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Congress Back - Senate Action Likely Next Week

Friday, September 7, 2001

With both chambers of Congress now back in full swing, the pro-gun community needs to continue expressing its concerns to federal lawmakers, particularly those in the U.S. Senate, about threats to our Right to Keep and Bear Arms. The Senate will soon take up the Commerce-Justice-State (CJS) Appropriations Bill, which could be brought to the floor for consideration as soon as this coming Monday. While the bill in its current form contains no anti-gun provisions, it is very likely that anti-gun extremists will attempt to attach anti-gun amendments during the floor debate. U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) will likely offer an amendment that would seek to give the FBI authority to use the National Instant Check System (NICS) to retain the records of law-abiding gun purchasers for at least 90 days—a policy the lame-duck Clinton/Reno Department of Justice (DOJ) had attempted to make permanent with a last-minute regulation. A similar effort failed miserably in the U.S. House in July, when an overwhelming, bi-partisan majority rejected similar legislation introduced by U.S. Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.). Also, U.S. Senator Herb Kohl (D-Wisc.) is expected to offer a gun-lock mandate amendment. Be sure to contact your U.S. Senators as soon as possible, and urge them to vote to table any anti-gun amendments that are proposed for the CJS Appropriations Bill, especially any offered by Schumer or Kohl. You can reach your U.S. Senators by calling (202) 224-3121, or by using our "Write Your Reps" tool.

In addition, today`s Washington Times reports that proponents of the McCain-Feingold/Shays-Meehan campaign finance "reform" effort (S. 27 and H.R. 2356, respectively) are desperately trying to bolster support for their cause. Although the House has already considered campaign finance "reform" this year, and rejected the proposal, backers of the Shays-Meehan package are trying to force the House to consider the bill again through the use of a discharge petition. If 218 U.S. Representatives sign this petition, House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) would be forced to allow this bill to be brought up for consideration for the second time this year.

These "reform" bills, you will recall, seek to severely restrict NRA`s ability to provide timely information—including information on lawmakers` positions on firearm-related issues—to America`s law-abiding gun owners. While you have probably already urged your U.S. Representative to oppose the McCain-Feingold/Shays-Meehan campaign finance "reform" efforts, please do so again. Remind your Representative that the House already considered this proposal in July, it was rejected, and Congress should move on to issues that are of greater concern to the American people. You can contact your U.S. Representatives at (202) 225-3121, or you can use our "Write Your Reps" tool.

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.