NRA: Fair Election Lawsuit News

Chris BeHanna

In this posting, two topics are covered: One is an update and clarification of the status of the lawsuit that forces the so-called "Winning Team" to obey the bylaw forbidding reporting of candidates' method of nomination. The second exposes anti-gun activity on the part of some of the candidates chosen by the so-called "Winning Team."

Election Lawsuit News

Intro. and clarification by Chris BeHanna, NRA Life #CPC7725J

In the days since I first posted the text of Judge Shainswit's opinion, in which she agreed with the Second Amendment Action plaintiffs that the meaning of the election bylaw forbidding designation of the method of nomination of candidates was clear, and since I reported that Shainswit had signed an injunction preventing the so-called "Winning Team" from printing the Nominating Committee report in the ballot issue of the magazines or in candidate bios, I have been accused of not telling the whole story, allegedly to "spin" more meaning into the injunction than what was there.

In the interest of clarification, here are the events as I understand them:

In the words of Director Ronin Colman (also a plaintiff in the suit), the court was "obeying its own rules" by allowing the motion for rehearing, and "The use of the appeal process does not in any way indicate that the judge's opinion was defective or that the NRA New Speak view of the Bylaws will prevail."

The claim has also been made that no one protested the practice of publishing Nominating Committee material in the past. This is not true: Second Amendment Action candidate Jeff Knox protested it on the floor of the 1985 Seattle Members' Meeting, and complained about the inclusion of the "Report of the Nominating Committee" in the magazines in the ensuing years. In Jeff's words, "The only reason a suit wasn't filed long ago was that 'our side' has always been averse to 'suing our brothers'."

Here is Director Howard Fezell's take on the matter:

From: "Howard J. Fezell, Esq."
Date sent: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 19:50:21 -0500

To my fellow N.R.A. members:

As of today (2/25/98) the same N.R.A. management which had planned to engage in conduct that violated a Fair Election Bylaw passed by the members are NOT ACTIVELY PURSUING AN APPEAL of the Feb. 6 New York Court ruling requiring that they hold a fair Board election.

In the ballot section of the current Rifleman/Hunter/Guardian is a notice which states:

"Ten candidates for the NRA Board of Directors filed a lawsuit in the Supreme Court of New York. They filed to prohibit printing in the Official Journal the Nominating Committee Report and any mention as to how any candidate was nominated in the biographical sketches or political ads. A preliminary injunction was issued by Justice Shainswit of the Supreme Court. This injunction is being reviewed on appeal by the appellate division of the Supreme Court. Until it is reversed, the injunction must be obeyed."

What management won't tell you is that AN APPEAL IS NOT BEING ACTIVELY PURSUED AS OF THIS DATE.

What they also forgot to put in the notice was a statement by the judge that the plaintiffs' complaint "properly states a cause of action for BREACH OF FIDUCIARY DUTY BY THE PRESENT N.R.A. BOARD". This is the same BoD that is supposed to look out for your interests as a member.

This is just my opinion, but I believe that the same people who put one Board candidate's portrait on the front cover of the magazine and gave him a free four-page ad (under the guise of an interview by Mr. LaPierre) are AFRAID OF JUDGES WHO KNOW THE LAW AND ARE READY TO APPLY IT.

Don't be surprised if sometime shortly before the Philadelphia meeting they revive their appeal and tell the members "The court's ruling is being appealed." After all, these people know a thing or two about public relations. It's a pity that they don't pay as much attention to obeying the Bylaws we members have enacted.

Yours for the 2nd Amendment...

Howard Fezell
2nd Amendment Home Page

End Lawsuit Update/Clarification

Begin Expose'


by Chris Behanna & NRA Director Dr. Dan Fiora

On the D2A list, Mike Haas (President of the West Contra Costa Co. NRA Members' Council) stated in regard to this year' NRA Nominating Committee selections:

"Some great people here... Rep. Bob Barr, Sen. Larry Craig, John Milius, and of course, the others... now this is a SLATE TO BEAT ANTI-GUNNERS!"

Chris BeHanna (NRA Life Member #CPC7725J) replied:

"Slight problem: Larry Craig *IS* an anti-gunner: he voted for the Lautenberg gun grab as a standalone amendment on the Senate floor (see Rollcall Vote No. 289 Leg., Congressional Record, September 12, 1996, p. S10380), and voted against tabling the Kohl amendment (the Gun Free School Zones Act of 1996) (see Rollcall Vote No. 290 Leg., Congressional Record, September 12, 1996, p. S10396). The motion to table failed 72-27, at which point Senator Kohl asked to vitiate the yeas and nays, which was ordered without objection, and the amendment was agreed to. If Craig is such a stalwart pro-gunner, why did he vote against tabling the amendment, and then why did he allow it to come into force without objection? The Congressional Record of September 12, 1996 shows *NO* instances of Sen. Craig even rising to speak against either the Lautenberg or Kohl amendments!

"Perhaps he's not as pro-gun as he styles himself. Perhaps he's afraid of taking a hard vote for which he might get beat up in the press. Perhaps he's too willing to sell us out in order to avoid bad PR from the news media."

Haas also said:

"I like the idea of congressmen and senators on the board of the NRA!"

To which BeHanna replied:

"It's a bad idea. Politicians don't want to take hard votes, and have a conflict of interest when they desire to serve on the Board of an organization that *must*, if it is to fulfill its obligation to its members, hold their feet to the fire. Their (politicians') effect will be to moderate the Board's support for principled stands for our rights.

In another post on another list, NRA Director Dr. Dan Fiora said:

"I think we left out a critical message in our ads. We should have pointed out that the other side has four candidates (Craig, Barr, Volkmer & Young) on their slate that voted for Lautenberg. Maybe circulation on the Internet will help?

"Note that they even turned against us the notice of the lawsuit by not stating that the judge ordered the NRA (all of us) to follow the membership-mandated Bylaw. The announcement will appear to the uninformed member as an attempt by Fezell et al to undermine the normal process of publishing the Nominating Committee's report. Members expect to see it since it has been published so regularly."

Those who are wondering what Fiora is talking about need only turn to page "P" of the March 1998 issue of their magazines. Elsewhere, they'll see yet another divisive, despicable "Vote Against" ad, in which officers and employees of the NRA use the prestige of their titles to attempt to perpetuate themselves in power (anyone recall Fitzgerald v. NRA, some years ago, which stated that it was illegal for officers to do that?).

----- End Expose'

1. Please VOTE FOR THE FAITHFUL Second Amendment Action candidates:

Jerry L. Allen David M. Gross* Robley T. Moore Michael J. Beko* John Guest Larry R. Rankin James A. Church Fred Gustafson Albert C. Ross* William Dominguez Don L. Henry* Frank H. Sawberger Howard J. Fezell* William B. Hunt Thomas L. Seefeldt Daniel B. Fiora Phillip B. Journey* Kim Stolfer Arnold J. Gaunt Michael S. Kindberg* John H. Trentes Fred Griisser Jeff Knox Glen I. Voorhees Jr.* Wesley H. Grogan Jr.* John C. Krull

Those with an asterisk have been deliberately targeted to be PURGED as "extremists." What's "extreme" about demanding your rights? Help NRA help you and support these candidates!

2. Copy and circulate this letter: a) to NRA members on the internet, b) to your gun clubs and NRA member friends, c) distribute this letter and list at gun shows, gun stores, and shooting ranges. Ask all NRA members you know to VOTE FOR THE SECOND AMENDMENT ACTION CANDIDATES.

3. A few dollars for advertising go a long way when they tell the truth. Please send a donation to:

Second Amendment Action
100 Heathwood Drive
Liberty, SC 29657.

4. Visit their web sites for further information: (contains candidate statements) (contains Heston interviews)