Gun Group Calls Kerry and Edwards 'Birds of a Feather'

By Susan Jones | July 7, 2008 | 8:30 PM EDT

( - Gun Owners of America says Sen. John Edwards is a "virtual clone" of Sen. John F. Kerry when it comes to issues of concern to gun owners.

"In fact, it should come as no surprise that Kerry would pick another gun-grabbing senator like himself in his run for the Oval Office," said Gun Owners of America in a press release.

GOA Communications Director Erich Pratt noted that presidential candidates often pick running mates to help 'balance' the ticket.

"But voters should beware," Pratt added. "The likely democratic ticket this November will have no balance whatsoever when it comes to freedom issues like the Second Amendment."

Both Kerry and Edwards have an "F" rating from GOA, which means "this ticket is tilting full to the left," Pratt said.

GOA offered examples of votes that the two Johns have in common:

-- Semiautomatic weapons ban: On March 2, 2004, Kerry and Edwards both voted for an amendment sponsored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) that would extend what gun control groups call the "assault weapons ban."

Signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1994, the measure outlaws certain magazines and more than 180 types of semi-automatic firearms. It will expire in September unless Congress bows to pressure from gun-control groups to renew the ban.

-- Outlawing private sales. Kerry and Edwards also voted on March 2 for language that would outlaw the private sale of firearms at gun shows, unless the buyer agrees to submit to a background check, GOA said.

Even worse, said GOA, the amendment could effectively eliminate gun shows altogether, because every member of an organization sponsoring a gun show could be imprisoned if the organization fails to notify each and every "person who attends the special firearms event of the [Brady Law] requirements." Thus, if the person responsible for handing out "Brady pamphlets" took a break to go to the bathroom, everyone responsible for the event could be sent to prison, GOA argues.

-- Free speech restrictions. In April 2001, Kerry and Edwards both voted for campaign finance reform legislation - a measure that curtails the ability of outside groups such as GOA to communicate the actions of incumbent politicians to pro-gun members and supporters prior to an election.

"This Incumbent Protection legislation makes it even harder for gun owners to point out the unconstitutional votes that are cast by anti-gun legislators such as Kerry," Pratt said.

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