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Grassroots Alert: Vol. 8, No. 29 7/20/2001

U.S. HOUSE REJECTS ATTACK ON ASHCROFT & PRIVACY OF GUN BUYERS

In a bipartisan vote of 268-161, the U.S. House of Representatives defeated an attempt by anti-gun Representative Jim Moran (D-Va.)—joined by gun-ban extremists Reps. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.) and Henry Waxman (D-Calif.)—to invade the privacy rights of law-abiding gun owners. Moran introduced an amendment that sought to give the FBI authority to retain records of law-abiding gun purchasers for at least 90 days, a policy the Clinton/Reno Department of Justice (DOJ) had attempted to make permanent with a last-minute regulation. Fortunately, Attorney General John Ashcroft’s recent proposal to reform and improve the operation of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) included a call to slash the amount of time allowed to keep records on law-abiding citizens that are generated by NICS to less than one day.

NRA-ILA Executive Director James Jay Baker said, "On behalf of the NRA’s more than 4.4 million members, I am pleased to see that the U.S. House voted in support of maintaining the privacy of our citizens. While the Attorney General’s proposal is an effort to protect the rights of law-abiding citizens, Rep. Moran’s intentions were to further restrict those rights.... Our members are very pleased with the outcome of the bipartisan, overwhelming defeat of the Moran amendment."

Take the time to thank those U.S. Representatives who voted against the Moran amendment, and protected the privacy of law-abiding gun owners. And if your Representative voted against privacy and for the Moran amendment, be sure to voice your objection. To find out how your U.S. Representative voted on the Moran amendment, you can call the NRA-ILA Grassroots Division at 1-800-392-8683. For those on the Internet, you can go to the U.S. House web site.

 

UN CONFERENCE ON "SMALL ARMS" CONTINUES BEYOND DEADLINE

The "U.N. Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in all its Aspects" has been extended beyond the official closing time to accommodate ongoing negotiations over core provisions of the conference’s intended product—a non-binding "Draft Programme of Action" that would call on member nations to undertake a variety of actions. As we write, it is still unclear what will be the end result of this meeting. On July 9, the opening day of the conference, U.S. Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs John R. Bolton stated the United States would only support efforts to eliminate the global black market in firearms, but would not support any final proposal that threatened our Right to Keep and Bear Arms. Bolton’s statement was a reaction to the conference’s initial "Draft Programme of Action" that included measures that would restrict the legal manufacture and transfer of firearms, prohibitions against the civilian possession of firearms, and the promotion of "international advocacy activity" that could directly conflict with the views of certain countries. The U.S. message was met with hostility by representatives of other nations (with support from anti-gun media outlets in the U.S.) who seek far-reaching, comprehensive restrictions on not only trade in firearms but civilian possession across the globe.

Throughout this week, several revised versions of the "Programme" have been released, all of which still contain provisions that remain unacceptable to U.S. negotiators. While we will have to wait to see the end result of this conference, we can be assured that those within the U.N. who object to the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution will continue to promote their agenda of attacking law-abiding gun owners on a transnational level. Please be sure to continue to express your gratitude and support for the defense of America’s law-abiding gun owners by the U.S. Delegation to the U.N. Contact information for the U.S. Department of State is:

U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520
(202)647-4000
e-mail— Secretary@state.gov

Also be sure to continue to let President George W. Bush know you support the efforts of the U.S. Delegation. You can contact the White House at:

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
e-mail—president@whitehouse.gov

See next week’s FAX Alert for a final report on this conference.

"ANIMAL RIGHTS" EXTREMISTS TARGET THE MARKETPLACE OF IDEAS

The Washington Times reports the Fund for Animals (FFA), has targeted newspaper editors across the country in its latest effort to garner publicity and promote its anti-hunting agenda. The FFA sent an open letter to more than 2,000 newspapers, requesting they no longer publish any columns that promote hunting or trapping. The group has also asked ESPN and Comcast to put an end to broadcasting any hunting shows. It would seem that the FFA is willing to discourage a free press in order to achieve its goal of outlawing hunting.

LOWE’S REMOVES ANTI-GUN MESSAGES

Lowe’s Companies Inc.

reacted quickly and decisively to last week’s FAX Alert story regarding anti-gun material that had been posted to its website. In a letter to NRA-ILA, a company representative stated, "Lowe’s is a home improvement retailer, and it is certainly not our intent to take a public policy position on the overall issue of Second Amendment rights in the U.S. The information in question was provided to Lowe’s by a third party, the Consumer Federation of America, who had obtained it from Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy. We understand that certain elements of that information may be viewed as being subjective; therefore, it has been removed from our web site. Frankly, a more careful reading of that information by our staff, before it was posted, may have eliminated this issue before it occurred." We certainly appreciate the honesty of Lowe’s, and we appreciate its swift reaction. The material that had caused NRA concern was removed within days of Lowe’s realizing there was a problem.

A LOOK AT THE STATES

COLORADO

 

There is a volunteer cleanup program in the Lefthand Canyon portion of the Arapaho-Roosevelt national forest. The area is used for target shooting, and gun owners are urged to help clean the area in the spirit of maintaining the responsible practice of our sport. For information on how you can get involved, contact Michelle Myers at (303) 541-2530.

NORTH CAROLINA

The House Judiciary Committee III will hold a hearing on SB 680, the "reckless lawsuit preemption" bill. The bill will prohibit reckless lawsuits against the firearms industry by anti-gun mayors. The bill has been amended with language that would place restrictions on gun shows. Please call House Judiciary Committee III at (919) 733-5849 and ask that it support SB 680 without the gun show restrictions.

OHIO

The House Civil & Commercial Subcommittee will hold proponent and opponent testimony on HB 274, NRA-backed Right to Carry legislation, next Wednesday, July 25, at 2:00 p.m. in room 113 of the Statehouse. Please plan to attend this hearing and show your support for HB 274.

WISCONSIN

A budget proposal is currently pending approval by a conference committee of the Wisconsin State Legislature. The version that passed the Assembly seeks to repeal the current gun tax imposed through the state’s background check system, while Senate’s version would double the current tax on firearm background checks, raising it to $17. Please call your Senators and urge them to support the budget proposal as passed in the Assembly’s. For a list of Senators that should be contacted, along with their phone numbers, call 1-800-392-8683, or go to Wisconsin legislative update.

NRA ILA

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.