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Grassroots Alert: Vol. 10, No. 23 6/6/2003

MANUFACTURERS SUPPORT
LAWSUIT PREEMPTION

In a letter to U.S. Senators dated June 2, and posted on its website, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) noted in no uncertain terms, its support for S. 659-the Senate reckless lawsuit preemption bill.

Michael Baroody, NAM`s Executive Vice President, wrote in his letter, "On behalf of the 14,000 member companies of the National Association of Manufacturers, I ask you to cosponsor S. 659...[which] will help to forestall lawsuits that are brought with the intent of shutting down a legitimate and legal industry, as opposed to those that are brought to right a genuine wrong. Recently, entities including municipal governments and other parties that have failed to curtail the lawful sale and use of firearms through the legislative process have filed lawsuits designed to cripple, if not close down, the industry. The NAM does not usually become involved in legislation affecting a single sector. But, this ‘regulation by litigation` threatens all businesses because it is designed to get around the democratic process and to pursue social goals with respect to an industry through judicial fiat. It is a certainty that other businesses will be the next target if these groups succeed in misusing the courts against the firearms industry."

Please continue to contact your U.S. Senators in support of S. 659. You can call your U.S. Senators at (202) 224-3121. You may also use the "Write Your Representatives" tool for more contact information. Also, please continue to contact your U.S. Representative in opposition to H.R. 2038 and your U.S. Senators in opposition to S. 1034 (bills seeking to keep alive and expand the 1994 Clinton gun ban). You can call your U.S. Representative at (202) 225-3121. You may also use the "Write Your Representatives"tool for additional contact information.

 

CONTACT YOUR U.S. SENATORS IN SUPPORT OF PRO-GUN JUDICIAL NOMINEE

Alabama Attorney General Bill Pryor (R), recipient of NRA-ILA`s highest award for defense of the Second Amendment, has been nominated for a federal judgeship on the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. It is critical that NRA members contact their U.S. Senators immediately to show their strong support for his nomination. Attorney General Pryor is a leading defender of our Second Amendment Right to Keep and Bear Arms. Nationally, he took a very prominent role in fighting the frivolous and predatory municipal lawsuits against the firearms industry. In Alabama, Attorney General Pryor helped write and lobbied for the passage of laws that provide the firearms industry immunity from municipal lawsuits, preempt local gun control ordinances, and repeal the two-day waiting period for handgun purchases. NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris Cox said, "Bill Pryor has proven himself to be a true friend of freedom and a true friend of the Second Amendment. For years, he`s stood up and protected our rights when it`s counted most; now it`s our time to help him." On Wednesday, June 11, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on Attorney General Pryor`s nomination. We can count on anti-gun senators doing everything they can to defeat Pryor`s nomination as a way to advance their gun ban agenda. That`s why it`s so important that you call your U.S. Senators before Wednesday to encourage them to support Bill Pryor`s nomination. You can reach your U.S. Senators by calling (202) 224-3121, or you can use the "Write Your Representatives"tool for additional contact information.

 

SUPREME COURT AGREES TO EXPEDITED HEARING ON McCAIN-FEINGOLD

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on the McCain-Feingold campaign finance "reform" law on September 8-four weeks before the court is scheduled to start a new term. This is the last legal stop for this statute which has thus far had a circuitous journey. NRA`s major concern with the law is its First Amendment blackout period, which prohibits groups like NRA from running issue-related ads 30 days before a primary election and 60 days before a general election. As this case proceeds, we will be sure to keep you apprised of relevant developments in future issues of the Grassroots Alert.

 

A LOOK AT THE STATES

ARIZONA

On Monday, June 9, at 1:00 p.m., the Arizona Game and Fish Department`s Shooting Range Economic Development Committee will be meeting in the Roadrunner Meeting Room of the AZGFD`s North Complex located at 2221 W. Greenway Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85023. It is critical that gun owners interested in preserving and expanding Arizona`s existing shooting range resources attend the meeting to voice their thoughts and concerns. Some plans being considered by the committee have the potential to impact the future of Ben Avery Shooting Facility. The committee will initially be in a closed executive session, but will then open the meeting to the public and accept public testimony. Please make plans to attend!

COLORADO

In direct violation of Colorado`s recently-passed firearms preemption law, the City of Manitou Springs is considering an ordinance to ban the open carry of firearms. Claiming that firearms will scare away tourists, the City Council voted unanimously to ban open carry. However, the new ordinance must be considered again at a public hearing before it becomes law. It is vital that you call the Mayor at (719) 685-2555 and the City Manager at (719) 685-5596 and convey your displeasure at their disregard for the law. You can also e-mail the council at CityCouncil@ci.manitou-springs.co.us. If possible, you should also plan to attend the next Council meeting on June 17 at 7:00pm and make your views known.

CONNECTICUT

The General Assembly adjourned this week with no anti-gun successes. All anti-gun bills, including a last minute push for a ballistic imaging bill, were defeated. Thank you for your calls and letters to legislators during this session, voicing your opposition to any legislation that infringes upon our Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

DELAWARE

This week, the House of Representatives passed three bills of importance to gun owners and sportsmen. HB 164, sponsored by Rep. Richard Cathcart (R-9), protects Delaware`s shooting ranges from urban encroachment, and HB 160, sponsored by Rep. John Atkins (R-41), will allow hunting on Sunday afternoons. Also, on Thursday, June 5, the House voted to approve HB 178, sponsored by Rep. Nancy Wagner (R-31), which would establish a reciprocity system to recognize Right to Carry permits issued in other states. All three of these bills now go to the Senate for consideration

nextweek. Please contact your Senator and urge him to support these bills. Senate Democrats may be reached at (302) 744-4286, and Senate Republicans may be reached at (302) 744-4048. If you are unsure who you Senator is, you can use the "Write Your Representatives" feature to find out.

NEW JERSEY

On Tuesday, June 3, the primary election was held and law-abiding gun owners were successful in electing all NRA-PVF/ New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs PAC endorsed candidates! As these candidates and others move on to the general election, NRA-ILA will keep you informed as to where they stand on issues of interest to gun owners and sportsmen. To find out about NRA-PVF endorsed candidates, please call NRA-ILA Grassroots Division at (800) 392-8683.

NORTH CAROLINA

SB 33, sponsored by Scott Thomas (D-2) was approved overwhelmingly by the State Senate, on a 39-5 vote. Senate Bill 33 would allow North Carolina to honor concealed handgun permits from other states that have similar issuing requirements. The bill now moves to Governor Mike Easley (D) for his signature. Please call Governor Easley at (919) 733-5811 and respectfully urge him to sign this vital bill!

TEXAS

Governor Rick Perry (R) needs to hear from you! Many city and county officials are lobbying hard for a veto on NRA-backed SB 501 by Sen. Ken Armbrister (D-Victoria) & Rep. Suzanna Hupp (R-Lampasas). SB 501 closes a loophole in the state criminal trespass law that cities and counties were using to circumvent legislative authority and ban concealed handgun licensees (CHLs) from public property not otherwise off-limits to them under Texas` Right To Carry law. Please contact the Governor in support of SB 501 by calling the Governor`s Citizen Opinion Hotline at (512) 463-1782 or by e-mail at www.governor.state.tx.us/contact.

NRA ILA

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.