Chris Cox: ‘When States Can Deny One Constitutional Freedom’ They Can Criminalize Every Right

Chris Cox, executive director of the Institute for Legislative Action, the political and lobbying arm of the National Rifle Association, speaks during the annual meeting of members at the NRA convention Saturday, April 11, 2015, in Nashville, Tenn. Projected on a screen behind Cox is a picture of former Secretary …
AP/Mark Humphrey

In an ad that began airing April 18, NRA-ILA executive director Chris Cox points to 10 states that “criminalize the Second Amendment” and suggests “the media” would be giving it front page coverage if the criminalization were directed toward freedom of the press.

Moreover, Cox says Americans need to understand that allowing one constitutional freedom to be criminalized only opens the door to a criminalization of the “entire bill of rights.”

Cox’s points are based on two things: 1. Real-world examples of law-abiding citizens being arrested for the possession of legally-owned guns in states like New Jersey. 2. The fact that all the rights protected by the Bill of Rights are of a cloth; they all have their origin in our Creator and come to us at birth via nature. Our Founding Fathers hedged them in with Bill of Rights’ protections as a way to remind government to keep its hands off, and if government becomes accustomed to curtailing then criminalizing one of the rights it will not be long until said government begins to curtail and criminalize other rights too.

Without naming names, Cox mentions “nurses, stay-at-home moms, veterans, even a disaster relief worker, have been charged with felonies for simply having a lawfully owned firearm.” He explains that all these various individuals  were licensed to carry in their own states, “but arrested and charged as criminals when safely carrying [their gun] through another, less-free state.”

Breitbart News reported single mother Shaneen Allen was arrested in New Jersey in October 2013 for possessing a legally owned gun for which she had a Pennsylvania concealed carry permit. And USMC Joshua Velez was arrested in New Jersey in 2014 for having a legally owned gun for which he had a Massachusetts concealed carry permit. In both cases, the possession of the legally owned guns was criminalized because the firearms were not registered in New Jersey.

Cox said, “When states can deny one constitutional freedom, they can criminalize the entire bill of rights.”

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


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