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A prominent, long-time St. Louis area gun rights advocate is giving up his lifetime membership in the NRA.
Adolphus Busch IV sent a letter to the National Rifle Association Thursday, asking them to immediately take his name off their roles.
In the letter, Busch wrote that he was resigning his membership because of the NRA’s stand on background checks, which he says is supported by a majority of NRA members. Busch cites NRA Vice President Wayne LaPierre's support of background checks as "reasonable" in 1999 and questions the shift in position.
Busch also questions the organization's position on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips. Busch charges that the NRA has become a lobby organization for gun and ammo manufactures instead of gun owners.
Here is the content of Busch's letter to the NRA:
Adolphus A. Busch, IV
1600 Highway 79
O’Fallon, MO 63366
Delivered by UPS
April 18, 2013
Mr. David A. Keene
National Rifle Association of America
11250 Waples Mill Road
Fairfax, VA 22030
This letter shall serve as formal resignation of my life membership in the NRA. I ask that you immediately remove my name from your membership roles and provide me an acknowledgement of this action.
As most in your organization would admit, I have historically been a staunch defender of the NRA purpose and tradition in representing the interests of gun owners. I have personally devoted countless financial resources and time to nurture an intelligent environmental policy that provided for the proud tradition of personal hunting for generations to come.
It disturbs me greatly to see this rigid new direction of the NRA. As a starting point, one only has to ask why the NRA reversed its original position on background checks. Was it not the NRA position to support background checks when Mr. LaPierre himself stated in 1999 that NRA saw checks as “reasonable”? Furthermore, I fail to see how the NRA can disregard the overwhelming will of its members who see background checks as reasonable. In fact, according to a Johns Hopkins University study, 74% say they support background checks.
I am simply unable to comprehend how assault weapons and large capacity magazines have a role in your vision. The NRA I see today has undermined the values upon which it was established. Your current strategic focus places a priority on the needs of gun and ammunition manufacturers while disregarding the opinions of your 4 million individual members.
One only has to look at the makeup of the 75-member board of directors, dominated by manufacturing interests, to confirm my point. The NRA appears to have evolved into the lobby for gun and ammunition manufacturers rather than gun owners.
In closing I find it important to extend my personal thanks to Chris Cox and David Lehman for their support of so many important environmental issues. I will miss that level of friendship and support, but must take this action based upon my personal feelings toward the distorted values I see emerging within the NRA.
Adolphus A. Busch, IV
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Several hundred gun-rights advocates rallied at the state Capitol as the Missouri House voted to allow certain school personnel to carry concealed weapons in school buildings.
The House voted 115-41 to send the measure to the Senate Thursday.
The Missouri Sports Shooter Association held a previously scheduled rally in the Capitol rotunda while the House was debating the bill. Many lawmakers, both Republicans and Democrats, spoke at the event and promised to continue to push for more gun rights.
The House bill would also lower the minimum age required to carry concealed weapons and allow firearms less than 16 inches to be openly carried by people with valid permits.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords says she's "furious" after senators on Wednesday blocked legislation that would expand background checks for gun buyers.
Giffords is accusing senators who opposed new gun regulations of "cowardice," saying their decisions are "based on political fear and on cold calculations about the money of special interests like the National Rifle Association."
The former Arizona congresswoman's remarks were published on The New York Times' op-ed page Wednesday. She has become a vocal gun control supporter since she was shot in the head at a rally near Tucson two years ago.
The proposal to expand background checks fell short of the 60 votes needed to advance in the Senate. An attempt to ban assault-style rifles failed as well, along with a ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The mother of a Newtown, Conn., shooting victim is making a deeply personal plea from the White House for all Americans to take action on gun violence.
Francine Wheeler's 6-year-old son, Ben, was killed inside Sandy Hook Elementary School. She's stepping in for President Barack Obama to deliver the president's weekly radio and Internet address. She is the first person to deliver the address other than Obama or Vice President Joe Biden since the two took office in 2009.
Wheeler says thousands of families are drowning in her family's grief and asks for help to do something, in her words, "before our tragedy becomes your tragedy."
In the Republican address, congresswoman Jackie Walorski of Indiana criticizes Obama's budget blueprint as a blank check for more spending and debt.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Gun control supporters have won the first Senate showdown over restricting firearms, rejecting an effort by conservatives to derail a package of gun curbs before debate could even begin.
The 68-31 vote gave an initial burst of momentum to efforts by President Barack Obama and lawmakers, mostly Democrats, to impose gun restrictions following the December carnage at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.
Gun control supporters needed 60 votes to block the conservatives.
The legislation would subject more firearms buyers to federal background checks, strengthen laws against illicit gun trafficking and increase school safety aid. Advocates say the measures would make it harder for criminals and the mentally ill to get weapons.
Opponents say the restrictions would violate the Constitution's right to bear arms and would be ignored by criminals.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - With less than six weeks left in the annual session, a gun-control bill has received its first hearing by a Missouri legislative committee.
The Senate General Laws heard testimony Tuesday on a bill requiring parents to notify their child's school if they own a firearm. It would also create crimes for improperly storing a firearm and for a parent failing to stop their child from possessing an illegal weapon.
The Republican-led committee did not take a vote and is unlikely to take action on the legislation in its current form.
Sponsoring Democratic Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, of University City, says it would help urban areas cope with juvenile gang violence. Opponents say the bill would infringe on gun rights and would not solve illegal firearm possession.
Lawmakers voted 34-74 yesterday against Rep. Kenneth Dunkin's plan. It was among seven amendments on gun issues that legislators debated yesterday as they consider a court-ordered law allowing conceal-and-carry.
Chicago Democrat Dunkin says an insurance policy would cost $500 to $2,000.
Republicans complained that's too expensive for citizens exercising a constitutional right. And they argued insurance companies don't write the policies anyway.
In December, a federal court struck down Illinois' concealed-carry ban and gave lawmakers until June 8 to adopt a law.
The House has begun weekly floor sessions allowing lawmakers to propose gun measures.
The Illinois Democrat spoke at a news conference in Chicago Friday to promote one bill that would crack down on so-called straw purchasing -- where someone buys guns and sells them to others not authorized to buy weapons. It was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.
Durbin appeared with the parents of Hadiya Pendleton, the Chicago teenager who was fatally shot days after performing at President Barack Obama's inauguration.
The bill approved Thursday by the judiciary committee has been named for Hadiya (hy-DEE'-uh) Pendleton. Durbin says it may have more bipartisan support than other separate proposals.
Eric Griffin lives in the southeastern Stoddard County. He refused to let the DMV scan his records into their system. Griffin claims that is an invasion of privacy and should have no bearing on his ability to get a conceal carry license.
KMOV reports that Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder has thrown his support behind the lawsuit. The lawsuit seeks an injunction against the DMV and claims their actions are illegal.
The committee voted Tuesday to adopt the measure sponsored by Sen. Brian Munzlinger, of Williamstown.
Obama signed 23 executive actions in January, including orders to make more federal data available for background checks and end a freeze on government research on gun violence.
Munzlinger's bill initially would have criminalized the enforcement of all federal gun laws, even those enacted by Congress, passed after Jan. 1, 2013. But those provisions were revised to include only the enforcement of executive orders.
A House committee endorsed similar legislation last week, but that measure seeks to criminalize enforcement of all federal gun laws.