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MOVING FORWARD WITH THE ASHCROFT PETITION

Signatures Approach 12,000

by David Codrea

January 3, 2001

KeepAndBearArms.com -- As of this writing the official signature tally for the Petition for Enforcement of the Second Amendment is 11,922.

We heard from every state except Alaska. The top state was California, with around 2,500 signatures. Next was Louisiana with just under 2,000. Ohio was third with around 1,100 and New York fourth with just under 1,000.

We planned to stop gathering signatures on Dec. 31, 2001, but that plan has been reconsidered for two main reasons. First, signatures continue to come in, and second, ending the project would make it easier for the government to ignore or forget it. The new plan is to send the first batch of signatures to Attorney General Ashcroft at the end of January. We will continue gathering signatures until further notice based on the number of signatures that come in, and we will continue forwarding those signatures to Mr. Ashcroft.

Due to post-September 11 security concerns, before sending the initial signatures we will contact the Department of Justice, alerting them as to our intent. We will follow their directions to ensure that Mr. Ashcroft receives our package.

Considering that we had no national project infrastructure, no project budget, no project staff, and relied entirely on the Internet for advertising this effort, and that every signature is a hardcopy signature gathered by volunteers, 12,000 signatures is a tremendously heartening initial result. I'm confident that, if we keep going, we can increase our ranks significantly.

The most frequently asked question we've received is "Where is NRA?" The short answer is, absent. This is curious, especially since most of the grievances outlined in our Petition are identical to those expressed by the NRA. Their existing grassroots alert systems would allow them to inform their members virtually cost-free. I'm a Life Member, and have written to ILA Director Baker twice asking him to inform their membership of our Petition. We never received a response. The same goes for the leadership of their state affiliate, the California Rifle and Pistol Association. But independent, corroborated sources confirmed that some NRA officials, particularly in California, have actively discouraged members from supporting the Petition, in spite of my inviting them to bring any concerns to me.

We are puzzled. After all, Mr. Ashcroft's primary job is to enforce the law, starting with the supreme law of the land, the Constitution. He told NRA he believes the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right. Why would NRA oppose asking him to enforce that guarantee? We hope NRA members will continue pressing the current NRA management to assist us, but we will continue moving ahead regardless of their actions.

To those of you who have signed, thank you. To those who have gone the extra mile, made copies, recruited signatures, and become leaders in this project, you have our deepest gratitude. Thanks to you we have an army 12,000-strong and growing every day. Please continue demonstrating this leadership so that Mr. Ashcroft and President Bush realize that denying our complaints is not an option, legally or politically.

 

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