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NRA Claims Neutrality on Cops-Only National Concealed Carry Bill  by Angel Shamaya

NRA Claims Neutrality on
Cops-Only National Concealed Carry Bill

by Angel Shamaya

April 24, 2002

The National Rifle Association is claiming that they are neither for nor against H.R. 218 -- the federal legislation that grants law enforcement officers exemptions from the concealed carry laws of all fifty states (a.k.a. Cops-Only CCW) while those same laws continue to be enforced against The People. As their claim suggests my recent report regarding this legislation is therefore inaccurate, I feel it necessary to respond.

Following are copies of emails where they make this claim.

From: John Doe
Sent: Friday, April 19, 2002
To: ILA-Contact
Subject: Do not support H.R. 218

Do not support H.R. 218 !!

From: ILA-Contact
Sent: Friday, April 19, 2002
To: John Doe
Subject: RE: Do not support H.R. 218

Thank you for contacting NRA-ILA. With regard to your concern over NRA's position on H.R. 218, the Community Protection Act of 2001, please know that NRA remains neutral with regard to this legislation, as we support a national standard for Right-to-Carry reciprocity for all law abiding citizens. We will, however, be happy to pass along your concerns.


Rebecca A. Williams

From: John Doe
Sent: Friday, April 19, 2002
To: ILA-Contact
Subject: RE: Do not support H.R. 218

It's this kind of sellout that is making me consider switching my membership to the GOA.

From: ILA-Contact
Sent: Friday, 19 April, 2002
To: John Doe
Subject: RE: Do not support H.R. 218

To what "sellout" are you referring? As stated, NRA remains neutral on H.R. 218, so any information you may have received stating otherwise is simply wrong. How does this constitute a "sellout"?


Anthony Roulette

Following are a few facts to consider.

1) The Law Enforcement Alliance of America was created by and is funded in part by the National Rifle Association. One Founder of LEAA says as much as $4,000,000 of NRA's money has gone into LEAA's hands.  And LEAA drafted the bill, is the primary mover and shaker of the bill and is actively and aggressively promoting it.

Are we to believe that NRA has no control whatsoever over what LEAA does?

2)  Two NRA Directors, as U.S. Representatives, are co-sponsors of the bill:

  • U.S. Rep. Bob Barr has been a co-sponsor of every version of the bill ever introduced.
  • U.S. Rep. Don Young is a co-sponsor.

Yes, NRA can tell us that their Directors are out of control and that what they do in their official capacities to support an unconstitutional gun-related bill doesn't mean NRA supports it, but their saying so appears to merely be a pose to help maintain plausible deniability of NRA's effective support of the bill. That NRA would claim neutrality while their two U.S. Rep. Directors openly support the bill is rather strange -- any thinking gun owner would question it.

3)  NRA came out with a published statement saying the Fraternal Order of Police supports the bill on the same day LEAA ran a USNewswire press release saying the bill should be passed to honor fallen cops in the World Trade Center attacks. Shall we call that a mere coincidence, too?


NRA does indeed support H.R. 218 -- they just don't come out and openly endorse it.  (They don't need to; their law enforcement subsidiary does it for them, and their Directors do it for them, too.)

And it's not enough for NRA management to stay neutral for plausible deniability while their LEO front group promotes a bad gun law.  NRA must oppose H.R.218 -- as many gun rights groups and leaders have done -- and lean on LEAA to stop supporting it, or be held responsible for effectively supporting the bill. Besides, as the largest self-styled gun rights group, NRA has a moral duty to take a position on all gun-related bills -- at least insofar as making a statement of support or opposition -- and H.R.218 is an unconstitutional bill that is wrought with problems for gun rights and liberty. Why wouldn't NRA have an official position?

But let's for a moment assume that NRA's assertion of neutrality is accurate and honest.  Perhaps Mr. Roulette wouldn't mind answering just one question:

What possible excuse can NRA offer as to why they are allegedly "neutral"?

If we are able to obtain an answer to that question, we will gladly share it with our members and visitors.

Related Reading

Special Exemptions for Cops?
Public Servants Seek Immunity from Gun Laws they Enforce; Gun Rights Leaders Say “No Thanks!”

NRA Archives


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