A fundraising email sent out by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence this morning and signed by the organization’s President Dan Gross is attempting to fundraise by claiming credit for sporting goods giant Cabela’s expanded participation a gun safety program started by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) and the ATF more than a dozen years ago.
The fundraising email claims:
Dear Elle ,
Your support of Brady’s new Stop Bad Apple Gun Dealers campaign is already making a huge impact!
This week — just days after our court filing in Philadelphia and a huge protest at one of Chicago’s notorious “bad apple” gun dealers — sporting goods retailer and gun seller Cabela’s announced it would expand its efforts to help prevent illegal “straw” purchases of firearms.
Your support and our demands to hold gun dealers accountable for straw purchases are making an impact!
Help us continue the fight to Stop Bad Apple Gun Dealers and save more lives from gun violence.
The problem with Gross’s claim is that it simply isn’t true. Brady had no impact on Cabela’s decision to expand their participation in the long-running program, which was made weeks before Brady announced their campaign.
The program the Brady Campaign only mentions obliquely is Don’t Lie for the Other Guy, a long-running collaboration between gun manufacturer trade organization the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE, or ATF) designed to warn against strawman purchases.
NSSF Public Relations Director Michael Bazinet stated via email to Bearing Arms that, “Cabela’s decision (not the announcement) to enhance the their use of Don’t Lie materials pre-dates by weeks the announcement from Brady that they are bringing back their ‘Bad Apples’ campaign.”
NSSF President Larry Keane then blasted the Brady Campaign’s rampant dishonesty:
Federally licensed firearms retailers are on the front lines every day working to prevent illegal purchases. This is the goal of everyone in the firearms industry. No one in it wants to make sales to prohibited individuals. We never stop talking about the topic in our ongoing educational efforts with industry. Former ATF officials help us in those efforts.
So, we will not be silent if we see the efforts of an anti-gun organization to make the “Don’t Lie for the Other Guy” appear to be something it could never be. To be brief, that would be some kind of a guarantee program that someone with felonious intent to violate federal firearms law who later uses the illegally purchased firearm in a crime would have been prevented from doing so were it not for a retailer or an employee not having deduced exactly the right learning from the educational program.
How would this even be possible? There is no way to teach clairvoyance or mind-reading. Fortune-telling crystal balls do not exist. We cannot know what evil lurks in the hearts of some men and women. People are, in the end, responsible for their own actions, are they not?
The firearms industry is proud of our longstanding cooperative relationship with the ATF and the entire law enforcement community. In our role at the sales counter and as otherwise called upon, we will assist their ongoing efforts to combat the criminal acquisition and misuse of firearms.
What we will not do is to allow the Don’t Lie for the Other Guy program to be misrepresented and then used against any licensed retailer. We view such efforts as being part and parcel of a continuing broad anti-gun political agenda that will likely never end and that is certainly not above turning a positive program into a negative if it serves their special interest in doing so.
The Don’t Lie for the Other Guy program is a tool box for retailers. It is not a hammer to be used against them.
A Call to the Brady Campaign for comment went unanswered.