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Gun Owners of America logo
|Headquarters||"Springfield, Virginia, U.S.|
|"H. L. Richardson|
Gun Owners of America (GOA) is a "gun rights organization in the United States with over 1.5 million members. It makes efforts to differentiate itself from the larger "National Rifle Association (NRA), and has publicly criticized the NRA on multiple occasions for allegedly compromising on gun rights issues and thereby "selling out the gun rights movement.
The GOA has often been in opposition to the NRA in its endorsements and ratings of politicians and candidates. For instance, the GOA was outspoken in its opposition to "John McCain's 2008 presidential bid, describing his gun-rights voting record as "abysmal, wretched, and pathetic" and giving him an F- grade on Second Amendment issues since 2004, while the NRA (through its "PAC, the NRA-PVF) gave him a C+. The GOA took issue with the NRA over the 2007 NICS Improvement Act.["citation needed]
The GOA has been described by "Congressman "Ron Paul as "The only no-compromise gun lobby in Washington." This quote from Paul has long been displayed prominently on the home page of the Gun Owners of America website, and Paul was the only "2008 presidential candidate to receive an A+ grade from Gun Owners of America.
Gun Owners of America was founded in 1975 by the NRA board member and "California state senator "H. L. Richardson when legislation to ban all handguns was introduced in California. Richardson continues to serve as the chairman of Gun Owners of America. Richardson also founded Gun Owners of California, which deals specifically with gun ownership rights in California. GOA's current "executive director as of 2018 is Erich Pratt, son of the previous director "Larry Pratt, who also hosts GOA's audio webcast, Live Fire.
Gun Owners of America is a non-profit organization whose main goal is to preserve and defend the "Second Amendment. GOA sees the right to bear arms as a fundamental freedom issue. GOA's stance is to "never compromise" and not to accept the status quo. According to GOA's official website, its board contends that Americans have lost some of their gun rights, and GOA strives to get them back. For the past 30 years GOA has been building a nationwide network of lawyers to aid in challenging gun control legislation in the courts. GOA has been involved in legal proceedings in almost every state in the hopes of maintaining and advancing pro-gun legislation and rights.
By its own account, GOA spent over $1.75 million lobbying "Congress in 2004, and over $18 million between 1998 and 2004. GOA's Federal "Political Action Committee is "Gun Owners of America Inc. Political Victory Fund" (C00278101). It raises funds to support the election of pro-gun candidates at all levels of government.
Gun Owners Foundation (GOF) is a non-profit, tax-deductible educational foundation. It acts as the research arm for GOA. Its main objective is to hold seminars around the country to inform the public, media outlets, and various government officials on Second Amendment issues. The GOF has recently begun a new campaign by creating "Public Service Announcements (PSA) to promote what it calls "PROPER Gun Safety". According to GOF, its campaign objective is "to generate public awareness of the dangers of not having a gun ready for protection and to encourage gun owners not to lock up their best means of self-defense." The PSAs focus mainly on trying to persuade their target audience, American adults in gun owning households, to not lock up fire arms, but instead to keep them ready and accessible. According to the PSAs:
The "Consumer Federation of America Foundation disputes these statistics, citing a "Department of Justice study that estimated attempts to use guns defensively totaled 62,000 times between 1987 and 1992, with no mention of the numbers of times that guns were actually used defensively.
GOA publicly denounced then President-elect "Barack Obama, stating that "Based on his voting record in the Illinois state senate and in the U.S. Senate, President-elect Barack Obama will be the most anti-Second Amendment president in the history of America." GOA was worried that with the "Democratic Party majority in the "111th "Congress, having Obama alongside Democratic leader "Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader "Harry Reid (both rated F- by the GOA), will mean Second Amendment-protected rights could be affected. GOA concerns about the Obama administration and current Congress include:
GOA failed in its battle against New York Senator "Chuck Schumer's (D-NY) NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007. The group claimed the bill (HR 2640 & S 2084) would give authorities—including courts, psychiatrists, and in some cases psychologists—the ability to revoke the Second Amendment rights of veterans who had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. GOA contended that this would be an infringement on the rights of veterans with mental disorders.["citation needed]
On June 6, 1995, GOA helped in lobbying the "House of Representatives to vote against the Moran Amendment, by a vote of 278 to 149. The amendment would have banned .50 caliber weapons from being licensed for export.
On July 13, 2006, Senator "David Vitter (R-LA) saw an 84–16 vote for his amendment prohibiting the use of federal money for federal agents to confiscate weapons during a declared state of emergency. This bill was passed less than a year after the devastation in Vitter's home state from "Hurricane Katrina.
On June 27, 2007, the Pence Amendment passed. The bill, named after Representative "Mike Pence (R-IN), was passed by a vote of 309–115. According to GOA the amendment blocked the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) ability to use the Fairness Doctrine in order to limit the free speech allowed by organizations like GOA over the airwaves.
On August 9, 2007, GOA supported Vitter's work in pushing through a bill stating that no U.S. funds can be used by the "United Nations or any group affiliated with the United Nations to restrict or tax Second Amendment rights. If they attempt to do so, the U.S. can withdraw their funds from the organization. This bill, HR-2764, also known as the Consolidated Appropriations Act, passed by an 81–10 vote.
On February 25, 2008, Senator "Jim DeMint (R-SC) amended bill S-1200, the Indian Health Care Improvement Act. The act stated that the funds were to be used for "violence prevention". Once the funds were attempted to be used for gun buybacks and other such anti-gun policies, DeMint pushed through an amendment to the act stating that the money cannot be used for any anti-gun programs. The bill passed by a margin of 78–11.