NRA-Endorsed Politician Calls for Expanded Gun Registration

The Colorado Freedom Report:  A libertarian journal of politics and culture.

The Colorado Freedom

NRA-Endorsed Politician Calls for Expanded Gun Registration

by Ari Armstrong, October 4, 2002

Does NRA stand for "National Registration Association?"

According to the NRA's executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre, "gun owner licensing and registration" and other laws often leads to "another step, and another, until law-abiding gun owners [are] forced into a final step -- forfeiting their personal property, and with it their liberties." LaPierre urges gun owners to "throw your full support behind those candidates" who "support your rights." (America's 1st Freedom, October 2002)

Why, then, has the NRA thrown its support behind a candidate who endorses the expansion of Sarah Brady's gun registration program?

In 2000, Colorado voters passed an unjust and unconstitutional law requiring gun registration for private sales at gun shows. On May 12, 2002, Senator Wayne Allard told the Denver Post he "would support legislation at the federal level that is identical to the state ballot initiative." The Brady law and it's Amendment 22 companion require gun buyers to file paperwork that is available on demand to the BATF. I.e., the Brady scheme registers guns and their owners with the federal government.

Did the NRA demand that Allard change his position and support the repeal of the unconstitutional Brady law, rather than its expansion? No. Instead, the NRA endorsed Allard.

According to Susan Greene's article for the October 2 Denver Post, the NRA endorsed Allard the previous day. NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam told Greene, "Sen. Allard has a strong and consistent voting record for standing up for the rights of hunters, sportsmen and law-abiding gun owners in Colorado and across the country."

Exactly how is Allard's support of expanded gun registration "standing up for the rights" of gun owners?

Greene also notes Tom Strickland's previous support for expanded victim disarmament laws and his enforcement of Project Gestapo (officially "Project Exile"), the program that targets mostly non-violent gun offenders for zealous federal persecution. "'It basically goes out of its way to punish ex-cons. I don't think it did anything to combat crime in Colorado,' said Dave Ryan, a Libertarian gun-rights activist." While violent crimes should be rigorously prosecuted at the state and local level -- whether or not those crimes involve firearms -- the nation's thousands of unconstitutional gun laws should be repealed, not enforced.

No one argues that Strickland supports the right of self-defense. He obviously does not. But is that somehow an excuse for Allard to support expanded gun registration or for the NRA to endorse Allard? With the Senate potentially hanging in the balance of this race, the NRA seems to be more concerned about electing Republicans than about consistently defending the Second Amendment.

In his October 1 story for the Rocky Mountain News, Charlie Brennan also reports the NRA endorsed Allard. Chris Cox, executive director of the NRA's Institute for Legislative Action, told Brennan, "Wayne Allard has been a strong supporter of Second Amendment issues. He has been good on this issue in both word and deed." But Allard's "word" is that he supports the expansion of gun registration. Does Cox believe gun registration is consistent with the Second Amendment?

Brennan reports, "Both [Allard and Strickland] say tougher enforcement of existing laws is what's needed, rather than new laws." Tougher enforcement of the thousands of unconstitutional and unjust federal gun laws?

Brennan also reports that Allard voted against one version of registration for private sales at gun shows. But do the details of the gun registration law really matter that much? The Amendment 22 gun registration expansion that Allard supports nationally was funded by national victim-disarmament groups.

If Allard were serious about defending the Second Amendment and the right of self-defense, he would sign a written pledge to support the repeal of the entire Brady gun registration program. If the NRA were similarly serious about defending our rights, it would endorse only those candidates who signed such a pledge.

The Colorado Freedom