First-ever nationwide coalition to fight the "Assault Weapons" ban forms: Coalition Against the Semi-auto Ban announced

As everyone has undoubtedly heard, President Bush has publicly stated his support for reauthorizing the 1994 ban on so-called "Assault Weapons."

Longtime RMGO members aren't surprised: when Bush was just another Republican candidate for President, we tracked his views (as well as the views of other candidates, including Hillary Clinton-wannabe now-Sen. Elizabeth Dole) on a number of issues, including the Semi-auto Ban.

You can see our old tracking page at

The only people really surprised by this announcement are those who have little knowledge of the history of gun controls -- they virtually always happen with the aid of those who are ostensibly on our side -- and who cast a blind eye at a President who has a gun rights record that rivals Bill Clinton's. Despite a party platform that is strongly pro-gun, Bush has done nothing for gun owners, and a great number of things against gun owners.

Notice that George Bush stated numerous times that he supported a ban on assault weapons. The only real question was if the President would ignore the debate about to rage in Congress and simply hope the bill didn't make it to his desk or if he would actively support this gun ban. We now have our answer.


Ban to be expanded

Though the details are unclear, the sponsors of the legislation to reauthorize the ban are planning to expand it, covering more firearms and getting rid of any perceived loopholes. Instead of simply listing the types of weapons covered, the new "Assault Weapons Ban" language will ban any semi-auto firearm that accepts a detachable magazine and possesses one narrowly defined military characteristic. We'll update you regularly on their attempts.


Coalition announced

Usually the battle against gun control proponents is lead by a few Beltway-based groups, the chief of which is the NRA.

One problem: when they are involved in a battle, they are very likely to cut deals on the issue, bargaining so that we get "the best deal we can get." That's fine, if you care about what members of Congress think, but we don't. Few groups are willing to criticize the NRA's deals, worried that it will turn off members.

This battle is different: Rocky Mountain Gun Owners has joined with more than a dozen other state-level gun rights groups, including the National Association for Gun Rights and, to form a grassroots-based coalition against this ban. To our knowledge, it is the first time in American history that has happened.

You can read about this new Coalition at

We don't plan on just fighting the fight -- we plan on winning, without any compromises. We won't come back to members and say "gee, we bargained as hard as we could, but in the end the only thing we could stop was the expansion -- the ban has been reauthorized." We will win this battle for one reason: we will put politicians on notice that any

-- we'll repeat it, so that any Congressional staff that read this get the right idea -- ANY vote for a ban on semi-automatic firearms or high-capacity magazines will mean you lose the votes of gun owners, forever. Period, end of sentence, full stop. Vote for this bill and you can seek forgiveness from your priest, rabbi, savior or to whichever god you pray -- gun owners must make it clear that there exists no way to wipe that slate clean.

This is no small task. Getting some institutional gun lobbies to hold politicians accountable is more work than actually holding those pols accountable yourself -- those lobbies are just too ingrained into the system, and exist primarily to feed the politicians who, almost to a man/woman, will vote for this ban.

But this coalition could change things dramatically.

Rocky Mountain Gun Owners Executive Director Dudley Brown has been working to form this group, called the Coalition Against the Semi-auto Ban, or CASB (pronounced "Kaz-bee"). We're working with dozens of groups across America to create a network of no-compromise, grassroots groups who will work 24/7 to defeat the reauthorization of the semi-auto ban.


What can you do?

RMGO will provide targeted information about where and when a politician is vulnerable -- the time to hit them with the facts and put them on notice that gun owners votes are on the line.

We'll let you know when a particular event is happening that we can hit with "informative" fliers -- if at all possible, let us know as soon as you get these notices on whether you will be able to make a particular event.

And if you know of an appearance by any of these targeted Congress-critters, please call us immediately: we can equip you and few other fellow gun owners to hit the event with fliers.


Colorado Congressional Delegation Status

Here is the status of Colorado's Congressional Delegation

Sen. Campbell - Voted FOR the ban in 1994. Though he is vulnerable only if he runs for re-election, he is likely to take GOP votes for granted.

Sen. Allard - Voted AGAINST the ban in 1994. Just re-elected, so he likely thinks gun owners would forget any transgression on this issue. We must let him know that things have changed, and we won't forget nor forgive: a "No" vote on reauthorization, or any brokered compromise, is the only acceptable vote.


1st Congressional District

Dianna DeGette - 100% communist. Don't waste your time lobbying her.

2nd Congressional District

Mark Udall - 99% communist. Don't waste your time lobbying him.

3rd Congressional District

Scott McInnis - Voted AGAINST the ban in 1994. McInnis follows the crowd on gun issues, and isn't likely to raise eyebrows. He won't be a hero, and won't be an outright enemy. But he has strong ambitions to run for Campbell's seat, should Campbell not run. And McInnis is very likely to vote for a middle-of-the-road compromise on the issue (read: a defeat for gun owners).

4th Congressional District

Marilyn Musgrave - Has signed numerous pledges to vote against the ban, and campaigned on it when first elected to the seat in 2002. She's likely to lead the charge against the reauthorization, but letting her know you are with her is a spine-stiffening practice.

5th Congressional District

Joel Hefley - Voted AGAINST the ban in 1994. Coming from one of the most conservative districts in America, he should be expected to vote correctly. There are rumors, however, that he will not run again: that makes things dicey. No letup on pressure advised.

6th Congressional District

Tom Tancredo - Though Tom Tancredo ran as a proponent of gun rights, Columbine changed his tune. In a June 1999 Rocky Mountain News article, Tancredo said he now (after Columbine) supports 24-hour background checks, mandatory child safety locks and a ban on the import of high-capacity magazines (a part of the Feinstein Assault Weapons ban). And though Tancredo is probably safe in his seat until the end of the millenium, Tancredo is also ambitious -- look for him to throw his hat in the ring if Campbell retires. That makes him vulnerable to pressure.

7th Congressiona District

Bob Beauprez - A newly elected Congressman, Beauprez won by a sliver, which means he is scared of his own shadow. Beauprez has a history of supporting gun control: he was one of the signers of the 2000 SAFE ballot initiative to close the gun show "loophole." Beauprez is also very close to the Bush Adminstration, making him a very likely vote for reauthorization.

When dealing with most of these politicians, know this: if they think you will vote for them no matter what they do on this issue -- using the "lesser of two evils" argument -- your opinion doesn't count and you might as well not contact them. That's why our message to these politicians must be firm: vote against us, and we vote against you. Remember Governor Bill Owens' statement "What are they going to do? Vote Democrat?" Though few would voice that opinion so candidly, all of them think it. All of the logic in the world won't make them vote our way; only sheer political pressure will force most of these pols into voting against the ban.

Does this mean you have to support a gun-grabbing Democrat? No, it doesn't. It means you should never -- NEVER -- vote for a politician when they've openly defied our constitutional right to keep and bear arms, especially on such a crucial issue as this. If that politician can win re-election, fine: but they shouldn't do it with gun owners votes, money or time.

Remember the first President Bush? His loss gave us Bill Clinton but can be laid at Bush's own feet: had he not defied his staunchest supporters on two key issues -- guns and taxes -- he would have had an army of support in 1992. Instead, his normal base of support cared little and did even less. That's a good lesson for politicians to learn: you have to work for my vote, not take it for granted.

Beware the "gun groups" who openly support the politicians who vote against us. Case in point: shortly after the 2002 elections, the Colorado State Shooting Association posted a congratulations on their website. Of the five politicians pictured in this blatant kiss-up were three who had openly defied gun owners: Congressman Tom Tancredo, Gov. Bill "Gun Control" Owens, and new Congressman Bob Beauprez (all three had, among other sins, supported closing the gun show loophole). Beauprez himself has done quite a dance to avoid answering questions about the assault weapons ban, meaning his default position -- without a lot of hardcore lobbying by us -- is to vote for the ban (see assessment of Beauprez, above). Instead of pressuring Beauprez for an answer, CSSA covered up for him.

If you want to see CSSA's brown-nosing attempt, you can go to and scroll down to the bottom of their page for proof.

Why do we say to beware these type of groups now? Put simply, these groups view their job as running interference between you (the dedicated gun rights activist, who wants to hold politicians accountable) and the politician who has voted against us. These Quislings -- in reference to the Norwegian socialist who invited the Nazis to take over his country and then crowned himself dictator -- are certain to do much of the same during this battle to reauthorize the assault weapons ban. Their efforts are what enable many marginal politicians to vote against us.

More on all of this later, but expect a huge battle -- one that can't be won without your help.


We've had a great many contacts from people wanting to do something -- anything they could -- to win this battle. We appreciate, and share, their enthusiasm.

In just a few weeks you will be getting a piece of mail that will require your attention -- we hope you'll respond with the same enthusiasm.

But, in the meantime, we need to prepare for this battle. Since we are planning to take this battle to the most effective level -- to the grassroots, right where the politicians don't want us being active -- we need to get a solid list of activists who will be available to attend events, distribute fliers, and force some members of Colorado's Congressional Delegation to commit to voting against this reauthorization.

If YOU would like to be involved and want to be notified when an activity is planned in your area (we're probably not going to e-mail everyone in Colorado, as we don't want to alert the politicians prior to our visit), please click here:

Leave Subject line the same

At the TOP of the body of the message, send full name, mailing address (so we can call you for your area and to verify that you are who you are) and phone number.

Friends, this is a very important battle we are in. And while a rally might feel nice, hitting politicians at local events is a much more effective method of getting their attention.

Again, our message is simple: if you vote for the reauthorization -- or ANY compromise on this issue, regardless of who brokers that compromise -- you will be forever shunned by gun owners. The ribbing Governor Bill Owens took at the 2000 Republican State Convention (where a powerful and otherwise popular first-GOP-governor-in-24 years was almost booed off the stage) is only a sampling of what we will do to the careers of Colorado members of Congress who vote wrong (or work behind the scenes to secure reauthorization).

And again, we're not going to dilute our message: we'll concentrate on the Congressmen and Senators in Colorado who are most vulnerable, i.e. Republicans. We could spend a lot of time putting pressure on DeGette and Udall, but that would be a waste of effort. Let's concentrate our fire on those who need to follow their party platform and vote against ANY gun bans.

Let's play this one smart, and make sure we do our part to undo this vile ban on the very type of firearms that are defending our freedom in other countries.

What you can do:

Repeating the action item -- If YOU would like to be involved, and want to be notified when an activity is planned in your area (we're probably not going to e-mail everyone in Colorado, as we don't want to alert the politicians prior to our visit), please click here:

Leave Subject line the same

At the TOP of the body of the message, send full name, mailing address (so we can call you for your area and to verify that you are who you are) and phone number.

We'll be in contact you as soon as possible.


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