NRA’s fear factory lies to its flock

February 20, 2013

[Today’s submission on Daily Kos involves the NRA, their penchant for lying, and industrial metal. A decent combo.]

In Washington state, a new law is moving through the state legislature that would require background checking for private gun sales. The current law requires background checks at federally licensed gun shops, but the private sale loophole remains open there — at least for now. This is the same loophole at the top of the President’s list of proposed Congressional actions to reduce gun violence.

Naturally, the NRA chose to inform its members of this news from Washington state like so:

Washington: House committee approves private sale ban


Since the NRA chooses to afflict its membership with fear and paranoia, this suggests a soundtrack for this diary!

So while the news item from the NRA-ILA website really is that simple…

Washington: House committee approves private sale banPosted on February 20, 2013

Lawmakers in the state House are moving ahead with a plan to expand background checks to private gun sales.

Read the article: The Associated Press

Honestly, that’s all there is to it. At least The Seattle Times has a bit more data on the subject. It mentions a rare Republican offering support to gun control legislation — even in the face of NRA attacks.

The House Judiciary Committee approved the idea Tuesday by a one-vote margin, with Republican Rep. Mike Hope being the only member of his party voting in favor of it. Hope is a Seattle police officer previously supported by the National Rifle Association who has recently drawn the group’s ire for supporting the bill.Hope has expressed concern that criminals can avoid background checks by purchasing guns from private parties. Gun buyers are already required to undergo background checks when purchasing from federally licensed gun shops.

Pretty simple really, and considering the great popularity of closing this loophole (Republican obstructionism in the federal House notwithstanding), it should be a political winner, too. Except perhaps for state Rep. Mike Hope. The mention of the NRA’s ire naturally made me curious, and more information on what the NRA did to go after Rep. Hope isn’t hard to find. For example, this news piece from the 12th.

Hope said he’s received about 300 emails related to the gun bill and believes there are a lot of misconceptions about what it does. In the memo that the NRA sent to its members, the group said the bill would have no impact on criminals and would be “the first steps toward universal registration of firearms and owners.” It called the background checks plan “a massive regulatory scheme with huge burdens and obstacles.”Hope said the note is inaccurate. He said records of the background checks would not be maintained or part of a registration system. Under the bill, two people wanting to complete a transaction could go to their local gun shop or local law enforcement agency and pay for a background check of $20 or less.

Inaccurate. Imagine that! I would like to have seen this letter, but the best I can find online is an alert from the NRA that went out two days later, on the 14th. The NRA characterizes this bill as “a bill that could criminalize private transfers of firearms and lead to handgun registration.” (emphasis – NRA, not me!)

This bill is nothing more than a regulatory scheme that would create a huge burden for law-abiding citizens, would be unenforceable and would be ignored by criminals anyway. It is truly nothing more than a precursor to Universal Firearm REGISTRATION!

They have since followed up with a new action alert, to contact the entire rules committee in hopes of stopping the bill from going to the House floor.Anyway, it’s not exactly news that the NRA has a record of lying about the private sale loophole, aka the ‘gun show’ loophole, as private sellers are known to sell guns background check free at gun shows. In some of my previous work I’ve documented the NRA claiming the private sale loophole does not even exist. Today, it seems clear that they acknowledge it, if only to lie about it being banned or criminalized, as if no legal option will remain if this bill becomes law. This myth of banning private sales also pops up in that old diary of mine, as Media Matters saw fit to document and then bust it.

But it is interesting to catch the NRA in the act, again. Lying to its members, filling them with fear and rage over nonexistent threats to their precious guns. Demonstrating these lies, attacking the NRA for its fake news and ginned-up fear, putting them on the defensive — this is necessary, if there is any hope of rendering the NRA obsolete.


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