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California - Urge Governor Schwarzenegger To VETO AB 50!

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Anti-gun legislation, AB50 which would ban the sale and possession of .50 caliber rifles, passed out of the California Legislature by one vote and is now headed to the Governor’s desk. Please be sure to contact the Governor’s office and respectfully ask him to VETO AB 50. Please remind him that this anti-gun legislation is a huge unfunded mandate on the state, is not supported by law enforcement, will drive law-abiding American businesses into bankruptcy, and will do nothing to fight crime.

You can contact the Governor at:
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916-445-2841
Fax: 916-445-4633
To send an Electronic Mail please visit: http://www.govmail.ca.gov

You can also use our "Write Your Reps" feature at www.nraila.org.

Why AB-50 is Bad for California

  • AB-50 will add a new, multi-million dollar budget item when the Governor’s 10-Point Recovery Plan calls for a freeze on spending and special cuts to reduce the deficit.
  • Despite claims of “little or no fiscal impact” by AB-50 proponents, the 2003 California Budget Summary shows that media campaigns comparable to those called for in AB-50 added between four and nine million dollars each to the 2003 budget. This does not include the open-ended costs of establishing and managing a statewide database for the registration and tracking of lawfully-owned fifty caliber rifles. This bill was passed in the same week that California puts it’s surplus on the auction block in the Governor’s “State Garage Sale” to help reduce the budget defecit. AB-50 defies and combats the Governor’s 10-Point Recovery Plan.
  • At a time when California is trying to draw business to the state,
    AB-50 would drive existing business out of state, costing untold millions lost.
  • “As a California business we pay tens of thousands of dollars in taxes each year, we have numerous employees and, as clients, we support a wide range of vendors in our area. We run a huge metal machining business in addition to our rifles but if AB-50 passes we will have no choice but to let everyone go and relocate to another state. More unemployment, another empty building... everybody loses.”
    Bill Ritchie
    Chief Executive Officer
    EDM Arms
    Redlands, CA
  • No other state in America has this type of legislation.
  • California would become the first and only state in America to ban these target rifles.
  • There is no public or legislative mandate for AB-50.
  • California legislators have rejected versions of this ban for the last ten years. There is no public demand for AB-50 nor any public concern over target rifles. There is no history of crime involving these rifles. The Long Beach Press-Telegram calls AB-50 a “pointless law used by politicians in attempts to get credit for fixing problems that don’t exist.”
  • Federal agencies do not support the concept of a “fifty caliber rifle threat”
    nor have they ever issued a warning regarding these rifles.
  • Department of Homeland Security (DHS) - DOES NOT SUPPORT AB-50
    Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) - DOES NOT SUPPORT AB-50
    Transportation Security Administration (TSA) - DOES NOT SUPPORT AB-50
    Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) - DOES NOT SUPPORT AB-50
    Department of Transportation (DOT) - DOES NOT SUPPORT AB-50
    Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) - DOES NOT SUPPORT AB-50
    United States Secret Service - DOES NOT SUPPORT AB-50
    Department of Justice (DOJ) - DOES NOT SUPPORT AB-50
    National Transportation Safety Board - DOES NOT SUPPORT AB-50

    “We are aware of what is being said [about fifty caliber rifles]. We have considered it as part of a number of potential threats. We just don’t feel it is high on the list of potential dangers.”
    Robert Johnson
    Chief Spokesman
    Transportation Security Administration

    “The so-called ‘fifty caliber threat’ is political opportunism of the worst sort -- diverting time, money and attention away from real-world counterterror efforts. Legitimate efforts to fight terror should not be allowed to be taken hostage by partisan political agendas.”
    Chief Carl Rowan, Jr.
    Atlantic & Pacific Railroad Police Department
    former FBI Special Agent
    former Deputy U.S. Marshal

  • Rank and File Cops Oppose AB-50.

    The Long Beach Police Department officer’s union openly opposes AB-50. A survey of San Diego Police Department officers showed a 92% opposition to new gun control measures. A representative of the LAPD testified that he knew of no instances where a fifty caliber rifle was involved in a crime of any sort.

    “As co-authors of the widely-acclaimed Law Enforcement Officer’s Safety Act signed into law by President Bush on July 22nd of this year, LEAA is dedicated to law enforcement’s real-world, war against violent crime. As such, we strongly oppose AB-50 as a cheap attempt to sell failed guncontrol that has been universally rejected by our nation’s police.”
    Ted Deeds
    Chief Operating Officer
    Law Enforcement Alliance of America

  • Justification for AB-50 is filled with factual inaccuracies

    AB-50 is built on a foundation of “dire and imminent urgency” that has been pushed on the American public for over a decade without so much as one of the “catastrophic scenarios” put forth even being attempted. The representations made by proponents range from pure conjecture to outright lies in the face of documented tests-- yet they continue, relying on shocking predictions to frighten an uninformed audience.

    • on the alleged “threat” to Railroad
      “The assertions put forth about the threat to rail from fifty caliber rifles have no basis in reality. We exhaustively test our chemical rail car designs against all types of firearms, including fifty caliber. In almost all tests the bullet simply bounced off. The worst-case scenario we could demonstrate was a tiny leak equivalent to a hand-valve that wasn’t completely closed. Leaks of that scale happen every day all across America.”
      Tom Darymple
      Sr. Vice President of Engineering
      Trinity Rail Group
    • Limousines and Buildings
      “American Defense Systems routinely tests current and emerging armor technologies against a wide range of handgun and rifle calibers through .50BMG and on to larger calibers rifles readily available in terrorist states, such as the 14.7mm, 20mm and 25mm. On 12 October 2003, I personally conducted a series of tests in the Washington D.C. area in conjunction with both the United States Marine Corps and the United States Secret Service. We repeatedly demonstrated the ability to stop .50BMG rounds fired from a mere one hundred yards with armored glass measuring only 1.9 inches thick.”
      Anthony J. Piscitelli
      Chief Executive Officer
      American Defense Systems, Inc.
    • Commercial Aircraft
      “The chances of any measurable event, if a bullet shattered a window or struck the fuselage, are extremely slight. There would be little hazard to continued safe flight and landing.”
      Ronald J. Hinderberger
      Director of Aviation Safety
      Boeing Commercial Aircraft
    • Body Armor has been able to stop .50 caliber bullets since 1996
      “In the past two decades, armor producers have developed a curved lightweight Kevlar™ backed ceramic plate for the chest capable of defeating a 50-caliber machine gun projectile.” {Based on a series of live fire tests conducted by the U.S. Army.}
      Force Transmission through Chest Armor during the Defeat of .50-Caliber Rounds
      Haley, Joseph L., Jr.; Alem, Nabih M.; McEntire, B. J.; Lewis, James A.;
      Army Aeromedical Research Lab, Fort Rucker AL, 1996

  • AB-50 is a baseless measure: terrorists have all the weapons they could want

    The suggestion that terrorists will be stopped by restricting the sale of rifles at the local gun store is completely irrational. Al Qaeda and other terror organizations have almost unlimited access to weapons that dwarf the fifty caliber rifle. This is why every responsible agency from DHS to the FBI are posting alerts regarding explosives, surface-to-air missiles and shoulder-fired rockets... not expensive and cumbersome target rifles. {Federal law already prohibits terrorists from buying any firearm through commercial sales.}

  • “Through July 16, 2002, coalition forces identified 345 terrorist weapon caches in Afghanistan alone. They included: 1,785 AK-47 rifles with 370,000 rounds of ammunition; 30 heavy machine guns with 3.5 million rounds; 72 mortar tubes and 52,000 mortar rounds; 142 recoilless rifles with 1,700 rounds; 2,100 air-to-air missiles; 2,800 rocket-propelled grenade launchers with more than 4,000 grenades; 43,000 rounds of 107 mm and 122 mm rockets; 319 shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles; 50 tanks; 40 armored vehicles; 2,000 mines; and more than 20 anti-aircraft weapons. The nation is filled with weapons.”
    Donald Rumsfeld
    United States Secretary of Defense

  • AB-50 will harm our National Security and put Cops, Soldiers at greater risk

    The civilian market is essential for the survival of all small arms manufacturers; eliminating civilian fifty caliber sales will also end production of rifles currently used by LAPD and other California SWAT units as well as many branches of the United States Armed Forces.

    “The M82A1 Barrett is a manifestation of the important historic cooperation played by private citizens and small business in the United States in the development of weapons and munitions necessary for the US Armed Forces to perform their mission to protect the national security interests of the United States by fighting and winning, with as few friendly casualties as possible.”
    W. Hays Parks.
    Special Assistant to the Judge Advocate
    United States Army Special Forces Command

    “The small-arms sector is a critical component of the defense industrial base. These firms make products that are essential to our military. Our goal is just to make sure that the industry remains viable so it can supply our military forces with the needed weapons. The type of smear campaign seen against the .50 caliber rifle is not only unfair, but it also opens The door for further attacks to other weapon manufacturers. We must not let that happen. We must learn the facts before we believe any accusations.”
    Assault on the Small Arms Industrial Base
    Lt. Gen. Lawrence P. Farrell, Jr., USAF (Ret)

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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.