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NRA vs. Land Rights: You Decide Who's Right

from's Melissa Seaman (Newslinks Director)
and Angel Shamaya (Founder/Executive Director)

August 25, 2001 -- James Jay Baker, Executive Director of the National Rifle Association's Institute for Legislative Action, has taken a strong and decisive stand in support of a piece of federal legislation opposed by over 600 Land Rights Organizations. In a message to NRA members dated August 22nd, Mr. Baker said,

"All national conservation and hunting organizations are on record in support of CARA."

G. Ray Arnett, former Executive Vice President of the NRA, could not disagree more. Arnett, also President of the National Wildlife Federation and a NWF board member for 18 years, wrote this to the House Resources Committee considering CARA:

"Like pouring gasoline into an inferno, CARA will pour a guaranteed annual fire hose of cash into a broken system. CARA is bad legislation with serious flaws that can not be made acceptable with minor amendments here and there. At best, this rearranging of the Titanic's deck chairs, so to speak, may result in outwardly making a rotten apple appear to be palatable, but the apple is still rotten."

Are we to think that the National Wildlife Federation is not a national conservation organization? Is their claim to be "the nation's largest member-supported conservation group" but a ruse?

And if CARA (H.R.701) is fully supported by "all national conservation and hunting organizations" as Mr. Baker has said, then why is a former NRA Executive VP currently serving on the Board of a national conservation organization saying it is an anti-hunting bill?

Mr. Baker's explanation of the NRA's opposition to hundreds of land rights organizations also tells us:

"Rest assured that NRA would not attach its name and support to a bill if its effect was to infringe upon any of our members' Constitutional rights."

But the NRA has supported and in some cases actively promoted all of the following and more:

1)  background checks (NRA's NICS system, which the NRA is all too aware has been used to abuse citizens' rights)
2)  "gun free school zones" that make it easier for someone to harm our defenseless children and their teachers
3)  "zero tolerance enforcement" of thousands of laws that infringe on the second amendment rights of NRA's members and the other 79,000,000 gun owners
4)  "A" grades for known gun grabbers, paving the way for gun enemies to have their way with our rights

et cetera.

It is because of the above inaccurate statements in Mr. Baker's editorial that we encourage NRA Members to be fully informed on this issue before making a decision as to whether or not NRA's support of CARA is justifiable. To that end, several links for your edification.

And since Mr. Baker urged the NRA membership to email (and telephone!) the individual who rightly questions NRA's support of anti-land-rights legislation -- without publishing email addresses for people to contact the multi-million dollar NRA who has paid staff that can surely handle such things -- we have included several NRA officials' email addresses below -- including HQ staff.  Should you contact these people, please be polite, clear and respectful and stick to the facts. Hopefully, Mr. Baker will stop and realize that he needs to back the NRA OUT of a federal landgrabber's jamboree.

CARA Land Grab: Anti-Hunting

House Leaders Oppose CARA Land Grab

NRA: Learn How To Shoot Yourself - In The Foot

National Taxpayers Union Letter of Opposition to CARA

600 Land Rights Groups Oppose CARA


Like The Klamath?? You'll Love CARA!!

NRA Supports CARA! -by J. Zane Walley

Hate CARA. Fear CARA. (H.R.701) -- Report by John Lankford

Powerful Lawmakers Try to Silence Property Owners -by Wes Vernon

GOP Lawmakers Join Democrats in Aiding Enviro Left -by Wes Vernon


For NRA's statements of support for CARA, see:

NRA Testifies on S.2609 Pittman-Robertson Reform (the "old" CARA bill)

NRA (James Baker) Responds to Criticism Over CARA (H.R.701)

Rep. Don Young's Speech to Outdoor Writers Association of America


Progress of CARA in the House:


Bill Summary & Status and link to Text:




CALL THE CAPITOL SWITCHBOARD TOLL-FREE HOTLINES:  800-648-3516, 877-778-9001, 877-762-8762



Susan Lamson, Director of NRA Wildlife and Conservation

Private Office Number: (703) 267-1541

James J. Baker, Executive Director of NRA-ILA
Private Office Number: (703) 267-1140

NOTE--Baker bears ultimate responsibility for NRA's backing of CARA.

Chuck Cunningham, head of ILA Federal Affairs



The Staff runs the NRA.

Chris Manthos, employee:

Chuck Cunningham, head of ILA Federal Affairs:

G. Ray Arnett, former Exec VP:

Stephen P. Halbrook:  |

Suzanne LaPierre:

Suzie Brewster:

Tanya Metaksa:  |


-- General NRA Email Addresses --

NRA:  |

or online:


NRA Grassroots: