CAMPAIGN FINANCE "REFORM" LOOMS AS THREAT TO FREE SPEECH
The McCain-Feingold/Shays-Meehan campaign finance "reform" bills (S. 27 and H.R. 2356, respectively) are poised for action in the very near future. Last week, proponents of the House of Representatives’ version of this legislative assault on the First Amendment attained the 218 signatures needed on a discharge petition for H.R. 2356. And this week, House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Tex.) indicated that the bill would be brought up for consideration by the full House very soon. Although the House already considered campaign finance "reform" last year—rejecting the proposal—backers of the Shays-Meehan package were able to convince 218 U.S. Representatives to sign their petition. Armey remains opposed to H.R. 2356, predicting that its passage would result in "a substantial reduction in First Amendment rights across the country," according to "Regulation, Law & Economics," a publication of the Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. While Rep. Armey is working on an alternative bill, he stated opponents of H.R. 2356 would not "stand in the way" of the House rules governing the discharge petition.
NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre, in an interview withFox News’s Neil Cavuto, said that if H.R. 2356 should pass,"I’m afraid we’re going to lose the First Amendment. The First Amendment protects press, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly and freedom of petition. And what they are doing here in this so-called campaign finance bill cuts to the heart of the First Amendment."
LaPierre went on to explain,"I’m saying that what this bill does in its purest form is it gives the media conglomerates with all their billions of dollars and the politicians free run of the political system and freezes everyone else out. And that’s not America."
Please contact your U.S. Representative once again at (202) 225-3121, and urge him to oppose H.R. 2356. or you can also find contact information by using our "Write Your Reps" feature. Be sure to tell your Representatives that we hold all of the Constitution to be inviolate—including the First and the Second Amendments!
During NRA’s Winter Board Meetings, held January 11-13 in Arlington, Va., a truly select-few NRA members from across the country were formally recognized for their meritorious efforts in support of NRA during the 2000 calendar year. Among the 2000 award recipients were a few of NRA-ILA’s Election Volunteer Coordinators (EVCs). EVCs are individual NRA members working in each congressional district to provide pro-gun campaigns with volunteer support for campaign-related activities, such as: literature drops, placement of signs, precinct walks, phone banks, voter registration drives, and Get Out The Vote & Election Day activities.
Jim and Margie Tomes of Wadesville, Indiana, on behalf of the "Second Amendment Patriots," received the "NRA-ILA Volunteer Organization of the Year Award." Proving that there is no obstacle that cannot be overcome by teamwork, the "Second Amendment Patriots" have become a familiar face to those in Indiana’s eighth congressional district. By entering "NRA floats" in several local parades, volunteering hundreds of hours to pro-gun campaigns throughout southwest Indiana, chartering buses for candidate debates, testifying before the Indiana State Legislature in support of pro-Second Amendment legislation, and organizing a "Bill of Rights Day Rally" in December 2001, the "Patriots" have forged a deep bond between gun owners and their elected officials that will last for years to come. Jim, with the constant assistance of his wife, Margie, serves as the EVC in Indiana’s eighth congressional district.
Three EVCs received the "Jay M. Littlefield Memorial NRA-ILA Volunteer of the Year Award": Anne Britton of Fayetteville, Arkansas; Gary Davis of Kansas City, Missouri; and David Adams of Richmond, Virginia.
Anne Britton is the EVC for Arkansas’s third congressional district, and has worked in support of numerous pro-gun candidates at the local, state, and federal levels. Anne’s efforts have distinguished her as a tireless foot soldier in the battle to protect our Second Amendment rights. Whether organizing volunteers for literature drops, or helping to spread NRA’s message to the legions of gun owners across Arkansas, pro-freedom candidates have come to count on Anne for the critical volunteer support necessary for a winning campaign. In fact, due in large part to Anne’s wide spread volunteer efforts as the EVC for Arkansas’ third congressional district, she was named to "The POWER LIST 2000," counting her among one of Arkansas’s 100 most politically influential personalities.
Gary Davis is not only an outspoken firearms enthusiast and the EVC for Missouri’s fifth congressional district, but he is also the longest-serving President in the history of The Western Missouri Shooters Alliance (WMSA). Gary is a standard fixture at Missouri gun shows, signing up volunteers to bolster his pro-gun volunteer network and spreading the message about Second Amendment-related issues. Thanks to his efforts to leave no stone unturned in Western Missouri, pro-gun candidates at all levels of government enjoy the critical volunteer support of gun owners in Gary’s region of the "Show-Me State."
David Adams is a long-time activist in the defense of our Second Amendment freedoms. As the EVC for Virginia’s seventh congressional district, he played a pivotal role in motivating and organizing NRA members to elect a pro-freedom U.S. Representative in his district, as well as U.S. Senator George Allen (R). David is also active in the Virginia Shooting Sports Association (VSSA), NRA’s affiliated State Association, and he serves on the Friends of NRA committee in the Metro Richmond area.
All NRA National Award Winners were treated to a tour of both the National Firearms Museum and the NRA Range facility at NRA Headquarters, as well as given an opportunity to meet with NRA Officers and Staff at various events during the Winter Board Meetings.
Our congratulations and our heartfelt appreciation go out to all the National Award Winners!
To find your congressional district’s EVC, contact the ILA Grassroots Division, at (800) 392-8683, or click here. If your district currently has a vacancy, contact ILA Grassroots if you are interested in serving in this critically-important volunteer role.
A LOOK AT THE STATES
The Senate Judiciary Committee will meet on Tuesday, February 5, at 1:30 p.m., in Senate Hearing Room 1 to consider two firearm-related bills. SB 1128 seeks to require background checks on all firearms transferred at gun shows, and would threaten felony prosecution of private citizens (not licensed dealers) who transfer their personal property (firearms) at any gathering of firearm collectors or enthusiasts without first obtaining government approval. SB 1174 seeks to mandate that firearms in the home be kept locked up. Contact the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee at (602) 542-3559 and ask them to oppose SB 1128 and SB 1174.
, sponsored by Sen. Ken Chlouber (R-4), seeks to establish a uniform Right to Carry permit system in Colorado. SB 60 is expected to be considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee soon. Contact the Senate Leadership (Senators Matsunaka, Perlmutter, Thiebaut, and Phillips) and urge them to support this bill. The Senate information number is (303) 866-2316.
, a bill that seeks to remove many of the onerous restrictions on the transportation of pistols, passed the Senate on a resounding 32-0 vote. This bill now heads back to the House, where passage is expected. Please call your Representative at (517) 373-0135 to urge them to vote for HB 5026.
A vote in the Senate could occur any day on the "Personal Protection Act." This bill will standardize the Right to Carry permit process throughout the state, giving law-abiding citizens the ability to obtain a carry permit to protect themselves and their families while outside the home. It is important to contact your Senator at (651) 296-0504 today, because this battle is far from over. Senate Majority Leader Roger Moe (D-2) has once again vowed to stop any bill that will help law-abiding gun owners exercise their Second Amendment right. Call today!
, sponsored by Rep. Wayne Crump (D-152), that seeks to allow the transportation of concealable firearms in motor vehicles, will come before the Special Committee on Sportsmanship, Safety, & Firearms next week. Contact the committee at (573) 751-3659 and urge them to vote for this bill.
Two NRA-supported shooting range protection bills—HB 112, sponsored by Rep. Larry Larranaga (R-27), and SB 275, sponsored by Sen. Bill Griego (D-39)—have passed the House Government and Urban Affairs and Senate Conservation Committees, respectively. HB 112 now moves to the House Judiciary Committee for consideration next week, and SB 275 will be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee, also next week. Please call your State Representative at (505) 986-4751, and your State Senator at (505) 986-4714, and urge them to support HB 112 and SB 275.
SB 228, a bill that seeks to streamline the process for out-of-state Right to Carry permit recognition, passed the Senate on Tuesday, January 29, on a strong 37-3 vote. This bill will move to the House in early February, where passage is expected. Call your Delegate at 888-892-6948 to remind them to vote "Yes" on SB 228.
For the first time since 1994, gun control bills are being pushed through committees and heading for floor votes. HB 1604 and Senate Bills 6239, 6273, and 6699 all seek to add new restrictions on where lawful Right to Carry permit holders may carry their personal protection firearms. HB 1604 passed out of the House Criminal Justice & Corrections Committee this week and could come up on the House floor for a vote any time. SB 6699 is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Higher Education Committee on Monday, February 4. SB 6239 and SB 6273 have been heard, and are pending a vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee. In addition, SB 6689 is "Washington Ceasefire’s" Gun Show bill, which seeks to impose registration, waiting periods, and fees on private firearm transactions. SB 6689 is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, February 7. There are also a host of "anti-terrorism" and "civil disorder" bills that could impact the rights of law-abiding gun owners. Use the toll-free Legislative Hotline (800/562-6000) to contact your elected officials immediately and urge them to oppose these and any other gun-related bills which might come up. Click here for additional contact information.