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Grassroots Alert: Vol. 8, No. 38 9/21/2001


Last week`s cowardly assault on America by a handful of terrorists resulted in the loss of thousands of innocent lives, but has also united our great nation in a way few could have imagined. The overwhelming majority of Americans, including NRA`s more than 4 million members, stand solidly behind President George Bush`s commitment to bring to justice those responsible for ordering, coordinating, or assisting in the attacks that took place on September 11.

But while U.S. troops mobilize, and our government negotiates with world leaders for their cooperation in a war on terrorism, NRA remains vigilant, guarding against any attempts to restrict our Right to Keep and Bear Arms. Unfortunately, while many in Congress have pledged to focus their legislative efforts on addressing the threat of terrorism, some seem willing to take advantage of a national tragedy to promote their political agenda.

For example, in a September 19 Washington Post op-ed column, U.S. Representative John Conyers (D-Mich.) used last week`s terrorist attack to launch his own thinly-veiled attack on the "gun lobby." And the gun-ban lobby formerly known as HCI never once paused from aggressively promoting its anti-gun agenda in the wake of a national tragedy that involved no firearms. In fact, the group is shamelessly attempting to use the acts of terrorists in order to increase restrictions on law-abiding gun owners, including promoting attacks on legal gun shows. Sarah Brady, chair of the gun-ban lobby, exploited the terrorist attack on America along with the tragic accidental death of a three-year-old child as an opportunity to spread anti-gun misinformation in an attempt to dissuade law-abiding citizens from purchasing firearms for personal protection. If the gun-ban zealots were truly concerned about the safe handling of firearms, they would encourage any potential firearm purchasers to contact NRA for information on how new gun owners can be educated in safely and responsibly handling and storing their firearms.

Congressional Debate Coming

In the days and weeks to come, Congress will consider many proposals that seek to ensure America`s safety from terrorists, and NRA will stand vigilant to ensure that the Second Amendment does not become yet another victim of the attacks of September 11. Unfortunately, we can expect the anti-gun community to become far more brazen in its efforts to capitalize on a national tragedy and push its gun-ban agenda. Law-abiding gun owners should watch for renewed, aggressive attempts to: pass licensing and registration schemes; shut down gun shows as we know them today; and revive old issues that have already been addressed by Congress, such as adding "taggants" to black and smokeless powders, and playing up the myth of the "plastic gun."

Congress has already mandated a study of "taggants," and in 1998, a committee of scientists issued its report.  The committee`s recommendations were carefully directed to identify feasible and effective actions that would assist law enforcement to prevent bombings and to conduct investigations in their aftermath.  The use of "taggants" in black and smokeless powders was found to be unfeasible and of uncertain value. And as for "plastic guns," although they do not exist, federal law already prohibits the manufacture or possession of any firearm that is not detectable by the types of x-ray machines that are now used at airports. You can find more information on these subjects posted to the Research section of NRAILA.org. For those not on the Internet, please call the Grassroots Division at (800) 392-8683 if you would like material on any or all of these topics.

Be sure to contact your U.S. Senators, at (202) 224-3121, and your U.S. Representative, at (202) 225-3121, and urge them to do everything possible to end the threat of terrorism, but not at the expense of our freedom. You can also find contact information for your federal lawmakers by using the "Write Your Reps" tool found at NRAILA.org.


When terrorists launched their attacks last week, many Americans became extremely concerned over their safety, and rightfully so. Nobody knew what else might be in store, so many law-abiding citizens who chose to ensure they were well-equipped to provide for their own personal protection and that of their families went out in droves to purchase firearms and ammunition. Unfortunately, it seems some retailers felt they knew better. Kmart decided to order all of its stores to suspend the sale of rifles, shotguns, and ammunition, claiming the policy was implemented because of concerns over safety. In other words, Kmart management decided it knew better than law-abiding citizens how to ensure their protection. While firearms and ammunition have returned to the shelves of Kmart, if you wish to contact Kmart to comment on this decision, you can call 1-866-KMART 4 U (1-866-562 7848), or you can send e-mail to [email protected].


While most Americans will grieve for some time over the tremendous loss we all experienced on September 11, many are also looking forward to trying to return to a sense of normalcy. Along these lines, this Saturday, September 22, marks the 30th anniversary of National Hunting & Fishing (NHF) Day—a day to honor the contributions hunters and anglers have made to conservation. NHF Day offers an opportunity for sportsmen`s groups, retailers, ranges and clubs to spread the word about the important role America`s sportsmen play in conserving our natural resources. For more information, NHF Day Headquarters has a variety of educational and publicity materials that you can preview and download from the NHF Day Web site.



Thanks to the work of NRA Board Member Todd Rathner, the Sahuarita Arizona City Council killed a proposed ordinance that would have restricted the carrying of firearms in city parks to those with Right to Carry permits. This would have put limitations on the state`s open carry law that allows honest citizens to carry firearms openly without a permit. You can send your thanks to the city council to the following e-mail addresses: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], and [email protected].



"This will give California
one of the strongest handgun safety licenses in the country."

                                               ---Luis Tolley, Western Director of the gun ban lobby
                                                  formally known as HCI

As the Legislature wrapped up the first half of the 2001/02 session, two measures, AB 35 (Shelley) and SB 52 (Scott), passed out of both houses with a bare majority and are now on the Governor`s desk. Despite the fact that both bills have been altered significantly, and any mention of licensing has been removed to include "certificate," it is vital that NRA members, friends and family contact Governor Davis (D) and ask him to veto these dangerous proposals.

Key provisions that remain in AB 35 and SB 52 of grave concern are the removal of the exemptions for licensed hunters and retired veterans from the requirement to obtain the Handgun Safety Certificate, formerly called the Basic Firearms Safety Certificate (BFSC). Those individuals that have served our country courageously, as well as those persons who have undergone hunter safety courses, now must take a written test, demonstrate safe handling procedures, and give a thumbprint before receiving permission to purchase a handgun. In addition to the increased regulations, the shelf life of the certificate is only five years, in comparison to the current BFSC, which is good for life.

October 14 is the deadline for Governor Davis to either veto, sign, or allow to become law legislation currently before him. It is vital that you contact the Governor`s office as soon as possible and request his veto of AB 35 and SB 52 - and ask him to stand with retired veterans, licensed hunters, and law enforcement in opposition to these bills (contact numbers below). Thank you!

Sacramento (916) 445-2841                Fresno (559) 445-5295
Los Angeles (213) 897-0322                San Diego (619) 525-4641
Riverside (909) 680-6860                    San Francisco (415) 703-2218


Make plans to attend the Connecticut Trappers Association Annual Fall Rendezvous—in association with the Coalition of Conn. Sportsmen and the National Rifle Association—on Saturday, September 29, 8 a.m.-7 p.m. The event will be held at the Fin, Fur, and Feather Club, located at 13 Chewink Road in Chaplin, Conn. Admission is FREE. The CCS and NRA are sponsoring an invitational shoot for state legislators, so invite yours to come along for an introduction to the shooting sports! There will also be professional trapping demos, door prizes, a breakfast served at 8 a.m., and an all-you-can-eat pig roast in the afternoon ($10 per ticket -- no charge for legislators). To RSVP on behalf of your legislator, please call Bob Crook of CCS at (203) 245-8076. For more details on this event, please call Dave Quesnel (860) 623-4571 or Mike Cote (860) 423-5974.


Tomorrow, September 22, NRA-ILA and the New Mexico Shooting Sports Association are hosting a free grassroots organizational meeting. The meeting will focus on our efforts to prevent the city of Santa Fe from "opting out" of New Mexico`s new Right to Carry law. If you would like to attend, the meeting starts at 8:00 a.m., and will be held at the La Fonda Hotel, on the plaza in Santa Fe.


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.