- NRA Sells Out Free Speech Rights For Special Favor

NRA Sells Out Free Speech Rights For Special Favor 

 NRA Blasted Carve-Outs, Now Accepts Carve-Out Just For NRA 

Washington, D.C., June 15, 2010 – Freedom Action criticized the National Rifle Association today for dropping its opposition to the DISCLOSE Act, after being given a special exemption by the House Democratic leadership that would apply only to the NRA. 

The DISCLOSE Act is designed to undo key parts of the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.  The Court ruled that provisions of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance legislation that prohibited corporations, including non-profit 501C4s such as the NRA and Freedom Action, from exercising their first amendment free speech rights in political campaigns were unconstitutional.  The DISCLOSE Act would require advocacy groups engaged in election-related activities, but not trade unions, to disclose their donors in a number of ways. 

Under the deal the NRA made with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the NRA would now, along with trade unions, be exempt from the disclosure requirements.  In return, the NRA has agreed to not oppose passage of the bill. 

The NRA’s special deal for itself directly contradicts the statement made by NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre hailing the Supreme Court’s decision in the Citizens United case.  We have added corrections in brackets to Mr. LaPierre’s statement:
This ruling is a victory for anyone who believes that the First Amendment applies to each and every one of us [as long as he or she is a member of the NRA].  The majesty of free speech is that any American [as long as he or she is a member of the NRA] can roll out of bed and speak as freely as The New York Times, NBC or politicians.  This is a defeat for arrogant elitists [except for the NRA] who wanted to carve out free speech as a privilege for themselves [as the NRA has done in our special deal with Speaker Pelosi] and deny it to the rest of us [as the NRA wants to deny it to everyone who isn’t a member of NRA]; and for those who believed that speech had a dollar value and should be treated and regulated like currency, and not a freedom.  Today’s decision reaffirms that the Bill of Rights was written for every American [who is a member of the NRA] and it will amplify the voice of average citizens who want their voices heard [as long as they are members of the NRA].” (

Myron Ebell, Director of Freedom Action, sharply criticized the NRA’s sell-out.

“The NRA has proved itself to be part of the ‘arrogant elite’ it denounced just a few months ago,” said Ebell.  “Unfortunately, the only conclusion is that Mr. LaPierre is a hypocrite and the NRA is just another powerful special interest seeking special treatment. 

“The new word from the NRA is, it’s OK to deny free speech to Americans as long as the NRA gets a carve out,” Ebell said.  “Groups from every part of the political spectrum should vehemently oppose this plan that will chill free speech and participation in American elections.” 

Freedom Action is a web-based grassroots activist group dedicated to more freedom and less government.