BUSH SIGNS HOMELAND SECURITY BILL—
<align=center>INCLUDES ARMED PILOTS PROGRAM
On Monday, President Bush (R) signed into law the Homeland Security of Act of 2002, marking the most extensive federal re-organization since the creation of the Defense Department in 1947. Office of Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge was named the new secretary-designate of the new Department of Homeland Security. This historic event helped establish one of NRA’s top priorities for the year—as language that would allow qualified commercial pilots to have access to firearms as a last line of defense against terrorist hijackers was included. Under the new law, training is set to begin by the end of February 2003 through the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). The TSA will train pilots as "federal flight deck officers," which will include training equivalent to federal agents. The new law will also provide the approved pilots with the power to make arrests. Our thanks go out to all of our members who contacted their lawmakers and urged them to ensure the legislation that established the new Homeland Security Department included language that would establish an armed pilots program.
LOUISIANA SPECIAL ELECTION
While the winners of almost every race across the nation were decided on November 5, 2002, or soon thereafter, some are still up in the air. In fact, because of Louisiana’s election laws, any race in which a candidate does not receive a majority (50%+1) of the vote must be decided by a run-off between the top two vote recipients. Because no candidate received a majority in the race for U.S. Senate, all eligible voters in Louisiana will have an opportunity to cast their vote by December 7 in this important race. However, please keep in mind that December 7 is also Opening Day of Duck Season in Louisiana’s West Zone and Opening Day of Deer Season statewide. Therefore, every hunter must make sure his voice is heard by early or absentee voting or by voting at the polls on December 7.
In-person absentee voting is possible from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday 11/27, and Saturday 11/30—BUT WILL BE CLOSED 11/28 & 11/29 FOR THE THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY.
For more information regarding early and absentee voting in your Parish, please find your Parish Registrar’s Office contact information in the Blue Pages of your phone book. You can also click here, then scroll down to the "Registrar of Voters" section under the "Contents" column on the left side of the screen.
NRA members in Louisiana will soon receive additional information regarding this race in the mail, but can also call the NRA-ILA Grassroots Division at (800) 392-8683 for more election-related information.
<align=center>"CONFUSION" OVER NRA-PVF MAILING
The Associated Press (AP), as well as the American Press of Lake Charles, Louisiana, have reported a recent mailing by the NRA Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF) may have caused some confusion with several Louisiana Registrars of Voters. Although the mailing clearly announced the NRA-PVF endorsement of Louisiana U.S. Senate candidate Suzanne Haik Terrell (R) in the December 7 special election (see previous story), according to reports, some voters believe the mailing implies they are supporting Terrell. Jeff Davis Parish registrar Lorraine Dees told AP, "It has come to the attention of the registrar of voters in this state that some voters are under the impression that as local election officers we are endorsing candidates in the upcoming congressional election." And while the mailing itself neither says nor implies registrars supported the NRA-PVF-endorsed Terrell—it merely lists contact information for registrars and encourages voters to contact them to receive information on how to vote absentee—Tangipahoa registrar John Russell claimed he was "personally outraged" that the mailing was "exploiting his name." Whether Mr. Russell had actually seen the mailing in question when he made his statement is unclear, but his comment, "I don’t know the source of [the mailing]," indicates he had not. When registrar Dees contacted the Federal Election Commission (FEC) about the mailing, she was told no laws were violated because of the disclaimer on the mailing, which clearly stated the mailing was "Paid for by NRA-Political Victory Fund and not authorized by any candidate or candidate committee."
A LOOK AT THE STATES
Lawmakers in both the House and Senate came to an agreement this week on House Bill 19, a tort reform package that includes NRA-backed firearms lawsuit preemption language. Each chamber has adopted the compromise language and HB 19 has been sent to Governor Ronnie Musgrove (D) for his expected signature. Upon his signature, Mississippi will become the 31st state to pass legislation protecting the lawful firearms industry. Your phone calls were critical in creating momentum each time the proposal stalled. Special thanks to:Lt. Governor Amy Tuck (D),Senate President Pro Tem Travis Little (D), andHouse Speaker Tim Ford (D) for their leadership on this issue, as well asSen. Tommy Robertson (R),Sen. Glenn Hamilton (R),Rep. Keith Montgomery (R),Rep. Warner McBride (D) and countless others for working to ensure that NRA-backed language was added to, and remained in, the final version of the bill.
NEW YORK CITY:
As early as December 4, the full city council could consider Int. 211, a redundant and unnecessary measure that does nothing more than restate the Police Department’s ability to continue doing what they have been doing all along—abusing the licensing process. The bill clarifies that the Licensing Division must deny a shotgun or rifle license to any individual who has ever been convicted of any three misdemeanors and can deny a license to any individual who has been convicted of less than three misdemeanors. What that means is they can continue denying licenses to anyone for any reason. Please contact members of the city council at (212) 788-7100 and ask them why they feel the need to pass yet another law that does nothing but encourage further abuse of the Licensing Division’s already arbitrary discretionary powers. Click here to find out which council member represents you.
IN RECOGNITION OF THANKSGIVING,
<align=center>NRA WILL BE CLOSED ON THURSDAY AND FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 28 AND 29.
HAVE A HAPPY AND SAFE THANKSGIVING!