Republican Congressman John N.
Hostettler of Indiana is the May recipient
of the CCRKBA Gun Rights
Defender of the Month Award.
Hostettler is an outspoken proponent
of firearms civil rights, and has
publicly criticized gun grabbers on
several occasions. His targets have
included afternoon television talk
host Rosie O’Donnell.
In nominating Hostettler for the
award, John Michael Snyder,
CCRKBA Public Affairs director,
noted, “In recent months and years,
Rep. Hostettler has been taking the
lead on a number of fronts in the U.
S. House of Representatives, promoting
the interests of America’s tens of
millions of law-abiding firearm owners.”
Rep. Hostettler is promoting significant
national CCW legislation in
the House, Snider added. He also
has initiated a movement in the
House to persuade the Department
of Housing and Urban Development
to dump the Communities for Safer
Guns Coalition created by former
HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo.
When O’Donnell announced that
she wanted to outlaw all guns,
Hostettler was quick to respond: “At
least she’s honest about her ultimate
goal. And, Rosie is right about one
thing. She is not expert on amendments
to the Constitution.”
“A small group of liberals, trial lawyers
and their financiers – let’s call
them anti-gun elitists – are fully
aware of the power of the Second
Amendment,” Hostettler said, “and
that is why they choose to attack our
right to own firearms through the
backdoor of the most recent wave of
“These elitists know full well that
the Second Amendment is ultimately
an impenetrable barrier to their ultimate
goal to make firearms unavailable,
except to a privileged few,” he
continued. “They fear the Second
Amendment because they know that
the right to bear arms has consistently
been held as an individual
right. They also know that the Second
Amendment is a barrier to governmental
Rep. Hostettler, now in his fourth
term, was born in 1961, the eighth of
10 children. He grew up in rural Posey
County near the Ohio and Wabash
rivers. After graduating from North
Posey High School, he enrolled in the
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology,
graduating with a Bachelor of Science
in Mechanical Engineering.
Prior to his service in Congress he
was employed as a Power Plant Performance
Engineer with Southern
Indiana Gas & Electric Company.
He served as a Deacon at Twelfth
Avenue General Baptist Church in
Evansville and, along with his wife,
ran the church’s food pantry for the
Hostettler’s interest in politics increased
following the election of Bill
Clinton in 1992. In January 1994
Hostettler announced he would run
for the Eighth Congressional District
seat held by Frank McCloskey, a sixterm
incumbent. He went on to surprise
political experts by topping a sixperson
field in the Republican primary
with the help of an impressive grass
roots organization that included many
newcomers to the political process.
Groups and individuals who
would ban gun shows in Maryland
came under fire from CCRKBA
Chairman Alan M. Gottlieb, who accused
them of duplicity.
“Efforts by gun control zealots to
have gun shows banned from public
property in Maryland clearly demonstrates
their duplicity when they
claim to support gun rights,” Gottlieb
said. “Maryland gun owners should
be outraged by efforts to prevent
gun shows on property or in facilities
that are owned or funded by the
Gottlieb noted that Maryland law
enforcement authorities have
checked on gun shows and found
them to be following all existing laws
and requirements.
“When law enforcement says that
Maryland has closed the so called
‘gun show loophole,’ then gun show
opponents need to be honest and
acknowledge that their concerns
have nothing to do with public
safety, but everything to do with
people legally buying and owning
firearms,” Gottlieb stated.
Further, Gottlieb noted, gun shows
have been protected as a constitutional
form of free speech by a 1995
Florida case and a 1997 court decision.
“Not only are gun show opponents
trying to destroy our Second
Amendment rights,” Gottlieb observed,
“they now are openly attempting
to infringe upon the First
Amendment rights of gun owners.
As I’ve said all along, once these extremists
are allowed to trample on
one civil right, they’ll start trampling
on all the other rights.”
Pointing to the extremely restrictive
firearm laws already on the
books, Gottlieb concluded that, “This
new gun show controversy clearly
demonstrates how insidious the gun
control philosophy has become. If
anti-gunners can browbeat elected
officials into taking an action already
held by the courts to be unconstitutional,
the good citizens of Maryland
are facing a far more sinister challenge
than some imagined problem
with gun