America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 27

I L A

F E A T U R E

 T

he year 2015 poses serious
challenges as we begin to
navigate the final two years
of the Obama administration.
But it also gives us cause for celebration: This year we
mark the 40th anniversary of your nra Institute for
Legislative Action (ila).
In 1975, no one could have
envisioned the money and
coordination now backing the firearm
prohibition agenda supported by
President Barack Obama and former
New York City Mayor Michael
Bloomberg. But nra members were
seeing the consequences of the passage
of the Gun Control Act of 1968.
The Act represented the first federal
restrictions on the Second Amendment
since the 1930s, and it also served as
a political awakening for the nation's
gun owners. Leadership figures within
the nra and on its Board of Directors
began to organize support for the
formation of a dedicated lobbying arm
within nra. In 1975, John Dingell, a
board member and a congressman,
introduced a resolution that formally
established the Institute for Legislative
Action as an independent arm of the
nra. Dingell, by the way, had served in
the u.s. House of Representatives until
the end of last year, leaving a legacy as
the longest-serving House member in
history, with a term of 58 years.
The nra Board looked to a former
nra president to head the new ila.
They named Harlon B. Carter, who had
served as nra president in 1966 and
1967 and was also the former chief of
the u.s. Border Patrol, to the post. A
Life member of the nra since 1936,

Carter held 45 shooting records. He was
a spellbinding orator and a man of great
charisma, famous for his hard-line,
no-compromise attitude.
ila's first skirmish calls to mind the
's
battles we face today. A gun control
group petitioned the Consumer
Product Safety Commission (cpsc)
to ban handgun ammunition as a
"hazardous substance." ila worked with
Idaho Sen. James McClure to launch

By C hris W. C ox
nra-ila Executive Director

outside a hotel in Washington, d.c.
Reagan was wounded, as was his press
secretary, James Brady. Brady emerged
as a spokesman for the era's single
prominent gun control group, which
began its pursuit of the namesake
"Brady Bill" to require a waiting period
before the purchase of a handgun.
At the same time, gun control
activists had discovered the tactic
of baselessly inflaming the public
by hatching new buzzwords to hype
nonexistent threats to public safety. And
thus the phony issues of the "plastic
gun," "cop-killer bullet" and "assault
weapon" all entered America's political
lexicon. But at least the proponents
were still honest about their intentions,
with Brady's group going by the name
of Handgun Control Inc. Now, "control"

... the phony issues of the "plastic gun,"
"cop-killer bullet" and "assault weapon"
all entered America's political lexicon.
ila's first grassroots drive, asking for
letters to be sent to cpsc opposing the
petition. In the end, supporters of the
ban had racked up 400 letters to be
sent to cpsc, while letters opposing
the ban numbered more than 300,000.
You've all heard the saying, "The more
things change, the more they stay the
same." Today, anti-hunting groups
have petitioned the Environmental
Protection Agency to ban lead in
ammunition as a "toxic substance."
On legislative issues, ila's mettle
was tested soon after it was created.
A mere 69 days into the presidency
of Ronald Reagan, John Hinckley
attempted to kill Reagan with a revolver

has been dropped from their group
name-but the agenda hasn't changed.
It's still about control.
ila's first major federal legislative
victory addressed the most egregious
restrictions in the 1968 Act, in a bill
titled the Firearm Owners Protection
Act. President Reagan signed it into
law in 1986. And in the states, nra Past
President Marion Hammer sparked
a national campaign for the right of
self-defense by leading Florida to pass
a pioneering Right-to-Carry law in
1987. Dark days for ila would soon
loom, however. With the election of
Bill Clinton as president, the anti-gun
lobby found a willing mouthpiece to
America's

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of America's First Freedom - March 2015

Contents
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - CT1
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - CT2
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - Cover1
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - Cover2
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 1
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - Contents
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 3
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 4
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 5
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 6
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 7
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 8
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 9
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 10
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 11
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 12
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 13
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 14
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 15
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 16
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 17
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 18
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 19
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 20
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 21
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 22
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 23
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 24
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 25
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 26
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 27
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 28
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 29
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 30
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 31
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 32
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 33
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 34
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 35
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 36
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 37
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 38
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 39
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 40
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 41
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 42
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 43
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 44
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 45
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 46
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 47
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 48
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 49
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 50
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 51
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 52
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 53
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 54
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 55
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 56
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 57
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 58
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 59
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 58b
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 59b
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 58c
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 59c
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 58d
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 59d
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 58e
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 59e
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 58f
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 59f
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 60
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 61
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 62
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 63
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 64
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 65
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 66
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - Cover3
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - Cover4
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