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Gun control lobby 'infiltrated by pro-rifle movement spy'

Campaigners for tougher controls on guns in the US are reeling from the allegation that a prominent member of the movement for more than a decade was a spy working for the powerful pro-gun lobby the National Rifle Association National Rifle Association (NRA)

Governing organization for the sport of shooting with rifles and pistols. It was founded in Britain in 1860. The U.S. organization, formed in 1871, has a membership of some four million. Both the British and the U.S.
.

Mary Lou McFate sat on the board of two groups campaigning for greater controls, and tried to become a director of the national umbrella group of the movement, the Brady Campaign The Brady Campaign or The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence or The Brady Campaign united with the Million Mom March was founded in 1974 as The National Council to Control Handguns (NCCH) by Dr. Mark Borinsky, a victim of gun violence.  to Prevent Gun Violence. She was also linked with the circle of an international campaign on small arms small arms, firearms designed primarily to be carried and fired by one person and, generally, held in the hands, as distinguished from heavy arms, or artillery. Early Small Arms


The first small arms came into general use at the end of the 14th cent.
 trade based in London.

To the outrage of campaigners who worked with her, she has been outed by Mother Jones, the political magazine, as a paid plant for the NRA NRA

(National Rifle Association of America) organization that encourages sharpshooting and use of firearms for hunting. [Am. Pop. Culture: NCE, 1895]

See : Hunting
. An investigation by the magazine based on court documents suggests that she made contact with the NRA as early as 1999 and that the connection was sustained to this day.

Her alleged intelligence work for the gun lobby was partly organised through a defunct detective agency Noun 1. detective agency - an agency that makes inquiries for its clients
agency - a business that serves other businesses
 in Maryland. Beckett Brown International received $80,000 from the NRA in 1999 and 2000 for various services, court depositions show. The NRA failed to return calls yesterday and McFate, 62, was also unavailable.

McFate sat on the board of CeaseFire Pennsylvania and a national federation of gun control groups known as States United to Prevent Gun Violence. Her details are still posted on CeaseFire PA's website under its list of board members, noting that she has been involved in gun violence prevention since the first federal ban on assault weapons was passed in 1995.

She put herself forward unsuccessfully to be taken on to the board of the Brady Campaign, the country's most important organisation for tighter controls named after Jim Brady, Ronald Reagan's press secretary who was severely wounded in the 1981 assassination Assassination
See also Murder.

assassins

Fanatical Moslem sect that smoked hashish and murdered Crusaders (11th—12th centuries). [Islamic Hist.: Brewer Note-Book, 52]

Brutus

conspirator and assassin of Julius Caesar. [Br.
 attempt on the then president.

Brian Malte, the campaign's director of state legislation, worked closely with her for 10 years. He said he was stunned stun ¬†
tr.v. stunned, stun·ning, stuns
1. To daze or render senseless, by or as if by a blow.

2. To overwhelm or daze with a loud noise.

3.
 when he at first heard the claims. "She was a seemingly passionate advocate of gun violence prevention, yet she refused to be a local spokesman in Florida where she lived. She didn't want her name in the press or press releases," he said.

Malte said that her contacts would have allowed her to learn details of the tactics groups were using to try to defeat moves by President George Bush and the NRA to liberalise Verb 1. liberalise - become more liberal; "The laws liberalized after Prohibition"
liberalize

change - undergo a change; become different in essence; losing one's or its original nature; "She changed completely as she grew older"; "The weather changed last
 gun laws, which could have been useful to the NRA.

Those who have felt a sense of betrayal over the allegations most keenly are campaigners who themselves have lost love ones to gun violence. Toby Hoover, director of an Ohio-based coalition on guns, became involved after her husband was killed in a robbery. "It is beyond my comprehension how someone could have listened to my story and expressed desire to help prevent others from having to experience the agony I went through, all the time collecting money as a gun lobby spy."

Two weeks ago McFate attended a UN conference in New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of
 on weapons trafficking, having gained accreditation through the London-based International Action Network on Small Arms. IANSA's director, Rebecca Peters Rebecca Peters is the Director[1] of the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA). As chair of the (Australian) National Coalition for Gun Control at the time of the Port Arthur massacre in 1996, Peters played a key role in the introduction of stricter gun , said: "A lot of us are wondering who else is spying on us, and whether we would recognise them."

Mother Jones discovered that McFate was living under her married name, Mary Lou Sapone. The magazine alleges that under that name she earlier infiltrated an animal rights group to gather intelligence on behalf of a surgical-equipment company involved in animal experiments.

The groups with whom McFate was involved are in discussions about potential legal action against her and the NRA.
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Author:guardian.co.uk
Publication:guardian.co.uk
Date:Aug 7, 2008
Words:599
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