Diminishing the Constitution
NRA-ILA GRASSROOTS ALERT, Vol. 19, No. 06 02/10/12

Posted on February 10, 2012

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Diminishing the Constitution

It is certainly no surprise for gun owners to see the New York Times run a story belittling the United States Constitution. After all, the Times has worked for decades to devalue our founding document.

“[I]ts influence is waning,” opines the Times. It is “terse and old, and it guarantees relatively few rights.” The paper faults the Constitution for being difficult to amend and reflective of the times in which it was written. While the Times does not go so far as to claim the U.S. Constitution has been bad for America, it does lament that it is of “little current use to, say, a new African nation.”

But it was a much bigger shock when the Times reported in the same story that Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a sitting associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and grande dame of the Court’s liberal voting bloc, shares the Times’ dim view of the Constitution. Ginsburg said “I would not look to the United States Constitution if I were drafting a constitution in the year 2012.”  Her personal recommendations would instead include “the South African Constitution, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the European Convention on Human Rights.”   Read more…

Bloomberg:  Police Your Police:  Despite Mayor Bloomberg’s publicity stunt last week in the form of a Super Bowl gun control ad with his gun-grabbing cohort, Boston Mayor Tom Menino, Bloomberg’s time in reducing gun crime could better be spent policing his own…police.  Read more…

Holder Tells Congress the Obama Administration Wants To Ban Guns:  This week, NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox wrote an op-ed for the Daily Caller regarding U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s February 2 appearance before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, where Holder answered questions about his role in the deadly “Fast and Furious” gun-running scandal.  Of particular import during the hearings was Holder’s admission to Congress that the Obama administration still hopes to reinstate former President Bill Clinton’s so-called “assault weapons” ban. 

To read the article, please click here.

Defeat the Holder/Obama Gun Registration Scheme:  U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and the Obama administration have devised and implemented a plan that amounts to a gun registration scheme.  Read more…

Firearms Law Seminar: The 15th Annual Firearms Law Seminar will be held on Friday, April 13, 2012, as part of the NRA Annual Meeting.  Read more…

Grassroots News Minute Video:  To view this week’s “Grassroots News Minute” video, please click here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axQQW46MrYY

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.)

For additional information, please click on the links provided.

ARIZONA: State House Committee to Hear Personal Protection While Hunting Legislation Next Week
House Bill 2457 would allow an individual to carry an additional firearm for personal protection while hunting, as long as that firearm is not used for the taking of wildlife.  This bill simply allows hunters the ability to adequately defend themselves from a variety of potential outdoor crimes.  HB 2457 is expected to be heard by the state House Energy and Natural Resources Committee this Monday, February 13, and needs your support!

Pro-Hunting Legislation Passes in Committee and Sent to House floor!
On February 8, the Arizona House Committee on Military Affairs and Public Safety passed House Bill 2728.  This NRA-backed pro-hunting legislation could now be voted on in the state House as early as next week.  Enactment of HB 2728 would allow hunters in Arizona to use lawfully-possessed suppressors (also referred to as silencers) on firearms for hunting. This bill needs your support!

Senate Judiciary Committee Passes Campus Personal Protection Bill!
On February 7, the Arizona Senate Judiciary Committee passed Senate Bill 1474. This bill would enable law-abiding citizens to defend themselves while on the grounds of higher education campuses.  SB 1474 will now be sent to the Senate floor for a vote.  Please call AND e-mail your state Senator and encourage him or her to support this important personal protection legislation!

COLORADO: Vital NRA-Backed Bills Pass in House Committee
On February 9, after an extensive testimony in support of NRA-drafted bills, House Bill 1048 and House Bill 1064 passed in the state House Judiciary Committee.  HB 1048 would eliminate the duplicative and broadly disqualifying state-run Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) InstaCheck system for the purchase of firearms and solely utilize the existing National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).  HB 1064 would prohibit the state or any government agency, during a declared state of emergency, from prohibiting or restricting the otherwise lawful possession, use, carrying, transfer, transportation, storage, or display of a firearm or ammunition; seizing or confiscating a lawfully possessed firearm, or requiring registration of a firearm or ammunition for which registration is not otherwise required by law.

GEORGIA: Firearms Destruction Prevention Legislation Passes Senate Committee!
On February 9, Senate Bill 350 passed unanimously in the state Senate Judiciary Committee, along with an amendment that would require law enforcement agencies to begin the process of returning seized firearms within thirty days of a court’s final judgment.  SB 350 would mandate municipal, county and state police authorities return all seized firearms, not currently being held as evidence in a criminal investigation, to the lawful owner if able.  If the lawful owner is not found or unable to take possession of the firearm, SB 350 would require these agencies to sell these firearms at a public auction to a licensed firearms dealer.

INDIANA:  Indiana Charity Gaming Bill Benefitting “Friends of NRA” Banquets Heads to House Committee
Senate Bill 315 passed in the state Senate and has now been assigned to the state House Public Policy Committee and could be heard as early as Tuesday, February 14.  SB 315 would streamline the licensing and reporting process for charity gaming events, such as the Friends of NRA banquets. These policy changes would greatly improve the ability of Friends of NRA committees to comply with Indiana charitable gaming laws in a timely and less cumbersome fashion, while protecting the personal information of Friends of NRA volunteers.

MINNESOTA: NRA-Backed Omnibus Pro-Gun Bill Moving to the state Senate floor
On February 9, one of the NRA’s top legislative priorities, House File 1467, passed in the state Senate Finance Committee.  This bill will now be considered and voted on by the full state Senate.  A floor consideration date has not been set, but the NRA will update you when action is imminent. In the meantime, please call AND e-mail your state Senator and urge him to help pass HF 1467 quickly and help send this important legislation to the Governor.

NEW HAMPSHIRE: NRA-Backed Pro-Gun Bill Still Alive in state Senate after Three Pro-Gun Bills Sent to Interim Study
On February 8, the New Hampshire Senate sent three pro-gun bills -- House Bill 194, House Bill 330 and House Bill 334 -- to interim study, therefore New Hampshire gun owners now need to focus on NRA-backed House Bill 536.  HB 536 is currently pending consideration in the state Senate. This Right-to-Carry legislation would repeal the existing law that requires a person to have a concealed firearm license in order to carry concealed. However, HB 536 would not eliminate the current carry permitting system, which will still be required for those who wish to 1) participate in reciprocal concealed carry permit agreements when traveling to other states, 2) be protected in gun-free school zones and 3) be exempt from NICS when purchasing a firearm.

NEW MEXICO: Senate Bill 26 Passes in the state Senate!
On February 7, the New Mexico Senate unanimously passed Senate Bill 26, the NRA- and NMSSA-backed legislation would repeal Section 30-7-9 of the New Mexico Criminal Code. This state law limits the purchase of rifles and shotguns by New Mexico residents to their home state and contiguous states.

OHIO:  Reserve your seats for the 2012 Buckeye Bash and discover the "inside story" behind “Fast & Furious!”
Former NRA President Sandra Froman is the keynote speaker for this year’s event and will reveal what's really going on in the gun-running scandal rocking the Obama administration.  Plus, she'll discuss the future of gun rights in America, and the dangers that lie ahead for all of us.

Buckeye Firearms Foundation will be holding this year's fundraiser at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Dublin, Ohio, tomorrow--Saturday, February 11, and they promise that you're in for a treat. Enjoy a great meal, participate in fun games and raffles, and join in on silent and live auctions for great items, like valuable firearms, artwork, collectibles, gun gear, knives, jewelry and more!  Click here (http://www.buckeyefirearms.org/Buckeye-Bash) for more information and to get your tickets now!

OREGON: Important Firearm Ownership Privacy Bill to be Heard on Monday by House Committee
House Bill 4054 is scheduled to be heard in the state House Health Care Committee this Monday, February 13.  This hearing will be held at 1:00 p.m. in Hearing Room E of the Oregon Capitol.  HB 4054 would prohibit the Public Employees' Benefit Board from authorizing or requiring the collection of information or maintenance of records about firearms from eligible employees or family members applying for health benefits.

All Gun Bills Declared Dead on Arrival by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman
On February 8, the state Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Senate Bills 1550, 1551  and 1574, Chairman Floyd Prozanski (D-4) opened by declaring that all gun-related bills brought forward in the 2012 short legislative session would not advance through his committee.  That leaves the fate of NRA-supported House Bill 4045, a Concealed Handgun License (CHL) confidentiality measure, in jeopardy should it advance beyond the House floor vote next week, since it will be assigned to this committee.

PENNSYLVANIA: State House Consideration of Firearms Preemption Enhancement Bill Postponed – Vote Now Expected Next Week
On February 8, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives postponed its second consideration of NRA-backed House Bill 1523 due to the Marcellus Shale drilling debate.  Anti-gun advocacy groups are lobbying hard to derail this common sense legislation.  As predicted, anti-gun Representatives have filed at least thirteen anti-gun amendments to the bill for second consideration.  These amendments range from “ballistic imaging” mandate to gutting the current “state preemption” statute.  We cannot let them hijack this critical legislation.

TENNESSEE: NRA-Drafted Employee Protection Legislation on the Agenda in Senate Committees; Also House Companion Bills Assigned to Subcommittee!
NRA-drafted Senate Bill 3002 and Senate Bill 2992 have been placed on the agenda in their respective Senate committees.  SB 3002 would recognize that hard-working Tennesseans’ right to self-defense does not end when they drive onto their employer’s property or into publicly accessible parking lots.  SB 2992 is a Firearm Discrimination Prevention bill that would protect law-abiding gun owners from anti-gun policies by employers across the state, including forced firearm registration, random vehicle firearm searches, and “gun zone” parking lots for gun owning employees.

VIRGINIA: Pro-Gun Legislation Passes House; Also House Subcommittee to Hear Firearm-Related Bills
On February 8, the Virginia House of Delegates passed two pro-gun bills: House Bill 25 and House Bill 754.  Both bills will now go to the Virginia Senate for its consideration.  HB 25 seeks to prohibit the Clerk of the Court from disclosing information contained on a concealed handgun permit application or on an order issuing a concealed handgun permit.  HB 754 would eliminate the optional fingerprinting requirements for initial concealed carry permits.

Virginia House of Delegates Passes Two Important Self-Defense Measures and More!
On February 9, the Virginia House of Delegates voted on two important self-defense measures what would affect law-abiding citizens in the Commonwealth.  House Bill 14 and House Bill 48 both passed in the state House of Delegates and will now move to the Senate for its consideration.  The state House Militia, Police and Public Safety Subcommittee #1 held a hearing yesterday when multiple gun-related bills were on its agenda.  They decided that House Bill 859 and House Bill 1135 would be carried over to next year’s legislative session.  House Bill 1197, House Bill 1223, and House Bill 1257 were laid on the table for the year.  Lastly, anti-gun House Bill 1226 was struck from the docket by a voice vote.

Planning Process Underway for James River National Wildlife Refuge
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is writing a new management plan for the James River National Wildlife Refuge which is located along the James River in Prince George County, eight miles southeast of Hopewell and thirty miles southeast of Richmond. The 4,325-acre refuge is open to deer hunting. The USFWS is inviting public comments to help shape management decisions on the refuge for the next fifteen years. Once a plan is drafted it will be made available for public review and comment. The Service has identified several preliminary issues, concerns, and opportunities, including the amount and distribution of public use.  If you want to become involved in the planning process, you may submit comments to fw5rw_evrnwr@fws.gov. Please include “James River CCP” in the subject line. For further information you may call Meghan Carfioli, the Planning Team Leader, at 804-829-5413.

WASHINGTON: Two Firearms-Related Bills Going to the House Floor!
On January 31, the House Judiciary Committee unanimously passed House Bill 1508, originally a solid shooting range protection bill, and House Bill 2471, a background check reform bill.  HB 1508 would have ensured that existing shooting ranges were broadly protected against civil liability and criminal charges related to noise pollution. Unfortunately, this bill was amended and significantly weakened in the House Judiciary Committee and it no longer provides an adequate level of protection for shooting ranges. The NRA is working closely with the bill sponsors and legislative supporters in an effort to restore the bill’s protections. HB 2471 would exempt CPL holders, whose licenses were issued on or after July 22, 2011, from having to undergo any sort of background check when purchasing a pistol.  Additionally, this bill would require only the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) check for CPL holders whose permits were issued prior to July 22, 2011.

WEST VIRGINIA: Apprentice Hunting Legislation Passes Senate Committee
On February 8, the state Senate Natural Resources Committee passed Senate Bill 478, which would create an apprentice hunting license that is available to West Virginia residents and non-residents.  Two amendments were added in committee, the first being that the legislation, if passed, would take effect in 2013.  The Second Amendment would make it so that hunters who have purchased a regular (non-apprentice) hunting license previously, either in West Virginia or another state, would not be eligible to purchase the West Virginia apprentice hunting license.

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