THE FACTS ABOUT NRA AND CARA
In July, the House Resources Committee favorably reported H.R. 701, the Conservation and Reinvestment Act known as CARA. Because the bill is expected to be brought to the House of Representatives for a vote sometime in the Fall, the NRA has received inquiries regarding its position on H.R. 701, specifically with respect to the perceived impacts of CARA upon private property owners. We are happy to set the record straight regarding NRA support of CARA so that our members will be informed of NRA`s views.
NRA has supported CARA since it was first introduced in 1998 by Congressman Don Young (R-Alaska). All national conservation and hunting organizations are on record in support of CARA. NRA`s support for CARA is tied to Title III, which provides additional funds to state fish and wildlife agencies through a trust account Congressionally established in the 1930`s with the strong backing of sportsmen. The Pittman-Robertson trust account assists states in conserving and restoring wildlife and habitat.
The issue over CARA that has been brought to NRA`s attention, however, is over Title II, which creates a land acquisition trust account for the federal land management agencies. Property rights groups claim that Title II will give the federal government unfettered powers to seize property owned by our citizens, and they have rallied grassroots efforts to have NRA withdraw its support for CARA.
We are very sensitive to the fears expressed by some of our members that CARA is a threat to private property owners. Congressman Young has endeavored to construct Title II in a manner that addresses and alleviates these fears. However, we doubt that any private property protections built into CARA will satisfy those of our citizens who oppose any further land acquisition and expansion of the federal estate. In that context, while we have waged many battles over land acquisition and land transfer/exchange proposals when such actions pose a threat to hunting opportunities, the NRA has no position with respect to federal land acquisition, per se, due to our single issue charter.
Rest assured that NRA would not attach its name and support to a bill if its effect was to infringe upon any of our members` Constitutional rights. Again, our support for CARA is tied to Title III, which is one title of ten in the bill. On the other hand, property-rights groups oppose a different title of the ten. Professional observers understand the legislative process is one of debate and amendments, and concerned individuals would be better served by an action plan to amend the bill rather than ad hominem attacks on groups such as the NRA who are simply fulfilling their mandate to serve their own constituencies. We suggest you inquire of those who are provoking these attacks what their legislative plan of action may be. The contact information for the individual responsible for launching this irresponsible diversion, Mr. J. Zane Walley, is (505) 653-4024; e-mail — [email protected], and we suggest you contact him posthaste.
AG ASHCROFT SEEKS COMMENTS ON NICS
Attorney General John Ashcroft and the Department of Justice (DOJ) are still accepting public comment on reforming the National Instant Check System (NICS). The comment period runs until September 4, 2001. Be sure to take the time to let the DOJ know you would like to see NICS run as it was originally intended—efficiently, instantly, and without the threat of it being abused to establish a registry of law-abiding gun purchasers. Tell the DOJ that the background checks on lawful gun purchasers through NICS should be processed instantly, as the system`s name implies; persistent system crashes must be eliminated; and there should be no retention of personal information on any law-abiding gun purchaser whose attempt to acquire a firearm that is subject to a NICS check is not denied by NICS. Please submit your written comments to:
Mr. Timothy Munson, Section Chief
Federal Bureau of Investigation
1000 Custer Hollow Road
Clarksburg, WV 26306-0147
A LOOK AT THE STATES
On Monday, August 27, at 5:00 p.m., the Finance & Government Operations Committee of the Albuquerque City Council will hold a hearing on Ordinance #108, anti-gun Mayor Jim Baca`s proposal that seeks to ban trained, law-abiding citizens who are issued licenses under New Mexico`s Right to Carry law from carrying concealed handguns within city borders. Please attend this hearing on the 9th floor of the City-County Building at One Civic Plaza NW in Albuquerque. If you wish to speak against Ordinance #108, sign up at the beginning of the meeting. If you can`t attend the meeting, call, fax, and e-mail ALL City Councillors, and urge them to oppose any effort to deny trained, law-abiding residents of, or visitors to, Albuquerque the ability to protect themselves in this legal, responsible manner. City Council Phone: (505) 768-3100; City Council Fax: (505) 768-3227; City Council e-mail addresses: http://www.cabq.gov.