Pratt is known for opposing measures that have the potential to increase voting power of minorities because he believes it would threaten his pro-gun agenda.
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English Only Movement and Racist Connections
Pratt is also the founder of English First, an English-only lobbying group which was formed in 1986. The group's " publications have regularly featured racism and anti-Latino innuendo since [it] was created."
Pratt ardently supported the apartheid in South Africa and has been tied to leaders of the Aryan Nations and former members of the Klu Klux Klan. His ties to white supremacists led to his ouster from Pat Buchanan's 1996 presidential campaign.
Most recently, Pratt and his Gun Owners of America have came out against the immigration reform bill claiming that those granted provisional residency status will eventual vote to "take away your guns."
Ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council
Pratt's relationship with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) began in 1978 with ALEC's effort to oppose a constitutional amendment giving full Congressional representation to DC residents. ALEC formed an alliance with Pratt's Gun Owners of America in 1979 to develop a plan to prevent ratification of the amendment, which involved states sending formal resolutions of disapproval to the federal government. Pratt was quoted as saying, "The amendment would bring in two senators who would probably be minority and would definitely be liberal on gun control."
In 1981, Pratt was elected to the Virginia State Legislature and took on a leadership position in ALEC, sitting on ALEC's board and serving as treasurer into the 1980s even after he left the legislature. Pratt's Gun Owners of America was an ALEC member into the 1990s.
ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy's ALECexposed.org, and check out breaking news on our PRWatch.org site.
Articles and resources
- Gun Owners of America, "Larry Pratt", organizational website, accessed June 2013
- Brendan Fischer, "Not Just the NRA: Former ALEC Leader, the Head of Gun Owners of America, Sides With Shooter of Trayvon Martin", PRWatch, April 9, 2012
- Devin Burghart, "A History of Problems with Racism and English-Only Groups", Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights, February 10, 2012
- Devin Burghart, "New York Times Misses Real Story on Gun Owners of America", Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights, April 4, 2013
- Southern Poverty Law Center, "False Patriots: Profiles of 40 antigovernment leaders" - "Eight Lanes Out: Larry Pratt", Intelligence Report, Summer 2001, Issue Number: 102
- Miranda Blue, "Larry Pratt on Immigration Reform and Ted Cruz's Loyalty", Right Wing Watch, May 21, 2013
- Gun Owners of America, "You Could Lose all your Guns before 2035 under the Amnesty Bill before the Senate", June 3, 2013
- Nick Wing, "Larry Pratt, Gun Owners Of America Leader: Obama Building Paramilitary Homeland Security Force", Huffington Post, May 16, 2013
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