Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Grassroots

Grassroots Alert: Vol. 8, No. 14 4/6/2001


The first city in the country to file a reckless lawsuit against gun makers has now become the first to lose at the state supreme court level.The Louisiana Supreme Court dismissed theCity of New Orleans` lawsuit against firearms manufacturers in a 5 to 2 decision on Tuesday. The ruling upholds the Louisiana state law passed last year that bars municipalities from filing lawsuits against the firearms industry, and found that New Orleans did not have the authority to continue with its suit once the legislature passed the preemption law.

NRA-ILA Executive Director James Jay Baker hailed the ruling, citing the dismissal as evidence of a continuing trend against efforts to hold a legitimate industry liable for the criminal actions of third parties. "This is a major victory for gun owners, taxpayers, and all who believe that we must hold criminals accountable for their crimes," Baker said. "The Louisiana Supreme Court has employed sound judgement and common sense by upholding the state preemption law. These reckless lawsuits against the firearms industry have no place in our judicial system." Baker went on to say, "This dismissal is yet another blow to greedy trial lawyers seeking enormous contingency fees and mayors seeking scapegoats to blame for their own failure to enforce current laws and prosecute violent criminals."

New Orleans Mayor Marc Morial (D) and his cabal of trial lawyers indicated that they would likely continue to waste tax payer dollars by urging the Louisiana Supreme Court to reconsider its ruling, or by appealing the ruling to theSupreme Court of the United States.


The U.S. Senate passed the McCain-Feingold campaign finance "reform" bill earlier this week, so the battle to protect your NRA-ILA`s ability to communicate with NRA members and the pro-gun community now moves to the U.S. House of Representatives. 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. Congress is set to go on recess for its Easter District Work Period (House scheduled for April 9-20, Senate scheduled for April 7-22), so now is an excellent time to try to set up face-to-face meetings with your U.S. Representative at his district office, so that you can urge him to oppose S. 27.

In addition, when the Senate returns from its break, it will likely take up the issue of education reform, and we anticipate gun-ban extremists such as U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) will be working with the gun-ban lobby, HCI, to attempt to attach anti-gun amendments to any education legislation brought up for consideration—including a ban on gun shows as we know them today. Your Senators should be in their district offices for the next two weeks, so try to schedule personal meetings with them so that you may express your opposition to any assaults on our Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

Also, be sure to contact both your Senators and your Representative to see if there are any Town Hall Meetings scheduled over the next two weeks, and if there are, be sure to attend, and bring your family, friends, and fellow gun owners, so that you can take advantage of any opportunities to express your support for the Second Amendment. If you learn of any of these meetings, be sure to share the information with the NRA-ILA Grassroots Division, so we may alert others. To find out your federal lawmaker`s district office number, you can call the U.S. House switchboard at (202) 225-3121, and the U.S. Senate switchboard at (202) 224-3121. Just ask for your lawmaker`s office, and someone there will be able to tell you the closest district office to where you live. For those on the Internet, you can also use the "Write Your Reps" tool at NRAILA.org.


U.S. Representative John Dingell (D-Mich.) introduced H.R. 1230, a bill that seeks to create a new wildlife refuge—the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge. NRA has worked in partnership with Rep. Dingell on wildlife conservation issues for many years, and the Michigan Congressman was a principal sponsor of the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act in 1997 that established hunting as a "priority public use" for the 92 million-acre Refuge System. Contact your U.S. Representative and urge him to co-sponsor this legislation that is critical to preserving our hunting heritage for future generations. If your Representative will not agree to co-sponsor the legislation, tell him that you would like him to vote for the legislation when it is brought up for consideration, and assure him that you will make careful note of how he votes on this issue.


While the pro-gun community has known for some time that many network news anchors, including long-timeCBS anchor Dan Rather, have a distinct, anti-gun bias, most reporters have tried to maintain that they retain their professional integrity, and don`t allow their personal views to color their public persona as a member of the media. But onMarch 21, Rather was the star attraction at aTravis County (Tex.)Democratic Party fund-raising event. According to two stories that ran in theWashington Post this week—one onApril 4, the other onApril 5—Rather claims that he was unaware the event was a political gathering. But considering Rather is a seasoned investigative reporter, and considering his own daughter—who is rumored to be considering a run forMayor of Austin—served as one of the hosts of the event, it seems hard to believe he didn`t know what he was walking into.

Even if we are to take Rather at his word, though, once he arrived at the event, he admits he realized its nature, and at that point, he should have gracefully declined to speak, and left the event. He did not, however, and addressed the crowd of Democrat faithful, helping to raise approximately $20,000 for the local party (Rather appeared for free). And while Rather has stated, "I made an embarrassing and regrettable error in judgment by going to this event," this "apology" would likely have never surfaced if his actions had not been publicly exposed. TheMedia Research Center (MRC)—an independent organization that monitors media bias—has called on Rather to apologize for his actions on the air.MRC President Brent Bozell stated, "Without a genuine and sincere apology to the viewing public, Rather`s lips will forever drip with hypocrisy. As of right now, his stain covers the entire CBS News division." CBS officials, however, indicate there will be no on-air apology.

If you would also like to call on Dan Rather to apologize on the air for his actions, the contact information for CBS News is:

CBS News
524 West 57th Street NY, 10019-2902
Phone: (212) 975-4114, or
(212) 975-3691 for Dan Rather`s office
Fax: (212) 975-1893

For those on the Internet, you can contact "CBS Evening News" through the "Feedback" section of its website.



The Senate will soon consider an omnibus anti-gun bill, SB 100, that seeks to ban the private sale of handguns in Delaware (even between family and friends), ban all gun shows, and begin the first step toward registering all firearms. Anti-gun Senator Harris McDowell (D-1), author of SB 100, introduced identical legislation last year that was eventually defeated despite three hours of debate and an appearance by gun-ban activist Jim Brady! Contact your State Senator at (302) 739-4129 and urge him to oppose SB 100.


This past week,Louisiana State Senate committees reported out three bills sponsored bySen. Jon Johnson (D-New Orleans) that take direct aim at gun owners and the Second Amendment. If enacted into law, these bills could turn the "Sportsman`s Paradise" into a police state!

SB 424 seeks to require you to store any handgun with a locking device at all times in your home, your vehicle, or on your person if you are aRight To Carry permit holder. This would render most handguns useless for self-defense purposes, and would be unenforceable without allowing the police to suspend the Fourth Amendment so that they may search you or your private property! The sponsor tried to advance the bill in the Senate last week, but withdrew his motion in the face of strong opposition bySen. James David Cain (D-Dry Creek) and other members. However, it remains on the calendar and may be brought up for consideration again at any time.

SB 425 seeks to hold gun owners criminally liable if a child gains access to a handgun not stored in a manner specified in the bill (locking device, locked container, or in a "reasonably" secure location). This bill could cause gun owners to lose homeowner`s insurance if they were charged with such a crime. Louisiana has general negligence laws that have been used to charge parents whose children gained access to loaded firearms, but district attorneys have repeatedly avoided prosecuting these parents. This would be just another law aimedspecifically at gun owners that won`t be enforced!

SB 426 seeks to mandate the sale of a locking device or container with every handgun sold by a Federal Firearms License (FFL) holder—even if you have already invested in an expensive gun safe or gun cabinet, even if you don`t have any children, or even if your children have already been taught to safely handle or avoid firearms. The Consumer Product Safety Commission recently reported that 30 out of 32 models of gun locks failed even the most basic reliability test. This bill would have the state mandate the sale of products which are known to be defective! These bills could face Senate floor action as early as Monday, April 9, so it is critical that you contact your Senator first thing Monday and urge him to strongly oppose SB 424, SB 425, and SB 426. Senators can be reached by calling (225) 342-2040 or by fax at (225) 342-0617.


On Tuesday, April 10, at 7:00 p.m., at the Mattachese Middle School, in Yarmouth, a town meeting will be held to consider Article 28, a proposal that would ban the outdoor shooting of any firearm above .22 caliber. Attend Tuesday`s meeting to voice your opposition to the anti-gun efforts of some fellow Yarmouth residents.


House File 1360, the NRA-backed Personal Protection Act, which seeks to allow all trained, law-abiding citizens to get a permit to carry a concealed handgun for personal protection, could be considered by the full House this Monday. Call your State Representatives at (651) 296-2146 and urge them to support HF 1360.


HB 853, an NRA-backed Right to Carry bill that seeks to allow trained, law-abiding citizens to obtain a permit to carry a concealed handgun for personal protection, is expected to be heard on the House floor next week. Contact your State Representative at (573) 751-3824 and urge him to support HB 853.


This week,Gov. Gary Johnson (R) signedHB 277, an NRA-backed Right to Carry bill, making New Mexico the 33rd state to implement a fair Right to Carry system.


HB 622, a bill that seeks to protect firearm manufacturers from reckless, politically-motivated lawsuits aimed at bankrupting them, is expected to be heard on the House floor next week. Contact your State Representative at (919) 733-7928 and urge him to support HB 622.


OnWednesday, April 4, theHouse Judiciary Committee voted downH 5580,Representative David Cicilline`s (D-4) sweeping omnibus anti-gun bill, on a 17 to 3 vote. The defeat of this legislation—which included gun bans, trigger lock mandates, a central registration scheme, ballistic fingerprinting, and much more—was due in large part to the overwhelming outpouring of opposition by the law-abiding gun owners of Rhode Island. But the battle is far from over, as numerous anti-gun proposals—many of them which were included in H 5580—are still being considered.


On Monday, April 9, the House Public Safety Committee will consider HB 2656, which seeks to require resource officers in public elementary schools to teach students NRA`s Eddie Eagle™ GunSafe accident prevention program. Contact members of the House Public Safety Committee and urge them to support HB 2656.


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.