Rehberg Amendment to Block Unauthorized Sales Reports Advances on Capitol Hill
Vol. 19, No. 17 04/27/12

Posted on April 27, 2012

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Rehberg Amendment to Block
Unauthorized Sales Reports Advances on Capitol Hill

This week, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations approved, by a vote of 30-19, an amendment offered by Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.), to prohibit the use of federal funds to carry out the BATFE's requirement that firearm dealers in the four southwestern border states file "multiple sales" reports on individuals who buy more than one detachable-magazine semi-automatic rifle of greater than .22 caliber in a five-day period.

The NRA and the National Shooting Sports Foundation are challenging the reporting requirement in federal court, arguing that this "demand letter" program is illegal because Congress has specifically required multiple sales reports only on handguns, implicitly exempting other firearms from the requirement. And as Rep. Rehberg said after the committee's vote, if the BATFE's scheme is allowed to continue, it "could be expanded to other states using the same obscure regulatory process used to create the rule."

BATFE--which as part of its Operation Fast and Furious knowingly allowed straw purchasers to obtain firearms in the United States for trafficking to Mexican drug cartels--contends that the rifle reports will help the agency identify and prosecute the very same activity.

So it's no coincidence that, as the House committee prepared to vote on the Rehberg amendment, the agency released new data on firearms that were confiscated in Mexico between 2007 and 2011, and that Mexico subsequently asked the BATFE to trace. (Read more…)

Right-to-Carry Amendment Passes in U.S. House Subcommittee on Energy and Water Appropriations:  During consideration of the fiscal year 2013 Energy and Water Development Related Agencies Appropriations bill this week, U.S. Representative Alan Nunnelee (R-Miss.) offered an amendment to allow a law-abiding citizen to legally possess firearms on Army Corps of Engineers Water Resource Development lands.  The amendment passed by a voice vote.  (Read more…)

Senator Heller Steadfastly Opposes Nomination of Anti-Gun Judge:  U.S. Senator Dean Heller (R-Nev.) recently opposed the nomination of Clark County District Judge Elissa Cadish for the federal bench, citing his concern over her anti-gun leanings.  (Read more…)

Rumor Control:  Reports have been circulating regarding S. 1813--a highway bill recently passed by the U.S. Senate.  The story goes that this bill would allow the IRS to seize your passport and your guns if you owe more than $50,000 in back taxes. The claims are totally bogus.  (Read more…)

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Harvard History Prof. Needs History Lesson:  Thirty-five words acknowledging the good uses and potential uses of guns, in an article of 7,729 words, is not necessarily better than nothing. The article, "Battleground America: One Nation Under the Gun," written by Harvard University history professor Jill LePore and published in the April 23 issue of The New Yorker, begins with 545 words dedicated to shootings at schools and ends with another 583 words in the same vein. Buried somewhere in the middle, LePore acknowledges that a gun "can be used to hunt an animal or to . . . prevent a crime. Enough people carrying enough guns, and with the will and the training to use them, can defend a government or topple one."  (Read more…)

Another Way to Get Involved--Join NRA's Facebook and Twitter:  Online social networking has exploded in recent years, and websites such as Facebook and Twitter have attracted millions of users.  This online community fosters a connection between its users and allows distribution of user-generated content such as pictures, profiles, music, videos, and text.  (Read more…)

Grassroots News Minute Video:  

 

 

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.

ALASKA: Legislature Adjourns with Politics Getting in the Way of Freedom
The Alaska Legislature adjourned sine die just after midnight on April 16. There were good strides made on important NRA-supported bills during this legislative session.  However, political gridlock got in freedom's way.  On a positive note, House Bill 19, an omnibus special request license plate bill which includes an NRA license plate, was passed and signed into law by Governor Parnell on March 17. The citizens of Alaska deserve to have a legislature that will take up the issues that are of importance to them and put public service over partisan politics.

ARIZONA: Governor Vetoes Concealed Carry Reform Bill
On April 17, Governor Jan Brewer vetoed House Bill 2729, legislation that would have allowed concealed weapons in public buildings that lack adequate security measures. The Senate voted in favor of this bill on April 12 and the state House passed it on March 6.

CALIFORNIA: Update on Pro- and Anti-Gun Legislation Heard in the Senate and Assembly Committees
On April 24, several firearm-related bills were considered and voted on in state Senate and Assembly committees. Pro-gun Senate Bill 1367, legislation to allow a concealed carry permit holder to carry concealed for self-defense while archery hunting, passed in the state Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water and anti-gun Senate Bill 1221, would ban hunting bears and bobcats with dogs, passed in the same committee.

COLORADO: NRA-Backed Bill to End Duplicative State Background Checks Dies in the Historically Anti-Gun State Senate
On April 23, House Bill 1048 had its hearing in the Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee and was postponed indefinitely. This effectively kills this bill for this year.  HB 1048 would eliminate the duplicative state-run Colorado Bureau of Investigation InstaCheck system for the purchase of firearms and solely utilize the existing National Instant Criminal Background Check System. 

KENTUCKY: Supreme Court Upholds Storage of Firearms in Vehicles on College Campuses
On April 26, the Kentucky Supreme Court released its decision that upheld the right to keep a firearm locked and out of sight in personal vehicles on a college campus.  The Kentucky Court's ruling followed a brief that was filed on behalf of the NRA's Institute for Legislative Action.  This decision, which is a reversal of a Fayette County Circuit Court ruling in 2009, was described as an "important victory for gun owners in Kentucky," according to David Thompson, an attorney with Cooper & Kirk in Washington, D.C, who represented the National Rifle Association.

LOUISIANA: Pro-Gun Constitutional Amendment is Under Attack
What would be considered the country's strongest "right to keep and bear arms" constitutional amendment is in serious jeopardy in the Louisiana House of Representatives.  Senate Bill 303, an "iron-clad" constitutional amendment that would fortify the right to keep and bear arms for all Louisianans, already passed in the state Senate and has been endorsed by Governor Bobby Jindal.  SB 303 is now in the House Administration of Criminal Justice Committee where it is in danger of being completely gutted through amendments or, even worse, defeated.  SB 303 will be heard in committee on Wednesday, May 2.

MISSISSIPPI: Governor Bryant Signs Two NRA-Supported Bills into Law
Governor Phil Bryant approved two NRA-backed bills important to firearms owners in Mississippi.  House Bill 695, signed into law on April 17, is a universal recognition bill that will not only allow concealed weapons permit holders from other states to carry in Mississippi, but will also expand the number of states which acknowledge Mississippi permits.  On April 18, Governor Bryant also signed House Bill 455 into law, legislation which removes the redundant state recordkeeping requirement for licensed firearm dealers.  HB 695 will go into effect on July 1, while HB 455 is effective immediately. 

MISSOURI: NRA-Backed Anti-Discrimination Bill Moves to the Senate
On April 17, House Bill 1621 was given a "do-pass" by the Senate General Laws Committee, and will now be sent to the Senate floor for a vote.  Sponsored by state Representative Wanda Brown (R-116), HB 1621 would make it an unlawful employment practice to discriminate against an individual because he or she has a concealed carry endorsement or uses a firearm for a lawful purpose.  This legislation was previously passed in the state House on March 8 by a 115 to 36 vote.

MONTANA: Hunting Included in Management Plan for Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is currently allowing the public to comment on a recent plan to manage the Lee Metcalf Refuge for the next fifteen years.  Located south of Missoula, this 2,800-acre refuge is one of the smallest refuges in the country and is one of the few remaining undeveloped areas in the Bitterroot Valley.  The Lee Metcalf Refuge is open to archery hunting for deer, which is one of the fish and wildlife related recreational opportunities available.

NEBRASKA: Governor Signs Two Pro-Second Amendment Bills into Law
On April 18, Legislative Bill 807, Concealed Handgun Permit reform legislation, passed during its final reading on the floor of the Legislature by an overwhelming 48 to 1 vote.  LB 807 was then transmitted to Governor Dave Heineman who signed it into law that same day.  On April 11, Legislative Bill 804, civil immunity legislation, was also signed into law by Governor Heineman.

NEVADA: Management Plan will Dictate Future of Hunting and Shooting on Federal Public Lands
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), an agency of the U.S. Department of the Interior, has announced its intent to revise a management plan for lands under the jurisdiction of its Carson City District.  The BLM is in the first stage, called the "Scoping Stage," of the process and is inviting the public to comment on what issues they believe should be addressed in the plan.  The BLM is a multiple-use agency and among many activities, hunting and recreational shooting are allowed.  However, in recent years, the agency has been systematically closing large areas of public lands to recreational shooting. 

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.

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.

WISCONSIN: Concealed Carry Program Celebrates 100,000th Permit
On April 20, Wisconsin's Department of Justice reached an important milestone, issuing its 100,000th concealed carry permit. After only six months, this record-breaking number of applications and licenses demonstrate the demand for these permits and the success of this program in Wisconsin.

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