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Keep and Bear Arms

A Petition for Enforcement
of the Second Amendment
to the Constitution of the United States


Click below to download the petition:

Right click on either link and "save target as", or just open the file and choose "File," "save".

.pdf format (Adobe Acrobat)
Click here to get Adobe Acrobat reader.

.doc format (MS Word)

Or use the html version and format to your own preference:
html format

Frequently Asked Questions
Please read FAQ's before writing us. Thank you.

"Ashcroft Petition" In the News:

• Another letter to Department of Justice (12/9/2002)
•
CA Attorney General Thumbs Nose at Ashcroft and Second Amendment
Uses Anti-Black/Hispanic Cases as Justification
(09/10/2002)
• Justice Department Ignores Second Amendment Violations - Update on "Ashcroft" Petition (08/07/2002)
• Mail Campaign to Ashcroft: "Do Your Duty -- Enforce Second Amendment" 5/20/2002
• Renewed Redress to U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft 5/15/2002
• "Ashcroft Petition" for Second Amendment Enforcement Radio/Internet Broadcast  4/9/2002
• Ashcroft Receives Second Batch of Signatures 3/25/2002
• Anti-gun groups are reporting on the Ashcroft Petition to THEIR members -- Why won't NRA?  2/21/2002
• "The Ashcroft Petition" — Initial Tally by State ... How Did YOUR State Do?
2/14/02
• 2nd Amendment Petition Delivered to Ashcroft
-- UPDATE, 2/14/02
•
2nd Amendment petition sent to Ashcroft (WorldNetDaily story #2)- 02/10/02
• David Codrea on Charles Heller's "Liberty Watch" radio program - 01/27/02
Scroll down and click on "Liberty Watch 1/27/02" show link.  If you want to go right to the interview, let the show archive "buffer up" until it starts playing, then move the fast forward slider to the 25:30 point in the interview (25 minutes 30 seconds into the show).  Windows Media Player required (free download).
• People are Scared of the Government - 01/21/02
• Jim Crow Tactics Erode Gun Rights (Los Angeles Daily News -- this was ALSO published in these California newspapers: Pasadena Star, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Whittier Daily News) - 01/20/02
• Moving Forward with the Ashcroft Petition - 01/02/02
• Front Sight Founder Supports Petition - 12/23/01
• Guns and Ammo Endorses Second Amendment Petition -12/03/01
• "Ashcroft Petition" Update -- Hitting the airwaves and print media - 11/25/01
• Jeff Cooper Commentaries, Thanksgiving 2001
• "Gunner's Guru" Supports "Ashcroft Petition" -11/14/01
• Standing in Defense of Right to Bear Arms (Red Bluff Daily News) - 11/12/01
• Gun Rights as Civil Rights - 11/08/01
• Supplemental Strategies- More Ammo for the "Ashcroft Petition" - 11/07/01
• GOA Alert (scroll to bottom of page) - 11/01
• Circulate this Petition to Enforce Second Amendment (CCOPS Alert) - 10/23/01
• Petition to Attorney General John Ashcroft on Second Amendment (JPFO Alert) - 10/23/01
• What We Are Doing About It - 10/18/01
• Gun Rights Activist is a One Man Army -10/17/01
• Gun rights compared to civil rights (WorldNetDaily story #1) -10/07/01


Gun Rights: Time for Federal Action, Not Just Words

 Join this Demand for Enforcement of the Second Amendment

IMPORTANT NOTE: This article concerns the "Petition for Enforcement of the Second Amendment to the Constitution". If the project outlined below is successful it will restore the free exercise of Second Amendment rights in ALL states. Do not be misled by the Petition's references to California - the infringements in California are being focused on because of this state's particular legal situation, as outlined in the Petition itself. Again, the Petition has the potential to affect ALL Americans by setting a precedent and/or initiating a U.S. Supreme Court case. Your immediate attention and support are therefore crucial.

On many occasions the U.S. Justice Department has sent teams of lawyers to force states, municipalities, agencies, and officials to obey civil rights statutes, resulting in laws being overturned and in legal actions against individuals.

Now that we have an Attorney General who has stated unequivocally that Americans have an individual right to own and use firearms, we intend to see his office used to enforce that right.

We have charged the state of California with violating our Second Amendment rights, and are formally requesting that Attorney General John Ashcroft put a stop to it, now. Our list of violations, in petition form, is intended to force a ruling on all aspects of the Second Amendment.

We ask YOU to print out this petition, have it signed by as many people as possible, and mail the original signature sheet(s) ONLY to us at the address below. Contact national, local and state gun organizations, whether or not you belong to them, as well as gun shops, gun shows, firing ranges, etc., and ask them to endorse this effort and alert their members/customers to it. By doing so, YOU can help ensure that Mr. Ashcroft hears more voices than he can ignore.

California is the state we chose because it is the largest in population, has tremendous political influence, and has many gun “laws” that are blatantly unconstitutional. However, if we are successful, the precedent set in this action would affect all states. Of course, there's nothing to stop you from using our petition as a template to demand action in your state as well.

For the first time in decades we have an Attorney General who understands that the Second Amendment recognizes an individual right. But if George Bush does not win the next election Mr. Ashcroft will be gone. Timing is critical and the gravity of our situation is real. We have a narrow window of opportunity to act, and we must do it now.

Now is the time to put and end to anti-gun, anti-self defense “laws”. Now is the time to force municipalities and states to restore the free exercise of our rights instead of using our tax money to attack those rights or to file frivolous anti-gun lawsuits.

Now is not the time to feel safe or to relax our efforts.  This is especially true in this time of national distress, when the tendency of government – and  many citizens – is to restrict rather than promote individual rights.

It is time to establish once and for all that we have a right to own and use guns, that we can't be required to be licensed or registered, and don't need some bureaucrat's permission to own them.

Funding long-term Second Amendment lawsuits will be extremely expensive. We intend to circumvent that difficulty by placing the burden of upholding our Bill of Rights where it belongs – on the federal government, with its virtually unlimited resources.

If you're tired of being on the defensive then help us do something about it. Let's strike back hard against those who are violating our rights and heritage. It is our responsibility to pass on to our children the same freedoms that we inherited.

We do not know what result this petition to Mr. Ashcroft will produce, but we do know that if we do nothing, we will achieve nothing. We need your immediate support. Please print out the petition, get it signed, and mail the original signature sheet(s) to us as soon as possible.

Please join us.

Thank you.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Click on the question below to be taken to the answer. If your question is not answered here, please succinctly state your question and send it to AshcroftPetition@KeepAndBearArms.com


I'm not from California? Why should I care what happens to them?

We're not from Manhattan, but an attack there affects us all. Likewise, the denial of Constitutional rights in one part of America should rightly outrage all Americans. If the Attorney General can establish precedent in California, it will apply nationwide, and can be used to overturn oppressive and unconstitutional "laws" in your state.

California was picked because of its oppressive "laws", and because it can be definitively proven that all means of obtaining redress from the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government have been exhausted, and the exercise of the right to keep and bear arms has been effectively nullified. California is also ideal as we have evidence -- signed by California government officials mentioned in the petition -- that shows them having said the second amendment is a collective right after AG Ashcroft said it's an individual right.

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I'm not going to sign because I disagree with ________.

Our Declaration of Independence and Constitution resulted from many compromises in scope and language before all signatories would agree to ratification. Obviously, when putting out a document for public endorsement, it is not possible to anticipate the concerns of each person. If your concerns are such that you simply cannot sign the petition unless they are addressed, we have two suggestions:

1)  Mark additions, deletions or changes that you require, sign the Petition, and send it to us -- we will ensure that the Attorney General receives your marked changes along with your signature.

2)  Create your own petition letter to the Attorney General specifying what you want.

3)  You can also use this effort as a template, and create a Petition that more specifically describes grievances in YOUR state. Not only do we hope to see this type of effort take place for other states, but we will help you promote the effort, as well.  Meanwhile, we urge you to sign this Petition and press others to do the same.

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Why didn't you mention CCW's?

The intent here was to keep the scope of the Petition narrow and focused, rather than defining every possible grievance or remedy. For many activists, CCW licensing is seen as an infringement on our right to bear arms, and dangerously "legitimizes" government abridgements of that right -- they seek nothing less than "Vermont-style" concealed carry, i.e., no permits are needed. Others see CCW's as a pragmatic incremental means of obtaining protection while at the same time legitimizing the practice in the eyes of the general public. Rather than stall this effort over that debate, our focus is to get RKBA legally recognized and enforced as an individual right, and as a right to keep and bear military-style firearms.

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I don't want my name on a government list.

Your name is already on government lists. This Petition is no more or less controversial than writing a letter to your congressman, and is protected activity under the First Amendment. Anyone who will not stand up for their rights because they are afraid of repercussions from authority has already abdicated their rights. Are you a free American? If so, you will join us. If not, don't you think it's about time you became one?

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I don't want my name on a junk mail/spam list.

The information we are asking you for is your name, city and state -- plus an optional space for your email address. This information will not be used for any commercial purpose or given to anyone besides Attorney General Ashcroft. As this Petition is a joint venture between Citizens of America and KeepandBearArms.com, you may receive an occasional email update on the Petition's progress if you include an email address, and your name will be removed from that list if you ask us to do so. Otherwise, no one from KABA or COA will contact you -- and nobody else but the Attorney General will see your information.

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What do I need to do?

1) Read the Petition:  

.pdf format (Adobe Acrobat)      .doc format (MS Word)

2) Sign the petition and get your friends to do so -- plus, urge them to copy it and bring their friends on board.

3) Contact gun rights organizations/clubs you belong to, and urge them to join the effort, and pass the word along to their members.

4) Contact firearm-related businesses you patronize, make them aware of the Petition, and get them to sign on and encourage their customers to support it/spread the word.

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Where should I mail my completed signature sheet?

Mail the SIGNATURE SHEET ONLY to: 

David Codrea, PO Box 4152, Redondo Beach CA 90277-1750. 

This address is also found on the signature page of the petition.

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How can I contact you about this effort?

Send emails to: AshcroftPetition@KeepAndBearArms.com. Due to high volume of emails, we cannot guarantee a personal response to every email, and we do ask for patience.

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Are you asking for donations?

Not for this effort -- but donations to Citizens of America and KeepandBearArms.com are always welcome. We urge you to spend time on those sites and, if you like what you see, help keep them going.

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This is a waste of time -- I don't think it will work.

What will? Do you have a better idea? We have been lobbying our legislators, writing letters, going to court, and look at how many of our rights have been eroded over the past twenty years. If they continue at this pace, what will we have left twenty years from now?

It's certain that if we do nothing, we will get nothing. Is that what you want to do, nothing?

Even if it doesn't "work", at least we will know that the federal government, despite Mr. Ashcroft's stated belief, intends to let our right to keep and bear arms disappear -- we submit that knowing this will at least give us a better picture of where we stand, so that we can formulate and plan new strategies.

And how can it hurt? Are you truly unwilling to devote a few minutes of your time to this? And what if it "works"? Will you really want to feel like others did your work for you?

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If this is so great, why isn't the NRA supporting it?

This is a new effort -- they aren't aware of it, but we intend to inform them, as well as other gun rights organizations, and encourage them to join us.

Perhaps they will, if enough members contact them. Why not do so?

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What is the deadline to submit the Petition?

1) As soon as you have a page full, unless you are immediately going to fill another one, please send it. We will periodically report the numbers of petitions we have received.

2) We are shooting for sending the initial batch in to AG Ashcroft by the end of January, 2002 -- but we will continue recruiting signatures until further notice and sending batches of signatures to the AG for as long as we receive them.

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I think my representative should see this. Why are you just sending this to John Ashcroft as opposed to other politicians?

We intend to send a copy of the petition and signatures to President Bush also.

However, the petition is addressed to Attorney General Ashcroft because he has gone on record saying the Second Amendment is an individual right, and he oversees the federal agency that is tasked with enforcing civil rights laws. That said, in addition to sending us your signed Petition, we also think it's a fine idea for you to send a copy to any politician you think may be willing to support this, along with your personal letter urging them to do so.

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Doesn't a petition require more information about the signer than you're asking for?

No, this is not a "legal" document per se, as in the case of a referendum that must comply with such regulations -- it is really no different than "petitioning" your congressman via a letter or email, all in accordance with our First Amendment right to petition for redress. Were this something like a ballot initiative, the legal requirements you cite would apply -- but this is basically just a group of citizens, hopefully a massive group of citizens, all adding their voices.  We originally did include addresses, but decided to forego asking for them due to concerns expressed in re privacy and security.

The Petition authors will be providing Attorney General Ashcroft and President Bush their full names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses.

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Why can't we use an online petition?

1. Many people think online petitions are merely about getting lists of edresses, and that is probably the case most of the time. We didn't want there to be any suspicion of that in this case.

2. Submitting physically signed petitions to Ashcroft and Bush will have much more impact, and is much more convincing, than a printed list of names that could have been fabricated.

3. Online petitions have become so common that they aren't taken seriously by anyone.

4. The effort involved in getting signatures and mailing them in, while small, will remind gun owners that we continue to do everything possible to PEACEFULLY restore the free exercise of our rights. Taking part in this physical process will help prepare them for the next step, whatever it may be.

5. Many people are still not online, and this effort needs to reach the widest numbers possible.

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Do you need to be over 18 to sign the Petition?

We welcome signatures from all Americans old enough to understand the issues involved and to make an informed decision on this matter.

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 QUOTES TO REMEMBER
"In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people."

--The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

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