“No More Weapons!” Sign Erected Along U.S.--Mexican Border
NRA-ILA GRASSROOTS ALERT, Vol. 19, No. 08 02/24/12

Posted on February 24, 2012

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“No More Weapons!” Sign Erected Along U.S.--Mexican Border

Last week, Mexican President Felipe Calderon unveiled a “billboard” near the U.S. border made of crushed firearms formed into the words, "No More Weapons!"

The Mexican government (aided by American media) has consistently claimed that their country’s crime problems are due, in large part, to the flow of firearms into Mexico from the U.S.

This sentiment has been bolstered by the Obama administration through U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, his Department of Justice, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives now-infamous “Fast and Furious” gunrunning operation.

BATFE officials who supervised the operation out of Phoenix claimed as early as 2008 that 90 percent of the guns seized in Mexico came from the U.S.  (Read more.)

Demand Action on “National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act”:  As we previously reported, in Nov., the ongoing effort to fully vindicate the fundamental, individual right to carry a concealed handgun for self-defense took a major step forward with House passage of H.R. 822, the “National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011.” The bill, sponsored by Reps. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) and Heath Shuler (D-N.C.), which has 245 cosponsors, was approved in the U.S. House of Representatives by an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 272-154.  (Read more.)

The Annual Big Yawn:  Brady Campaign State Gun Control Scorecard 2011:  Year after year, the Brady Campaign’s state gun control scorecards have become the laughing stock of the gun control debate for at least three reasons. First, they typically give good scores to states that have high crime rates and bad scores to states that have low rates. The Brady Campaign’s scores aren’t based on whether anyone gets murdered, raped, robbed, or beaten in any particular state; the group is just happy if the state has its favorite gun control laws on the books.  (Read more.)

See “Gunny” Take Charge!  Too many Americans have, for one reason or another, chosen to sit on the sidelines by not registering to vote. Unfortunately, this includes too many American gun owners.  (Read more.)

“Grassroots Campaigning In a National Election Year”:  Plan to attend free Grassroots Workshop at NRA’s upcoming Annual Meetings in St. Louis, MO!

FREE

Friday, April 13, 2012
9:00 a.m. (Registration and free continental breakfast from 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.)
Renaissance St. Louis Hotel
800 Washington Avenue, Landmark Ballrooms 1-3, Lobby Level
St. Louis, MO 63101
(314) 621-9600

(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. The gold standard in firearms CLE classes, this day-long seminar provides legal instruction for practicing attorneys who represent firearms owners, licensed dealers and gunsmiths, as well as for attorneys wishing to expand their practice to such clients, and others having an interest in Second Amendment law. (Read more.)

Grassroots News Minute Video:  To view this week’s “Grassroots News Minute” video, please click here: 

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.

ALABAMA: Employee Protection Bills Introduced
The 2012 session of the Alabama Legislature is underway and two bills have been introduced that would further protect the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners in Alabama: Senate Bill 331 and House Bill 209.  These NRA-drafted bills would prevent employers from discriminating and enforcing policies against the storage of lawfully-owned firearms in employees' locked private motor vehicles parked at work.

ARIZONA: Volunteers Needed to Help Clean the Table Mesa Recreation Area
On March 10, the Virtual Jeep Club of Arizona is sponsoring a clean-up of the Table Mesa Recreation Area, just north of Phoenix at I-17 and Table Mesa Road (exit 236).  Table Mesa is a popular destination for recreationists and one of the most popular recreational shooting locations in the Phoenix metro area.  Unfortunately, not all recreationists who use Table Mesa pack out what they pack in, so volunteers are periodically needed to help pick up trash.

NRA University is coming to Arizona!
Be sure to join NRA-ILA Staff for this two-hour training seminar, where you will learn more about NRA, the Second Amendment, and the gun control debate. NRA-ILA staff will provide you with the tools you’ll need to become a more effective activist in your own community. Students will receive a FREE one-year NRA membership and FOOD WILL BE PROVIDED!

If you plan to attend the following events, please confirm on our Facebook page or at NRAU@nrahq.org:

NRA University at the University of Northern Arizona
Monday, March 5, 2012 at 6:00pm
DuBois Center - Agassiz Room, Flagstaff, AZ
http://www.facebook.com/events/377543638925951/

NRA University at the University of Arizona
Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 6:00pm
Biology West building, room 219
http://www.facebook.com/events/358248784195673/

COLORADO: Emergency Powers Legislation Passes in the House
On February 20, the Colorado House of Representatives passed House Bill 1064 by a 45 to 19 vote.  This “Emergency Powers” legislation now goes to the state Senate for its consideration. NRA-drafted 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: Employee Protection Legislation to be Offered as Senate Floor Amendment
State Senator Don Balfour (R-9) intends to introduce a floor amendment to Senate Bill 350 which could come up for a vote on the Senate floor in the next few days.  This amendment would allow transportation and storage of firearms in locked personal vehicles while on publicly-accessible parking lots.

HAWAII: NRA Instructor Liability Bill Needs Your Immediate Help
As reported last week, House Bill 679 passed in the state House Public Safety and Military Affairs Committee with no amendments, and is now pending in the state House Judiciary Committee. For this bill to survive, it must get a hearing by next week. HB 679 is an NRA-supported bill that would exempt firearms instructors certified by the National Rifle Association from liability for injury or damage caused by discharge of their firearms while providing training required to obtain a permit to acquire firearms.

ILLINOIS: Mayor Rahm Emanuel Turning Up the Heat in Anti-Gun Crusade in Springfield
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is reportedly turning up the heat on his anti-gun crusade.  Described by some in the media as a bully when it comes to promoting certain aspects of his political agenda, it would not be a stretch to presume that he would resort to bullying Illinois lawmakers into passing several bills that should be considered anathema to our nation’s long history of promoting freedom for its citizens.  Emanuel’s anti-gun efforts are currently focused on two bills.  House Bill 5167 seeks to impose a two percent tax on firearm ammunition purchases. House Bill 5831 would implement a statewide handgun registry scheme.

INDIANA: NRA-Backed Bills Continue to Move Forward
The Indiana House of Representatives approved Senate Bill 315 on its third and final reading by an overwhelming bipartisan 76 to 19 vote.  SB 315 would streamline the licensing and reporting process for charity gaming events, such as “Friends of NRA” banquets. Due to a House committee hearing cancellation, Senate Bill 243 would not have survived the committee report deadline and was added as an amendment to House Bill 1279. The language from SB 243 would allow Hoosiers to use lawfully-possessed suppressors (also referred to as silencers) on firearms for hunting.

IOWA: Fight Over Ammunition Ban for Dove Hunting Reaches Critical Point!
The battle over a potential lead shot ban for dove hunting continues to rage in Des Moines.  This issue is far bigger than many Second Amendment supporters in the Hawkeye state realize. This is not an attack on just the newly-established dove season, but a direct attack on both hunters and shooters. House Joint Resolution 2001, legislation that would prevent Iowa from being the first state to impose such an unfounded and comprehensive ban on lead ammunition, has already passed in the state House of Representatives by an overwhelming bipartisan 73 to 27 vote.  It now faces its biggest hurdle in the state Senate.  House members showed the courage of their convictions and now it's time that we make sure the state Senate does the same!

KENTUCKY: Management Plan for Clarks River National Wildlife Refuge Available for Comment
The Clarks River National Wildlife Refuge is located in western Kentucky in an area known as the Jackson Purchase.  The Refuge averages approximately 2 to 3 miles wide, and extends about 20 miles from near Paducah to just south of Benton.  The Refuge provides hunting, fishing and other wildlife-dependent public activities.  A new plan has been written for the Refuge to guide its management for the next 15 years.  The plan can be reviewed at http://southeast.fws.gov, under “Draft Documents.”  Comments are being accepted until March 16th and can be emailed to Tina Chouinard at tina_chouinard@fws.gov.  For further information you may contact her at 731-432-0981.  If you enjoy hunting and/or fishing on this Refuge, please take the time to submit comments in support of continuing, and even expanding, these opportunities.

MAINE: Employee Protection Bill Moves to the House Floor
On February 13, Legislative Document 1603 was reported “ought to pass” as amended by the Maine Joint Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee by an 8 to 5 vote.  LD 1603 will now go to the House floor for consideration.  LD1603 would prohibit the state from banning a state employee, who has a valid permit to carry a concealed firearm, from keeping a firearm in his or her vehicle on state property as long as the vehicle is locked and the firearm is not visible.

MASSACHUSETTS: Castle Doctrine Legislation Remains in Committee
The Massachusetts Joint Committee on the Judiciary held a hearing on February 6 on Senate Bill 661, an important self-defense bill, but has not yet voted this bill out of committee.  SB 661 would provide essential protections for law-abiding citizens who defend themselves and their families from a criminal looking to do them harm.

MICHIGAN: Heading in the Right Direction with Youth Mentored Hunting Program
On February 10, the Michigan Natural Resources Commission approved an NRA-backed program that encourages youth participation in hunting, trapping and fishing.  Although this program contains unnecessary and vague language requiring mentored hunters to “stay at arm’s length” of an adult mentor, Michigan’s Mentored Youth Hunting Program is a significant step in the right direction.  As has been proven in other states, mentored hunting programs are an essential tool for recruiting the next generation of hunters.

MINNESOTA: NRA-Backed Self-Defense Reform Bill Passes in the State Senate
On February 23, the Minnesota Senate passed House Bill 1467 by a 40 to 23 vote. This important reform legislation will now be sent back to the state House of Representatives for its concurrence, before being sent to Governor Mark Dayton for his consideration.  The House vote on concurrence is expected to take place this Monday, February 27. This bill includes stand your ground legislation, universal recognition for concealed carry permits and emergency powers reform.

MISSISSIPPI: House Committee Sends Three Bills to State House Floor
On February 23, the state House Judiciary B Committee approved three NRA-backed bills which will now be sent to the House floor for consideration.  While this is an important step in the legislative process, it is just the beginning and as such, it is important that you contact your state Representative in support of these bills. Legislation passed includes universal recognition, gun “buy back” program repeal and legislation to repeal the state recordkeeping requirement for licensed firearm dealers.

NEBRASKA: No Action Taken During Committee Hearing
On February 22, the Judiciary Committee held a hearing on Legislative Bill 785, but took no action.  Another hearing for LB 785 could be held as early as next Wednesday, February 29.  LB 785, introduced by state Senator Mark Christensen (44), would allow the transportation and storage of firearms in locked personal vehicles while on publicly-accessible parking lots.  We will keep you informed on any new updates regarding LB 785.

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.

Management Plan for Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge Addresses Hunting
A draft plan for the Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge has been released for public comment until March 12The 1100-acre refuge is located in Newington, NH and covers a portion of the former Pease Air Force Base.  Currently the Refuge offers a 2-day deer hunt each fall.  The Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to expand hunting opportunities under Alternative B, its preferred management approach, to include turkey hunting and a bow season for deer.  Alternative C would further expand general public use.  When the plan is made final it will guide management of the refuge for the next 15 years.  It is important that hunters participate during the comment period by submitting comments in support of keeping the refuge open to hunting and encouraging the Service to expand hunting opportunities.  Comments can be submitted online at www.northeastplanning@fws.gov.  You can view the document at www.fws.gov/northeast/planning/Great%20bay/ccphome.html.  For further information you may contact Refuge Manager Graham Taylor at fw5rw_prnwr@fws.gov.

NEW MEXICO: Senate Bill 26 Passes House and Sent to Governor Martinez
Senate Bill 26, sponsored by state Senator Bill Payne (R-ABQ) and carried in the House during the last few critical days of session by state Representative Bill Rehm (R-ABQ), passed in the state House by an overwhelming 61 to 6 vote the night before the Legislature adjourned sine die on February 16.  This bill is now on its way to Governor Susana Martinez for her signature.

OKLAHOMA: New Management Plan Underway for Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced the preparation of a new plan that will guide the management of the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge for the next 15 years.  The 20,800-acre refuge is located in Sequoyah, Muskogee, and Haskell Counties and was established on the Robert S. Kerr Reservoir as an overlay of a US Army Corps of Engineers’ project expressly for migratory waterfowl.  Hunting and fishing are the largest public uses on the Refuge.  The Service is asking the public to submit suggestions and comments on the scope of issues to consider during the planning process.  Public comments are being accepted until April 10 and can be sent online to www.SequoyahNWRCCP-EIS@fws.gov.  For further information, you may contact Refuge Manager Jeff Haas at 918-773-5251 ext. 29.  In its announcement, the Service noted that there are members of the public who want hunting and fishing reduced or eliminated, so it is imperative that hunters and anglers send the Refuge comments in support of maintaining, and even expanding, access and opportunities for hunting and fishing on the Sequoyah.

OREGON: Time Running Out for CHL Confidentiality Bill
State Senate President Peter Courtney (D-11) has assigned House Bill 4045, Concealed Handgun License confidentiality legislation sponsored by state Representative Kim Thatcher (R-25), to the state Senate Rules Committee.  Immediate action by this Senate committee is needed in order to pass this important legislation by the fast approaching end of the session. Under current law, the private personal information of every person holding a Concealed Handgun License (CHL) in Oregon is at risk of being divulged to the public.

SOUTH DAKOTA: Political Maneuver Defeats Employee Protection Bill in Committee
On February 24, the South Dakota Senate Judiciary Committee voted 5 to 2 to defer consideration of House Bill 1132 until the forty-first day of a forty day session. This politically motivated, procedural tactic effectively killed one of the NRA’s top legislative priorities for the 2012 session. Despite what gun control advocates claim, the true purpose of HB 1132 was to ensure the constitutional right of self-defense for all employed South Dakotans. Allowing South Dakotans to store their guns safely in their locked personal vehicles while at work is a sensible way to strike a balance between the private property rights of employers and the self-defense rights of law-abiding gun owners.

TEXAS: Parks and Wildlife Commission Opens Public Comment Period for Allowing Suppressor Use While Hunting
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission is seeking public comment on a proposed rule change allowing the use of suppressors (also referred to as silencers) on firearms for the hunting of game species.  Currently, Texas law permits the use of lawfully-possessed suppressors for all other shooting activities, including the taking of nuisance species.  Enactment of this rule change would ensure that hunting is treated the same way as other shooting activities with respect to the use of suppressors, and allow all hunters to reap the many benefits suppressor use provides.

VIRGINIA: Another Successful Day in Richmond as Three More Pro-Gun Bills are Sent to the Governor
As the Virginia House of Delegates continues to work through legislation previously passed in the state Senate, gun owners should take note of three more pro-gun bills that were sent to Governor Bob McDonnell on February 22. Senate Bill 67 would remove the option for a locality to require an applicant for a concealed handgun permit to submit fingerprints with the application.  Senate Bill 323 would repeal the prohibition on law-abiding citizens buying more than one handgun within a thirty-day period.  Senate Bill 563, among other things, would alter certain application procedures to obtain a concealed handgun permit, including allowing for the submission of an initial application via U.S. mail.

Senate Passes Three Pro-Gun Bills, Sending Two to the Governor
On February 20, the Virginia Senate sent House Bill 22 and House Bill 26 to Governor Bob McDonnell. House Bill 22 would establish that no locality or entity may participate in a gun “buyback” program where individuals are given anything of value or money in exchange for surrendering a firearm to the locality unless the governing body first passes an ordinance authorizing the gun “buyback.”  House Bill 26 would allow a court to waive a $25 dollar fine upon presentation of the permit to the court, if a person fails to display his concealed handgun permit when requested by a law enforcement officer.

State House Rejects Senate Changes to Castle Doctrine Legislation
On February 23, the House of Delegates voted to reject Senate amendments to House Bill 48 and the legislation will now be sent to a conference committee.  Sponsored by Delegate Dickie Bell (R-20), HB 48 seeks to provide civil liability immunity to someone who uses any degree of physical force against another person when the other person has unlawfully entered the dwelling and committed an overt act.

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.

WEST VIRGINIA: Apprentice Hunting Legislation Passes Unanimously in the Senate
On February 22, the state Senate unanimously passed Senate Bill 478 by a 33 to 0 vote.  This legislation would create an apprentice hunting license for West Virginia residents and non-residents.  This apprentice hunting legislation now goes to the House of Delegates for its consideration.

NICS Exemption Bill Passes in Senate
On February 21, the West Virginia Senate unanimously passed Senate Bill 353 by a 34 to 0 vote.  SB 353 now goes to the House of Delegates for its consideration.  SB 353 would expedite the process of purchasing a firearm for valid concealed carry permit holders by making West Virginia eligible for an exemption from the FBI National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). It has now been assigned to the House Judiciary Committee.

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