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GRNC Alert 8-9-03: NRA Misrepresents Suit Against GRNC

Discussion in 'The Constitutional & RKBA Forum' started by WAGCEVP, Aug 9, 2003.

  1. WAGCEVP

    WAGCEVP New Member

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    GRNC Alert 8-9-03: NRA Misrepresents Suit Against GRNC

    Grass Roots North Carolina, P.O. Box 10684, Raleigh, NC 27605,
    919-664-8565, www.grnc.org, GRNC Alert Hotline: (919) 562-4137

    Please distribute this alert to all pro-gun organizations and networks

    GRNC Alert 8-9-03:
    NRA Misrepresents Suit Against GRNC

    As noted in previous alerts, NRA lawyer Dan Zavadil recently filed a
    lawsuit against pro-gun organization Grass Roots North Carolina. Since
    1994, GRNC has been repeatedly forced to reveal NRA sellouts on gun issues
    to Second Amendment supporters. But even we were shocked when the
    organization which purports to fight abusive lawsuits by cities against
    gun
    makers (e.g. S. 659) has allowed its own NRA Office of the General Counsel
    to conduct conveniently-timed litigation against a small all volunteer
    pro-gun group with limited resources.

    Gun rights supporters should be aware that GRNC has no interest in a
    national battle against the NRA. Unfortunately, however, the threat to
    GRNC's survival left no choice. Worse, statements released by both the NRA
    and its board members have misrepresented the lawsuit, GRNC's actions, and
    the legislative issues on which NRA has repeatedly sold out its own
    members
    for self-serving purposes. Below, we respond to specific
    mischaracterizations.

    NRA BOARD MISREPRESENTATION: Board members such as H. Walt Walter and
    David
    Coy claimed GRNC is not a defendant in the suit.

    FACT: The lawsuit (case # CA 03-906-A, U.S. District Court, Eastern
    District of Virginia, Alexandria Division) lists both Francis Paul Valone
    II and GRNC/FFE, Inc. "Jointly & Severally", seeking $75,000 in damages.

    NRA MISREPRESENTATION: Board member Walt Walter has claimed, "the NRA is
    not part of the suit." Official NRA communications claim: "NRA has not
    filed suit against Grassroots North Carolina..."

    FACT: As noted by GRNC attorney James Jeffries IV: "First, the lawsuit was
    filed by Dan Zavadil, Assistant General Counsel for the NRA. Mr. Zavadil
    signed the Complaint as Ms. Palmer's counsel and gave his address as 11250
    Waples Mill Road, 6th floor, Fairfax, Virginia 22030. Mr. Zavadil listed
    his phone number as (703) 267-1250 and his fax number as (703) 267-3985.
    This address and telephone information corresponds exactly to the
    information shown on Mr. Zavadil's official NRA letterhead. Further, Mr.
    Zavadil sent a demand letter to Mr. Valone as a precursor to the lawsuit
    that was issued on NRA letterhead. While it is true that the NRA is not
    the
    plaintiff (which is not legally possible) it is not true that the NRA did
    not file the litigation. Their own counsel did, in fact, file the suit and
    continues to pursue it against F. Paul Valone II personally and GRNC."

    NRA MISREPRESENTATION: Say official NRA communications, "Mr. Valone sent
    an
    email to numerous people falsely claiming that [NRA lobbyist] Mrs.
    [Jennifer H.] Palmer was committing adultery."

    FACT: Responds attorney Jeffries: "It is not true that F. Paul Valone II
    sent an email to various people falsely claiming that Ms. Palmer had
    committed adultery. Instead, he reported a conclusion made by another
    party
    (which had been reported to him by this third party after observation of
    Ms. Palmer's rapport with an Assistant North Carolina Attorney General).
    That report occurred in the context of an explanation of the NRA's and Ms.
    Palmer's activities undermining GRNC's legislative initiatives at the
    North
    Carolina General Assembly. This conclusion is confirmed by the plain
    language of the allegedly defamatory statement recited in the Complaint
    filed by NRA Assistant General Counsel Daniel Zavadil. Finally, Valone did
    not vouch for the accuracy of the information or assert its truth, but
    simply reported what he had been told."

    NRA MISREPRESENTATION: Says the official NRA communication: "Despite
    several opportunities to do so, Mr. Valone refused to apologize for making
    the false statement and refused to retract the false statement."

    FACT: Says GRNC's counsel: "It is not true that Valone was offered an
    opportunity to apologize. He was instructed to print a retraction, once by
    Ms. Palmer and once by Mr. Zavadil (on a demand letter written on NRA
    letterhead) under direct threat of litigation. The retraction he was
    instructed to print included facts about which he had no personal
    knowledge
    and, therefore, could not truthfully assert. The retraction demanded would
    have also constituted a legal admission of libel on his part thereby
    leaving him legally defenseless against claims like those ultimately filed
    by Mr. Zavadil. Further, both Ms. Palmer's letter and Mr. Zavadil's letter
    left him with no options because they both indicated that the retraction
    must be issued in exactly the form demanded or suit would be filed."

    NRA BOARD MISREPRESENTATION: Board member H. Walt Walter made the
    following
    representation in a letter addressed to "GRNC Members": "On the 15th of
    July the lawyer for the defamed individual received a letter, (here I must
    presume) from the lawyer representing either GRNC or Paul Valone
    personally, stating emphatically and in a condescending manner that they
    would not honer [sic] the deadline and answer the request for an apology
    in
    their own time."

    FACT: The letter in question was faxed on July 16-the same day NRA lawyer
    Zavadil filed the lawsuit TWO DAYS PRIOR TO HIS OWN DEADLINE. As to
    whether
    it was "condescending" or said GRNC would "answer the request for an
    apology in their own time", decide for yourself: GRNC has posted the
    letter
    at: http://www.grnc.org/Zavadilletter.pdf

    GRNC CHALLENGE: GRNC invites NRA to post Palmer and Zavadil's demand
    letters, GRNC's response, Jeffries' letter and the Complaint on their web
    site and let people decide for themselves who is being truthful and who is
    not.

    NRA MISREPRESENTATION OF SB 919: Says the official NRA statement of this
    "domestic violence" bill: "As for the complaints by Grass Roots North
    Carolina regarding NRA's efforts with respect to SB 919, they are without
    merit... At no point was there ever any mention of 'registration' or
    storage fees."

    FACTS:

    ?? "CATALOGING" EQUALS REGISTRATION: Again, decide for yourself by viewing
    Section 1, G.S. 50B-3.1(b) of the bill at
    http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/html2003/bills/AllVersions/Senate/S919vr.html.
    Note that the judge is required to "catalog" the defendant's firearms at
    ex
    parte domestic violence hearings REGARDLESS of whether he determines a
    protective order should be issued, meaning that even if the judge decides
    the complaint has no merit, the "cataloging"--including any relevant
    identification numbers--would still be required. Note also that nothing
    restricts use of registration information collected. It would even be
    permissible for law enforcement authorities to send it to the BATFE.
    Calling the scheme "cataloging" instead of "registration" changes nothing.
    Finally, by definition an "ex parte" hearing DOES NOT REQUIRE
    PARTICIPATION
    BY THE DEFENDANT, meaning that defendants may be unable to defend
    themselves prior to having guns seized.

    ?? GRNC DID OBJECT TO REGISTRATION & CONFISCATION: Contrary to NRA claims
    that registration and confiscation measures were not issues for GRNC
    during
    debate over the bill, GRNC objected to the entire bill--not just sections
    of it--during the first alert sent on the issue (GRNC Alert 5-24-03). GRNC
    also issued alerts and position papers opposing the bill prior to the
    bill's House Finance Committee hearing. In fact, GRNC Alert 6-4-03 is
    entitled "Stop Gun Registration & Seizure Act." These alerts are still
    available via GRNC's web site.

    ?? NRA SUPPORTED THE BILL: Although the NRA's official line is that "NRA
    took no official position on this legislation..." during the NC House
    floor
    debate over SB 919, pro-gun Rep. Carolyn Justus said: "And this bill, in
    its present form, has the support of the Attorney General, North Carolina
    Victims Assistant Network, the Governor's Crime Commission, Commission on
    Domestic Violence, the North Carolina Sheriff's Association, The Coalition
    Against Domestic Violence, the NRA and the Women's Caucus here in
    Raleigh."
    (Considering the anti-gun records of NC Attorney General Roy Cooper and
    Governor Mike Easley, the NRA is in great company here). At the bill's
    House Finance Committee meeting, NRA lobbyists Joe and Henri McClees
    offered no objections to the bill. Indeed, the Raleigh "News & Observer"
    noted: "In the end, Grass Roots North Carolina, a gun-rights group, was
    the
    only organization actively opposing the bill."

    ?? "ALL FOR YOUR PROTECTION"? Most absurd, however, is NRA's defense that:
    "Regarding the issue of 'registration,' this is simply a red herring. It
    would seem that anyone who has had his property seized would want that
    documented, so as to facilitate its proper return in a timely and accurate
    way." Instead, it should be obvious that in order to protect gun owners,
    the GUN OWNER should be given a signed receipt for property seized, not
    the
    LAW ENFORCEMENT personnel who seized the firearms.

    IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED

    ?? CONTACT THE NRA (1-800-672-3888 & 1-800-392-8683) and let them know
    that you don't want your membership dues used to sell out gun rights and
    silence legitimate pro-gun activists. Regretfully, the only way to get the
    message across is to convince them that their abuses will cost them money.
    GRNC has always encouraged gun rights supporters to join the NRA and to
    keep memberships even when the NRA has undermined the Second Amendment.
    This time, however, the NRA is going to far. While GRNC does not advocate
    any particular action that means annual membersnot Life membersmay
    consider
    resigning their memberships. Life members and others might consider
    letting
    the NRA know that they will not contribute a dime to the organization for
    as long as it compromises gun rights.

    ?? CONTACT NRA BOARD MEMBERS listed below and let them know what the
    organization they direct has been up to.

    ?? FIGHT THE LAWSUIT by donating to the Rights Watch Activist Defense
    Fund, care of Rights Watch International, P.O. Box 10684, Raleigh, NC
    27605. Because RWI is a chartered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, all
    donations are tax deductible. Bear in mind that if GRNC and RWI don't have
    enough money to fight the lawsuit, the fact that it is frivolous will be
    moot. Moreover, it will encourage the NRA to use the same tactics against
    other pro-gun activists who refuse to "toe the line." To donate using a
    credit card, go to http://www.rightswatch.org/help_the_good_fight.htm

    ?? USE GRNC's AUTOMATED E-MAIL: Go to http://www.grnc.org/nra_sellout/ and
    sign your name. In just a few minutes, you can send e-mails to the NRA and
    many of its board members.

    CONTACT THESE NRA REPRESENTATIVES

    ?? NRA INSTITUTE FOR LEGISLATIVE ACTION at: ila-contact@nrahq.org
    ?? NRA BOARD OF DIRECTORS using the addresses below or GRNC's automated
    e-mailer at http://www.grnc.org/nra_sellout/

    NRA Contact Numbers:
    NRA-ILA phone number: 1-800-NRA-3888 (prompt #1 to resign memberships;
    prompt #5 for input on state and local affairs).
    Membership Account Information 1-877-672-2000
    NRA Member Programs 1-800-672-3888
    NRA/ILA 1-800-392-8683
    NRA Sales 1-800-336-7402

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