Act Now in Support of National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity
Vol. 19, No. 11 03/16/12

Posted on March 16, 2012

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Act Now in Support of National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity

On March 13, U.S. Senators Mark Begich (D-Alaska) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) introduced S. 2188, the "National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2012."  The bill is the Senate companion to H. R. 822, which was approved by the U. S. House last November by a vote of 272-154.

S. 2188, like H.R. 822, would allow any person with a valid state-issued concealed firearm permit to carry a concealed handgun in any other state that issues concealed firearm permits, or that does not prohibit the carrying of concealed firearms for lawful purposes. A state's laws governing where concealed handguns may be carried would apply within its borders.

Today 49 states either issue carry permits or otherwise authorize law-abiding people to carry firearms outside the home for self-defense. 41 states have fair "shall issue" permit systems that allow any law-abiding person to get a permit.  Read more

 

Anti-Hunters Won't Take "No" For an Answer, Seek Lead Ban:  In 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) denied a petition filed by a number of groups (led by the radical environmental group Center for Biological Diversity) to ban the use of lead ammunition.  Now, they're back, asking for any and all possible regulations, up to and including "a complete ban on bullets and shot containing lead for use in hunting and shooting sports."  Read more

Ninth Circuit Upholds Wolf Delisting:  This week, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that Congress acted within its power when it removed wolves from the federal Endangered Species List last year.  Read more

Grassroots Campaigning In a National Election Year:  Plan to attend this free training event 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…

Hunters' Rights Special Presentation at NRA Annual Meetings:  Threats to hunter's rights are escalating--and diversifying.  To see what you can do about it, please plan to attend a special presentation devoted to hunters' rights issues at this year's NRA Annual Meetings in St. Louis, MO.  Read more…

Grassroots News Minute Video:  To view this week's "Grassroots News Minute" video, please click here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vgb7c-ajoa4

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 Legislation Heads to Senate Floor
On March 15, the Senate Business and Labor Committee reported Senate Bill 331 by a 3 to 1 vote.  Committee Chairman Senator Rusty Glover (R-34), along with state Senators Shadrack McGill (R-8) and Cam Ward (R-14), voted in favor of this NRA-backed employee protection /parking lot legislation.  This bill now moves to the Senate floor for consideration.

ARIZONA: Firearms Preemption and Hunter Protection Bills Pass Senate Judiciary Committee
On March 12, the Arizona Senate Judiciary Committee passed two important gun bills: House Bill 2729, by a 6 to 2 vote, and House Bill 2457 which passed unanimously.  HB 2729 would amend various sections of the Arizona Revised Statutes to remove the current prohibition on entering a public establishment or attending any public event while carrying a weapon on one’s person and instead provide for regulation of firearms and ammunition on public property only if specific criteria are met.  HB 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.

CALIFORNIA: Legislature and Governor Still Need to Hear Your Support of Commissioner Richards
On Tuesday, the California Fish and Game Commission held a meeting in Riverside.  This meeting was standing room only and an overflow room was also filled with supporters for Commissioner Dan Richards.  Recently, Dan Richards, President of the California Fish and Game Commission, went on a successful and legal mountain lion hunt in Idaho.  The extremist organizations, such as HSUS, saw this as an opportunity to rid the Commission of a life-long hunter who opposes their radical agenda to ultimately ban all hunting in California and, eventually, in America.

Comments Needed to Keep Forest Area Open to Shooters
For over fifty years, the Candy Rock Quarry in the Stanislaus National Forest has been open for recreational shooting.  This quarry is located in Calaveras County, near the towns of Hathaway Pines and Avery, and is one of the locations in the Forest’s Calaveras Ranger District that is actively used by recreationists for target shooting.  The Forest Service recently issued a Notice of Intent to prepare an environmental impact statement to address whether recreational shooting is an appropriate activity at Candy Rock Quarry in the context of safety, public health, and applicable law and if it is, determine the conditions under which shooting may continue.

COLORADO:
Emergency Powers Bill Defeated in Senate Committee
House Bill 1064, Emergency Powers legislation, was defeated in the Colorado Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee by a partisan 3 to 2 vote.  This committee is well known for consistently defeating pro-gun legislation.

CONNECTICUT: Governor Attempts to Cut Funding for Pheasant Stocking Program
In a move that negatively impacts Connecticut’s hunting heritage, Governor Dan Malloy has decided that cutting the state’s pheasant stock program has suddenly become necessary.  This self-sustaining program is budgeted at $160,000, but in reality draws nothing from the General Fund and would actually cost the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection revenue through reduced license sales.  After taking a closer look at the money being “saved,” the $160,000 is actually the amount of money generated by the program last year and had been set aside for stocking this year’s program.

FLORIDA: Landowner Liability Bill Passes State Senate
On March 7, the Florida Senate overwhelmingly passed House Bill 313 by a 38 to 1 vote.  This legislation would limit the liability of landowners who contract with the state to allow private land to be used by members of the public for hunting, fishing and other recreational purposes.  This bill has been sent to the Governor for his approval.

Pro-Gun Bill Passes Florida Senate
On March 2, the state Senate unanimously passed House Bill 463.  This legislation would allow military personnel under the age of 21, who are otherwise qualified, to get a Florida concealed weapons license.  This bill also contains language that would prohibit the reckless discharge of firearms in neighborhoods.  HB 463 unanimously passed in the state House on February 23.  This bill has been sent to the Governor for his approval.

GEORGIA: House Game, Fish & Parks Committee Consider Hunting Reform Bill
On March 13, the state House Game, Fish and Parks Committee held a hearing on Senate Bill 301.  SB 301 would allow hunters in Georgia to use lawfully-possessed suppressors (also referred to as silencers) on firearms for hunting.  While no vote was taken on this legislation, multiple testimonies were given in support of hunting with suppressors in Georgia.

ILLINOIS: Pro-Second Amendment Legislation on the Move in Springfield
While it has been necessary to focus in Springfield over the last few weeks on defeating the aggressive anti-gun agenda being promoted by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D), along with anti-gun efforts promoted by others who oppose our Right to Keep and Bear Arms, your NRA-ILA has remained dedicated to improving protection of your Second Amendment rights in Illinois.  Our top legislative priority in Illinois remains House Bill 148, which remains alive in the state legislature as a viable option for bringing Right-to-Carry to Illinois.

INDIANA: General Assembly Votes to Uphold U.S. and Indiana Constitutions
On Friday, March 9, the Indiana General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to pass Senate Bill 1 and reaffirm law-abiding Hoosiers’ civil liberties which were undermined by last year’s state Supreme Court decision, Barnes v. State of Indiana.  SB 1 reverses an activist court decision and restores self-defense laws to what they were prior to the Barnes decision.

KANSAS: House Passes Concealed Carry Reform Bill
On March 13, the Kansas Senate referred House Bill 2353 to its Federal and State Affairs Committee.  This legislation would establish statewide regulations regarding the carrying of concealed weapons.

KENTUCKY: Two More NRA-Backed Bills Pass State House
On March 15, two NRA-backed bills passed in the state House and now go to the state Senate for its consideration.  House Bill 484, legislation that would allow for concealed carry on personal property without a permit, passed by an 86 to 5 vote and House Bill 563, legislation which would prevent illegal gun stings, passed by an 89 to 3 vote on the House floor. 

Bill to Strengthen Statewide Firearms Preemption Passes State House
On March 14, House Bill 500, legislation to further strengthen the firearms preemption law in Kentucky, passed in the state House of Representatives by an overwhelming 88 to 8 vote.  HB 500 will now head to the state Senate for its consideration.  This legislation is expected to be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee within the next two weeks.

MICHIGAN: Bill to Repeal Restrictions on Rifle and Shotgun Purchases
Recently state Senator Tom Casperson (R-38) introduced Senate Bill 984, legislation that would allow Michigan residents to purchase long guns in any other state as long as they comply with current federal firearms laws.  It would also allow non-residents to purchase rifles and shotguns in Michigan.  SB 984 has been referred to the state Senate Committee on Outdoor Recreation and Tourism.

MISSISSIPPI:
Right to Hunt and Fish Constitutional Amendment Clears House
In a strong display of bipartisanship on deadline day, the last day for House bills and constitutional amendments to be considered in that chamber, the Mississippi House of Representatives approved HCR 30, the NRA-backed right to hunt and fish constitutional amendment, by a 104 to 14 vote.  NRA-ILA and legislative supporters of HCR 30 accepted an amendment to move the ballot date for voter ratification from November 2012 to November 2014 in order to garner the 2/3 vote necessary to pass a constitutional amendment.

NEW YORK:
Microstamping Bill Moved to Senate Rules Committee
On March 13, the New York Senate Codes Committee was scheduled to consider Senate Bill 675B, microstamping legislation, but this bill was moved to the Senate Rules Committee.  A hearing date has not yet been scheduled in that new committee.  In addition to S675B being moved from one committee to another, language from Assembly Bill 1157B, microstamping legislation, has been inserted into the Assembly’s budget bill, Assembly Bill 9055C. 

Hopkinton Town Board Votes to Ban Firearms
A recent local effort in northern New York constitutes a blatant disregard for the Second Amendment rights of gun owners.  The Town of Hopkinton wants to ban all hunting "devices," including firearms of every type.  This proposed law is expected to come up for a vote on Monday, March 19.

Third Annual Sportsmen & Outdoor Recreation Legislative Awareness Day

The Third Annual Sportsmen and Outdoor Recreation Legislative Awareness Day will take place on Tuesday, March 20.  Sponsored by the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association and Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb, this sportsmen day will provide gun owners and concerned citizens the opportunity to meet with state lawmakers and experts to discuss sportsmen issues.

NORTH CAROLINA: City of Greensboro Postpones Vote on Right to Carry Restrictions
Thanks to pressure from supporters of self-defense, the Greensboro City Council did not adopt its proposed ordinance to restrict Right-to-Carry (RTC) permittees from lawfully carrying their personal protection firearms in certain city parks.  The ordinance itself was not defeated by a vote, but only delayed for future consideration.

OHIO: Pro-Gun Legislation to be Introduced in the State House
Pro-gun legislation will soon be introduced to address several problems with current gun laws by addressing: establishing an automatic reciprocity between Ohio and other states that have automatic reciprocity for their concealed handgun licenses, eliminating the renewed competency certification requirement for concealed carry licenses, changing the definition of a loaded firearm in a vehicle and clearly defining and simplifying “Concealed Handgun License.”

OKLAHOMA: “Landowner’s Hunting Freedom Act” and Emergency Powers Legislation Beat Senate Deadline and Head to the House
By a 40 to 3 vote, Senate Bill 1743 passed in the Senate and goes to the Oklahoma House.  Known as the “Landowner’s Hunting Freedom Act," SB would allow Oklahoma landowners and their guests to use lawfully-possessed suppressors on firearms for hunting.  Senate Bill 1760, Emergency Powers legislation, was passed in the Senate on March 13 by a 46 to 0 vote and now will be sent to the House where it will await committee assignment.

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 fifteen 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 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: Hunting to be Expanded in Plan for Malheur National Wildlife Refuge
A plan that will guide management of the 187,000-acre Malheur National Wildlife Refuge for the next fifteen years has been released to the public for comment.  Located in Harney County, the Refuge was established by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1908 to protect colonial nesting bird populations and is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).  The Refuge is currently open to hunting, but the USFWS intends to expand existing hunt opportunities.  Under Alternative 2, the preferred action alternative, upland game hunting would open three weeks earlier than under the current program.  Existing waterfowl hunt areas would be tremendously expanded by opening a portion of the south-central area of Malheur Lake, adding a new boat launch at headquarters, and by opening the Buena Vista Unit. 

CHL Confidentiality Bill Heads to Governor
On March 2, the state House concurred with the Senate amendments to House Bill 4045 by a 54 to 6 vote.  HB 4045 now goes to Governor Kitzhaber for his consideration. HB 4045 is a necessary legislative fix because under current law, the private personal information of every person holding a CHL in Oregon is at risk of being divulged to the public.

PENNSYLVANIA:
Firearms Preemption Enhancement Bill Tabled by State House
The Pennsylvania House of Representatives moved House Bill 1523 off the active calendar and onto the tabled bill calendar. This recent action came as a disappointment to many supporters in the legislature since the bill was approved in the state House Judiciary Committee by a vote of 19 to 4 and was supported by both sides of the aisle.

TENNESSEE: Showdown Looming in Nashville on Safe Commute Legislation
A citizen's right to self-defense while traveling should not be denied by employers and other owners of parking areas who refuse law-abiding citizens the ability to keep firearms out of sight in their locked private vehicles.  However, this is precisely what is happening in too many places in Tennessee.  House Bill 3560 and Senate Bill 3002 are companion bills that ensure all commuters, regardless of where they work or where they go, will have the right to defend themselves from violent crime while away from home.

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.  Only three meetings remain for comments to be heard.

UTAH:
Legislature Adjourns on a Positive Note for Gun Owners
On March, the Utah Legislature adjourned sine die and the close of this legislative session brought with it a win for law-abiding gun owners.  An important pro-gun bill, 1 Substitute House Bill 395, legislation that would amend Utah’s Concealed Firearm Act and the law pertaining to prohibited persons, passed in the Senate and was sent to the Governor for his consideration.

VIRGINIA: 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: 2012 Legislative Session Ends with Good News for Hunters and Shooters Alike
On March 10, the 2012 legislative session ended and with it came good news for NRA members across the Mountaineer State, as three NRA-backed bills are now headed to the Governor for his approval including: Senate Bill 149, firearms destruction prevention legislation; Senate Bill 353, legislation that would allow concealed carry permit holders to become exempt from the FBI-run NICS check; and Senate Bill 478, which would make an apprentice hunting license available for West Virginia residents and non-residents.

WISCONSIN: Hunting Heritage Act Goes to Governor Walker
The Wisconsin Assembly voted to concur with Senate amendments to Assembly Bill 311, sending it to Governor Scott Walker for his consideration.  The Hunting Heritage Act, if signed, would encourage the recruitment and retention of hunters and trappers through a multitude of initiatives. 

Assembly Sends Wolf-Hunting Bill to Governor Scott Walker
The Wisconsin Assembly voted 69 to 25 to concur with Senate Bill 411, sponsored by state Senator Terry Moulton (R-23), which passed in the state Senate by an overwhelming 24 to 9 vote.  This bill is now with Governor Scott Walker awaiting his signature.  If enacted, SB 411 will create the first wolf hunting season east of the Mississippi since the wolf’s delisting from the endangered species list.

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