We can hope a leopard can change his spots... February 6, 2007 For more information contact: Ted Novin (203) 426-1320 Cell: (202) 253-1860 Firearms Industry Warns: Giuliani No Friend to Gun Owners NEWTOWN, Conn.?In response to New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's filing of a statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission yesterday, indicating that he would enter the 2008 presidential race as a Republican, the firearms industry's trade association, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), reminded America's sportsmen and gun-enthusiasts of the former mayor's record of hostility toward firearms and gun-owners. "Recent remarks indicate the mayor is attempting to camouflage his record on guns ? a political maneuver now common for politicians seeking national office," said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF senior vice president and general counsel. In June of 2000, then New York City Mayor Giuliani became the lone Republican mayor to sue members of the firearms industry as part of a wave of lawsuits that began in the late 1990's by major metropolitan cities like Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, Philadelphia and San Francisco that sought to hold firearms manufactures responsible for the criminal misuse of firearms. The Giuliani lawsuit is still pending and being aggressively pursued by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Giuliani strongly opposed legislation blocking suits like the one he filed against members of the firearms industry. In 2005, President Bush signed legislation into law that barred such lawsuits after Congress, by a broad bipartisan margin, passed the bill. During the debate in Congress the Giuliani lawsuit was specifically referred to as an example of the kind of "junk" lawsuit the law is intended to stop. "Giuliani's lawsuit may have gained him praise in Gotham, but will surely handicap him in the rest of the country, particularly during the southern primaries," predicted Keane. More recently Giuliani's campaign has flipped-flopped on whether he continues his longstanding support for restoring the Clinton-era federal ban on some semi-automatic rifles based on cosmetic appearance. The so-called "assault weapons" ban sunset in 2004. Several studies including those by the Department of Justice and the Centers for Disease Control showed the ban had no impact on crime largely because the banned firearms were very rarely if ever used in crime. The ban had nothing to do with machine guns, which have remained heavily regulated since the early part of the last century. According to the New York Post, Giuliani's political operative in New Hampshire, Wayne Semprini, "has been telling voters that the mayor will be an 'easy sell' - and that the ex-mayor 'satisfied' him that he won't support federal assault-weapons bans, as he has in the past." All the while Anthony Carbonetti, Giuliani's top advisor, has been telling New Yorkers "the mayor's position on this [the assault weapons ban] has not changed." Commenting on this equivocation, Keane added, "You can't pretend to be a supporter of sportsmen and gun-owners in New Hampshire when you tried to sue the firearms industry out of existence in New York. Other politicians learned the hard way that sportsmen and gun-owners are a well-informed and highly motivated voting bloc. Former President Clinton in his memoirs admitted the gun issue cost Al Gore the White House, and Senator Kerry's ill-fated goose hunt cooked his presidential aspirations in 2004." Formed in 1961, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) is the trade association for the firearms industry. For more information, visit www.nssf.org.