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Congress Back For "Lame Duck" Sessions

Sunday, November 10, 2002

Next week, federal lawmakers will return to begin working on several issues that remained unresolved when Congress adjourned in October. There will likely be a very brief "lame duck" session that will last only through next week, followed by another possible session between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

One of the items that may be brought up is reckless lawsuit preemption legislation. This legislation would block politically-motivated lawsuits that attempt to hold law-abiding gun makers liable for the criminal misuse of their products, but it still needs to move through both chambers of Congress. The House version, H.R. 2037, has 231 co-sponsors and has been passed by two committees. Its next stop should be the House floor for full consideration. The Senate version, S. 2268, now has 46 co-sponsors. The number of co-sponsors for each bill shows solid support, but time is rapidly running out for lawmakers to pass these critical reforms. Please call both your U.S. Senators and your U.S. Representative and urge them to promote the passage of reckless lawsuit preemption legislation.

Also, the U.S. Senate still needs to act on H.R. 5005—the legislation that would create a Homeland Security Department and which contains the Smith amendment. The Smith amendment seeks to establish an armed pilots program that would allow qualified commercial pilots to be able to have access to firearms as a last line of defense against terrorist hijackers. Please continue to contact your U.S. Senators and urge them to keep the Smith amendment intact, and to do everything possible to ensure any armed pilots program passed includes every pilot interested in participating in the program.

To contact your U.S. Representative, call (202) 225-3121, and to reach your U.S. Senators, call (202) 224-3121. Just ask to speak with your particular lawmaker. You can also use 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.