- May 4 - Handgun Control (HCI), the
nation's largest citizens' gun control lobbying organization, today
kicked off a new ad campaign with a discussion of the gun record of
Texas Governor George W. Bush.
Recently appointed Handgun Control President Michael Barnes,
former White House Press Secretary James Brady and HCI Political
Director Joe Sudbay discussed the record of Governor Bush on guns.
Handgun Control also unveiled a new television ad featuring a top
NRA spokesman's off-the-record (but recorded) comments on his
organization's view of the Governor of Texas.
At an NRA activist meeting held in California on February 16 and
17, NRA First Vice President Kayne B. Robinson (who is also Chair
of the Republican Party in Iowa) alluded to Governor George
W. Bush saying, "If we win we'll have a president, with at least
one of the people that's running, a president where we work out of
their office -- unbelievably friendly relations."
Nina Butts, Executive Director of Texans Against Handgun
Violence (TAGV), an Austin, Texas-based gun control advocacy group,
was also in attendance to talk about the gun record of Governor
George W. Bush. Ms. Butts discussed a report which TAGV released
last year based on information from the Texas Department of Public
Safety (DPS) that indicated that there may be a large number of
dangerous, convicted felons in illegal possession of firearms in
Texas. These felons are at large and have not been prosecuted,
despite their having provided the state of Texas with their names,
addresses, color photos, fingerprints and certification of their
proficiency in the use of handguns when they applied for a license
to carry a concealed handgun. The report shows that, despite
Governor Bush's calls for tough enforcement of existing gun laws
and more prosecutions of gun crimes, it is the governor's own
support for the carrying of concealed weapons that has conclusively
demonstrated that Texan felons can continue to own guns.
Today Handgun Control also launched a new Internet website,
http://www.bushandguns.com, to provide voters with information about
Governor George W. Bush's true record on gun control and gun
"As a former member of Congress, I know what it's like to have
a public record," said Handgun Control President Michael Barnes.
"Governor Bush is going to have a lot of explaining to do to defend
his atrocious record on guns to the American people -- the majority
of whom overwhelmingly support new common-sense gun control laws."
"To understand Governor Bush's record on guns, you need to look
at two things: the Governor's actions and the NRA's words," said
HCI Political Director Joe Sudbay. "Governor Bush says he's a
'Reformer with Results.' But only the gun lobby likes the results
of the Governor's gun 'reforms' in Texas."
"When you read this Bush's lips, the message is 'I can't say no
to the gun lobby,'" added James Brady, former White House Press
Secretary under President Ronald Reagan. "It is important for
everyone who cares about public safety to know where George Bush
stands on the gun issue. And, the NRA has really helped clarify
that dangerous record."
Handgun Control is the nation's largest gun control advocacy
group. Today's briefing was the first in a series that will focus
on the gun records of various national and state-wide elected
Handgun Control, chaired by Sarah Brady, was founded in 1974 by
Dr. Mark Borinsky and N.T. "Pete" Shields, two victims of gun
violence. Based in Washington, D.C., HCI works with law
enforcement, public health, religious, and community groups across
the country to strengthen and protect federal, state and local gun
control laws, but does not seek to ban all guns. HCI has more than
400,000 members nationwide, making it the nation's largest
citizens' gun control lobbying organization. More information about
HCI and its sister organization, the Center to Prevent Handgun
Violence, can be found on our website at www.handguncontrol.org.