American Rifleman - March 2015 - 19

By Chris W. Cox
NRA-ILA
Executive Director

Still Fighting, Still Winning ...

T

ILA's first grassroots drive, asking for letters to be sent to the CPSC
opposing the petition. In the end, supporters of the ban had
racked up 400 letters sent to the CPSC, while letters opposing the
ban numbered well 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
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 non-existent threats to public safety. And
thus the phony "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" 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

whitehouse.gov

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 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

Close Range, p24; Social Networking, p28; The "Serenity"
Gun, p38; and even more "More Guns, Less Crime," p42

www.nranews.com

September 2010

Chicago resident and victorious
plaintiff Otis McDonald

VICTORY IN

CHICAGO
In McDonald v. Chicago, the
U.S. Supreme Court rules
that the Right to Keep and
Bear Arms, guaranteed by
the Second Amendment,
extends to every city and
state in America. Page 32

UNI_NRAF K1 September 10 AFF cover.indd 1

1994: The Assault Weapons
Ban is signed into law.
2004: The ban's sunset provision goes into effect and the
law is not renewed.

2005: President George W. Bush signs the
Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act
into law.

AMERICANRIFLEMAN.ORG

8/10/10 1:06 PM

2010: In one of several legal
victories, the Supreme Court
hears the McDonald case and
rules that the Second Amendment applies to the states.

MARCH 2015

2013: Illinois becomes
the 50th state to enact
a Right-to-Carry law,
giving citizens broader
self-defense options.

19


http://www.whitehouse.gov http://www.nranews.com http://www.AMERICANRIFLEMAN.ORG

American Rifleman - March 2015

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Rifleman - March 2015

Contents
American Rifleman - March 2015 - CW1
American Rifleman - March 2015 - CW2
American Rifleman - March 2015 - Cover1
American Rifleman - March 2015 - Cover2
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 1
American Rifleman - March 2015 - Contents
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 3
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 4
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 5
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 6
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 7
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 8
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 9
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 10
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 11
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 12
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 13
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 14
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American Rifleman - March 2015 - 16
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 17
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 18
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 19
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 20
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 21
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 22
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 23
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 24
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 25
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 26
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 27
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 28
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 29
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 30
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 31
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American Rifleman - March 2015 - 33
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 34
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 35
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 36
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 37
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American Rifleman - March 2015 - 42
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 43
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American Rifleman - March 2015 - 47
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 48
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 49
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American Rifleman - March 2015 - 83
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 82b
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 83b
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 82c
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 83c
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 82d
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 83d
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 82e
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 83e
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 82f
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 83f
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American Rifleman - March 2015 - Cover3
American Rifleman - March 2015 - Cover4
American Rifleman - March 2015 - CW3
American Rifleman - March 2015 - CW4
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