- American Hunters and Shooters Association
The American Hunters and Shooters Association (AHSA) is an organization involved in advocacy for gun control, [cite web
url= http://www.nraila.org/Issues/FactSheets/Read.aspx?id=232&issue=011 |title= Fact Sheets: American Hunters And Shooters Association (AHSA) |accessdate= 2008.05.06] founded to more effectively promote the efforts of the
Brady Campaign. [cite web |url=http://www.buckeyefirearms.org/node/6008 |title=Ray Schoenke's American Hunters and Shooters Assoc. receives frigid reception in the Buckeye State |date=2008-09-25 |accessdate=2008-09-26 |quote=Ray’s [President of AHSA] wife Nancy is also connected politically. Like many wives of gun owners she is an independent thinker and does not like guns. She took a seat on the board of the Brady Campaign but soon became frustrated with the group’s lack of progress... As a result, Nancy closed the family checkbook, resigned from the Brady board, and encouraged Ray to start AHSA.] Its critics claim that AHSA is a front organizationaimed at dividing gun owners by pointing to AHSA members' bias against private ownership of the most popular modern sporting firearms, and note AHSA leaders have donated money to gun control groups [Ray Schoenke's $5,000 donation to Handgun Control Incorporated, March 23, 2000 http://www.opensecrets.org/indivs/search.asp?key=YVYY6&txtName=schoenke,%20ray&txtState=(all%20states)&txtAll=Y&Order=N] and maintained ties to individuals and organizations who advocate gun control. [Donors to HCI/Handgun Control Incorporated http://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/pacgave.asp?strID=C00113449&Cycle=2000] Despite the similarity in name, AHSA has no ties to the field marksmanship promoting organization, the [http://www.huntershooter.com Hunter's Shooting Association] (HSA).
In June 2006, Executive Director Bob Ricker formally introduced AHSA at a press conference at the annual conference of the Outdoor Writers Association of America. [http://www.newwest.net/index.php/main/article/saving_hunters_from_the_nra/ Saving Hunters From the NRA | New West Network ] ] [https://ssl.tnr.com/p/docsub.mhtml?i=20060904&s=blanding090406] Mr. Ricker proclaimed at this conference that the NRA and other 2nd Amendment rights organizations did not address the specific concerns of hunters - protecting hunting lands and wildlife habitats - which led to the creation of AHSA. [ [http://www.tonydean.com/issues2.html?sectionid=7648. Tony Dean Outdoors Issues ] ] In 2007, President
Ray Schoenkeaddressed the Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition. [http://www.mayorsagainstillegalguns.org/downloads/misc/2007_summit_schoenke300k.asx]
The AHSA web site indicates four general programs: [cite web |url=http://www.huntersandshooters.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=84&Itemid=47 |title=AHSA Programs |accessdate=2008-07-28]
*"Protecting our sporting heritage"
*"Hunting and fishing conservation"
*"Law enforcement training, outreach and development"
The leaders of the AHSA are: [ [http://www.huntersandshooters.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=32&Itemid=44 Hunters and Shooters - AHSA Leadership ] ]
Ray Schoenke, founding president [ [http://www.huntersandshooters.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=87&Itemid=44 Hunters and Shooters - Ray Schoenke, President of AHSA and AHSA Foundation ] ] A former football player for the Washington Redskins, Schoenke ran for Governor of Marylandas a Democrat and has given "millions" to Democratic politicians and causes according to a January 19, 1998 Washington Postarticle. [ [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/local/longterm/library/mdstateleg/govrace/schoenke1.htm washingtonpost.com: Against Long Odds, Ex-Redskin Is Ready to Challenge Glendening ] ] Among the groups that Schoenke has donated to are two that actively lobby to ban firearms: Handgun Control, Inc.[ [http://www.opensecrets.org/indivs/search.asp?key=YVYY6&txtName=schoenke,%20ray&txtState=(all%20states)&txtAll=Y&Order=N Indivs search ] ] [ [http://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/pacgave.asp?strID=C00113449&Cycle=2000 Political Action Committees ] ] and America Coming Together. Schoenke was on the Governor's Commission on Gun Violence in 1996.
Bob Ricker, executive director [ [http://www.huntersandshooters.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=94&Itemid=44 Hunters and Shooters - Bob Ricker, Executive Director, AHSA ] ]
Jon Rosenthal, a real estate mogul and Founder of Stop Handgun Violence. Stop Handgun Violence is credited with lobbying and subsequently helping to pass the licensing and registration system in place in the state of Massachusetts.
*Joseph J. Vince, Jr., a member of the Board of Directors is the former chief of the
BATF's crime guns analysis branch. Currently, he is a principal of [http://www.crimegunsolutions.com/careers.htm Crime Gun Solutions] . HCIhas hired Crime Gun Solutions in order to support numerous gun control laws, [http://www.bradycenter.org/xshare/pdf/reports/on_target.pdf] [http://releases.usnewswire.com/GetRelease.asp?id=26943] to support HCI's lawsuits against firearm dealers [ [http://www.gunlawsuits.org/xshare/pdf/reports/lethal-lous.pdf Death Valley ] ] and he was a signer on a letter submitted to Congress opposing the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act[ [http://www.govtrack.us/congress/record.xpd?id=109-h20051020-23 GovTrack: House Record: PROTECTION OF LAWFUL COMMERCE IN ARMS ACT (109-h20051020-23)] ]
*Jody Powell, co-chairman of the AHSA Advisory Board
* A. Austin Dorr, co-chairman of the AHSA Advisory Board
In August 2005, the
National Rifle Associationsaid about the AHSA: [http://nraila.com/CurrentLegislation/Read.aspx?ITNDrop=1702-L]
* "... they want to allow the
FBIto keep records on law-abiding citizens who buy guns and put an end to gun shows as we know them. Not to mention the fact that they want to regulate .50 caliberrifles in the same way that machine guns are regulated."
* "The most telling thing about AHSA is its leadership.
Bob Ricker... is a former NRA employee who switched sides and has actively worked for gun control groups for many years now. ... John Rosenthal ... is one of the founders of the Massachusetts based group Stop Handgun Violence, a group that has been a major force in passing some of the most Draconian state gun laws in the nation."
* "With leadership like that, there is no doubt about the true goals of AHSA. They are trying to fool hunters and gun owners with a soft sell ... while working behind the scenes to end the sport that we all love."
* President of AHSA, John E. Rosenthal, is one of the founders of the Massachusetts anti-gun group, "Stop Handgun Violence", a group instrumental in having many anti-gun laws in Massachusetts passed.
*Spokesman for the group, Ray Schoenke, has donated over $10,000 to the Brady Campaign, a national anti-gun organization.
* ASHA officials have testified in favor of gun control legislation, such as Washington State bill SB-5197 which aims to restrict sales at gunshows. [http://www.leg.wa.gov/pub/billinfo/2007-08/Pdf/Bill%20Reports/Senate/5197.SBR.pdf (Senate Bill Report of SB-5197)]
* ASHA opposes the views of the
BATFEand Fraternal Order of Policeconcerning the Tiarht Amendment. These law enforcement groups claim ASHA's perspective would jeopardize both lives and law enforcement operations. [ [http://www.fop.net/servlet/display/news_article?id=411&XSL=xsl_pages%2fpublic_news_individual.xsl News Item ] ] [http://www.nraila.org/media/PDFs/DOJ_Bloomberg_ltr.pdf]
The AHSA has endorsed U.S. Senator Barack Obama for President in the 2008 General Election:ASHA has endorsed Obama based mainly on Obama's vote for the
Disaster Recovery Personal Protection Act. [AHSA statement endorsing Barack Obama April 16,2008 http://www.huntersandshooters.com/index.php]
Endorsement by the
Brady Campaign Paul Helmke, the President of the Brady Campaign, says of the AHSA, "I see our issues as complementary to theirs". [ [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/story/2008/03/17/ST2008031702791.html Birnbaum, Jeffrey H. Tuesday, March 18, 2008; Page A17 The Washington Post] ]
* [http://www.huntersandshooters.org AHSA Official website]
* [http://nraila.com/CurrentLegislation/Read.aspx?ITNDrop=1702-L "Sometimes the Enemy Wears Camouflage", NRA statement on AHSA, August 14, 2005]
*Chris W. Cox, [http://www.nraila.org/Issues/Articles/Read.aspx?id=200 "Anti Hunters Don Camo As Elections Loom"] , NRA-ILA Executive Director, August 14, 2006
* [http://www.gunlawnews.org/asha.html "The American Hunters and Shooters Association"] Gun Law News
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