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Senate Passes Smith/Burns Amendment

Friday, October 12, 2001

Yesterday, the U.S. Senate passed S. 1447, the "Aviation Security Act," on a rare 100 - 0 vote. Included in the package was the NRA-supported amendment offered by U.S. Senators Bob Smith (R-N.H.) and Conrad Burns (R-Mont.) to allow properly trained commercial pilots, co-pilots, and flight engineers to carry firearms aboard commercial airplanes. While anti-gun lobbyists opposed this proposal with near unanimity, even the most staunchly anti-gun Senators abandoned them. U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), one of the most shrill anti-gun lawmakers on Capitol Hill, came out in full support of arming pilots, stating, "I think we need to do everything we can to prevent more hijackings from occurring." S. 1447 will next be considered in the U.S. House, so be sure to call your U.S. Representative at (202) 225-3121 and urge him to support the Smith/Burns amendment to the "Aviation Security Act."

In addition, the "National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2002" still awaits final consideration. As reported last week, Section 1062 of the bill passed by the Senate (S. 1438) provides the Secretary of Defense with the authority to require "demilitarization" of any "significant military equipment" that has ever been owned by the DoD. This could lead to the required destruction of any firearm, firearm barrel, ammunition, or gun powder that was once owned by the military but is now owned by law-abiding citizens. The House`s version of this bill did not contain the same provision, so a House-Senate Joint Conference Committee will soon be established to iron out this and other differences between the two chambers` versions of this legislation. At this time, we do not have a final list of conferees, so continue to contact all of your federal lawmakers and urge them to ensure that Sec. 1062 of S. 1438 is not included in the final version of the "National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2002." You can reach your U.S. Senators at (202) 224-3121, and your U.S. Representative at (202) 225-3121. You can also find contact information by using the "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.