Protect Your Rights! Act Now to Support Legal Transportation of Firearms
Vol. 19, No. 14 04/06/12

Posted on April 6, 2012

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Protect Your Rights!
Act Now to Support Legal Transportation of Firearms

 

When Congress passed the Firearms Owners' Protection Act (FOPA) in 1986, one of the key provisions of the bill was intended to protect the rights of gun owners to legally transport their firearms between locations where they are legally allowed to possess them.

Unfortunately, some local jurisdictions have chosen to ignore federal law and the courts have upheld these infringements on Second Amendment rights.

H.R. 4269, introduced by U.S. Reps. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.), Ted Poe (R-Texas) and Bill Owens (D-N.Y.) would amend this provision to ensure it has the effect Congress intended.

Most states have never had a problem with this law.  However, both before and after enactment of FOPA, gun owners have had serious problems lawfully travelling with their firearms in two states in particular: New York (especially New York City) and New Jersey.  Rather than recognize the intention of Congress to protect the rights of Americans travelling with legally owned firearms, these jurisdictions have used overly restrictive state licensing laws to harass and prosecute travelers.  Read more

Second Amendment Challenge to Cook County Gun Ban Moves Forward:  On April 5, the Illinois Supreme Court unanimously denied an attempt by Cook County, Ill., to dismiss a challenge to the county's California-style ban on countless types of common semi-automatic firearms.  The National Rifle Association supported the case brought by the NRA's state affiliate, the Illinois State Rifle Association.  Read more

Enough, Mr. President. No More!  On Monday, Mexican president Felipe Calderon continued Mexico's tradition of blaming America for its self-induced problems, and continued his personal habit of blaming America's gun laws for the fact that his policies have failed to dismantle Mexico's drug cartels and, regrettably, that his failure has contributed to a severe increase in murders in Mexico.  Read more

FREE Grassroots Workshop in St. Louis One Week Away!  NRA-ILA's free seminar at NRA's upcoming Annual Meetings in St. Louis, MO--"Grassroots Campaigning in a National Election Year"--is just one week away!  The seminar will include specific information and training to help ensure victory in the critical up-coming elections.  Read more

Violence Policy "Center"?  More like Violence Policy Joke:  We got a good laugh out of handgun eradication activist Josh Sugarmann's latest blog post on the left-wing, America-hating Huffington Post website, his 113th so far.  Read more

Canada Finally Abolishes Ridiculous Long-Gun Registry:  This week, the Canadian Senate voted 50-27 to abolish their useless long-gun registry. The passage of Bill C-19 means that registration records for seven million ordinary long guns are to be destroyed.

In the wake of many hours of debate and anti-gun rhetoric from the opposition and lobbyists, the Conservative party has successfully laid the registry to rest.  Few issues have prompted so many Canadians to sound off on the shortcomings of a Canadian law.

Congratulations to our neighbors to the North on this hard-fought victory!

To read a press release from the Canadian Shooting Sports Association, please click here.

Grassroots News Minute Video:  To view tonight's Grassroots News Minute, 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 Legislation Could be Considered by the Senate Next Week
This session, the NRA has supported crucial legislation in Alabama which, if enacted, would provide essential protections to employees who wish to exercise their right to self-defense on their way to and from the workplace. Senate Bill 331 would prohibit certain businesses from establishing policies against persons transporting or storing firearms or ammunition in motor vehicles, provided that certain criteria are met. SB 331 could be voted on by the Alabama Senate next week and is in need of your active support.

ALASKA: Vital Self-Defense Legislation Needs Your Help
House Bill 80, self-defense legislation, passed in the state House at the end of last session, and was reported by the state Senate Judiciary Committee on March 23.  HB 80 is now pending in the Senate Finance Committee and will likely be heard there soon.  HB 80 is important self-defense legislation that would provide that a law-abiding person, who is justified in using deadly force in self-defense, has “no duty-to-retreat” from an attack if the person is in any place that that person has a legal right to be.

ARIZONA: Governor Signs Bill Allowing Law Enforcement to Sell Confiscated Firearms
On April 4, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed into law Senate Bill 1241, an important gun bill relating to forfeited and seized firearms. SB 1241 passed in the state Senate by a 21 to 9 vote on February 16 and passed in the House by a 43 to 12 vote on March 27.

Hunter Protection Law Goes to Governor
On April 4, the Arizona Senate passed an important hunter protection bill by a 21 to 7 vote. House Bill 2457, which passed in the House by a 54 to 4 vote on March 5, would allow hunters to carry a handgun for self-defense while in the field. HB 2457 will now be sent to Governor Jan Brewer for her approval.

Governor Brewer Signs Law Allowing Suppressors for Hunting
On March 29, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed House Bill 2728 into law.  This important hunting bill will allow hunters in Arizona to use lawfully-possessed suppressors (also referred to as silencers) on firearms for hunting.  HB 2728 passed in the state House by a 42 to 14 vote on February 28 and in the state Senate on March 27 by a 20 to 9 vote.

CALIFORNIA: Assembly Committee on Public Safety Update
On March 27, the state Assembly Committee on Public Safety was scheduled to hear two anti-gun bills, Assembly Bill 1527 and Assembly Bill 2182.  AB 1527 was amended to limit its scope and was passed in the committee by a 4 to 2 vote.  AB 1527 will now go to the state Assembly Committee on Appropriations.  As introduced AB 1527, would expand on last year’s ban on open carrying of an unloaded handgun to also include unloaded rifles and shotguns.  On a positive note, AB 2182 was pulled from the committee agenda.  AB 2182 would require that a person be arrested if they inadvertently attempt to bring a firearm through an airport security checkpoint and ban that person from entering that airport in the future.

Comments Needed to Keep National 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. 

GEORGIA: Unfortunate Political Games in the General Assembly Accomplish Little
On March 29, the Georgia General Assembly adjourned and with that, the door of opportunity to pass substantial pro-gun reforms was slammed shut. The potential for pro-gun legislation to pass in both chambers of the state legislature was very real and likely for this legislative session. But, due to the serious distrust between the members of both legislative bodies towards its opposite (despite being of the same political party) gun owners will now need to wait until next year for legislative efforts to protect and restore our Second Amendment rights. 

IDAHO: Right to Hunt and Fish Constitutional Amendment Passes Senate and Will Be on November Ballot
On March 27, the Idaho Senate voted 31 to 3 to pass House Joint Resolution 2a, a much-needed constitutional amendment that would provide meaningful protections against anti-hunting activists who seek to ban all hunting in America.  HJR 2a passed in the House by a 63 to 4 vote on March 22.  HJR 2a will now be on the ballot for voter approval this November.

KANSAS: Governor Brownback Signs Important Hunting Bill into Law
On March 29, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed House Bill 2491 into law.  This important self-defense and hunting reform will allow hunters, anglers, and trappers to carry a handgun in the field.  HB 2491 passed in the state Senate unanimously on March 15 and in the House by an overwhelming 113 to 8 vote in February. 

KENTUCKY: Three NRA-Backed Bills Currently Await Governor’s Signature
Following the passage of House Bill 500, two more NRA-supported bills were sent to Governor Steve Beshear for his approval. House Bill 484, a concealed carry exemption bill, passed by a near unanimous 37 to 1 vote on March 28. The other bill sent to the Governor on March 28, House Bill 563, fraudulent firearms prevention legislation, passed by a unanimous 38 to 0 vote. It is now up to Governor Beshear to sign these three important pro-Second Amendment bills into law.

LOUISIANA: Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Right to Keep and Bear Arms Constitutional Amendment
On April 3, the Senate Judiciary Committee C passed Senate Bill 303 by a 6 to 1 vote. SB 303 would improve the current provision in the state constitution and provide Louisianans the strongest and most comprehensive constitutional language of any state, guaranteeing our Right to Keep and Bear Arms in Louisiana for future generations. SB 303 will be debated onto the Senate floor next week.

MAINE: Emergency Powers Legislation Sent to Governor
The Maine Legislature has sent another pro-gun bill to Governor Paul LePage for his approval. Legislative Document 1859, “An Act to Protect Firearm Ownership during Times of Emergency,” would clarify that, during any declared state of disaster or emergency, lawfully possessed, used, carried, transferred, transported, stored or displayed firearm or ammunition cannot be seized from law-abiding citizens.

MISSISSIPPI: NRA-Backed Legislation Moves Forward in the Magnolia State
The state Senate passed NRA-backed House Bills 455 and 695, sending both to Governor Phil Bryant for his approval.  Additionally, two more NRA-supported bills remain on the Senate Calendar and must be considered by the Senate before its floor action deadline next Wednesday, April 11.

NEBRASKA: Legislature Places Right to Hunt and Fish Amendment on 2012 Ballot
On March 27, the Nebraska Legislature passed NRA-backed Legislative Resolution 40CA, the Right to Hunt and Fish constitutional amendment, by a 41 to 3 vote.  This action places this issue on the general election ballot this November.  Introduced by state Senator Pete Pirsch (4), LR 40CA proposes an amendment to the Nebraska Constitution recognizing the citizens’ right to hunt and fish.  It would provide meaningful protections against the anti-hunting extremists who seek to ban all hunting in America.

NEW MEXICO: State Affiliate to Hold Membership Meeting This Month
The National Rifle Association’s official state affiliate, the New Mexico Shooting Sports Association (NMSSA), will hold a general membership meeting in Las Cruces on Saturday, April 21, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.  This meeting is scheduled to take place at St. James Episcopal Church, located at 102 St. James Avenue near the southeast corner of Main and University, will be open to current NMSSA members and NRA members who are interested in learning more about the benefits of joining NMSSA.

OHIO: Comprehensive Pro-Gun Reform Legislation Needs Your Support
On March 27, state Representative Terry Johnson (R-89) introduced House Bill 495, vital pro-gun reform legislation, which would address several problems with current Ohio gun laws. 

OKLAHOMA: Firearms Reform Bills Continue to Advance
After passing their chamber of origin, three NRA-backed bills continue to garner support in the Oklahoma Legislature. On April 4, Senate Bills 1760 and 1743 were each passed in their respective House committees with overwhelming approval, while Senate Bill 1420 cleared the House yesterday. Please continue to encourage your state Representative to support protections to your gun rights and hunting heritage.

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:
Governor Will Decide the Fate of CHL Confidentiality Bill
House Bill 4045, a Concealed Handgun License (CHL) confidentially bill, passed in both chambers of the Oregon Legislature and currently awaits Governor Kitzhaber’s approval.  The last day for the Governor to sign this legislation into law is Monday, April 16.

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. 

PENNSYLVANIA: Firearms Preemption Legislation Needs Your Active Support Now
House Bill 1523 and Senate Bill 1438 would strengthen Pennsylvania’s firearms preemption law to further ensure firearm and ammunition laws are uniform throughout the state. However, the anti-gun extremists are pulling out the stops trying to stop this pro-firearm legislation.  On March 27, anti-gun Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG) member, along with other MAIG members and other anti-gun mayors were at the state Capitol trying to rally opposition to common sense firearms legislation that will keep law-abiding gun owners from becoming criminals.

TENNESSEE: NRA-Backed Safe Commute and Employee Protection Bills Advance out of Senate Committees
On March 27, Senate Bill 3002, the NRA-initiated Safe Commute Act, passed in the Senate Judiciary Committee by a 6 to 1 vote, with two members voting to "pass" on the bill.  Senate Bill 2992, the Firearm Discrimination Prevention Bill intended to bolster the ultimate implementation of SB 3002, passed in the Senate Commerce Committee by a vote of 6 to 3.  Both of these important bills will soon be sent to the Senate floor for a vote.

TEXAS: Lone Star State Expands Right-to-Carry Reciprocity to West Virginia
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has negotiated and Governor Rick Perry signed a concealed carry reciprocity agreement with West Virginia Attorney General Darrell McGraw.  Now, valid West Virginia Concealed Handgun Permits will be honored in Texas and Texas Concealed Handgun Licenses will be recognized in West Virginia, as long as the holder complies with the applicable laws in each state.

Use of Lawfully-Owned Suppressors While Hunting Legalized
On March 29, after hearing your support for this NRA-backed common sense hunting reform, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission voted unanimously to legalize suppressor use while hunting.  The benefits associated with suppressor use include increased accuracy due to reduced recoil and muzzle blast, protection from hearing damage and reduced noise pollution. 

UTAH: Governor Signs Three NRA-Supported Bills into Law
The NRA is pleased to report that Governor Gary Herbert has signed three pro-gun bills into law: House Bill 117, House Bill 129 and House Bill 395.  All three laws went into effect immediately upon the Governor signing them. HB 117 repeals the limitation on carrying a concealed firearm while hunting.  HB 129 clarifies and strengthens Utah’s statute which protects a property owner from civil liability if the person is justified in defending his or her home and family against criminal activity. Finally, HB 393 will make a number of positive changes to existing law, including model language from the NRA’s Fraudulent Firearm Purchase Prevention Act.

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: Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Expands to Texas
On February 21, official Right-to-Carry reciprocity was recognized between West Virginia Attorney General Darrell McGraw (D) and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott (R).  West Virginia now has Right-to-Carry reciprocity with thirty-one other states.

Governor Signs NRA-Backed Bills Into Law
On April 2, West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin signed three NRA-backed bills into law: SB 149, a firearms destruction prohibition bill; SB 353, important background check exemption legislation; and SB 478, legislation that creates an apprentice hunting license.  All three laws will take effect on June 8, 2012.

WISCONSIN: Governor Walker Signs Two Important Hunting Bills
On April 4, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed into law two important hunting initiatives.  Assembly Bill 311, the Hunting Heritage Act, and Senate Bill 411 which creates a regulated gray wolf hunting season, passed by large bipartisan majorities in both houses of the state legislature and will help preserve Wisconsin’s rich hunting heritage.

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