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North Carolina 2009 Legislative Session Close to Adjournment

Friday, July 31, 2009

Debate in the North Carolina General Assembly over the budget remains the key issue, and if an agreement is reached, the legislature may soon adjourn.  While it had appeared that would happen at the end of this week, the exact timetable remains in flux.  At this time, Senate Bill 460 remains in the Senate Committee on Rules and Operations, but it could be brought back to the Senate Floor at a moment’s notice.  This legislation, which is being heavily promoted by the anti-hunting radicals at the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), would create a new provision in state law that will undoubtedly be used to try to wipe out commercial dog breeders. 


HSUS has clearly shown its opposition to virtually anyone who is in the business of selling dogs, regardless of how well the animals are treated.  When the organization puts out statements like, “There’s no need for anyone to patronize a pet store or a breeder,” and, “[G]ood breeders don’t breed to make money,” it should be clear HSUS is interested in going after all commercial breeders, and not the small minority of operators who actually do mistreat dogs.  HSUS even worked to ensure the bill’s title was changed from “Commercial Dog Breeders” to “Puppy Mill Bill.”  This makes it clear that the organization opposes all commercial breeders, and considers them all to be “puppy mills.”  HSUS is calling out its supporters to turn up the heat on the North Carolina Senate in anticipation of a possible vote next week. 


In a further effort to hide its true intentions, HSUS is now attempting to promote Senate Bill 460 as a means to add tax revenue to the state.  In a recent alert, HSUS stated the bill would “require the licensing of puppy mills,” which would “bring substantial missing tax revenues to the state.”  Meanwhile, the organization’s website asks people to “pledge to stop puppy mills,” and give money “to help stop puppy mills.”  Which is it?  Does HSUS wish to license “puppy mills,” or does it wish to “stop puppy mills?”  It seems clear the answer is “both.”   


The fact is that there are ample laws already on the books in North Carolina to prosecute those who truly mistreat animals, as is proven every time a facility where cruel treatment takes place is raided.  Investigations lead to arrests, prosecutions, and convictions.  While some supporters of this legislation have tried to ease the concerns of hunters by claiming hunting dogs have been excluded, that is simply not true.  The “exclusion” in the legislation refers only to kennels that board or train hunting dogs.  Those who breed hunting dogs will still be affected, which means those who wish to purchase hunting dogs will still be affected.  Again, the true goal of HSUS is to wipe out commercial breeders, all of which the group considers to be “puppy mills.”  If they are successful, then hunting with dogs will quickly become the activity of only the wealthy who can afford dogs that will become more rare and more expensive.  Anyone who cares about our hunting heritage, even those who do not use dogs in their activities, should be very concerned about Senate Bill 460.  You can be sure that HSUS does not intend to stop at just hurting hunters who use dogs.  The organization’s president has stated, “We are going to use the ballot box and the democratic process to stop all hunting in the United States….  We will take it species by species until all hunting is stopped….” 


Please help stop the radical HSUS agenda by taking the time to contact your State Senator and urge her or him to oppose Senate Bill 460! Contact information for your State Senator can be found by clicking here.


In addition, anti-gun State Representative Deborah Ross (D-38) continues to refuse to give Senate Bill 928, the “Castle Doctrine” self-defense bill, a hearing.  The bill remains stalled in the House Judiciary I Committee, which Ross chairs.  Please continue to contact Representative Ross and urge her to allow this critical legislation—which received overwhelming, bi-partisan support in the Senate in May—to be heard. Representative Ross can be reached by phone at 919-733-5773 or e-mail Deborah.Ross@ncleg.net.


Also, please contact the following members of the House Democratic Leadership team, who have histories of supporting our Right to Keep and Bear Arms:


Speaker Pro Tem:      
State Representative William Wainwright                      


Majority Leader:         

State Representative Hugh Holliman                 


Majority Whip:           
State Representative Bruce Goforth                             


Please thank these Democratic leaders for having supported the Second Amendment in the past, and to do what they can to help bring SB 928 up for consideration.

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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.