Gun Owners Of America
Gun Owners Of America
Larry Pratt (Executive Director, Gun Owners of America) gives expert video advice on: Who are the 'Gun Owners of America'?; What is the history of Gun Owners of America?; Why was Gun Owners of America formed and why are they needed today? and more...
Who are the 'Gun Owners of America'?
The Gun Owners of America is an advocacy organization. We lobby here in Washington. We lobby the Congress and we are supported by 300,000 Americans with their individual donations.
What is the history of Gun Owners of America?
Gun Owners of America was founded by a state senator from California, Sen. H. L. Richardson. And he had the vision of an organization to represent gun owners that would pursue his understanding of how the political process works and understanding that was born from his own experience for over 20 years in the California Senate.
Why was Gun Owners of America formed and why are they needed today?
Gun Owners of America was formed to put into practice the understanding that Chairman and Senator Richardson had that politics is confrontational. You may not like that. You may not understand that. But that doesn't change the fact that politics is confrontational. For those of us who don't like it and stand around watching, we end up losing every time.
Is Gun Owners of America considered an extreme group?
Gun Owners of America has been viewed as extreme by people like the Clintons. When President Clinton was in office, his view was that we had too much freedom, and he referred to the founders as having a "radical view." Well, of course, since we think the founders had it right, that we should have limited government and that people like Bill Clinton shouldn't have that much to do as president, naturally there's going to be a difference of opinion.
What is the most positive contribution from Gun Owners of America?
Well, Gun Owners of America has been able to stop a number of pieces of legislation that would have greatly restricted our Second Amendment freedoms. And in that sense I think we've got a very good record and that's why our members continue to support us. As well, through our foundation, we've been able to give vigorous legal defense in the courts, often in appellate cases where we are defending the Second Amendment.
What do you hope Gun Owners of America will acheive?
Gun Owners of America would like to see the elimination of all federal gun laws. There's no warrant in the Constitution for the regulation of firearms. When you look at our Tenth Admendment it says that if a power has not been given to the central government, then that government may not exercise it at all. It's not something for it to do legitimately and the very absence of any mention of controlling guns in the constitution, necessarily leads to the conclusion that federal gun laws are unconstitutional.
How is GOA different from the NRA?
I think Gun Owners of America is unique, really among a lot of organizations, not just among the 2nd Amendment community, but also many other organizations that lobby in Washington. And we self-consciously pursue the objectives that one would have if you look at politics confrontationally. We're not here to make deals. We're not here to make concessions. We'd like other people to like us, but if our saying no means they're going to be unhappy, then they're just going to have to be unhappy.