Declaring that threats to the Second Amendment remain “formidable” as 2018 unfolds, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms has announced a list of legislative priorities that will keep the grassroots gun rights organization hopping well into the New Year.
Based in Bellevue, Washington – a “blue” state where the well-financed gun prohibition lobby in Seattle has been waging a war on rights guaranteed by both the Second Amendment and the state constitution – CCRKBA is a roll-up-your-sleeves group whose “boots on the ground” are activists across the map.
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 mayor, $25 million amounts to pocket change. He has his own well-armed private security team, while at the same time he spends boatloads of cash to prevent average citizens from enjoying some semblance of personal security for themselves and their families.
“Elitist anti-gunners…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.”–Alan Gottlieb, CCRKBA
When Bloomberg founded Everytown for Gun Safety, he financed the gun prohibition lobbying group with $50 million. He has also spent millions more in efforts to influence elections in several states, including Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Colorado and Maine.
Gottlieb and CCRKBA are the political David in a match against the Goliath of billionaires. And the group, which reports its numbers at 650,000 “members and supporters,” has its crosshairs set on Capitol Hill and at least eight state legislatures.
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 U.S. 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.
“This has to cease,” Gottlieb said, “and the only way to do that is to pass reciprocity.”
The 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 said.
Anti-gun groups, such as the Seattle-based Alliance for Gun Responsibility, 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.”