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Grassroots Alert: Vol. 9, No. 10 3/8/2002

GUN-BANNERS REJECTED IN COURT...AGAIN

The Maryland Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court, ruled on Wednesday that gun manufacturer Sturm, Ruger & Company could not be held accountable for the 1999 death of Jordan Garris. Jordan died when he accidentally shot himself after he discovered his father’s firearm stored under a mattress. The court held, in a 6-1 ruling, that what led to the tragic death of the three-year-old was, "the carelessness of Jordan’s father." Judge Alan Wilner, who wrote the majority opinion, found the father acted "in contravention not only of common sense but of multiple warnings given to him at the time of purchase (of the firearm)." The rejection of this case—which had been supported by the gun-ban lobby formerly known as HCI—adds to the overwhelming tide of judicial rulings rejecting the reckless lawsuits agenda of the gun-ban community. Lawrence G. Keane, vice president and general counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, Inc. (NSSF), stated "As Maryland’s high court found, this tragic accident was caused by the failure of a firearm’s owner to act in a safe and responsible manner by following the most basic firearms safety messages and warnings provided to him by the manufacturer and the retailer that sold him the firearm."

THOMPSON WON’T SEEK REELECTION

U.S. Senator Fred Thompson

(R-Tenn.), a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment, announced he will not seek re-election this year. His support of our Right to Keep and Bear Arms will certainly be missed.

A LOOK AT THE STATES

KANSAS:

SB 116

, the reckless lawsuit preemption bill, will be heard in the House Federal and State Affairs Committee on Thursday, March 14. Call your Representative at (785) 296-1153 and urge him to support SB 116.

MARYLAND:

This week, the Maryland legislature will be having its annual "gun days," during which both the Senate and House will hold committee hearings on all firearm-related legislation. Representatives of NRA and the Maryland State Rifle and Pistol Association will be at the State House closely monitoring the situation, and we urge all NRA members who are able to attend these important hearings. The Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee will meet Tuesday, March 12, at 1:00 p.m. The House Judiciary Committee will meet Wednesday, March 13, and Thursday, March 14, at 1:00 p.m. on both days. Contact your Senators and Delegates and encourage them to oppose any new restrictions on law-abiding gun owners. The Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee can be reached at (410) 841-3639. The House Judiciary Committee can be reached at (410) 841-3488. Also, last Monday, the Baltimore City Council introduced a bill (#02-0703) to prohibit "the possession of air rifles, air guns, and BB guns, as well as their sale or transfer or their discharge." Additionally, the Council has on draft a bill that will specifically prohibit the "possession, sale or transfer, or discharge of paintball guns and similar devices." This bill is set to be introduced this Monday, March 11. If you live in Baltimore, or even within 100 miles of the city, you are urged to attend the Baltimore City Council meeting on Monday, March 11, at 5:00 p.m., at:City Hall, Room 408, 100 North Holliday Street, Baltimore. You can also call the Baltimore City Council via the Mayor’s office at (410) 396-4892.

MISSISSIPPI:

The Senate gave final approval this week to HB 764, an NRA-supported bill by Rep. Warner McBride (D-10) and Sen. Tommy Robertson (R-51), which repeals a long-standing state law requiring gun dealers to maintain a registry of all ammunition purchases.

MISSOURI:

HB 1344

, which would establish a Project Exile program and legalize the carrying of concealed firearms by law-abiding citizens while in their vehicles, may be heard by the House as early as next week. Call you Representative at (573) 751-3659 and tell him to show his support for this vital piece of legislation when it comes to a floor vote.

NEW MEXICO:

Gov. Gary Johnson (R) signed HB 112, the NRA/NMSSA-backed bill by Rep. Larry Larranaga (R-27) and Sen. Phil Griego (D-39) that will protect shooting range facilities from noise-based nuisance lawsuits aimed at shutting them down. New Mexico became the 45th state to enact a range protection law!

NEW YORK:

On Thursday, March 14, at 1:00 p.m., in the Rose Caracappa Auditorium at the William Rogers Legislature Building, the Suffolk County Legislature’s Parks, Sports and Cultural Affairs Committee will meet to discuss a proposal addressing the closure of the Suffolk Trap and Skeet Range in Yaphank. It is critical that sportsmen and sportswomen attend this meeting, as it could be our only opportunity to either voice our opposition to the possible permanent closure of this facility or offer our opinions on any proposed alternatives. It is important that all who can attend this meeting be there to express their concerns, but if you cannot attend, you can still help! Contact the committee’s chair, Legislator Ginny Fields,(D) by mail at 1227 B Montauk Highway, Oakdale, NY 11769; by fax at (631) 854-4928; or by e-mail at Ginny.Fields@co.suffolk.ny.us.

 

TEXAS:

Next Tuesday, March 12, is Primary Election Day! For information on candidate ratings and endorsements in the primary call NRA Grassroots at 800-392-8683.

WEST VIRGINIA:

HB 4315

, which would correct an inconsistency in the Right to Carry statute and will allow permit holders to carry in the woods during hunting season, passed the Senate this week.

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.