Tag Archives: National Rifle Association

Clinton, Kaine take aim at NRA, with public behind them

“Tim Kaine has a background of steel — just ask the NRA,” said Hillary Clinton in introducing her vice presidential pick in Florida today. It was her first limelight moment since the Republican National Convention, and we’re encouraged that she used part of it to focus on gun control.

The nation desperately needs to hear an honest debate about gun control at the presidential level. Democrats and Republicans are worlds apart on the issue. We got a striking picture of where Republicans stand at their convention in Cleveland, where delegates toted firearms into the Quicken Loans Arena like little kids showing off their toys. The party’s platform not only ignores the nation’s mounting toll of horrific mass shootings, but also reads as if the National Rifle Association wrote it — which might very well be the case.

In addition to Clinton’s remarks today, there was more good news for gun-control advocates. A new Associated Press-GfK poll found support for restrictions on gun ownership now stands at a two-thirds majority — the highest level since the poll started asking the question in 2013, about 10 months after the elementary school massacre in Newtown, Connecticut.

According to the new poll, majorities favor nationwide bans on semi-automatic assault weapons and high-capacity magazines holding 10 or more bullets. By a 55 percent to 43 percent margin, respondents to the poll said laws limiting gun ownership do not infringe on the Second Amendment. Strong majorities from both parties said they support background checks for people buying firearms at gun shows and through private sales.

In addition, they back the commonsense banning of gun sales to people on the federal terrorist watch list.

But the poll also found widespread pessimism that elected officials will act. It’s incumbent on Clinton and other Democrats running for office in November to prove the public wrong. They must stand up forcefully and stand down the NRA’s propaganda machine.

The NRA maintains that more guns make people safer, but the opposite is true. The U.S. has more guns per capita than any other nation in the “developed” world and more firearm deaths per capita to show for all those weapons. Americans are 10 times likelier to be killed by firearms than citizens of any other developed nation, according to a study that appeared in the American Journal of Medicine. Yet Americans own virtually one gun for every man, woman and child in the country.

Recent gun-violence cases further undermine the NRA’s distortion. When a sniper opened fire on armed Dallas police officers earlier this month, their guns did nothing to protect them. But imagine how many more casualties there would have been if everyone in the crowd had been armed to the hilt and shooting willy-nilly to stop an assailant who was not even visible.

A gunman managed to kill three Baton Rouge police officers and wound three others, despite the fact that his victims were both armed and trained to use their weapons. An armed security guard was working at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando when 49 customers were killed. The guard exchanged fire with the attacker but to no avail. And officials said that more firearms in the nightclub would have resulted in more innocent deaths during the hysterical melee the first shootings triggered.

In all of those cases, the attackers had the advantages of surprise and powerful weapons. We can’t stop the former, but we can curb the latter with sensible gun restrictions. We need laws designed to benefit society rather than the profits of weapons and munitions manufacturers.

Americans don’t balk at the myriad other restrictions they live with, many of which are ridiculous and unfair. Citizens don’t become unhinged at having to undergo minor security checks to buy decongestants. They don’t send death threats to opticians in protest of bogus laws forcing contact lens wearers to undergo annual eye exams, whether they need them or not. Most citizens accept laws against littering, urinating on sidewalks and coming to a complete halt at stop signs even when no traffic is present.

Yet the NRA has trained millions of Americans to go full freak at potentially life-saving restrictions, such as preventing terrorists from buying assault weapons and prohibiting the sale of body-armor-piercing bullets. Obviously, sanity is being set aside when it comes to this issue and tens of thousands of Americans are dying every year as a result.

Beginning now, you must force candidates for offices at all levels to explain their positions on gun control. Let them know that in order to earn your vote, they must support sensible gun control that does not violate the 2nd Amendment but can reduce the shootings.

We’re finally in a place where Americans are fed up with the nation’s gun obsession. We have a presidential candidate who plans to challenge the NRA from the top of the ticket, but it’s up to voters to put pressure on local and state officials.

Together, let’s imagine a nation where we don’t awake every morning to headlines of another slaughter, where we don’t live every day with the fear that we — or someone we love — will be next. Then take that vision to your candidates and ultimately to the ballot box.

 

NRA endorses Paul Ryan for re-election

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., earned an endorsement from the National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund in his re-election bid.

The gun group issued a statement quoting Chris Cox, chairman of the NRA-PVF. Both men took the stage at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland on July 19 to deliver prime-time speeches.

Cox, in the endorsement statement, said, “Paul Ryan’s leadership in the fight to preserve our Second Amendment rights and hunting heritage has earned him the trust and support of the National Rifle Association.

“As a lifelong outdoorsman and avid hunter, we can trust Paul to continue to fight for the Second Amendment rights of all law-abiding gun owners in Wisconsin and across the United States.”

Ryan and other Republicans held off a Democratic-driven campaign for gun reform this summer.

He also indicated that Democrats who staged a sit-in for reforms following a massacre at a gay nightclub in Florida might be punished by GOP leadership.

The NRA said Ryan received his “A+” from the pro-gun group, which is the highest rating a lawmaker can receive.

The NRA said Ryan has an “excellent voting record on all critical NRA issues” and also made a “vigorous effort to defend and promote the Second Amendment. He has strongly opposed President Obama’s numerous attempts to ban lawfully owned firearms, ammunition and magazines. Equally impressive, he has fought against the gun control agenda promoted by Obama, Hillary Clinton and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.”

Cox said, “The NRA is honored to endorse Paul Ryan and appreciates his steadfast support of the Second Amendment. The NRA encourages all gun-owners, hunters and sportsmen to vote re-elect Paul Ryan this November.”

Ryan actually faces a primary challenge in August — Paul Nehlen.

Democrats who filed to run for the seat include Tom Breu and Ryan Solen.

The federal ban on gun-violence research must end

In the immediate wake of our nation’s mass shootings, many people ask the question, “Why do these things happen?”

But an answer to this question remains hard to come by, because so little is known about gun violence. The nation’s largest medical association wants to change that, and we heartily agree.

The knowledge deficit is entirely the fault of past and current Congresses beholden to the National Rifle Association and the gun industry. It can be traced back to 1996, when Congress first passed a measure banning the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from conducting research on gun violence (the author of the amendment now regrets it). The ban had a chilling effect across the board on researchers, who feared retribution from the powerful NRA and its cultlike acolytes.

Following the mass shooting two years ago at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, President Barack Obama issued an executive order calling on the CDC to get back to studying “the causes of gun violence.”

The order got no traction. Researchers, both within and outside the government, were loath to become enmeshed in such a hot-button issue, especially with the 1996 law still on the books.

After a church shooting last year in Charleston, South Carolina, left nine people dead, there was a renewed attempt on Capitol Hill to study the relationship between gun ownership and gun violence.

Instead, Congress quietly renewed the ban on federal research of the issue.

The gun culture within the Republican Party is so deeply rooted that delegates recently adopted an amendment to its national platform declaring pornography a “public health crisis,” while arguing that guns are not a health issue and therefore the CDC cannot receive federal funding to study them. The platform was being written as President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush were in Dallas addressing a memorial service for the police officers gunned down there by a sniper.

Physicians and virtually all other health care professionals disagree strongly with the assertion that gun violence is not a public health issue.

In Chicago earlier this summer, the American Medical Association adopted the position that gun violence in the United States is not only “a public health crisis,” but one that requires a comprehensive public health response and solution. The AMA vowed to put its considerable lobbying muscle to work in Congress to end the research ban.

“With approximately 30,000 men, women and children dying each year at the barrel of a gun in elementary schools, movie theaters, workplaces, houses of worship and on live television, the United States faces a public health crisis of gun violence,” said AMA president Dr. Steven J. Stack in a press statement.

He continued: “Even as America faces a crisis unrivaled in any other developed country, the Congress prohibits the CDC from conducting the very research that would help us … determine how to reduce the high rate of firearm-related deaths and injuries. An epidemiological analysis of gun violence is vital.”

We’d like to see the AMA, the American Psychological Association, law-enforcement agencies and other groups committed to public health and safety work together to break the gun industry’s lock on Congress.

This will take fortitude. Leaders of such an effort will face intimidation from the same people who once warned that Obama was going to take away their guns. Pro-gun zealots will attempt to destroy their reputations. Opponents of the research ban can also expect intimidation — and even death threats — for daring to “attack” the Second Amendment.

Let’s be clear: Scientific studies of gun violence do not constitute an attack on the Second Amendment any more than studying the limits of free speech violates the First Amendment.

But continuing to ban the study of gun violence violates both reason and humanity.

Ted Nugent’s anti-Semitic rant prompts calls for his ouster from NRA board

In the wake of an anti-Semitic rant on social media, shock rocker Ted Nugent faces calls for his ouster from the National Rifle Association’s board of directors.

The notorious hate monger posted pictures of 12 American Jewish leaders on social media along with the charge that they are the men and women “really behind gun control.”

The Israeli flag appears over or next to each of the faces in a meme used in white supremacist circles, according to the Anti-Defamation League. ADL director Jonathan Greenblatt said Nugent’s comments were “nothing short of conspiratorial anti-Semitism.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Nugent’s post revived the popularity of the meme, drawing praise from anti-Semitic and neo-Nazi groups.

Among the Jewish leaders singled out were Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., “Jew York City Mayor Mikey Bloomberg,” former senator Carl Levin, D-Mich., and Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz. Nugent branded them as “punks” who would “deny us the basic human right to self defense and to keep and bear arms while many of them have paid hired armed security.

Nugent also posted a photo of Nazis rounding up Jews during the Holocaust and described gun-control advocates as “soulless sheep to slaughter.”

The NRA’s response was to issue a message saying that individual board members do not speak for the group as a whole.

Nugent’s social media outrage was merely the latest in a long series of outlandish behavior.

In June 2014, the town of Longview, Texas, paid far-right Nugent $16,000 — half of his performance fee — not to appear at the town’s Fourth of July Festival. The cancellation followed Nugent’s description of President Barack Obama as a “subhuman mongrel.”

The cancellation followed Nugent’s January description of President Barack Obama as a “subhuman mongrel.”

Nor is Nugent the only fringe-right figure tied to the NRA. One of the group’s most ardent supporters is right-wing Web radio host Pete Santilli, who once told listeners he wants “to shoot (Hillary Clinton) in the vagina and I don’t want her to die right away. I want her to feel the pain.”

Scott Walker signs bill allowing concealed carry of switchblades and knives

Gov. Scott Walker has signed a measure allowing people to carry concealed switchblades and knives.

The governor, often criticized as a shill for the National Rifle Association, gave his signature to the measure on Saturday afternoon during the National Rifle Association and Wisconsin FORCE’s annual convention in Weston.

Wisconsin FORCE, or Firearm Owners, Ranges, Clubs and Educators, is an NRA-chartered association that advocates for the right to bear arms.

Manufacturing, selling, transporting, purchasing or possessing a switchblade has been illegal in Wisconsin for decades. The Republican-authored bill eliminates the prohibition as well as permits anyone who can legally possess a gun to carry concealed knives of any length without a concealed carry license. The bill also bars local governments from enacting knife regulations stricter than state law.

Throughout his tenure, Walker and Wisconsin Republicans have continually eased restrictions on firearms. Just one week after a racially motivated massacre at a Charleston, South Carolina, church, Walker signed into law a measure eliminating the state’s traditional 48-hour waiting period before purchasing a firearm.

In signing the law, Walker claimed that guns were being singled out for regulation, even though other lethal weapons were not. He pointed to a recent incident in which someone had been killed with a bow and arrow near a Neenah school.

PolitiFact researched the story and found it was untrue, giving Walker a “pants on fire” rating for the statement.

Wisconsin Republicans want to eliminate minimum hunting age

After passing a law allowing women to wear fluorescent pink hunting garb, ostensibly to maintain their femininity while gunning down deer, Assembly Republicans now are pushing a bill that would eliminate Wisconsin’s minimum hunting age.

The measure’s supporters say parents should have the power to decide whether their child is ready to hunt. Opponents counter that young children aren’t physically or mentally ready to wield long guns and could hurt themselves or others.

“Can that 1-day-old to 9-year-old differentiate between shoot (or) don’t shoot?” Joseph Lacenski, president of the Wisconsin Hunter Education Instruction Association, said in remarks submitted to the Assembly natural resources committee. “Can they differentiate between what is killing versus hunting? Can they rationalize the difference between video games they have been playing and the consequences of the real world?”

Right now, as long as they’re accompanied by a “mentor,” children as young as 10 can hunt in Wisconsin without passing a safety course. The mentor must remain within arm’s length of the child and the two can have only one weapon between them. The number of mentored hunt licenses has steadily grown, from 19,054 in 2010, the program’s first year, to 31,250 in fiscal year 2014, according to the Department of Natural Resources.

Under Rep. Joel Kleefisch’s bill, anyone of any age could hunt without safety training alongside a mentor, and the mentor could carry his or her own weapon.

Kleefisch said the bill would give parents the ability to make choices for their children. He also said it would resolve conflicts for mentors who want to hunt themselves but don’t have much time if they’re trying to teach and hunt simultaneously.

Kleefisch submitted data from the Sportsmen’s Alliance and Families Afield to the natural resources committee that show children younger than 10 can participate in mentored hunts in 34 of the 41 states that offer programs, and that Wisconsin is one of only four states that limit mentor-student teams to a single weapon.

“Our utmost goal is to look at safety first,” Kleefisch said. “So many other states have safely introduced new hunters to hunting without the burdensome regulation we have in Wisconsin.”

The National Rifle Association, the gun rights group Wisconsin FORCE, Whitetails of Wisconsin and the state bear hunters association all have registered in support of the bill, according to state Government Accountability Board records.

Opponents maintain young children can’t handle large-bore rifles and shotguns. Ray Anderson, a Madison-area hunting safety instructor, submitted remarks to the committee saying he tells parents not to even enroll their children in training until they’re at least 12.

“Too many children age ten or younger are not ready to hunt,” he wrote. “We’ve had situations in class where 9- and 10-year-olds simply don’t have the maturity to handle a firearm. They inadvertently point the firearm at others and instructors. I implore you to not pass (the bill). If anything, raise the minimum age limit to 12 or at least age 11.”

Others contend that allowing mentors to hunt while teaching would diminish students’ experiences because their teachers would be more focused on their own success. The instructor association’s Lacenski warned in his remarks to the committee that a mentor could purchase a license for a newborn and then use it along with his own to kill two deer for himself.

Kleefisch, who said he has mentored more than a dozen hunters in the past year, said mentors are honorable.

“If selfishness was the motivation of the mentor, he or she would simply hunt by themselves,” he said.

DNR officials declined to comment, saying the agency typically doesn’t talk about pending legislation.

Obama: NRA pushed ‘conspiracy’ theory that ‘somebody’s going to come grab your guns’

President Barack Obama mocked conspiracy theorists and tore into the National Rifle Association for pushing “imaginary fiction,” as he described his plans to tighten gun control rules as modest first steps toward tackling gun violence in America.

In a prime-time, televised town hall meeting last week, Obama fielded tough questions from high-profile gun control opponents and supporters alike, often answering with sympathy and without confrontation as he tried to reassure Americans there is a middle ground on a fiercely divisive issue.

The town hall featured several well-known figures in the gun debate. Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in 2011, stood as her husband, Mark Kelly, asked Obama about confiscation theories. Taya Kyle, whose late husband was depicted in the film American Sniper, asked the president about why he doesn’t highlight falling murder rates. Cleo Pendleton, whose daughter was shot and killed near Obama’s Chicago home, asked about his proposals to stop gun trafficking across state lines.

Kimberly Corban, an NRA supporter, told Obama she’d been raped by an intruder and now feels that owning a gun “seems like my basic responsibility as a parent … I refuse to let that happen again.”

Obama didn’t hold back when asked by CNN moderator Anderson Cooper about the notion that the federal government — and Obama in particular — wants to seize all firearms as a precursor to imposing martial law. He blamed that notion on the NRA and like-minded groups that convince its members that “somebody’s going to come grab your guns.”

“Yes, that is a conspiracy,” Obama said. “I’m only going to be here for another year. When would I have started on this enterprise?” Obama defended his support for the constitutional right to gun ownership while arguing it was consistent with his efforts to curb mass shootings. He said the NRA refused to acknowledge the government’s responsibility to make legal products safer, citing seatbelts and child-proof medicine bottles as examples.

Taking the stage at George Mason University, Obama accused the NRA of refusing to participate in the town hall despite having its headquarters nearby.

“Since this is a main reason they exist, you’d think that they’d be prepared to have a debate with the president,” Obama said.

NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam said beforehand that the group saw “no reason to participate in a public relations spectacle orchestrated by the White House.” Several NRA members were in the audience for the event, which was organized and hosted by CNN. And the NRA pushed back on Twitter in real time, noting at one point “none of the president’s orders would have stopped any of the recent mass shootings.”

The White House has sought to portray the NRA, the nation’s largest gun group, as possessing a disproportionate influence over lawmakers that has prevented new gun laws despite polls that show broad U.S. support for measures like universal background checks. Last year, following a series of mass shootings, Obama pledged to “politicize” the issue in an attempt to level the playing field for gun control supporters.

The American Firearms Retailers Association, another lobby group that represents gun dealers, did participate in the forum. Asked how business had been since Obama took office, Kris Jacob, vice president of the group, replied: “It’s been busy.”

“There’s a very serious concern in this country about personal security,” he added.

Obama’s actions on guns have drawn major attention in the presidential campaign, with the Democratic candidates backing Obama and the Republicans unanimously voicing opposition. Donald Trump, addressing a rally in Vermont just as Obama was holding the town hall, said he would eliminate gun-free zones in schools on his first day if elected to the White House.

“You know what a gun-free zone is for a sicko? That’s bait,” Trump told the crowd.

Obama’s broadside against the NRA came two days after his unveiling of a package of executive actions aimed at keeping guns from people who shouldn’t have them. The centerpiece is new federal guidance that seeks to clarify who is “in the business” of selling firearms, triggering a requirement to get a license and conduct background checks on all prospective buyers.

The plan has drawn intense criticism from gun rights groups that have accused the president of trampling on the Second Amendment and railroading Congress by taking action on his own without new laws. Just after his 2012 re-election, Obama pushed hard for a bipartisan gun control bill that collapsed in the Senate, ending any realistic prospects for a legislative solution in the near term.

Ahead of the town hall, Obama put political candidates on notice that he would refuse to support or campaign for anyone who “does not support common-sense gun reform” — including Democrats.

All the candidates running for the Democratic presidential nomination support stricter gun laws, so Obama’s declaration in a New York Times op-ed isn’t likely to have an impact on the race to replace him. Instead, it appeared aimed at Democratic congressional candidates from competitive districts who might want Obama’s support on the campaign trail this year.

Walker climbs over corpses of mass shooting victims to grab a little attention

Scott Walker has squandered hundreds of hours along with untold sums of money and other state resources pursuing futile legal battles against the White House. With much fanfare, he’s joined in unwinnable cases against same-sex marriage and Obamacare, as well as lawsuits over executive orders on immigration and EPA regulations.

Undaunted by his failure to achieve any measure of success in those legal battles, Walker now wants to drag state taxpayers into a legal fray to thwart the president’s minor executive orders aimed at curbing the nation’s off-the-charts level of gun violence. In fact, Walker was apparently first out of the gate on this one, asking Attorney General Brad Schimel to review the plan as soon as it’s released and take any and all legal measures to challenge it.

Other states have joined one or more of the anti-Obama lawsuits. But, “I think Wisconsin is probably one of a select few states that has joined every single one of these lawsuits against the Obama administration,” said Scot Ross, executive director of the liberal advocacy group One Wisconsin Now. 

The governor’s grandstanding made sense when he fancied himself a presidential contender, but it’s hard to understand this latest attention-grabbing gambit. There’s no demand for such action coming from the voters. The state was more or less evenly divided on gun control the last time the Wisconsin Professional Police Association conducted a survey on the issue in 2013 (there will be another  survey later this year).

Republicans ridiculed Obama for shedding tears while announcing his gun control plan. They’re so hardened by political money that they fail to realize it’s their mechanical, self-serving reaction to the nation’s 372 mass shootings last year alone that deserves scorn. We can’t recall a single instance in which Walker has expressed sorrow or empathy for the hundreds of innocent bystanders slain while he’s raked in the dough from gun manufacturers and the NRA.

In contrast, Walker has shown a lot of compassion for law-abiding citizens who might be inconvenienced by background checks. He’s signed several Republican-backed laws relaxing firearm regulations in Wisconsin — two of them last June just after a racist gunman shot nine African-Americans attending Bible study in a South Carolina church.

Our state might rank toward the bottom on income growth and job losses, but thanks to Walker and state Republicans it’s risen to No. 25 on Guns & Ammo’s “best states for gun owners 2015.”

Obama’s proposals were so modest that filing a lawsuit against them is ridiculous. The president seeks primarily to step up enforcement of laws already on the books in order to curb the unregulated buying and selling of weapons at gun shows and flea markets, as well as over the Internet. Licensed gun dealers would not be affected.

Obama’s plan includes hiring 230 FBI staffers to improve and expedite background checks. He also said that he’ll seek funding for an additional 200 agents and investigators in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and that he’ll ask Congress for $500 million to improve mental health services.

Congressional Republicans quickly scoffed at the notion they’d fulfill his requests. The NRA spent nearly $30 million, the vast majority of it on Republicans, in 2014 to ensure our nation will never adopt meaningful gun control.

Ever since the Obama took office, right-wing conspiracy spinners have warned that he’d take away citizens’ guns and establish some sort of liberal dictatorship (an oxymoron if there ever was one). Of course, that hasn’t happened.

But now, after a year of seemingly ceaseless mass shootings, the president has finally stepped forward over congressional refusal to consider the problem, and the NRA and their Republican puppets are reacting as if the wing nuts’ delusions have come true.

And leave it to Walker to climb on top of all the slaughtered innocents and exploit the situation.

NRA-backed Republicans fight Dem bill to stop terrorists from buying assault weapons

People on the U.S. government’s terrorist watch list often can’t board commercial airliners, but they can walk into a gun store and legally buy pistols and powerful military-style rifles.

Following the Paris attacks, Democrats renewed calls for Congress to pass legislation aimed at preventing terrorists from buying guns. Similar bills — including a post-Sept. 11 measure backed by the Justice Department under President George W. Bush — have been stymied for years by the National Rifle Association and its representatives in Congress.

According to a March analysis by the Government Accountability Office, people on the FBI’s consolidated terrorist watchlist successfully passed the background check required to purchase firearms more than 90 percent of the time, with more than 2,043 approvals between 2004 and 2014. The office is an investigative branch of Congress.

The FBI is notified when a background check for the purchase of firearms or explosives generates a match with the watchlist and agents often use that information to step up surveillance on terror suspects. Under current federal law, however, association with a terrorist organization doesn’t prohibit a person from possessing firearms or explosives.

About 420,000 people are on the list administered by the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Center, though only about 2 percent of those are U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents legally able to buy guns.

The new Democratic push, which is considered unlikely to succeed in the GOP-controlled Congress, is focused on legislation by U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., that would let the attorney general compile a list of known and suspected terrorists.

Federally licensed gun dealers would be barred from selling firearms to them, just as they are already prohibited from sales to people with felony convictions or serious mental illnesses. The proposed legislation would not prevent transactions that don’t involve licensed dealers, such as those between private individuals at gun shows or many sales online, which don’t currently involve background checks.

Feinstein introduced her bill in February, well before the mass killings in Paris injected new life into terrorism and public safety as top-tier political issues. 

Feinstein’s bill echoes legislation the late U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., proposed repeatedly over the past decade. U.S. Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., also has long pushed the same legislation.

Meanwhile, Republicans took advantage of voters’ newly aroused security concerns in late November, when they easily pushed legislation through the House preventing Syrian and Iraqi refugees from entering the United States until the administration tightens restrictions on their entry.

That issue put Democrats on the defensive. Forty-seven of them voted for the bill, ignoring a veto threat by President Barack Obama, who said the current screening system is strong and accused Republicans of fanning fear among worried voters.

Democrats are hoping to turn the political tables on Republicans by focusing the debate instead on terrorists’ access to guns.

“I think this is a no-brainer,” said Feinstein, a longtime gun control supporter. “If you’re too dangerous to board a plane, you’re too dangerous to buy a gun.”

Congress has yet to vote on Feinstein’s proposal.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has not said whether he would be open to allowing a vote.

The GOP-run House has not held any votes on major gun control measures since the killings of 26 children and adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., did not respond directly when asked if he favored barring people on the watch list from buying guns. He said, “We are just beginning this process of reassessing all of our security stances.”

The NRA opposes Feinstein’s bill.

NRA spokeswoman Jennifer Baker pointed to past instances where innocent people were added to the watchlist either in error or as the result of tenuous ties to others involved in suspicious activities. She said her group wants to ensure Americans wrongly on the list are afforded their constitutional right.

Under current law, people can try persuading the Justice Department to remove their names from a terror watch list or can file lawsuits challenging their inclusion.

NRA pushes bill making it a crime to photograph or videotape Wisconsin hunters

The National Rifle Association and state gun and hunting groups are backing GOP legislative proposals that would make it a crime to photograph or videotape hunters on public land in Wisconsin.

Senate Bill 338 and Assembly Bill 433 were introduced by Sen. Terry Moulton, of Chippewa Falls, and Rep. Adam Jarchow, of Balsam Lake. Jarchow said his bills were in response to complaints from hunters who felt a group called Wolf Patrol was harassing them. The group documents trapping and hunting activities, and has focused this year on baiting bears. The measures call for fines of up to $10,000 and nine months in jail.

The bills have drawn support from the NRA, the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association, and the NRA’s state chapter, which is called Wisconsin Firearm Owners, Ranges, Clubs & Educators. The proposals are opposed by the Humane Society of the United States.

In addition to being an influential lobbying force on state and federal pro-gun policies, the NRA has spent millions of dollars to influence state and federal elections. In Wisconsin, the NRA spent $3.6 million between 2008 and 2014 on independent expenditures to support Republican and conservative candidates for statewide offices and the legislature, which is controlled by Republicans. About $3.5 million, or 96 percent, of the NRA’s election spending between 2008 and 2014 in Wisconsin was to support GOP Gov. Scott Walker. The NRA spent the bulk of its electioneering war chest on broadcast ads and mailings.

To view the NRA’s outside electioneering activities, how much it spent and the candidates it supported and opposed in elections between 2008 and 2014, please check out the Democracy Campaign’s NRA profiles – here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

In addition to its outside spending on behalf of candidates, the NRA Political Victory Fund, which is the organization’s political action committee (PAC), made another $49,825 in direct contributions to candidates between 2008 and June 2015.

Since 2008, the NRA’s PAC and corporation have spent about $1,700 on independent expenditures to help elect Moulton and the PAC directly contributed another $500 to his campaign.