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Posted: 3/1/2006 8:42:38 AM EDT



Gun Owners of America E-Mail Alert
8001 Forbes Place, Suite 102, Springfield, VA 22151
Phone: 703-321-8585 / FAX: 703-321-8408
http://www.gunowners.org

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

A few weeks ago, we alerted you to legislation -- introduced by
anti-gun Senator John McCain (R-AZ) -- which is aimed at squelching
the First Amendment rights of grassroots groups like Gun Owners of
America.

That bill, S. 2128, is ostensibly aimed at dealing with some of the
congressional controversies that have hit the media in recent weeks.
A true reform bill would focus the spotlight on members like John
McCain, who was one of the original Keating Five senators who were
deeply implicated in the savings and loan scandal.

Instead, McCain began his war on real transparency in 2002 when he
teamed up with anti-gun Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) to push the
Incumbent Protection Act into law -- an act that stifles the ability
of organizations like GOA to criticize elected officials before an
election.

Now with the Gag Act (S. 2128), McCain wants to target his wrath on
groups like GOA -- requiring them to register their "grassroots"
communications and to file twice as many frivolous reports.

If McCain succeeds in pushing an expansive interpretation of his bill
(as he did when he convinced the courts to regulate the Internet
under McCain-Feingold), then we could see a host of draconian
restrictions affecting both GOA and you.

For example, if we wanted to alert you to gun ban that is moving in
our nation's capital, we could first have to tell McCain (and all his
other buddies in Congress) about what we're planning to do, who we're
planning to alert (that is, grassroots folks like yourself), how much
money we plan to spend, etc.

Because of Section 105 in this bill, everyone with whom GOA contracts
to get the word out (advertisers, printers, etc.) could be required
to tell Congress twenty days in advance about GOA's public
information campaign.

In effect, we would end up alerting Sarah Brady every time we plan to
wage a grassroots campaign in opposition to gun control.

This is ridiculous!

No doubt, the Gag Act is further proof that grassroots lobbying
works. It works so well, that John McCain wants to muzzle it.

S. 2128 -- or a bill that is similar to it -- is now likely to come
to the floor of the Senate in early March, according to Majority
Leader Bill Frist. It is imperative that we contact our Senators
today.

ACTION:

1. Please urge your Senators to oppose the Gag Act (S. 2128). And,
if your Senator has cosponsored the bill, then he or she especially
needs to hear from you. Senators who have cosponsored this bill are:

Conrad Burns (R-MT)
Norm Coleman (R-MN)
Jon Kyl (R-AZ)
Joseph Lieberman (D-CT)
Bill Nelson (D-FL)
Olympia Snowe (R-ME)

You can visit the Gun Owners Legislative Action Center at
http://www.gunowners.org/activism.htm to send your Senators a
pre-written e-mail message such as the one below.

2. Take action and then please forward this alert to your pro-gun
friends and family!

----- Pre-written letter -----

Dear Senator:

Now that the Senate is looking to pass so-called lobbying reform
legislation, I hope you will NOT support any bill that would gag
grassroots lobbying organizations.

To be sure, John McCain's bill (S. 2128) would do just that!

In 2002, Senators McCain and Feingold teamed up to pass the Incumbent
Protection Act, a bill that infringes upon the First Amendment rights
of gun owners and other Americans by squelching their ability to
criticize elected officials before an election.

Now, Senator McCain wants to pass the Gag Act (S. 2128). In this
latest version, McCain targets his wrath on grassroots organizations
-- requiring them to register their "grassroots" communications with
their members and to file twice as many frivolous reports.

Please oppose S. 2128 or any other "reform" bill that would scapegoat
outside groups, through which American citizens are better able to
petition their government and which serve as government watchdogs.

Sincerely,

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