LAWSUIT BILL AT
Continuing debate over S. 659-the Senate bill to prohibit reckless lawsuits-means that it is more important than ever that you continue to contact your U.S. Senators and ask them to do everything in their power to ensure that this common sense bill is approved. As we`ve noted in past Alerts, the anti-gunners will do all that they can to defeat this critical piece of legislation, including launching a filibuster. This week, we got another vote closer to the 60 votes needed to defeat the filibuster, when Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) signed on as yet another co-sponsor to S. 659. Those of you in Maine should contact Sen. Snowe to thank her for her co-sponsorship of S. 659. She can be reached at (202) 224-5344. You may also use the "Write Your Representatives" tool to e-mail Sen. Snowe. 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 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.Be sure to encourage your family, friends, and fellow firearm owners to contact their lawmakers as well!
A June 10 article in the Los Angeles Times relates the story of a La Mesa Junior High School student who became upset after she discovered an NRA ad in her school yearbook. The student, "couldn`t understand how there could be an advertisement advocating guns in a middle school yearbook...School is supposed to be a place where kids should be safe from hearing about weapons." The half-page ad, which featured the NRA logo, a portion of the Second Amendment, and a toll-free membership number, was placed by a fellow student`s grandfather as a way to help support the school.
Although it is noble for a young student to speak out on issues that concern her, the student`s reaction begs the question of whether our First Amendment Rights cease to be relevant when expressing support for the Second Amendment.
School Superintendent Robert C. Lee didn`t think so, saying, "I don`t see that they [the ad and district policy] are in conflict", he said. I would hope that if gun safety and proper gun usage are taught and advocated, that would be a plus for students."
NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam commented, "I am at a loss as to why anyone would consider this advertisement inappropriate. There is nothing inappropriate about educating students about the Bill of Rights. There is nothing in the ad that is remotely violent. We are exercising our First Amendment rights, and I think this is a valuable civics lesson."
STATS IN THE CITY
According to recently released FBI statistics, Washington, D.C., has once again reclaimed the title of "murder capital" of the United States. Despite having some of the most restrictive gun laws in the country (handguns have been banned since 1977), violent crime remains an ongoing and gravely serious problem in our nation`s capital. Being declared the murder capital is not a new phenomenon for the city. For several years in the 1980s and 1990s, the District held this notorious distinction despite the existence of the gun ban.
Do prohibitive gun laws work to reduce crime? The answer from Washington, D.C., is a resounding "no."
VIVE LE GUN TAX?
A WorldNetDaily.com article (June 8) reports that French President Jacques Chirac has emerged as the leading cheerleader for a global tax on firearm purchases. Initially pushed by Brazil`s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Chirac quickly jumped on board as a vocal advocate, claiming the proposal was "forceful and convincing" and that it was "quite justified." Funds raised from the global tax on the sale of guns would be used to provide money to combat world hunger. We will report any new developments on this front as they become known.
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC DOCUMENTARY MISSES THE MARK
In a one-hour, six-segment piece reporting on the pro- and anti-hunting communities in America, National Geographic`s recent special left out some critical benefits that hunting and hunters provide. Ignored were the financial benefits that sportsmen provide to the economy. The sale of hunting licenses, firearms, ammunition, and hunting gear are a boon to many local economies, generating millions of dollars in revenue every year. In fact, through the Pittman-Robertson Act, since 1937, hunters have contributed billions of dollars for the benefit of all wildlife species. These dollars have been used to purchase millions of acres of public land. Aside from the direct financial benefits sportsmen provide, hunting creates and sustains numerous and much-needed jobs for American citizens. Also glossed over was the key role hunters play in wildlife conservation. By harvesting animals in accordance with hunting regulations, sportsmen ensure healthy and sustainable animal populations and sufficient wildlife habitat. While the show did document some of the many benefits of hunting, some of the more important issues were given only scant coverage or were ignored altogether.
A LOOK AT THE STATES
Acclaimed scholar John R. Lott, Jr., will be in San Diego on June 24, to promote the release of his new book "THE BIAS AGAINST GUNS: Why Almost Everything You`ve Heard About Gun Control Is Wrong." This hard-hitting, fact-based book is a must-read for gun owners. Come meet John Lott and have him autograph your copy on Tuesday, June 24, at 7:30 p.m., at the Current Affairs Bookstore, 2536 University Avenue, San Diego, California.
Three bills of importance to gun owners and sportsmen appear to be stalled in the Senate. 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), allows hunting on Sunday afternoons. Also, HB 178, sponsored by Rep. Nancy Wagner (R-31), establishes a reciprocity system to recognize Right to Carry permits issued in other states. All three of these bills were passed almost unanimously by the House, but are now being buried by the Senate Democratic leadership.
Your help is needed to make sure that Senate President Thurman Adams (D-19) gives this legislation a fair hearing. 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.
In light of the serial murders in the Baton Rouge area, handgun sales have gone through the roof in southeastern Louisiana during the last two years. U.S. Rep. Richard Baker (R-6), who is A-rated by the NRA and a strong advocate for firearms safety, is hosting a WomenÆs Personal and Gun Safety Seminar on Saturday, July 26, and Saturday, August 2. The seminar is free and open to all women in the Baton Rouge area. The program on Saturday, July 26, will cover lessons in personal and home safety, as well as handgun safety. Registration begins at 9:00 a.m. The program begins at 10:00 a.m. and ends at 3:00 p.m. Lunch is included. Women who attend on July 26 will be invited to return the following Saturday, August 2, for hands-on firearms training at the Ascension Parish Sheriff
`s Range. Several certified shooting instructors will be on hand to train women who have qualified for the program. To qualify, women are required to have attended the entire Handgun Safety Course on Saturday, July 26. For more information, please contact Rep. Baker`s Baton Rouge office at (225) 929-7711.NRA-ILA is sponsoring this special firearms safety event, and encourages all interested women to attend. Please forward this message to all women in the Baton Rouge area who may be interested.
On Tuesday, June 24th, the State Senate and House will be considering HB 415 for final approval. This important legislation will safeguard New Hampshire`s law-abiding gun owners by preventing a patchwork of local anti-gun ordinances in municipalities throughout the state. Keep in mind that opponents of HB 415 are pulling out all the stops to derail this measure, so it is critical that NRA members contact both their Senator and State Representative TODAY to voice their strong support for HB 415. To locate contact information for your lawmakers, please visit the New Hampshire General Court`s website at
www.gencourt.state.nh.us or visit www.NRAILA.org and use the "Write Your Representative"feature. Also, please contact Governor Craig Benson (R) at (603) 271-2121 and respectfully urge him to sign HB 415 into law if it reaches his desk.
In an attempt to pack the State Fish and Game Council with anti-hunting zealots, several legislators have introduced bills to alter the committee`s membership. Currently, Assembly Bill 3764, sponsored by Reed Gusciora (D-15), is working its way through the legislative process. This bill would expand membership of the Fish and Game Council and assign the new seats to members with experience in "animal welfare." It is vital that you contact your Assemblyman and tell him that wildlife-management is best left to professionals instead of environmentalists with anti-hunting agendas. To contact your Assemblyman, call (609) 292-4840 or use the
On Saturday, June 14, Governor Michael Easley (D) signed into law SB 33, the NRA-backed Right to Carry reciprocity bill. This law gives valid carry permit holders from states that have similar permit issuing requirements as North Carolina the ability to carry their firearm for personal protection in North Carolina. This, in turn, will encourage more states to recognize North Carolina permits. The North Carolina Department of Justice will develop and maintain the list of states that meet the standards for establishing reciprocal agreements, and official permit recognition will begin 60 days from the date of SB 33 becoming law. Congratulations to all NRA members in North Carolina who worked so hard to ensure passage of this important reform! Our thanks go out to all lawmakers who voted for SB 33, but be sure to thank those who worked hard to ensure this legislation became law. Those who deserve a special thanks are: Sen. Scott Thomas (D-2), the primary sponsor of SB 33; Rep. Mark Hilton (R-88), Michael Gorman (R-3), Pryor Gibson (D-69), and Michael Decker (D-94), who sponsored identical legislation in the House; Reps. James Black (D-100) and Richard Morgan (R-52), the Democrat and Republican Speakers of the House; Senate President Pro Tempore Marc Basnight (D-1); and, of course, Governor Michael Easley. In other news, a "study" funded by the Brady Center/HCI has led to a series of meetings in Durham titled "How to Stop the Shootings in Durham." It is unclear if these meetings will have an anti-gun bias, but with the source of the funding for the "study" coming from the gun-ban lobby, law-abiding gun owners should be somewhat concerned. The meetings will take place eachMonday, from noon to 1:00 p.m., through July 21 (the first was held last week), and are free and open to the public. Lunch and free drinks will be served, and the meetings will take place at the Lyon Park Community and Family Life Center, located at 1313 Halley St., at Kent Street, in Durham. Law-abiding gun owners should try to attend to ensure any discussions are presented with the proper concern for our Right to Keep and Bear Arms. For more details on the meetings, please call (919) 419-1458.
This week, the State Senate passed an amended version of House Bill 12, sponsored by Rep. Jim Aslanides (R-94), which would allow law-abiding citizens, who have satisfied a criminal background check and taken a training course, to obtain a permit to carry a handgun concealed for personal protection. The amended version of HB 12, passed by the Senate, included a provision requiring all permit holders who are traveling in a car with passengers under the age of 18 to secure their handguns in a locked box, making them unaccessible and unable to be used for self defense. Please call your State Senator and State Representatives and respectfully urge them to remove the mandatory lock provision and support the House-approved version of HB 12. You can find contact information for your lawmakers by using the "Write Your Representatives" feature.
Last week, Governor Bredesen (D), signed into law three NRA-backed bills. HB 452/SB 128, sponsored Sen. Doug Jackson (D-25) and Reps. H.E. Bittle (R-14) and Ben West (D-60), provides full recognition of concealed handgun permits issued by other states. HB 1624/SB 1658, sponsored by Sen. Mark Norris (R-32) and Rep. Ben West (D-60), requires processing of all paperwork by chief law enforcement officers associated with the transfer of a firearm regulated by the National Firearms Act within 15 business days. This will prevent these officers from arbitrarily denying transfers. HB 1606/ SB 1008, sponsored by Sen. Mark Norris (R-32) and Rep. Ben West (D-60), authorizes the renewal of a concealed handgun permit up to six months after it has expired, with no penalty incurred and only a standard renewal fee of $50.00 charged. Under current law, these permit holders must go through the process as if they are a new applicant, requiring that they undergo training and pay a $115 fee. Please contact your Representative and thank him for support. You can find contact information using the "Write Your Representatives" feature.
This week, Governor Rick Perry (R) signed into law HB 1704 by Rep. Larry Taylor (R-Friendswood) and Sen. Kyle Janek (R-Houston). HB 1704 allows new residents of Texas to apply for a Concealed Handgun License (CHL) earlier than currently provided by law. It also corrects a technical flaw in the law that forces Texas DPS to confiscate valid Texas licenses held by non-residents if their home state passes a Right To Carry law. The Governor has until June 22 to act on three other NRA-supported measures on his desk -- we`ll keep you posted!