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Clinton Appointee Ignores The Facts—Initiates BB Gun Recall

Friday, November 2, 2001

On Tuesday, outgoing Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Chairman Ann Brown, a Clinton appointee who has bragged to the Washington Post that she "like[s] to be on TV," orchestrated a 2-1 vote by the CPSC to initiate a mandatory recall process for certain Daisy Powerline BB guns. The vote came two days before Chairman Brown`s resignation became effective, and was immediately followed by a press conference featuring Brown and a victim of the alleged design defects.

Dissenting Commissioner Mary Sheila Gall issued a lengthy statement in opposition to the action. Gall, who was nominated earlier this year by President Bush to succeed Brown but was defeated on a party-line vote orchestrated by U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.), noted a variety of procedural irregularities, inadequate information provided by CPSC staff, outrageous statements given as "fact" (such as the allegation that a .177 caliber BB at 350 feet per second is more "powerful" than a .38 Spl.), and that ridiculously unsafe behavior contributed to some of the alleged accidents. Most importantly, Commissioner Gall noted that these and related issues have been examined up to a dozen times by CPSC since 1975, and in each case CPSC has found the BB guns to be non-defective.

The greatest threat posed by this action is that the arguments used to portray the BB guns as "defective" could be used against a variety of cartridge firearms in current or prospective litigation. In fact, Amy Stilwell, a gun-ban lobby spokesman, commented to Reuters on the CPSC decision, stating, "We have made no secret that we think there ought to be consumer oversight of guns.... BB guns could be a step in the right direction."

At this point, the complaint against Daisy is in the hands of an administrative law judge, who could take anywhere from six months to a few years to conduct an investigation before recommending or denying a recall. Should the judge agree with the CPSC, then Daisy could appeal back to the full commission for a final vote. NRA-ILA will continue to follow this case very closely, and we thank everyone who responded to last week`s call to contact the CPSC to oppose this politically-motivated recall that shows utter disregard for the facts.

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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.