George Allen

Tuesday, November 1st, 2005

 Sen. George Allen of Virginia is the designated recipient of the CCRKBA Gun Rights Defender of the Month Award for November.
 In nominating Allen for the Award, John Michael Snyder, CCRKBA Public Affairs Director, said that, “this recommendation is one which I am personally as well as professionally delighted to make.  I first met George years ago when he was a young Virginia politician.  George had an appointment with nationally-syndicated columnist M. Stanton Evans, a former Chairman of the American Conservative Union who at the time was Chairman of the Education and Research Institute (ERI).  The ERI office was right next door to the CCRKBA office on Capitol Hill.  After George met with Stan, he noticed the CCRKBA sign on our office door and just stopped in to introduce himself to me and to tell me of his interest in firearms and in his belief in the right of American citizens to keep and bear arms.  His public career shows he genuinely deserves this  Award.”
 Allen, who had served in the Virginia House of Delegates from 1983 to 1991, had been elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in a special election, serving from 1991 to 1993.  The opposition party, then in control of the Virginia legislature, gerrymandered him out of his congressional district.  They thought that, by doing so, they could eliminate this young, conservative pro-gun firebrand from the political scene. 
 The Virginia Democrats really got a surprise!  Allen decided to run for Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia in 1993.  Snyder was a delegate for Allen from Arlington County to the Republican State convention that year which nominated him.  It was at that time the largest political convention that ever had met in the free world.
Allen ran on a solid pro-gun platform.  A major statewide issue that year was whether or not Virginia should switch from “may issue” to “shall issue” on the ccw question.  Allen was for “shall issue.”  His opponent, the Attorney General, Mary Sue Terry, was for continuing the “may issue” system.  Allen won the election and signed a “shall issue” proposal into law shortly after taking office.
When Allen ran for the U.S. Senate in 2000, the gun issue played an important part in his successful campaign against incumbent Sen. Chuck Robb.  During the campaign, Jim and Sarah Brady of the Handgun Control Voter Education Fund endorsed Robb, noting that he had voted “for the Brady Bill, voted for the assault weapons ban, and voted to make America a safer place.” 
“Four years from tomorrow,” Jim Brady added, “the federal assault weapons ban will sunset.  We need Senators who will make sure that law stays in effect.  We can count on Chuck Robb to do that.  We can’t count on George Allen.”
Allen in fact, as Senator, did vote last year against extending the so-called ban on so-called assault weapons.  Even though he had indicated during the 2000 campaign that he would not oppose a move to extend it, he changed his position after specific contact on the issue with Snyder, knowledgeable law enforcement personnel and many members and supporters of the Virginia Citizens Defense League.  He said the ban was “a meaningless, toothless law that has virtually no impact on crime…Notwithstanding this 10-year ban of 19 firearms, criminals continue to commit criminal acts; they just do so with other weapons, with other guns, knives or objects.”
Currently, Allen is one of the leaders of the move in Congress for repeal of the outrageous anti-gun laws in the District of Columbia, the Nation’s Capital City.  As a cosponsor of the measure, Allen says it’s time to “give the law-abiding citizens of the Capital their constitutional right to protect themselves again.”
Recently, Allen was a cosponsor of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, a proposal to eliminate harassing third-party lawsuits against the firearms industry that passed overwhelmingly in the Senate earlier this year.  He said “the U.S. firearms industry has been under assault by legal activists attempting to hold this industry somehow legally responsible for the criminal conduct of others…This legislation will help curb frivolous litigation against a lawful American industry and the thousands of the men and women it employs.”
Sen. Allen also cosponsored a proposal by Sen. Jim Bunning of Kentucky to arm cargo pilots.  “In the post 9/11 world,” he says, “we need to make sure we take every precaution, and one of these commonsense steps is to arm cargo pilots and airline pilots as well.”