By Dave Workman,
A David-versus-Goliath battle is unfolding as a national grassroots gun rights organization has taken off the gloves against a well-financed gun prohibition lobby by announcing its 2018 legislative priorities.
Declaring in a news release that threats to the Second Amendment remain “formidable” this year, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) unveiled its 2018 agenda, and it is an ambitious one.
The Bellevue, WA-based CCRKBA is headquartered in the middle of what might be called “enemy territory.” Washington is a “blue” state where the anti-gun Alliance for Gun Responsibility is supported by wealthy elitists in and around Seattle. The list includes Bill and Melinda Gates of Microsoft fame, venture capitalist Nick Hanauer and even media-billionaire Michael Bloomberg. Paul Allen, a co-founder of Microsoft, has also contributed, as has Steve Ballmer, s former Microsoft CEO.
The Alliance, which continuously appeals for contributions via email blasts, is one of two highly vocal gun control groups in the Jet City. The other is Washington CeaseFire, which has been around for about 20 years.
This year, according to CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb, the priorities have never been more clear, and more in need of financial support.
“We need to raise at least $2.1 million for our direct and grassroots lobbying efforts to fund these priorities and advance gun rights,” Gottlieb said. “That’s less than ten percent of the $25 million that billionaire Michael Bloomberg has pledged to advance his anti-gun rights agenda.”
For Bloomberg, the anti-gun former New York City mayor whose fortunes came from publishing, $25 million might be petty cash. Gottlieb has frequently reminded his members that Bloomberg has his own armed private security team, but he spends his time trying to prevent average citizens from enjoying some level of personal security for themselves and their families, by owning guns.
When Bloomberg founded Everytown for Gun Safety, he spent $50 million to launch the gun prohibition lobbying group. He has also spent millions more in efforts to influence elections in several states, including Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Colorado and Maine.
CCRKBA, meanwhile, is looking to get by on far less. But where it lacks dollars, it has members and supporters who are among the most active gun owners in the country.
At the federal level, CCRKBA has announced that it will focus its efforts on passage of national concealed carry reciprocity and the Hearing Protection Act that deregulates noise reduction devices for firearms. The reciprocity legislation was passed by the House of Representatives late last year and is now facing a difficult fight in the US Senate.
Anti-gun Senators Charles Schumer, Dianne Feinstein, Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal – all Democrats – have declared the legislation DOA. But reciprocity is increasingly important as the number of legally-armed American citizens continues to expand, and horror stories like ones out of New Jersey involving gun owners who enter the state with firearms create a sense of outrage.
Gottlieb has suggested that the only way to prevent such problems in the future is for Congress to pass the reciprocity legislation. It will send a message to anti-gun politicians that the Second Amendment applies all over the country, as affirmed by the 2010 Supreme Court ruling in McDonald v. City of Chicago.
The proposed Hearing Protection Act would deregulate firearm suppressors. These devices are already popular with shooters, but require a special tax stamp to own. The proposed Act would eliminate the paperwork.
At the state level, Gottlieb’s group is looking at California, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon and Washington.
“Elitist anti-gunners in those states are using their wealth as a weapon against honest firearms owners whose only sin is the desire to be left alone to exercise their rights,” Gottlieb commented.
Anti-gun groups have engaged in hysteria-laden rhetoric that asserts such legislation would make it easy for mass killers to attack undetected. They claim that the reciprocity act would allow dangerous criminals to cross state lines with concealed handguns, which they do right now, anyway. The reciprocity act would simply level the field for law-abiding armed citizens.
“The gun prohibition lobby sees opportunity at the state level and they are concentrating their efforts in the states where they have the cooperation of key legislators and anti-gun governors,” Gottlieb explained. “This doesn’t mean we’re ignoring the rest of the country. We’ll be plenty busy all over the map.
“We’ve specifically identified these issues, and these states, as our top priorities,” he said, “because this is going to be a critical year in which gun owners have a chance to determine our gun rights for decades to come.”