NRA-ILA GRASSROOTS ALERT Vol. 13, No. 9 03/03/06

Posted on February 6, 2006


States with updates this issue:  Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont, Wyoming.


NRA has filed a motion for contempt against the City of New Orleans, its mayor, Ray Nagin, and the acting chief of police for failure to comply with a temporary restraining order handed down September 12, 2005, ordering an end to all illegal gun confiscations that occurred in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

“With looters, rapists, and other thugs running rampant in New Orleans, Ray Nagin issued an order to disarm all law-abiding citizens,” declared NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre.  “With no law enforcement or 911 available, he left the victims vulnerable by stripping away their only means of defending themselves and their loved ones.  Now Ray Nagin thinks he’s above the law, and that's just wrong.”

Attorneys for NRA have exhausted all efforts to cooperate with the defendants, Mayor Nagin and Chief Riley, who repeatedly ignored the court’s permanent restraining order against their illegal gun confiscations.  

“Ray Nagin is a colossal disappointment,” said NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox.  “During a federally declared emergency, he abused his power and abandoned the very people he was sworn to protect.  He took away the victims’ freedom and their basic means of self-defense during an ill-fated and perilous time.”

The motion also includes an order that all seized firearms must be returned to their rightful owners.


On February 28, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security, chaired by Representative Howard Coble (R-NC), held a second hearing on the heavy-handed enforcement tactics used by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives at several gun shows in Richmond, Virginia.

BATFE’s Assistant Director for Field Operations, Michael Bouchard, offered a very limited apology for some of the Bureau’s actions, acknowledging that “some techniques” used at the show were not “consistent with ATF’s best practices.” 

In particular, Bouchard conceded that the Bureau shouldn’t have set up a command post at the show itself, creating a massive, visible law enforcement presence.  He also said BATFE shouldn’t have given some attendees a letter accusing them of violating federal laws--a letter which summoned them to BATFE’s offices for further questioning, but which Bouchard said did not serve a legal purpose.  Finally, he said the Bureau should have “more thoroughly explain[ed] the parameters” for the “residency checks” in which federal and local officers visited show attendees’ homes to ask their family members and neighbors about the attendees’ gun purchases.

Bouchard did not, however, fully answer many other concerns about the Bureau’s tactics, such as the strategies it used to target certain buyers for “discouragement” at the show, or traffic stops and gun seizures off the show premises.  He also did not address the legality of using federal firearms licensees’ records for sweeping “residency checks” of hundreds of gun buyers, or why BATFE never responded to local officials’ concerns about the legality of those checks.

NRA-ILA applauds the subcommittee for airing the issues at this hearing, and will work to ensure that Congress continues to shine a light on federal agencies’ practices in enforcing the nation’s laws.  Stay tuned for more information on future hearings or legislative activity!


After hearing NRA attorneys argue against the legality of Proposition H--a citywide gun ban--Superior Court Judge James Warren prevailed on the City of San Francisco to hold off on enforcing its gun possession ban while he takes time to consider the issues involved. The judge’s ruling will be issued within 90 days of March 20, 2006.

This means implementation of the ban on long guns on March 1, and on handguns as of April 1, will not be enforced while the judge reviews the case.

NRA-ILA is heartened by the judge’s actions, and appreciates his attention to detail as he examines state and local laws, and considers the right of San Franciscans to choose to possess firearms.

It is troubling that San Franciscans--who pride themselves on respecting the right of people to make individual lifestyle choices--are attempting to deprive city residents of the right to choose whether owning a firearm is appropriate for defending their families based on their individual circumstances.  And it is ironic that San Francisco officials have acknowledged that the only violence prevention program in San Francisco that works is “Operation Ceasefire,” a “Project Exile”-derived program that targets felons who illegally possess guns.



As the keynote speaker at the National Wild Turkey Federation’s annual convention, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia told attendees that the best thing sportsmen and hunters can do for hunting is to refute the fallacious stereotype that guns are used only for evil purposes.

An avid hunter himself, Judge Scalia told the assembled group, “The attitude of people associating guns with nothing but crime, that is what has to be changed.  I grew up at a time when people were not afraid of people with firearms.  I hope [the hunting culture] can be preserved--the hunting culture, of course, begins with a culture that does not have a hostile attitude toward firearms.”


Once again NRA is seeking volunteers to help at the 2006 NRA Annual Meeting in Milwaukee, May 17-21.  To a large degree, the success of each year’s NRA Annual Meeting is dependent on the contributions of our volunteers.  And you can be a part of that successful effort this year!

A number of volunteers are needed to help with set-up on Wednesday and Thursday, May 17 and 18, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  During the actual exhibit and meetings--Friday through Sunday--volunteers will work in the NRA Store, at our Membership Services Booth, and at the Airgun Range.  There are a number of additional volunteer opportunities as well.

To volunteer or for more information, visit any of NRA’s web sites or the Annual Meeting site (, or contact NRA Field Representative, Scott Taetsch, at (262) 392-2716, or Dennis Eggers, Central Region Director, at (270) 522-0909.  Their respective e-mail addresses are: and


LAST CHANCE!  You have one last opportunity to own a piece of political history, straight from the closely fought 2004 presidential campaign!   Due to the high demand for the previously offered banners described in past Grassroots Alerts, a final banner is being offered on E-Bay.

This distinctive NRA banner, measuring eight feet long and four feet high, crisscrossed the battleground states in the final weeks of the contest, and was a significant part of NRA’s 2004 election strategy.  Displayed at NRA rallies and gun shows, the banner sent a simple but effective message:  Despite his attempt to pander to sportsmen, John Kerry has a 20-year record of hostility toward the Second Amendment.  These NRA rallies were crucial in turning out enough voters to give President Bush victories in pivotal battleground states such as Ohio and West Virginia.

The banner is in very good condition and--whether sought after by a gun owner, political memorabilia collector, or someone hoping to educate others on truly effective political communications--represents a valuable piece of political history.
NRA-ILA Executive Director and NRA Political Victory Fund chairman Chris W. Cox has signed the banner. 

The auction ends March 9.  If you’d like to own this banner, please visit and place your bid.


(***For all of the action items below, you can find contact information for your legislators by using the “Write Your Representatives” tool at As always, thank you for your support.***)

States with updates this issue: Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont, Wyoming.

HB 2074, “Concealed Weapons Permit Reform,” sponsored by Representative Chuck Gray (R-19), passed the Senate Judiciary Committee.  This bill eliminates the requirement that a two-hour refresher course be completed by a permit holder renewing a permit.  More than 30 Right-to-Carry states do not have this requirement and there are no indications of problems in these states.  Significantly, HB 2074 was amended to include a “full recognition” provision.  If adopted, Arizona will recognize the concealed weapons permits from all 44 other states, ensuring that Arizona’s permit will be recognized by additional states.  Also, SB 1145, the “Castle Doctrine,” sponsored by Senator Timothy Bee (R-30), returns the “Burden of Proof” in state self-defense cases and corrects the current “guilty-until-you-prove-your-innocence” standard in state self-defense cases.  Arizona is one of only two states in the country that places the burden of proof in self-defense cases on the citizen instead of the state.  This is simply wrong and must be corrected this year before more abuses occur!  SB 1145 will receive a Senate floor vote this coming week.  Please call your State Senator and ask him or her to support HB 2074 and SB 1145.  State Senators can be reached at (602) 926-3559, or toll free at (800) 352-8404.

On Friday, March 17, the Connecticut General Assembly’s Environment Committee will hold a public hearing on a proposal to allow hunting on Sundays.  The legislation, supported by the Coalition of Connecticut Sportsmen, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, and NRA, would allow the Department of Environmental Conservation to designate areas where hunting on Sunday on private property may be permitted in order to control overpopulation of species. The bill has not yet been assigned a number, so we encourage members to call their lawmakers and urge them to support Sunday hunting!
In addition, please plan on attending what promises to be one of the largest and most successful Friends of NRA events in the country, on March 24, 2006, in Southington.  Limited edition firearms, knives, art prints, and other collectibles will be offered for sale, at auction, or given away in special drawings.  50% of the net proceeds from the event will go to qualified projects in Connecticut, with the remaining 50% benefiting national programs.  The event will take place at the beautiful Aqua Turf Restaurant on Mulberry Street, in Southington.  It will start at 6:00 p.m. and will feature a delicious meal prepared by the Aqua Turf.  For tickets, directions, or more information, please call Chairman Ray Hanley at (203) 264-4899.

On Wednesday, March 8, 2006, the Senate Criminal Justice Committee will hold another hearing on SB-206, by Senator Durell Peaden (R-2).  SB-206 protects your right to have a gun in your vehicle (car, truck, minivan, sports utility vehicle, motorcycle, motor home, RV, etc.) for lawful purposes.  Some Florida businesses, led by the Florida Chamber of Commerce and the Florida Retail Federation, are trying to ban guns in cars.  They are violating the constitutional rights of gun owners and Florida law. They want to ban guns by denying your right to have a firearm in your private vehicle when you park in a parking lot that accommodates the public and company employees.  They have no constitutional or legal right to search your vehicle or tell you what legal personal private property you can have inside your private vehicle in their parking lot or anywhere else.  Please immediately send email to members of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee and URGE THEM TO SUPPORT

This week, Senate Bill 396, the “Castle Doctrine” bill, sponsored by Senator Greg Goggans (R-7), was overwhelmingly approved by the full Senate. This bill would remove a citizen’s duty to retreat when faced with attack.  The bill now goes to the House for its consideration. Please be sure to call your Representative and respectfully urge him or her to support SB 396 when it comes before the House for consideration.  You can reach your Representative at (404) 656-5000.

SB 2579 (sponsored by Senator Colleen Hanabusa (D-21)), and HB 3015 (sponsored by Representative Blake Oshiro (D-33)), two bills introduced to ban the sale, transfer, and possession of .50 caliber firearms in Hawaii, were defeated in their assigned committees.  Both measures, strongly opposed by NRA and the Hawaii Rifle Association (HRA), failed to receive hearings and consequently, missed the deadlines to be moved ahead.

HB2414 (sponsored by Representative Edward Acevedo (D-2)), which seeks to ban countless semi-automatic handguns, rifles, and shotguns, as well as .50 caliber rifles, will not be called for a vote by the third reading deadline.  While this does not mean that the bill has been officially defeated for the session, it represents a tremendous loss for the anti-gun extremists, including Governor Blagojevich (D) and Mayor Daley. We will keep you informed of any future developments.

Senate Bill 418, currently in the House Federal and State Affairs Committee, is scheduled for a committee vote on Monday, March 6.  SB 418, “The Personal and Family Protection Act,” sponsored by Senator Phil Journey (R-26), is expected to be in the House by Thursday, March 9.  Kansas is one of only four U.S. States that will not allow its citizens to protect themselves outside the home by carrying concealed firearms.  Please take 10 minutes out of your day to do the following: First, contact your State Representative at (785) 296-2391 and ask him or her to support SB 418; Second, contact your State Senator at (785) 296-2456 and ask him or her to support SB 418; and finally, call Governor Kathleen Sebelius (D) and respectfully ask her to trust Kansans by signing SB 418.

SB 12, sponsored by Senator Katie Kratz Stine (R-24) and Senator Damon Thayer (R-17), is still in the Senate and must move very soon in order to have a chance to pass the Legislature this session.  This bill prohibits the prosecution of gun owners who unknowingly wander onto property owned by a public or private school if it is not properly posted pursuant to current law.  If a school ignores this legal requirement, gun owners may still be prosecuted for a felony when possessing a firearm on the property.  Please call your State Senator and ask him or her to help to ensure that this bill is made a legislative priority.  HB 35, which is the companion bill to SB 12, is pending in the House Education Committee.  Please call your State Representative and ask him or her to support HB 35 sponsored by Representative Marie Rader (R-89).  SB 38, the Senate’s “Castle Doctrine” bill, sponsored by Senator Richard Roeding (R-11), passed the Senate Judiciary Committee and will move to the Senate floor for a vote.  Please call your State Senator and ask that he or she support SB 38.  Legislators can be reached by calling (502) 564-8100.

On Wednesday, March 8, several anti-gun bills will be heard by the House Judiciary Committee. Each of these bills poses a real threat to our Right to Keep and Bear Arms.  Please be sure to call your Delegate this week and voice your opposition to: HB 405 (sponsored by Delegate Doyle Neimann (D-47)), which imposes costly security requirements on gun shops in an attempt to put them out of business; HB 451 (sponsored by Delegate Kathleen Dumais (D-15)), the so-called “Police Officer Protection Act of 2006,” which actually aims to make criminals out of law-abiding gun owners who are victims of theft; HB 1367 (sponsored by Delegate Neil Quinter (D-13)), the “Maryland Assault Weapons Ban” of 2006, which prohibits possession of many common semi-automatic firearms; and HB 1369 (sponsored by Delegate Neil Quinter (D-13)), which requires all handguns sold to be equipped with technology that would microstamp the firearm's serial number onto each shell casing fired--the first step in an attempt to stop the sale of handguns in the State.  Please be sure to call your Delegate next Wednesday and voice your opposition to these anti-gun bills. You can reach your legislator at (410) 841-3000 or at (800) 492-7122.

H.4552, “an Act Protecting the Rights of Target Shooters,” has passed the House of Representatives and is scheduled for a possible vote in the Senate next week.  H.4552 is the “Precision Sports Legislative Reform Bill,” which will protect the rights of target shooters in the Commonwealth.  This bill, sponsored by Representative Frank Hynes (D-4, Plymouth), now has moved onto the Senate. This proposal would create a new definition in Section 121, Chapter 140, for “Single Action Revolver.”  In addition, H.4552 would exempt any “Single Action Revolver” and “any firearm solely designed and sold specifically for formal target shooting competition,” from the testing requirements in Section 123 of Chapter 140.  NRA-ILA and the Gun Owners Action League are urging all of their members to contact their state Senator and ask him or her to pass H.4552 with no amendments, as soon as possible.  Legislators can be reached by calling (617) 722-1276.  For further information concerning your State Senator, please go to and look at the reference for Senator in General Court.

On March 8, Great Outdoor Sports and Firearms Education (GOSAFE) and the Lenawee County Conservation League will host the “Spring 2006 Information Exchange:  An Educational Opportunity for Gun Clubs, Pro-Gun Organizations, and Individuals Concerned About Growing Hunting and the Shooting Sports.”  The event will be held at the Lenawee County Conservation League, 1402 Sutton Road, in Adrian, and will include presentations from David Coy (NRA Board Member), Lee Zeidler (Citizens for Wildlife Conservation), Marc Steinke (Vice President of GOSAFE), Bruce Bayles (Chairman, Lenawee County Friends of NRA Committee), and Marc Steinke (Vice-President of GOSAFE).  Doors will open at 6:30 p.m., with presentations beginning at 7:00 p.m.  Time will be allowed for questions and answers, and for informal networking and conversation among those in attendance.  Please RSVP by calling:  Marc Steinke (Johnson’s Sporting Goods, Adrian, Michigan) at (517) 265-2545.  You may also e-mail your RSVP to David Coy at  Please plan on attending!

This week, the House approved SB 2426, the NRA-backed “Castle Doctrine” and self-defense law reform bill sponsored by Senators Charlie Ross (R-Brandon) and Ralph Doxey (R- Holly Springs).  SB 2426 now moves back to the Senate, which is expected to agree with the House amendments and send the bill to Governor Haley Barbour’s (R) desk.  Also this week, the Senate approved HB 1141 (sponsored by Representative Warner McBride (D-10)), NRA supported legislation which contains language:  (1) allowing hunting to continue on minimum-sized land tracts which are annexed by a city or county (even if that locality bans the discharge of firearms); (2) prohibiting local officials from confiscating lawfully-possessed firearms during a natural disaster; and (3) permitting employees, under certain circumstances, to transport and store firearms in their locked private vehicles while parked on property controlled by their employer.  HB 1141 now moves back to the House, which must agree to Senate amendments to the bill before it can go to Governor Barbour. Trial lawyers in the House may argue against agreeing to a Senate amendment which gives companies that comply with the provisions of the bill a certain degree of immunity from liability.  It is critical that you contact your State Representative next week (beginning after lunch on Monday when they return from weekend recess) and urge him or her to VOTE TO CONCUR with the Senate amendments to HB 1141.  Let your Representative know that a vote to send the bill to a “conference committee” to work out differences between the House and Senate versions is a vote to defeat the bill.  Please forward this alert to at least five other gun owners and sportsmen you know.  HB 1141 is the most comprehensive piece of legislation to protect Mississippi gun owners and sportsmen in recent memory, and we need to move this bill across the goal line with all its provisions intact-- not allow the bill to be carved up by trial lawyers and gun control advocates in a conference committee!  For contact information for your State Representatives in Jackson, please visit

Senate Bill 318, the New Hampshire “Castle Doctrine” legislation, will be voted on next week in the Senate.  This important piece of legislation, sponsored by Senator Peter Bragdon (R-11, Milford), gives back the rights that have been eroded or taken away by the current judicial system.  In the face of unlawful attack, law-abiding citizens should not be forced to retreat or run from a place they have a right to be.  It is unreasonable that victims of crime should have to worry about being arrested or prosecuted if they use force to defend themselves or their family!  This measure will reinstate the law prior to the time when judges and courts started putting the rights of criminals before the rights of the law-abiding.  It is important that you call your state Senator at (603) 271-2111 and urge him or her to support this legislation.

The Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs has sued the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and one of its police officers for wrongfully arresting and imprisoning for nearly five days a 57-year old Utah man delayed at Newark Airport by a baggage error while traveling from Utah to Pennsylvania.  The lawsuit seeks more than $3 million in damages for civil rights violations and a permanent injunction forcing the Port Authority to follow Federal law on interstate transport of firearms.  The victim was imprisoned in a Newark, New Jersey jail, denied his blood pressure and migraine medications, strip-searched, inoculated against his will, and left with only his wits to survive.  All criminal charges were later dismissed. More information about the lawsuit is available at:

Thanks go out to NRA members who heeded the call to head out and vote in two special elections on Tuesday, February 28.  Due in part to your participation, both NRA-PVF-endorsed candidates were victorious!

Early this week House Bill 2615, the “Stand Your Ground Law,” passed the House Corrections and Criminal Justice Committee.  HB 2615, sponsored by Representative Kevin Calvey (R-94), recognizes that the citizens of Oklahoma have the right to expect absolute safety within their own homes. Also, HB 2696 passed the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee.  HB 2696, sponsored by Representative Trebor Worthen (R-87), will eliminate any threat of restrictions being imposed on lawful uses of firearms or ammunition during a state of emergency.  Both bills are expected to be up for first reading in the House as early as next week.   Please contact your State Representative at (405) 521-2711 and ask him or her to support HB 2615 and HB 2696.

The House Judiciary Committee is expected to hear H 7114, sponsored by Representative Edith Ajello (D-3), on Tuesday, March 7, in room 205 of the State House, after the House session.  This proposal would make it illegal to buy, sell, or transfer more than one handgun in a 30-day period and sets up a centralized handgun registry with the State Police.  Similar laws have been tried in other states, failing miserably in reducing crime. In fact, South Carolina’s law was such a disappointment that lawmakers have since repealed it!  Licensed dealers are already required to report multiple handgun purchases to federal, state, and local law enforcement, and Rhode Island already has a one-week waiting period on all firearm purchases and all purchasers must undergo a criminal background check.  This legislation is a senseless attack on law-abiding gun owners.  Please contact your lawmakers TODAY and urge them to oppose H 7114!  You can call (401) 222-2466 and ask to be connected to your legislator, or you may visit the Rhode Island General Assembly web page at: for additional contact information.

House Bill 4681 has been assigned to the House Judiciary Sub-Committee, chaired by Representative John Graham Altman (R-119).  H.4681, sponsored by Representative Mike Pitts (R-14), would remove the ability of local governments to restrict the use, sale, or transportation of firearms during a state of emergency, and would also prohibit the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division from releasing the personal information of Right-to-Carry permit holders unless the request for the information is part of an investigation by law enforcement.  Please call Representative Altman at (803) 734-2947, and ask him to bring the bill up for consideration as soon as possible.  Please continue to contact your State Representative at (803) 734-2010 and urge him or her to co-sponsor and support H. 4681.  Also, please continue to contact your Senator and urge him to support H. 4301, the “Castle Doctrine” bill sponsored by Representative G. Murrell Smith (R-67), that would remove the “duty to retreat” if a law-abiding person is attacked anywhere that person may lawfully be.  The contact number for your State Senators is (803) 212-6200.

Last week, House Bill 1199, sponsored by Representative Margaret Gillespie (D-16), was delivered to Governor Mike Rounds’ (R) desk, who has yet to sign this important bill into law.  HB 1199 protects the law-abiding citizens of South Dakota by prohibiting the release of information concerning applicants and current permit holders to any person, and prohibits any lists or records of privately-owned firearms to be kept.  Please contact Governor Rounds at (605) 773-3212 and respectfully ask him to sign HB 1199 and help further protect the good citizens of South Dakota.

Tuesday, March 7 is a primary election day in Texas.  NRA members are encouraged to head to the polls and vote!  Please be sure to encourage your family, friends, and fellow firearm owners to do the same.  For NRA-PVF endorsement information, NRA members are encouraged to call the NRA-ILA Grassroots Division at (800) 392-VOTE (8683), or visit the NRA-PVF website at  Be sure to “Vote Freedom First!” on Tuesday, March 7!

House 447, sponsored by Joseph Krawczyk (R-Bennington-2-1) and Mary Morrissey (R-Bennington-2-2), unanimously passed the House.  This important legislation would stop the haphazard regulations of firearms discharge by local municipalities.  H. 447 now moves to the Vermont Senate for a hearing in the upcoming weeks. Please contact your State Senator at (802) 828-2241 and ask him or her to support H 447.

Unfortunately, HB 78, sponsored by Representative Becket Hinckley (R-41), and HB 46, sponsored by Representative Steve Watt (R-17), met their demise in the Wyoming State Legislature.  We would like to thank State Representatives Hinckley and Watt for their hard work and on going support for the Second Amendment.  Both Representatives are determined to bring these measures back in 2007--a non-budget year.  Thank you to all the NRA members who contacted the legislature expressing their support.