Incident Worsens for Kerry
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Sep. 18, 2004
Contact: Felicity Bower 1-800-707-4020
New legal research by gun-law expert Alan Korwin indicates that merely
accepting a gift shotgun from a private party out of his home state would
be a five-year federal felony for Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, the
Democratic candidate for President [see United States Code, section 922(a)(9)].
Giving him the gun would also be a felony [922(a)(5)].
National news reports picture Kerry proudly holding the gift in Racine,
West Virginia, during a Labor Day celebration. Bringing the gun back to
his home state would be an additional five-year federal felony, under
the massive and bewildering federal gun laws, as previously reported by
The shotgun, identified in published reports as a semiautomatic Browning,
was actually a semiautomatic Remington model 11-87. News reports suggesting
it was a gift from Remington would be an illegal donation from a corporation
to a candidate, and the value of the shotgun would exceed campaign donation
limits as well.
In a statement published in Gun Week, Remington CEO Tommy Millner denied
any involvement with the gift, saying, "Rest assured, we were neither
aware of this presentation in advance nor in any way supportive of its
intent to support Senator Kerry. In fact, the Company remains amused by
ongoing photos of Senator Kerry shooting without either ear or eye protection
while discharging a firearm."
Reportedly outraged at the implication of an illegal gift, Remington rushed
the release a public statement denying any association with the gift,
saying, "Remington Arms Company has made no endorsement of any presidential
candidate. This endorsement and presentation by the UMWA was made independently
of the Remington Arms Company and the Company did not coordinate with
or endorse the actions of the union."
A local of United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) represents workers at
the Remington plant in New York where the highly regarded shotguns are
made. UMWA President Cecil E. Roberts presented the gift according to
The greatest news error however appears to be that Mr. Kerry may have
not accepted this gift, despite so many reports to the contrary, which
cast the Senator as a pro-gun politician.
Reporter Matt Drudge had previously noted that Kerry introduced a bill
which would have outlawed this particular sporting shotgun, because it
is semi-automatic and has "any characteristic that can function as
Dave Workman, senior editor at Gun Week, contacted Washington, D.C.-based
Kerry campaign spokeswoman Kathy Roeder, who said the shotgun was, "returned
to the person who bought it," and that the gun is still in West Virginia.
This reportedly took place immediately after all the photographs were
taken of the Senator holding the gun. The actual current location of the
shotgun is not known.
According to Workman's report in Gun Week, "Roeder acknowledged that
Kerry could not legally have accepted the shotgun and taken it with him,
anyway, under existing gun-control laws." It is not clear whether
Roeder and the Kerry campaign were aware of this when the stories of the
gift and photos were taken and widely circulated.
Questions as to Kerry's intent, in leading the media to believe he was
in fact a gun supporter, by smiling and gladly receiving the shotgun gift,
are unresolved as this Bloomfield Press news release was posted.
This places many news outlets in a difficult position. If they all retract
their stories that Kerry accepted this gift, it will harm the image they
conveyed of Kerry as a gun-friendly candidate, seen as necessary to win
states like West Virginia. Al Gore lost largely democratic West Virginia
(and Tennessee and Arkansas) in 2000 due to the gun issue, according to
News outlets are known to sometimes be reluctant to retract stories. If
the media refuses to retract the stories, or if the Kerry campaign fails
to issue a correction, then all the published articles and photos stand
as evidence that the candidate committed the felony offense. Additional
information is posted at the Bloomfield Press website, gunlaws.com, under
the blue News Accuracy button.
In an effort to help smooth the waters, nearly 3,000 news outlets nationwide
are being notified of this situation by Bloomfield Press. The public is
encouraged to send this report to their local newspapers and broadcasters.
It is hoped that the media will contact Kerry directly, and either retract
the story, or confirm their account. Did John Kerry, in fact, receive
a gift of a fine Remington shotgun?
If Kerry did accept the gift as widely reported, and as a legal matter,
his transfer of it back to an unidentified person in West Virginia, without
involvement of a licensed dealer, an FBI background check, and with no
paper trail, may also be a felony.
Gun-law expert Korwin is again calling for calm, as these unbelievably
confusing laws are sorted out, so the democratic candidate for president
can continue his effort to attain the highest office in the land.
"Again, I implore the public to have patience. If the democratic
candidate for president cannot figure out the gun laws, how on earth could
mere gun owners be expected to do the same. Kerry deserves the same leniency
we would all expect to receive. This is America, where we're all treated
equally under the long arms of the law."
"We publish the gun laws."
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