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President's Column

By David A. Keene, President

Register To Vote, Our Firearm Freedoms Are At Stake

Even as the Obama administration was ordering firearm dealers along the nation’s southern border to begin reporting multiple long gun sales, Canada was abolishing a long gun registry that has cost Canadian taxpayers $2.7 billion and solved not a single murder since it was instituted in 1998.

Meanwhile, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was asking the New York State legislature to do away with a law requiring ballistic “fingerprinting” of all side arms sold in the Empire State. The law, passed in 2000 at the behest of former Republican governor George Pataki, has cost New Yorkers as much as $40 million over the last 12 years and has not helped authorities solve even one crime. In the first seven years of the program, it resulted in two “hits” and no prosecutions.

If both of these laws are repealed, it will not be because elected officials in Canada and New York have seen the light, but because even those hostile to the private ownership of firearms realize they do little or nothing to reduce crime, cost taxpayers millions of dollars, tie up police personnel and result in little other than the harassment of innocent gun owners.

Still, they never seem to give up. New York legislators hostile to the Second Amendment may reluctantly go along with the governor’s suggestion, but are now suggesting yet another scheme that would allow the state to establish a gun registry and, in their minds at least, trace guns used in crimes back to their owners or at least to their original purchasers. This one is called “microstamping” and would require firearm manufacturers to redesign all semi-automatic pistols sold in New York to mark fired cartridge cases, despite the fact that such a requirement has been found by independent tests to have little real world value, would be more expensive than the ballistic identification scheme and might simply be the final straw that persuades firearm manufacturers to bypass the New York market.

Meanwhile, President Obama has defied Congress by demanding that an appropriations rider banning future “gun walking” schemes such as the notorious “Fast and Furious” program be dropped in a budget that also cuts funds for the program to arm airline flight crews against terrorism and would allow use of your tax dollars to lobby for gun control. At the same time, it would open the door to firearm import restrictions and suggest that military brass be destroyed rather than be made available to civilian reloaders. (See Political Report) These proposals aren’t likely to pass before the election because of strong opposition from Second Amendment supporters and the inevitable gridlock of the budget process, but they do provide a window into the mind of President Obama and the brave new world he will work to create should he be re-elected in November.

The president’s budget proposal was sent to Congress just a week after Attorney General Eric Holder told the congressional committee investigating “Fast and Furious” that the administration would like to see an expanded version of the old Clinton “assault weapons” ban enacted.

Americans have the Second Amendment, but one wonders how long it will survive in the face of continual assaults on our rights envisioned by a president with a lifelong antipathy to firearms. Neither the reminder from the Supreme Court that the founders did indeed intend to guarantee the right of Americans to “keep and bear arms” when they adopted the Bill of Rights, nor the empirical evidence that gun bans, gun registries and the like cost billions to establish and have virtually no impact on criminals, will dissuade Obama from his ideological commitment to disarm law-abiding Americans and abolish the shooting sports.

Those of us who are both committed supporters of the Second Amendment and involved in the political process know just what we have to do between now and November 6, but did you know that as many as 25 million gun owners in this country aren’t even registered to vote? The next time you take to the field, visit the range or visit a gun shop or show, ask those you run into if they are registered and intend to vote this fall. If they aren’t, urge them to register immediately.

Go to to register to vote today. If all of us register and vote we can secure our rights.

If we don’t, who will we have to blame when our Second Amendment rights, along with other freedoms, vanish?