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Grassroots Alert: Vol. 10, No. 17 4/25/2003


The real battle in the U.S. Senate over reckless lawsuit preemption may soon begin. Congress returns from its Spring District Work Period on Monday, April 28, and with the House having already passed its version on an overwhelming and bipartisan 285 - 140 vote, all eyes are now on the Senate.

It is crucial that you call both your U.S. Senators and urge them to help bring an end to predatory, meritless lawsuits designed to wipe out the firearm industry. Let your Senators know that it is crucial that they support S. 659, and halt the abuse of our courts by anti-gun extremists who are trying to usurp congressional authority with the aid of greedy trial lawyers and activist judges and juries. Also urge them to support the will of the majority by working to derail the filibuster anti-gun Senators have threatened to launch to defeat S. 659. Anti-gun extremists opposed to this reform are clearly in the minority, and will use whatever means are available to them to support the efforts of their cohorts in the gun-ban lobby.

To contact your U.S. Senators, you can call the U.S. Senate switchboard at (202) 224-3121, and they should be able to assist you or you can use our "Write Your Representatives" tool to find contact information. And for a list of Senate cosponsors of S. 659, you can go to the Library of Congress website, at http://thomas.loc.gov.



The "Jay M. Littlefield Memorial NRA-ILA Volunteer of the Year Award" is an annual honor that recognizes an NRA member who demonstrates exceptionally meritorious activism in defense of our Second Amendment rights. Similarly, the "NRA-ILA Volunteer Organization of the Year Award" is bestowed upon a group that has gone above and beyond the call of duty in defending our freedoms over the past year. Nominations for these honors for last year (2002) should be submitted to:NRA-ILA Volunteer Awards, c/o Chris Manthos, NRA-ILA Grassroots Division, 11250 Waples Mill Road, Fairfax, VA 22030.They can also be faxed to Chris at (703) 267-3918. All nominations must be submitted by NRA members in good standing and accompanied by a one page description of why the nominated individual or organization is deserving. Winners will be selected by NRA-ILA staff, and will be acknowledged at this year`s Fall Board of Directors Meeting.The deadline for submissions is July 1, 2003.


The 132nd NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits are taking place this weekend in Orlando, Fla. We will give an update on the festivities next week for those who were unable to attend.



On April 24, on a 5-2 vote, the Tucson City Council voted to unconditionally repeal the ordinance requiring gun show promoters at the Tucson Convention Center to perform background checks on private sales of guns. Tucson Mayor Bob Walkup voted for this repeal. After a long, hard-fought battle, this was a well deserved victory. Thanks to those who supported this measure.


The Denver City Council has been discussing how to challenge the new state firearm laws that established a statewide "shall issue" Right to Carry system and preempted local firearm laws. Please contact members of the city council at (720) 865-9534, or by visiting the Denver City Council website at www.Denvergov.org, and encourage them to OPPOSE any such challenge or action against the new firearm laws.


By a wide bi-partisan vote, the House of Representatives passed NRA-backed Right to Carry legislation on Wednesday! The 88-46 vote came after 6 hours of debate on the measure in which the NRA defeated every eviscerating amendment offered by the anti-gun legislators. The bill, SF 842, guarantees law-abiding gun owners the right to apply for and receive a concealed-carry permit from their county Sheriff. Now, SF 842 moves to the Senate where action could be taken any day. Please call your Senator today at 651-296-0504 or 888-234-1112 and ask them to vote "YES" for final passage of SF 842 without amendment. For further contact information, use our "Write Your Representatives" tool.


House Bill 349, sponsored by Rep. Larry Crawford (R-117), has been sent to the full Senate for consideration. A vote is expected on this legislation very soon. Please continue to call your Senator at (573) 751-3824 and ask him to support this important legislation. Senate Bill 13 will be voted on early next week. Sponsored by Senator Peter Kinder (R-27), SB 13 prohibits cities and the state from filing reckless lawsuits against gun manufacturers. Please contact your State Senator at (573) 751-3824, and urge him to support SB 13 when it comes before them on the Senate floor. You can use our "Write Your Representatives" tool to find additional contact information.


Senate Bill 38 and Assembly Bill 250, are awaiting hearings in the Assembly and Senate Judiciary Committees, respectively. NRA has asked the members of both committees to narrow the definition of "weapons of mass destruction," which, as they are currently written, could include all firearms. Please call the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee and ask that they SUPPORT the NRA - recommended amendments to AB 250, and do the same with the Assembly Judiciary Committee regarding SB 38. The names and contact information of committee members can be found at www.leg.state.nv.us.


A hearing will be held on House Bill 811-an NRA-backed measure that will protect the firearms industry by preventing reckless lawsuits-on Tuesday, April 29 at 2:00 p.m. in Room 104 of the Legislative Office Building in Concord. If you are unable to attend this hearing, please call members of the Senate Wildlife and Recreation Committee and urge them to SUPPORT HB 811. For a list of committee members and phone numbers, please call NRA-ILA`s Grassroots Division at (800) 392-8683, or use our "Write Your Representatives" tool.


Senate Bill 128, "Handgun Permit Reciprocity," passed the Senate Judiciary Committee by an 8-1 vote. As amended, this bill requires Tennessee to recognize the handgun carry permits issued by every state in the country. This will help to ensure that more states recognize Tennessee`s permit.Please call your State Senator at (615) 741-2730 or (800) 449-8366, and ask him to SUPPORT SB 128 when it goes to the Senate floor for a full vote. House Bill 452, the House version of SB 128, was passed out of the House Judiciary subcommittee this week and will be considered by the full Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, April 30.Please call your state representative at (615) 741-2901, and ask him to SUPPORT HB 452.


This week, the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee reported out the NRA-backed House committee substitute by Rep. Suzanna Hupp (R-54) for SB 501. SB 501 was introduced to close a loophole in the criminal trespass law that cities and counties are using to post signs banning concealed handgun license holders (CHLs) from public buildings. A confusing, last-minute amendment had been added to the bill in the Senate by Sen. Bill Ratliff (R-Mt. Pleasant) which actually expanded that loophole, allowing local governments to continue posting such signs as long as they met the specifications on size, language and placement. The House committee substitute for SB 501 stripped the Ratliff amendment off, restoring the bill to its original purpose and intent. SB 501 now moves to the House Calendars Committee, which determines if and when bills get set for House floor action. Please call your State Representatives and ask them to (1) SUPPORT the House committee substitute for SB 501, with no amendments; and (2) urge House leadership and the House Calendars Committee to set SB 501 quickly for floor action. For contact information use the "Write Your Representatives" tool.


On Thursday, in the State Assembly, the House Judiciary Committee heard testimony on Assembly Bill 96, critical legislation prohibiting reckless lawsuits against firearm manufacturers and others involved in the lawful distribution of firearms. The committee will be voting on the bill soon.Please contact your state representative at (608) 266-1501, and ask him to "SUPPORT" AB 96.



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.