For Release: Wednesday, April 7, 1999
NRA Spends Nearly $6.00 For Every “Yes” Vote – But Still Loses
Voters Learn From Example of Failed Texas Law
In response to Tueday’s defeat of a concealed handgun referendum in Missouri, the Violence Policy Center released the following statement from VPC Health Policy Analyst Susan Glick, MHS. Glick, author of a new report on the Texas concealed weapons law, License to Kill, and Kidnap, and Rape, and Drive Drunk…, appeared last week at press conferences in St. Louis and Kansas City to discuss her research.
The defeat of Proposition B in Missouri is another nail in the coffin of the National Rifle Association, proof of its waning influence over American politics. The NRA unleashed a massive campaign of spending and grass roots mobilization, with personal appearances by leaders such as NRA President Charlton Heston. Nonetheless, Missourians rejected the ill-conceived hidden handgun proposal.
Recent research by the Violence Policy Center shows how a similar concealed handgun law in Texas has armed criminals. There have been over 2,000 arrests of Texas concealed handgun license holders in the three years since it took effect an average of nearly two arrests a day. Missouri has wisely chosen not to imitate this failed policy, despite the desperate urging of the gun lobby.
The NRA spent $3.7 million nearly six dollars for every “yes” vote, and five times the opposition’s entire budget. The gun lobby opened its wallet to buy this referendum but the people of Missouri said no sale.’
After losing in Missouri, where can the gun lobby count on victory? This defeat, coming on the heels of a resounding referendum vote in Florida to crack down on gun shows, proves that states once considered the heart of the NRA’s power base are rejecting its extremist pro-gun message. As Americans’ support for sensible gun control grows, the NRA’s power continues to crumble.