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Grassroots Alert: Vol. 10, No. 1 1/3/2003


Few Americans have done more in defense of freedom, and the Second Amendment, than General Joe Foss, who passed away on January 1. Gen. Foss’s résumé reads like an American history itself: World War II flying ace, Medal of Honor recipient, Governor of South Dakota, first commissioner of the American Football League, host of ABC’s "The American Sportsman," and past-President of NRA.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Foss family. Gen. Foss and his leadership will truly be missed by the pro-Second Amendment community.


As we enter the 10th year of bringing you the weekly Grassroots Alert, we hope that you will continue to use the information provided to promote grassroots activism among the nation’s 65 million gun owners.

Time and again, we have demonstrated what we can accomplish when we all work together in defense of the Second Amendment. However, despite all we have accomplished, we still have much work in front of us. Rest assured NRA-ILA stands ready to take advantage of every opportunity that presents itself to strengthen our rights. However, while the outcome of last year’s elections may have reduced the number of our opponents, their active commitment to banning guns and adding new restrictions on the rights of lawful firearm ownership has not diminished. The Schumers, Clintons, Feinsteins, and Kennedys of the world are still bent on pushing their anti-freedom, gun control agenda, and we must re-double our efforts to make sure they are stopped in their tracks.

By virtue of your receipt of the Grassroots Alert, you have demonstrated your commitment to freedom. You are on the front lines in this battle to protect our cherished liberty. The only way we will succeed in the future, however, is if we expand and enlarge our base of active supporters. Therefore, you must never stop with yourself in promoting our Right to Keep and Bear Arms. You must act as an ambassador for freedom, helping us reach out to, and activate, others who share our desire to preserve the Second Amendment for future generations.

In the coming months, we will be working with volunteers such as yourself to further identify what you and others will be willing and able to do in defense of liberty. We hope to fine tune our corps of volunteers to make sure each and every one of them stands ready to actively answer the call to protect freedom.

When the new Congress is sworn in later this month, we must be prepared to hit the ground running. This means not only must we energize our network to regularly contact their lawmakers on gun-related issues, but we must also begin to lay the groundwork for next year’s critically-important elections. Yes, the 2002 elections are only a couple of months removed. And, true, the 2004 cycle is still more than a year away. However, all the successes we have enjoyed in past elections have not happened by accident. It has taken much planning and preparation, and this time around will be no different. To that end, we are analyzing and evaluating what we did well in 2002, so that we may replicate and expand these activities.

You deserve a lion’s share of the credit for what we accomplished in 2002, and deserve a well-earned (albeit short!) break. None of us, however, must ever forget that the struggle to protect the Second Amendment requires eternal vigilance.

Through future Grassroots Alerts and other means we have at our disposal, we will work to provide you with the information and the tools you will need to defend our rights in 2003 and lay a solid foundation for the seminal 2004 elections. We must work this year to prepare our troops, so that next year we can concentrate on activating them!

Again, on behalf of NRA-ILA, we thank you for all your hard work in the past and know we can count on you to lead the charge in the coming months and years in defense of the Second Amendment. Please begin thinking about what you are truly willing and able to do to aid our cause, and we will begin our work in reaching out to you on a regular basis to put our grassroots battle plan into motion, and make sure every gun owner is doing all he can to protect our rights.


If you have e-mail, but still receive the NRA-ILA Grassroots Alert via fax, now is the time to switch over to our e-mail system. We can send e-mail at virtually no cost, and e-mail also allows you more flexibility in relaying our information to others. To receive the Alert via e-mail, click here.

Once you start receiving our alerts via e-mail, call the Grassroots Division at (800) 392-8683, and let us know so we may remove you from the fax list.



At the close of the 2002 legislative session, NRA-ILA was successful in passing Right to Carry reform legislation that benefits carry permit holders in several ways. This bill, which has now been signed by Governor Engler (R), removes most restaurants that serve alcohol as "gun-free zones," extends the carry permit from three to five years, and removes non-violent misdemeanors as disqualifiers under the permitting process. As Michigan’s Shall-Issue law went into effect on July 1, 2001, NRA-ILA’s success in moving reform legislation just 16 months later is a testament to the overall success of the new system and the fact that with over 85,000 new permits in the state, there has not been a single reported incident of a permit holder misusing a firearm while carrying concealed.


In a major victory for supporters of the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, House Bill 2070 was signed into law by Governor Mark Schweiker (R) on December 9, 2002. This bill will correct 1968 legislation which unintentionally prohibited firearm ownership by people convicted of minor crimes. For example, an individual convicted of the offense of "drag racing" over 20 years ago, and who has committed no other criminal offense since, is not the "menace to society" the federal Gun Control Act or the Pennsylvania Uniform Firearms Act meant to encompass. HB 2070 will restore some common sense to Pennsylvania’s gun laws.


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.