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Grassroots Alert: Vol. 8, No. 36 9/7/2001



With both chambers of Congress now back in full swing, the pro-gun community needs to continue expressing its concerns to federal lawmakers, particularly those in the U.S. Senate, about threats to our Right to Keep and Bear Arms. The Senate will soon take up the Commerce-Justice-State (CJS) Appropriations Bill, which could be brought to the floor for consideration as soon as this coming Monday. While the bill in its current form contains no anti-gun provisions, it is very likely that anti-gun extremists will attempt to attach anti-gun amendments during the floor debate. U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) will likely offer an amendment that would seek to give the FBI authority to use the National Instant Check System (NICS) to retain the records of law-abiding gun purchasers for at least 90 days—a policy the lame-duck Clinton/Reno Department of Justice (DOJ) had attempted to make permanent with a last-minute regulation. A similar effort failed miserably in the U.S. House in July, when an overwhelming, bi-partisan majority rejected similar legislation introduced by U.S. Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.). Also, U.S. Senator Herb Kohl (D-Wisc.) is expected to offer a gun-lock mandate amendment. Be sure to contact your U.S. Senators as soon as possible, and urge them to vote to table any anti-gun amendments that are proposed for the CJS Appropriations Bill, especially any offered by Schumer or Kohl. You can reach your U.S. Senators by calling (202) 224-3121, or by using our "Write Your Reps" tool.

In addition, today`s Washington Times reports that proponents of the McCain-Feingold/Shays-Meehan campaign finance "reform" effort (S. 27 and H.R. 2356, respectively) are desperately trying to bolster support for their cause. Although the House has already considered campaign finance "reform" this year, and rejected the proposal, backers of the Shays-Meehan package are trying to force the House to consider the bill again through the use of a discharge petition. If 218 U.S. Representatives sign this petition, House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) would be forced to allow this bill to be brought up for consideration for the second time this year.

These "reform" bills, you will recall, seek to severely restrict NRA`s ability to provide timely information—including information on lawmakers` positions on firearm-related issues—to America`s law-abiding gun owners. While you have probably already urged your U.S. Representative to oppose the McCain-Feingold/Shays-Meehan campaign finance "reform" efforts, please do so again. Remind your Representative that the House already considered this proposal in July, it was rejected, and Congress should move on to issues that are of greater concern to the American people. You can contact your U.S. Representatives at (202) 225-3121, or you can use our "Write Your Reps" tool.



It should come as no surprise that the gun-ban lobby formerly known as HCI uses tragically flawed "research" to promote its gun-ban agenda, its alliance with anti-gun "public health" activists recently reached new lows. Last week, the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research announced the release of a "study" that has been touted by anti-gun extremists as justification for imposing draconian restrictions on law-abiding gun owners, such as licensing and registration schemes. Michael D. Barnes, president of the gun-ban lobby, announced, "This study confirms what we`ve been saying all along: gun laws work." Barnes`s statement, however, couldn`t possibly be farther from the truth. In fact, the high praise from Barnes and his gun-ban cohorts actually confirms what NRA has been saying all along: the gun-ban movement regularly relies on "research" that is flawed, misleading, and is anchored in an extremist anti-gun bias.

This latest "research" from Hopkins, a study of licensing and registration laws, uses tracing data from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms (BATF) in an attempt to support its conclusion that licensing and registration schemes are effective methods for keeping firearms out of the hands of criminals. However, BATF tracing data have been proven to be worthless for such research. In 1992, the bipartisan Congressional Research Service informed Congress that the BATF tracing system is "designed to help law enforcement agencies identify the ownership path of individual firearms. It was not designed to collect statistics.... Firearms selected for tracing do not constitute a random sample and cannot be considered representative of the larger universe of all firearms used by criminals, or of any subset of that universe. As a result, data from the tracing system may not be appropriate for drawing inferences...." BATF even acknowledges that it "does not always know if a firearm being traced has been used in a crime." In other words, the foundation of the "research" produced by Hopkins and praised by Barnes (and paid for through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with your tax dollars) is completely worthless. Of course, what more could we expect from Barnes, who earlier this year fabricated a Supreme Court quote and grossly exaggerated the number of firearm-related fatalities involving children when testifying before Congress? To express your outrage over the CDC`s grotesque and illegal abuse of taxpayer funds, please contact President Bush`s Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) at:

The Honorable Tommy Thompson
U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Ave., S.W.
Washington, DC 20201
Phone: (877) 696-6775 (toll-free)
e-mail: [email protected]



The 2002 elections continue to grow in importance for American gun owners. The defection from the Republican Party by U.S. Senator Jim Jeffords (Ind.-Vt.) earlier this year threw control of the U.S. Senate and its key committees to the Democrats, including the many anti-gun extremists in their Senate ranks. Now, two staunchly pro-gun Senators have announced they will not seek re-election in 2002. Senators Jesse Helms (R-N.C.) and Phil Gramm (R-Tex.) have decided to step down after the completion of their current terms, leaving a distinct void that will need to be filled. This means the pro-gun community cannot afford to rest on its laurels from last year`s Election Day successes, so please be sure to pay close attention to future FAX Alerts for suggestions as to what you can do to ensure success in 2002, and always make sure your voter registration and those of your pro-gun family and friends are current!



In response to concerns raised by certified instructors and individual NRA and NMSSA members during the comment period and public hearing on proposed Right to Carry rules, the New Mexico Department of Public Safety has reportedly scaled back some of the more onerous training requirements for carry licenses. Rules for implementation of the new law should be finalized and available on the department`s website by September 13. Applications for licenses are currently available at that website.


The Southern Tier Gun Owners and S.C.O.P.E. are sponsoring a Second Amendment Rally and Picnic featuring NRA`s Eddie Eagle. The picnic will be from 12 Noon, to 4 p.m. on September 15, in War Veterans Park, Olean, New York.


The House Civil & Commercial Subcommittee will hold proponent and opponent testimony on HB 274, NRA-backed Right to Carry legislation, next Wednesday, September 12, at 2:30 p.m. in room 313 of the Statehouse. Please plan to attend and show your support.


NRA-ILA has scheduled a FREE Grassroots Election Workshop in Lynnwood for Tuesday, September 25, from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., at the Embassy Suites on 44th Ave. West. NRA members who are interested in attending should contact the NRA-ILA Grassroots Division at (800) 392-8683 for details and to reserve your spot.


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.