McCAIN-FEINGOLD LEGISLATION CONTINUES TO POSE SERIOUS THREAT
The U.S. Senate is scheduled to vote this Monday, April 2, on the collaborative effort of U.S. Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) to "reform" the laws regulating the financing of political campaigns. NRA remains opposed to S. 27, "The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2001," because it would severely restrict our ability to provide timely information—including information on lawmakers` positions on firearm-related issues—to our membership and tens of millions of other law-abiding gun owners. In its current form, S. 27 seeks to severely restrict communication that "refers to" a federal candidate if that communication takes place during a specified period before a primary or general election. In other words, if S. 27 were to become law, you could soon see alerts coming from NRA that urge you to call your lawmaker (although the law would prohibit us from telling you who your lawmaker is), because that lawmaker (remember, we cannot name him) is considering doing something (sorry, but the law prohibits us from telling you what he is about to do) that should be of concern to you (but remember, we can`t tell you what he is going to do, or if we think you would support or oppose what the unnamed lawmaker is considering doing). S. 27 would also eliminate your NRA-ILA`s ability to run issue ads during this "blackout" period. If that`s not ridiculous enough, NRA would be restricted from any such communication unless the funds were to come from a new segregated account to which individuals donate for that purpose, which is what ILA was designed for to begin with. The names of all donors (i.e., our members), whose donations are above a certain limit, would be made public—a clear violation of the privacy rights of our members who contribute to NRA`s political efforts. Make no mistake, S. 27 is an all-out assault on the First Amendment. Contact your U.S. Senators at 202/224-3121, and urge them to oppose S. 27, or use the "Write Your Reps" tool at NRAILA.org to find additional contact information. Be sure to tell your Senators that we hold all of the Constitution to be inviolate—including the First and the Second Amendments!
TELL YOUR LAWMAKERS TO
OPPOSE ATTACKS ON GUN SHOWS
Another reason to call your senators on April 2 is to counter an effort by the Alliance for Justice, a coalition of organizations that includes the gun-ban extremist Violence Policy Center. The Alliance has put out a call to renew the assault on gun shows. One of the Alliance`s programs, the First Monday Program, is geared towards manipulating college and high school students into collaborating with anti-gun doctors, lawyers, social workers, teachers, and anyone else who supports attacks on our Right to Keep and Bear Arms. First Monday is operated in conjunction with another anti-gun organization, Physicians for Social Responsibility, and recently sent out an alert requesting that students call their U.S. Senators to urge them to support legislation that would destroy gun shows as we know them today. This effort has targeted the U.S. Senate because the pro-gun/anti-gun margin in that chamber is razor-thin. It is important that you counter this anti-gun attack by contacting your U.S. Senators first thing Monday, April 2, and urge them to oppose any attacks on gun shows. You can reach your Senators by calling (202) 224-3121. For those on the Internet, you can find additional contact information by using the "Write Your Reps" tool at NRAILA.org.
RESPONDS TO USA TODAY
On Thursday,USA Today ran a story that highlighted the shortcomings of theNational Instant Check System (NICS). While some in the anti-gun community have leapt at the opportunity to use the story to try to promote their anti-gun agenda—includingHCI, the gun-ban lobby—NRA-ILA Executive Director James Jay Baker responded to the article with a Letter-to-the-Editor that carefully explains that any problems with NICS can be attributed to theClinton/Reno Department of Justice (DOJ). In his letter, Baker explains that the Clinton/Reno DOJ squandered not only the opportunity to design and implement an efficient and effective NICS—most likely because a successful NICS would have meant a victory for NRA—but in doing so, also squandered more than $300 million in taxpayer money. We hope that USA Today will publish the letter from Baker on Monday, April 2, but we have also posted a copy of it to NRAILA.org, along with a longer version we dispatched to Capitol Hill. For those not on the Internet, you can call the Grassroots Division at (800) 392-8683 and request a copy of the letter.
ATLANTA`S RECKLESS LAWSUIT
SUFFERS MAJOR SETBACK
In 1999, just days after theCity of Atlanta filed its reckless lawsuit against lawful gun makers, theGeorgia Legislature passed a law prohibiting such suits. The gun makers, in turn, asked that Atlanta`s suit be thrown out, butFulton County State Court Judge Gino Brogdin not only rejected the request, but denied a request to appeal his ruling. Attorneys for firearms manufacturers still appealed, but theGeorgia State Supreme Court recently ruled that the current court appellate procedures do not allow for such an appeal. Recognizing this flaw with the judicial system, pro-Second AmendmentState Representative Curtis Jenkins (D-Forsyth) offered an amendment while the 2000 session of the Georgia Legislature was winding down that would allow for a more timely appeal of Judge Brogdin`s ruling. The amendment passed, and once it is enacted into law byGovernor Roy Barnes (D), the firearms makers that are subject to Atlanta`s reckless suit will be able to appeal Judge Brogdin`s ruling.Paul Jannuzzo, Vice President and general counsel ofGlock Inc., one of the defendants, stated "The amendment is both just and a valuable countermeasure to what appears to be an ingrained prejudice on the part of a supposedly independent jurist." Jannuzzo went on to say, "By not allowing an appeal, by totally ignoring the law when ruling upon the motion to dismiss, [Judge Brogdin] has told us that his opinion and his alone is important in the state of Georgia.... That kind of ego needs a check to balance it against other equities."
NRA MOURNS THE LOSS
OF U.S. REPRESENTATIVE NORMAN SISISKY
U.S. Representative Norman Sisisky (D-Va.), a pro-Second Amendment stalwart, passed away at his home onThursday, March 29, while recovering from surgery to remove cancerous spots from a lung. Representative Sisisky was a staunch supporter of our Right to Keep and Bear Arms, casting countless pro-gun votes while a member of the House of Representatives for nearly 20 years. Some of his key votes included votes against the Brady Act, against the 1994 ban on so-called "assault weapons," and a vote to repeal that ban. His absence will be deeply felt by those who worked to defend the Second Amendment onCapitol Hill. NRA extends its heartfelt condolences to Rep. Sisisky`s family and friends in their time of grief.
A LOOK AT THE STATES
HB 1043, a bill that seeks to protect firearm manufacturers from reckless, politically- motivated lawsuits aimed at bankrupting them, passed the full Senate and now awaits Gov. Frank O`Bannon`s (D) signature. Contact Gov. O`Bannon at (317) 232-4567 and urge him to sign HB 1043.
On Tuesday, April 3, at 9:00 a.m., in Committee Room C of the State Capitol, in Baton Rouge, the Senate Judiciary C Committee will consider SB 424 and SB 425. SB 424 seeks to hold parents criminally liable if children gain unauthorized access to their firearms, and SB 425 seeks to require all firearms possessed in the state to be equipped with so-called "personalized" technology that does not currently exist. Contact committee members and urge them to oppose SB 424 and SB 425. For a list of committee members and phone numbers, call the NRA-ILA Grassroots Division, or use the "Write Your Reps" tool at NRAILA.org.
On Tuesday, April 3, at 1:00 p.m., in the Gardner Auditorium of the State Capitol, in Boston, the Joint Committee on Public Safety will hold a hearing on numerous firearm-related bills that would seriously impact the freedom of the Commonwealth`s gun owners. Proposals include a one-gun-a-month scheme, a requirement to register all firearms in a central database, and a "ballistic fingerprinting" scheme for all handguns sold in Massachusetts. Contact members of the committee and urge them to oppose all of those measures that will destroy our rights. For a list of committee members, contact NRA-ILA Grassroots, or use the "Write Your Reps" tool.
HF 1360, the NRA-supported Right to Carry bill, has been approved by the House Judiciary Finance Committee. HF 1360 now awaits consideration by the House Ways and Means Committee. Contact committee members at (651) 296-0573 and urge them to support HF 1360.
SB 20, a bill that seeks to allow non-Nevada residents to apply for a Right to Carry permit, is expected to be considered by the full Senate as early as next week. Contact your State Senator and urge them to support SB 20.
SB 2340, a bill that protects firearm manufacturers from reckless, politically-motivated lawsuits aimed at bankrupting them, was signed into law byGovernor John Hoeven (R).
On Wednesday, April 4, at 11:00 a.m., at the Raymond Town Hall in Franksville, a hearing will be held on the Wisconsin House of Representatives` version of the "Right to Hunt and Fish" Constitutional Amendment Referendum Resolution. NRA members are encouraged to attend this meeting.