American Rifleman - March 2015 - 20

ILA STORY

of Bill Clinton as president, the anti-gun
lobby found a willing mouthpiece to parrot
their propaganda and push their agenda.
In quick succession, Congress passed both
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
diminish in time.
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
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

20

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 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 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
MARCH 2015

AMERICANRIFLEMAN.ORG

Photo by NRA Staff

... Still Taking Nothing for Granted

NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox
attributes many of the group's successes to
the active involvement of NRA members.

restrictions on hunting methods and
equipment and also by rolling back
Sunday hunting bans in the few states
that still have them.
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.


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
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 15
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
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 32
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
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 38
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 39
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 40
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 41
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 42
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 43
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 44
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 45
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 46
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 47
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 48
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 49
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 50
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 51
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 52
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 53
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 54
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 55
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 56
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 57
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 58
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 59
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 60
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 61
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 62
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 63
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 64
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 65
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 66
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 67
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 68
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 69
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 70
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 71
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 72
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 73
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American Rifleman - March 2015 - 79
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American Rifleman - March 2015 - 81
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 82
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
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 84
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American Rifleman - March 2015 - 91
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 92
American Rifleman - March 2015 - Cover3
American Rifleman - March 2015 - Cover4
American Rifleman - March 2015 - CW3
American Rifleman - March 2015 - CW4
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