Owners of America is explaining the top 10 pro-gun successes the group secured in 2016.
The list includes everything from “exposing Hillary Clinton’s anti-gun agenda” to securing constitutional carry in various states to helping defeat President Obama’s gun-control Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland.
Here is GOA’s Top 10:
- “Exposing Hillary Clinton’s Anti-Gun Agenda”–As the November 8 presidential election was approaching, GOA “[published] several YouTube videos, articles and Social Media posts that exposed [Hillary Clinton’s] gun-grabbing agenda. GOA also educated millions of voters around the country, helping to elect many pro-gun Representatives and Senators in close elections.”
- Killing the Anti-Gun “Sentencing Bill”–GOA fought this bill in the Spring of 2016. In essence, the “Sentencing-Bill” would have meant that “a military veteran who is suffering from PTSD — and who has been labeled as a prohibited person — would get increased penalties for simply possessing a gun under this bill. All this would happen to decent gun owners, even while penalties for drug traffickers would be reduced.” In late May, GOA published Senator Tom Cotton’s (R-Ark.) announcement that the “Sentencing Bill” was dead.
- GOA Influenced Supreme Court–On February 29, 2016, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas broke with his 10 years of silence on the bench to ask about misdemeanor offices being used to suspend Constitutional rights. GOA points to a Mother Jones’ report which said, “[Thomas’] questions were based on the brief filed in that case by Gun Owners of America. And the anti-gun lawyer in the case, representing the Obama Administration, was reportedly ‘stumped.’”
- GOA credited as “THE organization” which led fight that killed “no fly, no buy”–According to GOA, their “grassroots opposition” to “no fly, no buy,” caused Senator Harry Reid to say, “Gun Owners of America is even worse than bad.”
- Successes in backing “Constitutional Carry”–GOA supported legislation that abolished the requirement for a concealed carry permit in four states in 2016. Those states–Idaho, Mississippi, Missouri, and West Virginia–“now bring the total number of Constitutional Carry states to twelve.”
- Led Push for “Constitutional Carry” at federal level–“GOA’s grassroots deluged congressional desks with thousands upon thousands of emails and postcards in 2016, resulting in more than 150 Representatives and Senators cosponsoring Constitutional Carry reciprocity legislation.” GOA believes national reciprocity can be a reality once Donald Trump assumes office in 2017.
- GOA’s Erich Pratt named “Gun Hero”–GOA executive director was awarded “Gun Hero of the Day” by The Truth About Guns because of the way he destroyed a CNN anchor’s gun control arguments in January. He was invited back on the same show in June and afterward, “media outlets said the CNN host was ’embarrassed,’ ‘schooled’ or ‘crushed’ during the debate.”
- GOA grassroots encouraged state legislators to override veto’s of permitless carry–“In two of the states where Constitutional Carry passed this year, Gun Owners of America energized gun owners and legislators to override gubernatorial vetoes. The loud, collective voice of gun owners in West Virginia and Missouri overpowered Bloomberg’s money and his misrepresentations about permitless carry.”
- GOA succeeded in defeating pro-gun control SCOTUS nominee Merrick Garland–GOA was quick to lobby Senators to oppose any SCOTUS nominee put forth by Obama in the wake of Antonin Scalia’s death. And when “a couple of Republican Senators initially favored holding hearings or a vote to place Obama’s anti-gun nominee, Merrick Garland, on the court,” GOA launched a grassroots “blitzkrieg” that convinced the Senators to drop the idea.
- GOA rallied Maine voters to oppose Bloomberg-backed gun control on the November ballot–GOA rallied Maine voters to oppose Question 3, a Michael Bloomberg-backed gun control initiative that would have expanded background checks in the state. The initiative was “backed by millions of Bloomberg dollars” and it lost.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of “Bullets with AWR Hawkins,” a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.