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House Floor Debate on Arming Pilots Upcoming

Wednesday, July 3, 2002

When Congress returns next week from its Independence Day recess, we anticipate H.R. 4635 will be one of the first bills brought to the House floor for consideration. This legislation would mandate the establishment of a test program to allow as many as 1,400 properly trained commercial airline pilots to have access to firearms as a last line of defense against terrorist hijackers. The test program has bipartisan support, and would give preference to pilots with prior military or law enforcement experience. While the NRA would like to see this option extended to all properly trained flight deck crew, this legislation represents a good first step in the right direction.

The full House should take up H.R. 4635 for floor debate some time next week, perhaps as early as Monday. We can anticipate some lawmakers will place their anti-gun extremist agenda above the interests of airline security, and they will try to gut this legislation with unacceptable amendments. Call your U.S. Representative at (202) 225-3121 and urge him to oppose any anti-gun amendments to H.R. 4635, and to vote for it when it is brought to the House floor for consideration.

In addition, S. 2554, the bill in the U.S. Senate which seeks to arm properly trained flight deck crew, has 12 cosponsors, and could use more. Please contact your U.S. Senators at (202) 224-3121 and urge them to cosponsor S. 2554. Those on the Internet can find additional contact information by using our "Write Your Representatives" 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.