While the National Rifle Association (NRA) claims to defend the Second Amendment, the pro-gun group often attacks the First Amendment with criticism of what it calls "violent" video games, movies and TV shows.
The NRA also successfully lobbied to cut off funding for gun studies by the Center for Disease Control, noted The New York Times.
In another effort to quell free speech, the NRA also tried to shut down a gun study by a University of California-Davis (UC) professor.
Director of UC Davis Violence Prevention Research Program Garen Wintemute says that when he began his survey of 1,601 federally licensed gun dealers in 2011, the NRA sent an email warning to NRA members telling them not to talk to him.
Apparently, the NRA was unaware that Wintemute was on their mailing list because he is also a NRA member.
According to Al Jazeera America, the NRA email read, in part:
If you are a federally licensed dealer in firearms, you may recently have received a survey questionnaire from gun control supporter Dr. Garen Wintemute, of the University of California, Davis.
Why is Dr. Wintemute sending the survey? Consider the source. Over the years, he has received hundreds of thousands of dollars from anti-gun organizations to conduct “studies” designed to promote gun control.
However, Wintemute said he never received funding from any anti-gun organizations: "I've turned it down, in fact."
Despite the NRA's attempts to stop him, Wintemute's study was completed and found that 55 percent of gun dealers support comprehensive background checks, as President Obama advocates.
Ironically, the NRA opposes comprehensive background checks and often claims American gun owners oppose the background checks as well.
The majority of gun dealers in the survey also supported denying guns to people convicted of crimes such as assault and robbery, and people with serious mental illnesses and substance abuse problems.