Fact Check: McConnell campaign email 'They're coming for your guns'

01/22/2013 03:54 PM

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell’s campaign has stirred up the gun issue in Kentucky with an email blast last week to supporters.

The subject line of the email from campaign manager Jesse Benton was called: “Watch out, they’re coming for your guns.” WFPL ‘s Phillip Bailey and the LEO Weekly ‘s Joe Sonka were first to report on the message this weekend.

In the email, Benton says “President Obama is spelling out the 23 different Executive Orders he will take to get your guns.” (A full list of the executive orders is at the end of the post). Among the main orders listed are making information available for background checks, launching a national safe gun ownership campaign, and nominating an ATF Director.

Here are the main points of the email:

“There are almost too many schemes to list. But President Obama’s worst center around:

-The Feinstein Gun Ban, which will criminalize firearms by how they look.
-A thinly-veiled national gun registration scheme hidden under the guise of “background checks” to ensure federal government minders gain every bureaucratic tool they need for full-scale confiscation.
-An outright BAN on magazines holding more than 10 rounds.
-And that’s not even close to the end of it.”

FACT CHECK: California Democratic U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein was the sponsor of a measure that banned assault weapons and large ammunition magazines between 1994 and 2004. She has pledged to introduce an even more restrictive bill in 2013 .

Benton mentioned how the proposal would ban guns based on how they look. The previous assault weapons ban did determine which weapons were illegal based on where the grips were and if the gun had a detachable magazine. That makes Benton’s argument Mostly True.

How about the claims of an “outright ban of magazines with more than 10 rounds of ammo?” This statement is True. House Resolution 138: has been filed which bans the sale and transfer of magazines capable of carrying more than 10 rounds. Democratic U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth is co-sponsoring the legislation.

And finally: “background checks that lead to full-scale gun confiscation.”
This statement is False.

There are currently no published initiatives that would point to full confiscation though gun lobby websites are full of theories, so Pure Politics asked Benton to explain his statement.

“Leader McConnell is a staunch defender of Second Amendment Rights for all Kentuckians and will be vigilant in ensuring that the Obama administration does not begin us down a path toward incremental destruction of our right to protect our families,” Benton said in an emailed statement.

Meanwhile, Yarmuth responded to the email while on a conference call with reporters about the inauguration on Monday.

“I didn’t think it was possible for Senator McConnell to set a lower bar on honesty, but he did it with that email. He’s stoking totally irrational and unjustifiable fear, clearly for political purposes,” Yarmuth told reporters.

Here is a full transcript of the email from Benton to McConnell supporters as included in the LEO Weekly’s coverage:

_Dear Patriot,

You and I are literally surrounded.

The gun-grabbers in the Senate are about to launch an all-out-assault on the Second Amendment. On your rights.

On your freedom.

Just the other night, President Obama urged them to act. And then he went one step further, spelling out the 23 different Executive Orders he will take to get your guns.

My friend, our freedom is under direct assault.

From those who want take your guns. From those who want to shred our Constitution, and as our good in friend Rand Paul from Kentucky says, from those who want to be King.

Let me tell you, Mitch McConnell is ready to lead the fight to protect your rights.

Will you stand with Mitch today?

Our Founders fought a revolution to secure our rights. They would have been appalled by what they heard from an American president the other day.

President Obama has the left wing media in a frenzy. And, like his old Chief of Staff, he is determined to not waste a crisis.

The gun-grabbers are in full battle mode. And they are serious.

What’s at stake?

There are almost too many schemes to list. But President Obama’s worst center around:

-The Feinstein Gun Ban, which will criminalize firearms by how they look.

-A thinly-veiled national gun registration scheme hidden under the guise of “background checks” to ensure federal government minders gain every bureaucratic tool they need for full-scale confiscation.
-An outright BAN on magazines holding more than 10 rounds.
-And that’s not even close to the end of it.

23 new Executive Orders.

It is almost hard to believe the sheer breadth and brazenness of this attempt to gut our Constitution.

Well, Mitch McConnell is not going to stand aside.

Mitch McConnell will stand and fight. He will lead the Senate Republicans against this unconstitutional agenda, and with your help, we will prevail.

But Mitch can’t do it alone.

That’s why I am asking you to sign the attached Defense of the Second Amendment pledge today to show that you stand with me in this vital fight.

Friend, from his very first run for office, Leader McConnell has always stood strong for your gun rights. Like you and me, he firmly believes that the Second Amendment protects YOU as an individual.

And, he absolutely will not let president Obama or the Senate Democrats take that right away from us.

So please help him fight back today.

For Freedom,

Jesse Benton
Campaign Manager
Sen. Mitch McConnell

P.S. President Obama and his allies are committed to eroding your Constitutional freedoms. Please sign your pledge TODAY to let him know that we stand with Mitch McConnell in opposing this gun grab.
_
THE FULL LIST OF PRESIDENT OBAMA’S EXECUTIVE ORDERS:

1. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system.

2. Address unnecessary legal barriers, particularly relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, that may prevent states from making information available to the background check system.

3. Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system.

4. Direct the Attorney General to review categories of individuals prohibited from having a gun to make sure dangerous people are not slipping through the cracks.

5. Propose rulemaking to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun.

6. Publish a letter from ATF to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers.

7. Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign.

8. Review safety standards for gun locks and gun safes (Consumer Product Safety Commission).

9. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations.

10. Release a DOJ report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and make it widely available to law enforcement.

11. Nominate an ATF director.

12. Provide law enforcement, first responders, and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations.

13. Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime.

14. Issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.

15. Direct the Attorney General to issue a report on the availability and most effective use of new gun safety technologies and challenge the private sector to develop innovative technologies

16. Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.

17. Release a letter to health care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law enforcement authorities.

18. Provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers.

19. Develop model emergency response plans for schools, houses of worship and institutions of higher education.

20. Release a letter to state health officials clarifying the scope of mental health services that Medicaid plans must cover.

21. Finalize regulations clarifying essential health benefits and parity requirements within ACA exchanges.

22. Commit to finalizing mental health parity regulations.

23. Launch a national dialogue led by Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan on mental health.

Several Republicans have commented to news outlets that Obama may have over reached on those executive orders.

(Story updated to reflect WFPL first to report on the email.)

About Nick Storm

Nick Storm is the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics, the only nightly program dedicated to Kentucky politics. Nick covers all of the political heavyweights and his investigative work brings to light issues that might otherwise go unnoticed, like the connection between the high profile Steubenville, Ohio rape and a Kentucky hacker whose push for further investigation could put him in federal prison. Nick is also working on a feature length bio documentary Outlaw Poet: A documentary on Ron Whitehead. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickStorm_cn2. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or nicholas.storm@twcnews.com.

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