Gun Control Group Empowers Anti-Gun Citizens

July 7, 2008 - 8:03 PM

( - A small San Francisco-based group, in business since 1993, continues to use "legislation, litigation, and education" to push for anti-gun measures across the country.

Based on their belief that the Second Amendment offers no provision for the private ownership of firearms, the Legal Community Against Violence (LCAV) attempts to incrementally impose state and local anti-gun measures, providing legislators and fellow gun control activists with state and local gun law information.

Last week, LCAW launched a new website, called the Firearms Law Center (FLC) (, to aid gun control advocates in enacting regulations in their communities.

In their attempts to mobilize like-minded activists, the site allows other gun control advocates to click on their state, find out which anti-gun regulations are in effect, as well as what they can do to impose more state and local ordinances to restrict gun ownership.

"President Bush has said there will be no new federal gun legislation during his term, but that doesn't have to be the final word on the subject," said Barrie Becker, executive director of LCAV and the FLC.

"When we give city and county policymakers the right tools and clearly lay out their options, they're ready to run," she said. "We've done the legal research to help them get past the constant threat of litigation and the pro- and anti-gun arguments to focus on safety issues that affect everyone."

In its campaign, LCAV has also targeted the National Rifle Association (NRA), accusing the organization of "preventing sane gun laws."

"According to the NRA and other opponents of rational firearms control measures," the LCAV website says, "the Second Amendment guarantees the absolute right of every American to privately possess firearms without restriction. This is not true. The NRA continues to spend millions of dollars each year convincing the public and media that effective gun laws are unconstitutional."

In an ad that appeared in the New York Times, the LCAV said, "It's a sad and shameful fact that thousands of kids are killed by firearms each year in this country. What's even more shameful is the National Rifle Association's misrepresentation of the Second Amendment."

The NRA, however, insists there's been no misrepresentation about an American's right to possess a firearm.

"NRA continues to fight against those who would dictate that American citizens should seek police permission to exercise their constitutional rights," the group said in a recent statement. "NRA believes that the Second Amendment speaks to far more than a right to enjoy firearms for hunting and target shooting, the phony 'sporting purposes' notion to which so many cling. Such notions trivialize an essential freedom which NRA is honor- bound to defend, a constitutional safeguard as worthy of defense as freedom of speech."

Choosing to carry a low profile in its efforts to outlaw private ownership of firearms, the LCAV says it has helped enact over 100 new statewide firearm ordinances in California, with more coming from local communities all over the nation.

"State law usually follows local law, so it's important to keep providing education and resources at the community level," Becker said.

The Firearms Law Center also says 15 states have laws that give cities and counties leeway in enacting gun regulations, where FLC plans to focus its future efforts.