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Grassroots Alert: Vol. 9, No. 11 3/15/2002



It seems like just yesterday, your NRA was at the forefront of its most critical election battle ever. The 2000 elections resulted in the victory we fought so hard together to achieve, but there is no rest for the weary. We must begin NOW to lay the groundwork to ensure our success in the 2002 elections.

The anti-gunners are already re-doubling their efforts to ensure the defeat of pro-Second Amendment candidates in critical elections across the country on Election Day 2002—November 5.With elections for all 435 U.S. Representatives, 34 U.S. Senators, 36 Governors, and thousands of state and local officials on the ballot this year, we have our work cut out for us.We must stand ready to meet the "gun control" crowd head-on at every turn!


This is why the NRA-ILA Grassroots Division will host a special FREE Workshop in conjunction with NRA’s Annual Meetings in Reno. At the Workshop, you will hear from NRA leaders, staff, and your fellow NRA members on what you can do in your own community to ensure that Election Day 2002 is a resounding success for the Second Amendment and gun owners across our great nation. We will also discuss how you can work with your local Election Volunteer Coordinator (EVC) to ensure pro-gun campaigns have a steady stream of committed, pro-freedom volunteers to help with their activities leading up to Election Day. Workshop details are:

NRA-ILA Grassroots Workshop—FREE!
Friday, April 26, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 Noon

(complimentary continental breakfast from 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.)
Crystal Rooms 3, 4, & 5 (Main Level)
Reno Hilton
2500 East Second Street
Reno, Nevada 89595

To reserve your spot, please call the Grassroots Division at (800) 392-8683, or to do so on-line, click here.



The National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA) formally endorsed the National Rifle Association’s Eddie Eagle GunSafe® Program at its annual midwinter conference, held March 2 in Washington, D.C. Sheriff John Cary Bittick, President of the NSA, said, "We are proud to partner with the National Rifle Association on this very important issue, and we would like to express our full support for this program. The safety of our nation’s children is of paramount concern, and I can think of no better way to provide them with knowledge about firearm safety than through the Eddie Eagle GunSafe® Program. This program, which has proven to be most effective, simply teaches children not to touch firearms and to tell adults immediately if they should come into contact with a firearm of any kind."

Commenting on the endorsement, NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre said, "We greatly appreciate the National Sheriffs’ Association’s recognition and support of this program. Local law enforcement officers have helped deliver Eddie Eagle® to 15 million children, and it is gratifying to receive a formal endorsement from people who work daily with community safety issues. An endorsement from the National Sheriffs’ Association is a great milestone for the program, and it will ultimately help save lives."


On Tuesday, March 12, the two Democrats who rule the Wisconsin State Senate with iron fists abused and ignored their own Senate rules in order to single-handedly block a Right to Carry bill from receiving a full and fair vote by the citizens’ elected officials on the Senate floor. In most places, this would be called tyranny. The local press called it "arbitrary enforcement of the rules."

After the Personal Protection Act, AB 675, had passed the Assembly Criminal Justice Committee on a vote of 10-4, the full Assembly on a vote of 58-40, and then the Senate Judiciary Committee on a vote of 4-1, anti-gun Senate President Fred Risser (D-26) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Chvala (D-16) were running scared. They were convinced the Right to Carry bill had the necessary support to make it to the Governor’s desk.

Risser and Chvala claimed motions by pro-gun Senators for a full and fair vote were out of order because they violated "rules of Senate decorum." These rules, however, pertain to wearing proper attire and not smoking or reading newspapers while in the Senate chamber. Of course, none of those rules were violated. But Risser and Chvala played judge, jury and executioner, leaving no recourse available to proponents of Right to Carry.

Senate President Risser claimed throughout the proceedings that he did not hear the "objections" that were literally yelled by a number of Senators on many occasions. Majority Leader Chvala refused to answer questions asked of him by his fellow Senators.

In the end, the Senate President and Majority Leader silenced the voices of the hundreds of citizens who showed their support for Right to Carry by attending the three committee meetings on this legislation that were held this year. Because of the actions of these two anti-gun senators, Wisconsin’s law-abiding gun owners will go without the freedom to choose their means of self-protection for another year.

If you would like to hear for yourself what happened on the Senate floor on Tuesday night, you can call (608) 261-0533 for a six-minute summary recording. You can also access the recording through the home page of Senator Dave Zien (R-23), the Senate sponsor of the bill. To receive Right to Carry updates from Senator Zien, use the "contact me" tool to send his office your contact information.



NRA-ILA is hosting a FREE Grassroots-Election Workshop in Fort Wayne, Ind., on April 20. At this Workshop you will learn what you can do in your own community to ensure pro-gun candidates are elected to office on November 5. NRA members who are interested in attending should contact the NRA-ILA Grassroots Division at (800) 392-8683 for details and to reserve their spot. NRA members who have access to the Internet can also reserve their spot on-line.


Senate Bill 116, the NRA-backed Reckless Lawsuit Preemption bill, has been reported out of the House Federal and State Affairs Committee and will see action on the floor in the next couple weeks. Contact your Representative at (785) 296-1153 and urge him to support SB 116.


The annual "Gun Day" hearings are over. On Tuesday and Thursday, the Senate and the House listened to testimony on both sides of the issue. The final outcome: all anti-gun legislation is dead or has been tabled for the rest of the 2002 legislative session. Call the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee at 410-841-3639 and the House Judiciary Committee at 410-841-3488 to thank them for their support of law-abiding citizens. Our sincerest thanks goes out to all members who were able to call their legislators or attend the hearings.


After a two-year fight, Governor Engler (R) signed HB 5026 this week, which eases restrictions on the transportation of handguns. This bill changes the law from a "point-to-point" requirement to allowing transportation when the handgun owner is engaged in a lawful purpose. No longer will lawful transport hinge on going "to and from" a hunting area or a shooting club of which the handgun owner is an active member.


The clock is ticking on passing Right to Carry this year. Senate Bill 938, sponsored by Senator John Cauthorn (R-18), and House Bill 1729, sponsored by Representative Frank Barnitz (D-150), have both passed committee and are now under consideration by their respective legislative bodies. However, these bills could be doomed to legislative purgatory if the General Assembly leadership doesn’t grant them consideration. It is vital that these bills be voted on soon. Enthusiastic support from NRA members will help ensure that Right to Carry legislation comes up for a vote this session. Contact your Senator and Representative to remind them of the importance of passing Right to Carry, and urge them to support these bills. The House of Representatives’ Information number is (573) 751-3659, and the Senate’s is (573) 751-3824.


The House Civil and Commercial Law Committee will vote on House Bill 274, the NRA-supported Right to Carry bill, on Wednesday, March 20, at 9:30 a.m., in Room 114 of the Statehouse. Call your Representative at (614) 466-3357 and urge him to support HB 274.



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.