McCarthy Bill Would Ban Common Self-Defense Magazines
NRA-ILA GRASSROOTS ALERT Vol. 18, No. 3 01/21/11

Posted on January 21, 2011

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McCarthy Bill Would Ban Common Self-Defense Magazines

On Tuesday, Jan. 18, Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.) introduced H.R. 308, the "Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device Act."  The bill would ban the manufacture and importation of new magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition.  Unlike the magazine ban that was in effect from 1994 to 2004, her new bill would also make it illegal for the tens of millions of Americans who already own these magazines to sell or otherwise transfer them, even through inheritance. 

In a letter to her colleagues, Rep. McCarthy claimed, "The only reason for the existence of these devices is to be able to shoot as many people as quickly as possible." Yet her bill would allow the continued acquisition and possession of these magazines by law enforcement officers, who carry firearms to defend themselves and the public.  It would even allow these magazines to be transferred to law enforcement officers upon retirement, even though a retired officer's right to use firearms for self-defense is the same as any other private citizen's right.

California Court Strikes Down Ammunition Law!  In an important victory for California gun owners, the Fresno Superior Court ruled this week that California's new ammunition regulation law is unconstitutional, and blocked further enforcement.

The law -- enacted last year as AB 962 -- banned mail order ammunition sales and required all purchases of so called "handgun ammunition" to be registered.  In an unwritten ruling from the bench, Judge Jeffrey Hamilton found the law unconstitutionally vague on its face and issued an injunction against its enforcement.  For now, at least, mail order ammunition sales to California residents can continue, and ammunition sales need not be registered under the law.

Second Amendment Weekend At Cabela's:  Join NRA-ILA staff on Saturday, February 5th, 2011, for a day of important grassroots education.  With what will no doubt be a very busy 2011, we must redouble our efforts to ensure we're prepared to meet the opportunities and challenges we will face.  Please make plans to attend NRA-ILA's FREE Grassroots Workshop and NRA University to learn what you can do to become a better activist in the fight to protect and promote the Second Amendment! 

Registration For SCI's Fourth Annual Continuing Legal Education Course Is Now Open!  Join Safari Club International for "Current Issues in Domestic and International Wildlife and Hunting Law" on Friday, January 28, 2011, from 2:00 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. at the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa, 3800 S. Virginia Street, Reno, Nevada.

The registration fee of $139.00 (same price as last year) includes seminar (3.0 hours of CLE credit – no Ethics), written materials, and single, same-day admission to the SCI Convention.

The CLE Course is open to SCI members and non-members.

To register, use the State Bar of Nevada's on-line registration, at:  http://www.legalspan.com/nvbar/catalog.asp?ItemID=20101118-166130-124419

STATE ROUNDUP  (Please note the only items listed below are those that have had recent action.  For other updates on state legislation, please go to the state legislation section at www.NRAILA.org, and check each week's issue of the Grassroots Alert.)

ARIZONA: Lake Havasu Travel Management Plan Will Affect Motorized Access for Hunters 
The motorized vehiclesBureau of Land Management is developing a Travel Management Plan (TMP) to designate the routes that will remain open to the use of motorized vehicles by the public.  The Federal lands involved in the TMP are located below I-40 in Arizona and California, north, east, and south of Lake Havasu City, including parts of the California shoreline and south within 5-7 miles of the Bill Williams River.   The public comment period on this TMP closes February 28th.  Comments may be emailed to Lake_Havasu@blm.gov or by completing the comment form on BLM's Arizona State website at www.blm.gov/az.  Click on Lake Havasu.  For further information you may call Myron McCoy at 928-505-1216 or write to Myron_mccoy@blm.gov.

The TMP provides four alternatives for motorized access:

Alternative A: No Action. Alternative A describes the current management of BLM-administered public lands in the planning area. The current management would continue to occur if no new decisions are made to alter it.

Alternative B: Protection. Alternative B emphasizes minimal human use and influence, and enhanced protection of remoteness and primitive recreation.

Alternative C: Proposed. Alternative C would provide an optimal balance between authorized resource use and the protection and long-term sustainability of sensitive resources within the planning area.

Alternative D: Access. Alternative D places an emphasis on maximum resource use and a more flexible, permissive resource management approach.

In addition to the effects this TMP will have on recreational access, the BLM does not intend to allow the use of vehicles for game retrieval off designated routes.  If you hunt or enjoy other recreational activities on these lands, it is important that you review the maps and comment on how these alternatives will affect your access and ability to retrieve downed game.

CALIFORNIA: Fresno Superior Court Strikes Down Ammunition Law!  In an important victory for ammoCalifornia gun owners, the Fresno Superior Court ruled that California's new ammunition regulation law is unconstitutional, and blocked further enforcement. The law, enacted last year as AB 962, would have banned mail order ammunition sales and required all purchases of so called "handgun ammunition" to be registered.  In an unwritten ruling from the bench, Judge Jeffrey Hamilton found the law unconstitutionally vague on its face and issued an injunction against its enforcement. For now, at least, mail order ammunition sales to California residents can continue, and ammunition sales need not be registered under the law.  The state is likely to appeal this important victory, and anti-gun lawmakers in Sacramento will undoubtedly try again to eliminate lawful ammunition sales in California.  Only the ongoing support and activism of California gun owners can block those efforts, so please watch your e-mail alerts and visit www.NRAILA.org for updates on this critically important issue.  For more information on the court's ruling please click here.

California Legislator Introduces Open Carry Ban!  State Assemblyman Anthony J. Portantino (D-Los Angeles) introduced legislation that would change the state's gun laws and restrict the right of law-abiding citizens to carry an unloaded handgun openly. It is currently legal to carry an unloaded handgun into most public places in the state. If approved, AB 144 would make it a misdemeanor to carry an unloaded handgun in public under most circumstances.  A committee hearing date has not been set for AB 144 at this time.  Please call your state Assemblyman today and urge him or her to oppose AB 144.  You can find their contact information by clicking here.

FLORIDA: Public Comment Sought on New Refuge Proposed in Central Florida
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing the creation of a new national wildlife refuge that would encompass more than 150,000 acres in portions of Polk, Osceola, Indian River, Okeechobee, and Highlands counties in Central Florida.  The proposed Everglades Headwaters National Wildlife Refuge and Conservation Area is billed as a partnership between federal, tribal, state, and local governments, along with ranchers and other landowners and private organizations.  The Service has stated that it will work with willing landowners to acquire the land in a variety of ways, including direct purchase, conservation easements, leases, and cooperative agreements.

It is unknown at this time how this proposal will affect hunting and other public recreation on lands to be acquired.  Four public meetings have been scheduled to provide the public an opportunity to hear a presentation about the proposal, to ask questions and to submit comments, ideas, and concerns.  The meeting dates and locations are as follows:

1/26/11  Kissimmee Civic Center, 201 East Dakin Avenue, Kissimmee, (6-9 p.m.)

2/04/11  Sebring Civic Center, 355 West Center Avenue, Sebring, (6-9 p.m.)

2/09/11  Okeechobee High School, 2800 Highway 441 North, Okeechobee, (6-9 p.m.)

2/10/11  Vero Beach High School Main Campus Cafeteria, 1701 16th Street, Vero Beach, (6-9 p.m.)

The Service will use public comments in the development of the refuge plan.  Information about the proposal can be found at http://www.fws.gov/southeast/greatereverglades/.  Comments can be e-mailed to EvergladesHeadwatersProposal@fws.govThe comment period closes February 28th. 

MARYLAND: General Assembly Returns to Annapolis for it's 2011 Legislative Session!  The Maryland General Assembly convened its 2011 session last week, and with a re-elected anti-gun Governor and a strong anti-gun state Senate and House of Delegates, it may be a potentially volatile year.  This past November, in stark contrast to the rest of the nation, the Maryland General Assembly's political composition turned a "deeper blue." The state Senate, our long-time redoubt against the anti-gun agenda, picked up two Democratic seats, giving Democrats a 35-12 advantage.  The Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee, which handles all firearm-related legislation, was altered to give the Chairman of the Committee, anti-gun Senator Brian Frosh, a 6-5 majority of anti-gun votes. The chairman might be encouraged to test his new committee majority and quickly move anti-gun bills to the Senate floor. It is important that you call or e-mail your state Senator to strongly oppose any bills that seek to impose unnecessary restrictions on the lawful purchase, possession or use of firearms. You can find contact information by clicking here.

MICHIGAN: Future of Gun Hunting at Risk in Huron-Manistee National Forest
A recent court ruling could result in the closure to gun hunting of all Semiprimitive Nonmotorized Management Areas and of the Nordhouse Dunes Primitive Area of the Huron-Manistee National Forest.

As a result of a lawsuit filed against the management plan for the Huron-Manistee, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that the U.S. Forest Service should have considered banning gun hunting in the semiprimitive and wilderness areas of the Huron-Manistee because it could impair the "quality recreation experience" of non-hunters.  In addition, the court ruled that the Forest Service violated its own planning regulations that call for reducing the duplication of recreational activities.

The Service published a Notice of Intent asking for public comment on the two proposed alternatives it has under consideration in preparing the SEIS:  the No Action Alternative and the Modified Closure Alternative.  Information about the SEIS can be found at www.fs.fed.us/r9/hmnf.  Click on "Land and Resources Management" and then "Forest Land and Resource Management Plan."

Public comment is being accepted on the Notice of Intent until February 11, 2011.  Comments can be e-mailed to comments-eastern-huron-manistee@fs.fed.us.  Please put "Forest Plan SEIS" in the subject line.   Attached is a letter of comments signed by the NRA and 35 other national hunting and wildlife conservation organizations in support of

Nothing short of the future of hunting on all forest lands is at stake if the Forest Service buckles under the court's interpretation of its planning regulations and closes all or portions of the Huron-Manistee to hunting. It is vitally important that hunters attend the public meetings and send comments to the Forest Service in support of the "No Action Alternative." A list of meeting dates, times, and locations can be found here.

MISSISSIPPI: NRA-Backed Right-to-Carry Reform Bill Filed in the State Senate!
Recently, state Senator Joey Fillingane (R-Sumrall) introduced SB 2469, a comprehensive bill reversing or rolling back many of the restrictions on where concealed pistol permit holders can lawfully carry.  The measure has been referred to the Senate Judiciary A Committee. We will keep you posted when the committee schedules it for action.  In the meantime, please call and e-mail your State Senator and urge him or her to support SB 2469.  Contact information for the Mississippi Senate can be found at http://billstatus.ls.state.ms.us/members/ss_membs.xml

NEBRASKA: "Castle Doctrine" Reintroduced!
neState Senator Mark Christensen (44) once again introduced a version of "Castle Doctrine" self-defense legislation as LB 298.  The NRA was very pleased to see a renewed attempt to get this critical legislation passed after coming up just short last session.  We will be working very closely with Sen. Christensen to make sure that we get the strongest possible protections for all Nebraska citizens.  LB 298 has not been placed on the schedule at this time, but is expected to be heard by the Judiciary Committee in the near future.  In the meantime, please begin contacting the members of this committee and urge them to support your right to self-defense and support LB 298 when it comes up for a vote.  Their contact information can be found here.

NEVADA:  State Parks Division to Hold Workshop on Guns in Parks
The Nevada Division of State Parks (NDSP) is proposing amending the regulations pertaining to Chapter 407 of the Nevada Administrative Code. The proposed amendments would remove the current prohibition on firearm possession in state parks, while also clarifying prohibitions on the discharge of firearms to specifically recognize your right to self-defense.  In order to solicit feedback and comment from the public, NDSP is hosting a workshop on Thursday, January 20, in Carson City, at the Richard Bryan Building, 901 S. Stewart Street/2nd Floor, in the Tahoe Hearing Room, from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m..  The workshop will also provide a videoconference from the State Park's Southern Region office at 4747 Vegas Drive, in Las Vegas.  Those wishing to comment on this proposed action may address their comments, data, or views in written form to Nevada Division of State Parks via mail at 901 S. Stewart St. Suite 5005, Carson, City, NV 89701 or e-mail at stparks@parks.nv.gov or fax (775) 684-2774.  Written submissions must be received prior to the January 20 workshop.  For any questions, contact Steve Silva, Senior Law Enforcement Specialist at (775) 684-2774 or via e-mail at sbsilva@parks.nv.govThank you for your action on this most important issue!

SOUTH CAROLINA:  Right-to-Carry Reform Bill Introduced in Columbia!
On Wednesday, Jan. 12, state Representative Mike Pitts (R-14) introduced H. 3292, a comprehensive Right-to-Carry reform bill.  Joining Rep. Pitts as cosponsors are Representatives Dan Cooper (R-10) and Greg Delleney, Jr. (R-43).  H. 3292 seeks remove certain restrictions on where one may lawfully carry a concealed firearm, establish that property owners may not set policies or rules that would prohibit the transportation or storage of legally-possessed firearms or ammunition if they are locked out of sight within a privately owned motor vehicle, and create a straight recognition standard for valid permits issued by other states.  We will be giving a more detailed analysis of this legislation, and will report on other firearm-related bills, in the near future.  In the meantime, please take a moment to call your state Representative and urge him or her to cosponsor H. 3292. Contact information can be found here.

TEXAS: House Versions of NRA-Backed Employee/Parking Lot & Campus Carry Legislation Filed!
Previously we reported that two NRA-backed bills had already been filed in the Texas Senate: Senate Bill 321 by state Senator Glenn Hegar (R-Katy), seeks to prohibit employers from enforcing policies against the storage of lawfully owned firearms in employees' private motor vehicles parked at work, and Senate Bill 354, by state Senator Jeff Wentworth (R-San Antonio), that seeks to allow concealed handgun licensees to protect themselves on college and university campuses.  This week, state Rep. Tim Kleinschmidt (R-Lexington) introduced House Bill 681, the House version of the parking lot bill, and state Rep. Joe Driver (R-Garland) filed House Bill 750, the House version of the campus carry measure.  Big business interests and higher education administrators have a tremendous amount of influence in the Texas Legislature and they will vigorously oppose these bills.  That's why it's critical that your state lawmakers hear from you!  Please contact your state representative and urge him or her to sign on as a co-author to both HB 681 and HB 750.  Contact information for state House members can be found at www.house.state.tx.us.

VIRGINIA: Subcommittee Meeting Cancelled; Rescheduled for Thursday, January 27
vaOriginally scheduled to meet on January 20, the House Militia, Police and Public Safety Subcommittee #1 will now meet at 5:00 p.m., next Thursday, January 27, in the 4th Floor West Conference Room. All business scheduled has been postponed until next week, with the likely addition of other legislation which we will inform you of as soon as possible. The National Rifle Association is supporting the following legislation now scheduled to be heard next Thursday: House Bill 1411, House Bill 1552, House Bill 1856 and House Bill 1857. For more information on these bills please click here.  The NRA will also be opposing House Bill 1600, sponsored by Delegate Mamye BaCote (D-95), which would undermine Virginia's state preemption statute and create a patchwork of confusing laws by allowing certain localities to create their own ordinances on the carrying of firearms in libraries. 

Governor McDonnell Recognizes Right to Self-Defense in State Forests and Parks!
On Friday, January 18, Gov. Robert F. McDonnell approved changes to the Virginia Department of Forestry's Virginia State Forest Regulation 4VAC10-30-170, which will permit law-abiding Virginians to carry a firearm in State Forests. Within 14 days of the governor's approval, the governor must submit the final regulation to the Virginia Registrar of Regulations. Once published in the Registrar, a final thirty-day adoption period begins and a public comment forum opens. After the final thirty-day adoption period closes, the regulation becomes effective. For more information on the approved changes please click here.  Previously, on January 14, Gov. McDonnell issued a directive to the Department of Conservation and Recreation to cease enforcement of 4VAC5-30-200, which prohibits open carrying of firearms in State Parks and has immediate effect.  To learn more about the overnor's directive please click here. Please contact Governor McDonnell by e-mail and thank him for recognizing Virginian's right to self-defense!

Hunting Featured in Management Plan for Mason Neck Refuge:
A draft plan to guide management of the Elizabeth Hartwell Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge has been released for public comment.  The US Fish and Wildlife Service has addressed three alternatives for managing Mason Neck for the next 15 years.

This refuge is part of the Potomac River National Wildlife Refuge Complex whose headquarters is in Woodbridge.  Mason Neck encompasses over 2,500 acres and was created in 1969 to protect the bald eagle, which was a federally protected species until recovery efforts were declared successful and the bird was removed from the Endangered Species list in 2007.

Mason Neck is open to fall deer hunting and hunting will continue under Alternative A (Current Management) and Alternative B (the Service's preferred alternative).  Alternative C, however, proposes to expand public use programs, including offering a new muzzleloader deer hunting season.

Information about the draft plan can be found a http://www.fws.gov/northeast/planning/MasonNeck_Featherstone/ccphome.html or by contacting the Refuge Manager at 703-490-4979 or by emailing to fw5rw_msnnwr@fws.gov.  Public comments are being accepted until February 22nd. 

Please take a few minutes to send the Service comments in support of continued and expanded hunting opportunities on Mason Neck.

WYOMING: NRA-Backed Permitless Carry Legislation Proceeds After Senate Committee Approval
On Wednesday, January 19, Senate File 47 was voted out of committee in the Wyoming Senate and put on general file for its next assignment.  Sponsored by state Senator Kit Jennings (R-28) of Casper, SF 47 is an important update to lawful carry in Wyoming.  It will allow for lawful carry of a concealed firearm without the burdensome requirement of getting a Wyoming carry permit. The approval of this pivotal legislation bodes well for law-abiding citizens of Wyoming who wish to protect themselves and their families.  Please begin contacting your state Senator and respectfully urge him or her to support SF 47.  Contact information can be found here.

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