Sen. Charles E. Grassley

Friday, April 1st, 2011
Sen. Charles E. Grassley of Iowais the CCRKBA Gun Rights Defenderof the Month for April. He’sa CCRKBA Congressional Advisor.John M. Snyder, CCRKBA PublicAffairs Director, nominated Grassleyfor the Award. He said “Sen.Grassley is working to uncover thefacts behind questionable activitiesof the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco,Firearms and Explosives (BATFE).“The burgeoning scandal involvesa BATFE firearms straw purchasersting operation that may haveresulted in the murder of a federalagent. Grassley faces BATFEstonewalling in response to hisquestions and has raised the antewith questions to the AttorneyGeneral, Eric Holder, as BATFE isa unit of the Justice Department.Grassley regards the investigationas his responsibility as a U.S. Senatorfor oversight over governmentagencies. He surely should receivea CCRKBA Gun Rights Defender ofthe Month Award.”Chuck Grassley came to Washington,D.C. in 1975 as a recently-electedU.S. Representative. He indicatedhe believed in and would protectAmericans’ Second Amendmentrights. He was elected to the Senatein 1980 and has served there since1981. “He has been true to his wordall these years,” said Snyder.Chuck Grassley is Ranking Memberof the Senate Judiciary Committee.He is a Republican. If the GOPwins a majority of Senate seats as aresult of the 2012 elections, Grassleycould become chairman. It that happens,it’ll be watch out, BATFE, andwatch out, U.S. Justice Department.Grassley had misgivings aboutHolder’s nomination to head theJustice Department in 2009. He saidhe was concerned about Holder’s“overly restrictive views of the SecondAmendment…I’m a strong supporterof the Second Amendment, so I’m concernedthat Mr. Holder’s views may betoo limited…I don’t understand whyMr. Holder is willing to consider theneed for new gun laws and regulations,when we could be embracinga nationwide expansion of a proven,successful program enforcing existinggun laws.”Following the shootings early thisyear in Tucson, Arizona, Grassley tolda group of high school students inIowa he had not changed his pro-gunowner opinions.In the Senate, Grassley has voteda number of times for the rights oflaw-abiding gun owners.He voted in favor of allowing firearmsin checked baggage on Amtraktrains. This was on a proposal bySen. Roger Vicker of Minnesota. Itwas an amendment to ensure thatlaw-abiding Amtrak passengers areallowed to securely transport firearmsin their checked luggage.He voted in favor of a national ccwreciprocity amendment by Sen. JohnThune of South Dakota. It would haveallowed the holder of a state-issuedccw permit to carry in other statesthat issue ccw permits.He also voted in favor of prohibitingforeign aid and United Nations aidthat restricts United States gun ownership.This was on an amendmentby Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana.This prohibited the use of funds byinternational organizations, agencies,and entities, including the UN, thatrequire the registration of, or taxesguns owned by American citizens.He voted for a bill to prohibit civilliability actions from being broughtor continued against manufacturers,distributors, dealers, or importers offirearms or ammunition. The prohibitionis for damages, injunctive orother relief resulting from the misuseof their products by others.Grassley voted against banninglawsuits against gun manufacturersfor gun violence.He voted against a proposal torequire background checks on allfirearm sales at gun shows.Chuck Grassley was born September17, 1933 in New Hartford, Iowa,where he still lives.He married Barbara Speicher in1954. The couple has five children,Lee, Wendy, Robin, Michele, and Jay.Chuck Grassley reports he is afarmer and his son, Robin, currentlyoperates the family farm.He was a sheet metal worker,1959-1961. He was an assembly lineworker, 1961-1971. He was electedto the Iowa Legislature 1958.Grassley received his B.A. in 1955and his M.A. in 1956 in Political Sciencefrom the University of NorthernIowa. He did doctoral work at theUniversity of Iowa.His memberships include theFarm Bureau, the Butler County andState of Iowa Historical Societies,Pi Gamma Mu, Kappa Delta Pi, theInternational Association of Machinists(1962-1971), Masons, Eagles, andBaptist Church.In the Senate, in addition to theJudiciary Committee, he serves onthe Finance, Budget, Agriculture,and Joint Tax committees. He is Co-Chairman of the Senate Caucus onInternational Narcotics Control. Heis Co-Chair of the Senate Caucus onFoster Youth.