America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 28

I L A

F E A T U R E
40 YEARS OF ILA

parrot their propaganda and push their
agenda. In quick succession, Congress
passed a heavily modified "Brady Bill,"
as well as a 10-year ban on so-called
"assault weapons." But even these
defeats illustrated the resourcefulness
of the ila team. The "Brady Bill" was
modified so that the waiting period
provisions were short-lived, replaced
in 1998 by the National Instant
Criminal Background Check System
(nics) that we know today. And a
"sunset" provision was added to the
1994 Clinton gun ban so that it would
expire in 2004. It was not renewed then
because the Congress had changed
dramatically in composition. Knowing
at the time that the votes were simply
not there to defeat these bills, ila's
tactical maneuvers ensured that the
"victories" of the gun control lobby
would in time diminish.
By this time ila was also
shepherding a carefully constructed
legal effort through the federal
courts. Reams of contemporary legal
scholarship had been produced that
confirmed that the Founding Fathers
intended the Second Amendment to
guarantee an individual right to own a
firearm-but the u.s. Supreme Court
had never issued a direct ruling. ila
was determined to change that, when
the time was right, but the effort would
require a solid underpinning. ila thus
quietly began supporting a handful
of carefully vetted cases in the federal
courts intended to create the split
between circuits that would attract the
attention of the Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, the anti-gun lobby
turned to a legal strategy of its own:
It would abuse the court system by
orchestrating the filing of dozens
of baseless lawsuits against the gun
industry. The suits were never intended
to succeed-but simply to bankrupt
the industry and force it to accept new
restrictions that the gun control lobby
couldn't win in Congress. ila began
to fight back at the state level, passing
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laws to pre-empt the filing of such suits.
But a national answer to this problem
would require a federal law.
The pieces fell into place in 2000,
with the razor-thin victory of George
W. Bush as president. ila was able to
pass a national lawsuit pre-emption
bill through the Congress-the
Protection of Lawful Commerce
in Arms Act, which Bush signed
into law in 2005. That was also the
year that Bush began to reshape the
Supreme Court with the nomination
of John Roberts, and then Samuel
Alito. Those two justices provided
the margin of victory in the 5-4
rulings in both the Heller and
McDonald cases, where the Supreme
Court confirmed that the Second
Amendment guarantees an individual
right to own a firearm that can't be
abrogated by any level of government.
In ila's short history, the Second
Amendment debate has covered an
enormous distance. In 1975, our rights
had been trampled by Congress and

support for Second Amendment rights
and gun ownership has never been
higher. This shift, which ila has carefully
nurtured in our educational and public
relations efforts, illustrates one of the
reasons we have been able to defeat the
Obama/Bloomberg agenda-against
all odds.
Despite our progress, the adversaries
we face today are better organized and
far better funded than at any previous
time. So our work must continue. At all
levels of government, we will continue
to roll back the arbitrary barriers
that block the exercise of our rights.
Whether those barriers come from
federal agencies, state boundaries or
local ordinances, we will be relentless
in their elimination. We will also
continue our vigorous advocacy to
protect hunting and conservation
by continuing to eliminate pointless
restrictions on methods and equipment
of the hunt, and by rolling back Sunday
hunting bans in the few states that
still have them.

The "Brady Bill" was modified so that the
waiting period provisions were short-lived,
replaced in 1998 by the National Instant
Criminal Background Check System (NICS) that
we know today.
ignored by the Supreme Court. Many
states undermined self-defense by
maintaining a "duty to retreat" in the
face of violent criminal attack. And
public opinion at times surged against
our rights, with almost 60 percent
of the American public at one point
supporting a total ban on handguns.
Today, the Supreme Court has
established two precedents that recognize
and protect our Second Amendment
rights. The right to self-defense is
unquestioned in all 50 states, and we
continue to pursue stronger self-defense
laws in the states that need them. We
are also pursuing a legal strategy to
promote the right to "bear" arms for
self-defense in public, with two judicial
circuits explicitly endorsing this aspect
of the Second Amendment. And public
opinion runs heavily in our favor. The
most recent polling shows that public

But in the end, our success does not
come from headquarters. It comes from
you, the nra members who receive
and take action on our legislative
alerts and political endorsements. The
successes we garner in legislation are
born directly of our political victories.
Political tides are always shifting, and
that's why the most important election
is always the next one we face. We
are well positioned to block the
Obama/Bloomberg agenda for the
remainder of his term, due to the
hard work we all put into the last
elections. But the next election in 2016
puts everything on the line yet again,
especially the future composition of the
u.s. Supreme Court. Forty years from
now, the work of ila-and the vitality
of our Second Amendment rights-will
be determined by the actions we
take today.



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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