BELLEVUE, Wash. Calling him a “champion of individual rights” who will “work tirelessly in pursuit of justice,” Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizen’s Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms today announced his strong support for John Ashcroft’s nomination as the next United States Attorney General.

“I am stunned that Mr. Ashcroft, with his admirable background in the U.S. Senate, and his prior career as a prosecuting attorney, Attorney General and Governor in Missouri, is coming under such vicious personal attack from anti-gun organizations” Gottlieb stated. “I think what is at issue here is Ashcroft’s history as a recognized champion of individual rights, including our Second Amendment rights.

“For the first time in years,” Gottlieb continued, “Beltway gun grabbers are faced with the very real prospect of having an Attorney General who will not be their puppet, nor subscribe to their radical, anti-civil rights philosophy. That’s the real reason we’re seeing such hysterical attacks on Mr. Ashcroft’s record, and his character, from groups like the Violence Policy Center and Million Mom March.”

Ashcroft served two terms in the U.S. Senate. During his career, he supported efforts to allow Missouri residents, regardless of race, to legally carry concealed firearms for their personal protection. Today, 32 states have passed “right-to-carry” laws.

He has supported responsible legislation, and opposed efforts to turn existing federal law into a full scale attack on gun owners’ rights. He supports efforts to require the government to follow the records destruction mandate spelled out in the Brady Law, while opposing attempts to put gun shows out of business. While in the Senate, Ashcroft consistently voted to protect the privacy rights of law-abiding gun owners.

“More than just Mr. Ashcroft’s staunch support for firearms civil rights,” Gottlieb observed, “we support his nomination because we believe that as Attorney General, he will work tirelessly in pursuit of justice, rather than find every lame excuse possible to obstruct it. The American people want an Attorney General who will lead the Department of Justice impartially, not run it as a partisan shield for White House improprieties.

“Beltway apologists, who have promoted a double standard of justice under the outgoing administration, will fight Ashcroft’s confirmation using every worn-out argument they can imagine,” Gottlieb added, “but they are woefully out of touch with an American public that wants integrity restored in the Attorney General’s office.”

Gottlieb said an Ashcroft-led Justice Department should be a “breath of fresh air for Americans who believe in the rule of law, but a genuine culture shock to anybody who still clings to the belief that there is no controlling legal authority.”