Tag Archives: pro-gun

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.

Gun advocates are taking weapons to Starbucks today to show their appreciation

Pro-gun advocates across the nation are planning to gather in Starbucks’ stores today to show their appreciation for the company’s decision to allow weapons inside its locations in states where it’s legal.

In fact, advocates have designated Aug. 9 as “Starbucks Appreciation Day” and even created a Facebook page to promote the event. Planned gatherings are scheduled all over the country, including in Newton, Conn., where an elementary school massacre last year brought new vigor to gun-control efforts at the state and national levels.

The Facebook page, established by “gun owners,” says: Starbucks is allowing us to lawfully carry firearms in their store. Recently, they have been the target of unjust attacks from certain groups that do not support our right to bear arms. We will thank starbucks (sic) for standing up for our right to bear arms by going there on Friday, August 9th.”

Among the critics of Starbucks’ policy is the group Mothers Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. The group has called on Starbucks to end its policy of allowing concealed and open carry in its outlets.

Zack Hutson, a spokesperson for Starbucks, emphasized that the pro-gun events are “not endorsed by Starbucks.”

“That said,” he added, “our stores are gathering places for the communities we serve and we respect the diverse views of our customers.  We recognize that there is significant and genuine passion surrounding open carry weapon laws. Our long-standing approach to this topic remains unchanged. We comply with local laws and statutes in the communities we serve, abiding by laws that permit open carry. Where these laws don’t exist, openly carrying weapons in our stores is prohibited.”

Pro-gun groups helped with anti-gay mailers

The Southern Poverty Law Center alleged on April 3 that two pro-gun groups conspired with another group to create political mailers that used a gay couple’s copyrighted engagement photo to attack candidates in the 2012 Colorado Republican primaries.

The SPLC made the allegations in documents filed in a federal lawsuit. The civil rights group wants to add the pro-gun groups – the National Association for Gun Rights and Rocky Mountain Gun Owners – to its lawsuit against Public Advocate of the United States.

The groups, according to the SPLC, used the photo of Brian Edwards and Thomas Privitere without the couple’s or photographer’s permission.

The mailers were a way for Public Advocate, which has been designated as an anti-gay hate group by the SPLC, to insert itself into the Colorado primaries. For the two pro-gun groups, which are based in Colorado, the mailings were part of broader attacks against candidates.

“This scheme not only shows the utter disregard these groups have for private property, but also the hatred and discrimination that LGBT people must still face in society,” said Anjali Nair, SPLC staff attorney. “There should be no doubt that we will aim to ensure everyone is held accountable for their involvement in this attack against innocent people.”

According to the SPLC, Dudley Brown, of the Rocky Mountain group, proposed the mailers in an April 2012 email to Public Advocate, describing how “[t]he gay lobby smells blood in the water, and if some pro-gay legislators don’t lose their primaries, I fear Colorado will tumble [i.e., pass legislation authorizing civil unions] in the 2013 session.”

He added: “What I propose is that PA [Public Advocate] pay for mailing. … My staff and I would do all the work, but we’d want PA to sign off, put its name on the dotted line, and pay for the mailings. I would counsel mailing slick and glossies, with the ‘two men kissing’ photo.”

The mailers featured the couple’s engagement photo. But the New York City skyline was removed from the background and replaced with snowy and rural backgrounds suggestive of Colorado.

In one mailer, bold words on a red background were added to the picture of the couple kissing: “State Senator Jean White’s idea of ‘Family Values?’”

“It’s shocking that so many groups worked together to defile a photo that meant so much to me,” Privitere said.

The couple has received hate messages since the mailers were produced. Internet postings have said that the couple deserves to go to hell and to be killed, and that any children they may have would be better off dead.

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado, charges that the defendants misappropriated the likeness and personalities of the couple. It also charges that they infringed on photographer Kristina Hill’s exclusive right to the photo, which is registered with the U.S. Copyright Office.

Church and gun enthusiasts compete for weapons

A Dallas church that had organized an event to buy guns back from residents found itself with some unexpected close competition – just across the street.

The First Presbyterian Church of Dallas had organized a gun buyback event downtown on Jan. 19, offering $50 for handguns and rifles and up to $200 for semiautomatic assault weapons.

The Dallas Morning News reported that concealed handgun license instructor Collin Baker organized a pro-gun event and marketplace across the street from the church’s event.

Baker said people who sold their guns at his event got more money for them, as people bid upward of $400 for some weapons.

“And it’s going back into a home that’s going to keep it safe,” Baker said.

The church’s buyback program took in more than 100 guns, while more than 20 were auctioned off at the competing event.

Baker’s pro-gun event was held on the same day that thousands of people around the country held peaceful rallies in state capitals nationwide against President Barack Obama’s federal gun-control proposals.

The Rev. Bruce Buchanan, an organizer of the church’s gun buyback, said the event was a way for his church to give back after feeling helpless following the Connecticut school shooting. The church has been holding such events for more than a decade.

“We see it as a reflection of our community ministry,” Buchanan said. “We’re providing an opportunity for people to make their homes safer.”

Gun enthusiasts and representatives from local security companies and the Dallas tea party attended Baker’s event.

“Come and Take It” and “Don’t Tread On Me” flags flew at Baker’s event as people held signs and yelled across the street to those waiting in line at the church’s event to not destroy the “pieces of history.”

Cody Chaddick had intended to sell his Jennings .380 pistol at the church’s buyback but was convinced to auction it off across the street.

“Figured I’d go ahead and put it back out there,” said the 22-year-old. “Maybe somebody else could get some use out of it.”

Liz Ryburn, 74, who sold her small handgun at the church’s gun buyback, called the competing event across the street “ridiculous.” 

Pro-gun senators decline invitations to appear on Sunday morning TV programs

All of the 31 U.S. senators who’ve supported making guns and ammunition more accessible to buyers declined to appear this morning on “Meet the Press” or “Face the Nation” to discuss their positions. The invitations came in response to a rash of gun violence that some leaders blame on the loosening of firearm restrictions.

“We reached out to all 31 pro-gun rights senators in the new Congress to invite them on the program to share their views on the subject this morning,” said “Meet the Press” host David Gregory. “We had no takers.”

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., did join the program, however, to announce that Senate Democrats will introduce a new bill banning assault weapons on the first day of the next Congress in January.

The Friday slaughter of 26 people, most of them children, at a Connecticut elementary school has set off new calls for responsible gun control among progressives. Meanwhile, Republican-controlled state legislatures continue to ease restrictions. The same day of the killings in Connecticut, lawmakers in Michigan voted to allow concealed carry in churches, schools and stadiums.

Meanwhile, the NRA has remained silent since the shootings and quietly shut down its Facebook page, which had 1.7 million “likes.”

On the same day as the shootings in Connecticut, a northern Indiana man was arrested after allegedly threatening to “kill as many people as he could” at an elementary school near his home. Officers found 47 guns and ammunition hidden throughout his home.

Von. I. Meyer, 60, of Cedar Lake, was being held today without bond at the Lake County Jail, pending an initial hearing on the charges, police said in a statement.

Cedar Lake Police officers were called to Meyer’s home early Friday after he allegedly threatened to set his wife on fire once she fell asleep, the statement said.

Meyer also threatened to enter nearby Jane Ball Elementary School “and kill as many people as he could before police could stop him,” the statement said. Meyer’s home is less than 1,000 feet from the school and linked to it by trails and paths through a wooded area, police said.

Police said in the statement that they notified school officials and boosted security at all area schools Friday – the same day 26 people, including 20 students, were shot and killed at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.

On Saturday, a man opened fire in an Alabama hospital, wounding an officer and two employees before police fatally shot him.

Also yesterday, a Newport Beach, Calif., man was arrested after firing about 50 shots in the parking lot of a Southern California shopping mall, prompting a lockdown of stores crowded with holiday shoppers.

No one was injured, but the gunfire caused panic, coming a day after the Connecticut shootings and just days after a deadly mall shooting in Oregon.