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Grassroots Alert: Vol. 10, No. 22 5/30/2003



[Editor`s Note: Readers of the Grassroots Alert know that we often repeat information that is of particular importance. The necessity of this is twofold: 1) Each week, we add many new Alert recipients who are seeing these stories for the first time; and 2) We repeat stories to reinforce your need to take the requested actions and to share this information with your family, friends, and fellow firearm owners. We apologize for our repetitiveness, but assure you it is both necessary and beneficial. Thank you for your continued support.]

NRA-ILA`s current legislative priorities in Congress continue to be passage of lawsuit preemption and ensuring the demise of the 1994 Clinton gun ban. To that end, here is a brief summary of each issue, along with instructions on how you can influence the outcome of these debates. Once you have taken the requested action, please be sure to forward this information to your family, friends, and fellow firearm owners and ensure they do the same.

Lawsuit Preemption:

As debate over S. 659—the Senate version of reckless lawsuit preemption—heats up, it is more important than ever that you contact your U.S. Senators in support of S. 659 and ask them to do everything in their power to prevent any parliamentary trickery to de-rail this common sense reform. You can call your U.S. Senators at (202) 224-3121 or you can use our "Write Your Representatives" tool. For a list of Senate cosponsors of S. 659, go to the Library of Congress website, at http://thomas.loc.gov.


As we

`ve noted in past Alerts, the anti-gunners will pull out all the stops to defeat this critical piece of legislation, including launching a filibuster, which will take 60 votes to break. Getting us one vote closer to the magic number of 60 votes, last week Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio) signed on as a co-sponsor to S. 659. While we are not at 60 just yet, we are rapidly approaching that threshold. Those of you in Ohio should contact Sen. Voinovich to thank him for his co-sponsorship of S. 659. He can be reached at (202) 224-3353. You may also use the "Write Your Representatives"tool to e-mail Sen. Voinovich.

Clinton Gun Ban: Two bills introduced in Congress seek to vastly expand the 1994 Clinton gun ban—H.R. 2038 and S. 1034.

H.R. 2038, introduced by Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.), does not just "reenact" or "reauthorize" the 1994 Clinton ban. It bans millions more guns. And it begins backdoor registration of guns.

In the Senate, the Clinton gun ban`s authors, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), introduced S. 1034. The bill is less extreme than McCarthy`s, which they hope will give it a greater chance of passage. Like H.R. 2038, S. 1034 does not merely "reauthorize" or "extend" the Clinton gun ban, it: permanently bans millions of guns and ammunition magazines, including magazines used in the most popular target shooting rifles and conventional handguns; expands the Clinton gun ban by prohibiting the importation of "large-capacity" magazines; and places legitimate importers at increased risk of unfair prosecution for a 10-year felony offense.

Please contact your U.S. Representative in opposition to H.R. 2038 and your U.S. Senators in opposition to S. 1034. Your can call your U.S. Representative at (202) 225-3121, and your U.S. Senators at (202) 224-3121. For additional contact information for your lawmakers (including their district offices) use the "Write Your Representatives" tool. For additional details see our H.R. 2038 Fact Sheet and S. 1034 Fact Sheetor call the ILA Grassroots Division at (800) 392-8683.


We will inevitably face additional legislation to re-authorize the ban as well, so please voice your opposition to re-authorizing the ban to your federal lawmakers also.




Next week, the House of Representatives will consider two bills of extremeimportance to sportsmen. HB 164, sponsored by Rep. Richard Cathcart (R-9), protects Delaware`s shooting ranges from urban encroachment. HB 164 will protect existing shooting ranges and hunting operations from nuisance suits that might be brought by persons who have recently moved into the area. Without this protection, your local range could be shut down by unfriendly new neighbors. HB 160, sponsored by Rep. John Atkins (R-41), will allow hunting on Sunday afternoons. One or both of these bills will be considered as soon as June 3, so it is important that you contact your Representative and urge him to support this critical legislation. In addition, you are encouraged to come to Legislative Hall on Tuesday, June 3, at 2:00 p.m., and show your support for these important measures.


Senate Bill 947, which has been amended to revive parts of the Daley Gun Show Ban, passed the House of Representatives with exactly 60 votes, the minimum number required for passage. SB 947 would impose an additional tax on all private transfers of firearms at gun shows. This would do nothing to prevent violent crime, but instead would place greater restrictions on law-abiding gun owners. SB 947 also requires background checks at guns shows, and allows the state police to keep additional records on firearms transferred at gun shows. This is the third time this session that the House has considered gun show legislation, and the anti-gun leadership was finally able to strongarm a bill through that chamber. The bill now goes to the Senate for a concurrence vote. It is critical that you contact your State Senator today and urge him to oppose Senate Bill 947.


On May 29, the House of Representatives passed Senate Bill 834. SB 834 makes several improvements and clarifications to Oklahoma firearms law, including lowering the Right to Carry permit age to 21, broadening Oklahoma`s reciprocity statutes, and making changes designed to protect school firearm education programs. SB 834 now goes on to Governor Brad Henry (D), who is expected to sign it. Please contact Governor Henry at (405) 521-2342 and urge him to sign this important piece of legislation.


Since last week`s Alert, the Senate voted to concur with NRA-supported House amendments to SB 501 by Sen. Ken Armbrister (D-18) & Rep. Suzanna Hupp (R-54). SB 501 closes a loophole in the state criminal trespass law that cities and counties were using to ban concealed handgun licensees (CHLs) from public property. The bill heads to Governor Rick Perry (R) for his expected signature. The Senate also gave final approval to three more NRA-backed bills: HB 284 by Rep. Dan Ellis (D-18) exempts possession of a handgun in a recreational vehicle from the unlawful carry provisions of the Penal Code. HB 1704 by Rep. Larry Taylor (R-24) allows new Texas residents to apply for a CHL earlier than currently provided by law and will also allow non-resident Texas CHLs to keep their license even after their home state passes a Right To Carry law. HB 3477 by Rep. Jack Stick (R-50) will facilitate more CHL reciprocal agreements between Texas and other states by transferring authority to negotiate such agreements from DPS to the Attorney General`s office. Thanks for all of your calls and e-mails in support of these important measures throughout the session. The Legislature will adjourn on June 2!


NRA-ILA is hosting a FREE Grassroots-Election Workshop in Williamsburg, on Sat., May 31 (TOMORROW!), from 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon. The Workshop will be held at 7131 Merrimac Trail (State Rt. 143), in Williamsburg. At this Workshop you will learn what you can do in your own community to assist pro-gun candidates running for office in the June 10 primary election. Everything associated with the Workshop, including materials and food and refreshments, is free! Since the Workshop is tomorrow, NRA members who are interested in attending may just show up, and you will be registered on-the-spot.




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.