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APPEARS IN Grassroots

Grassroots Alert: Vol. 10, No. 34 8/22/2003

TOWN HALL MEETINGS ALERT

Remember, the congressional Summer District Work Period is winding down, but will continue until early next month.  For the remainder of this time, your Senators and Representative will be back in their respective home states and districts.  Many lawmakers are using this time to hold town hall meetings, where they report on what they`ve been doing in Washington, and take questions from their constituents.  These meetings offer a tremendous opportunity for you to personally voice your strong support for the Senate reckless lawsuit prohibition bill (S. 659), and your staunch opposition to legislation that seeks to reauthorize and expand the 1994 Clinton gun ban (S. 1034, S. 1431, and H.R. 2038).  Please contact your lawmakers` district offices and ask when they are holding their remaining town hall meetings.  If you do not know the number for your lawmakers` district offices, you can use the "Write Your Representatives" tool at www.NRAILA.org, or call the NRA-ILA Grassroots Division at (800) 392-8683.
 If you get a chance to meet with your lawmakers, be sure to: 
 Urge Your Senators To Cosponsor And Support S. 659 and to oppose S. 1034 and S. 1431 which expand the Clinton Gun Ban.  Encourage Your U.S. Representative to Oppose H.R. 2038, The House Bill To Vastly Expand The Clinton Gun Ban.
 In addition to attending town hall meetings and speaking out in support of our Right to Keep and Bear Arms, please forward the dates, times, and locations of any town hall meetings to your family, friends, and fellow firearm owners, and to the NRA-ILA Grassroots Division, so we may compile this information and share it with the pro-gun community.  Please forward this information to the Grassroots Division by calling (800) 392-8683, by faxing to (703) 267-3918, or by sending an e-mail to townhall@nrahq.org.  Also, please take advantage of this break to try and schedule personal meetings with your lawmakers and/or their staff in their district offices to discuss these issues.

NEW BOOK REVISITS CASE FINDINGS ON INDIVIDUAL`S RIGHT TO ARMS

An August 19 WorldNetDaily.com article reports that a six-year study of firearm related Supreme Court cases has uncovered literally dozens of apparently "forgotten" decisions affecting an individual`s Second Amendment rights. Authored by David B. Kopel, Dr. Stephen P. Halbrook, and Alan Korwin, "Supreme Court Gun Cases" finds conclusively that, "the Supreme Court has recognized an individual right to arms for most of the past two centuries."   The book`s publisher, Bloomfield Press, says, "Three dozen of the cases quote or mention the Second Amendment directly."  Taken together they should further undermine the gun-ban lobby`s attempts to fallaciously reinterpret the Constitution`s guarantee of an individual citizen`s right to keep and bear arms.

NAACP ASKS FOR APPEAL

As reported in the July 25 edition of the Grassroots Alert, New York Federal Judge Jack B. Weinstein reluctantly dismissed the NAACP`s exploitive lawsuit against the firearm industry, ruling that the NAACP had failed to make its case against law-abiding firearm manufacturers and distributors.  In response, the NAACP recently asked the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals to hear its appeal of the case.  Commenting on the request for appeal, Lawrence Keane, General Counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) said, "The NAACP`s entire case, and now its misguided appeal, continue to serve as the prime example of the need for Congress to make passage of S. 659 a top priority and to put an immediate end to this flagrant abuse of the judicial system." 
 Rest assured that NRA-ILA will continue to keep you informed on any future developments.

VOTE ON LAWSUIT PREEMPTION COULD BE NEAR

As we`ve repeatedly and consistently noted in the Grassroots Alert, one of NRA-ILA`s top legislative priorities in Congress continues to be the passage of a federal law to block reckless, predatory lawsuits against the firearm industry.  The passage of S. 659 is critically important. We hope to have a vote on this crucial legislation in the coming weeks, and we cannot over-emphasize the need for you to remain actively engaged in ensuring its passage.  It is imperative that you continue to contact your U.S. Senators in support of S. 659 and urge them to do everything in their power to end these meritless lawsuits and ensure that this essential legislation is approved.  Let your Senators know that it is crucial they cosponsor and support S. 659.  Also, please urge them to support the will of the majority by working to derail the filibuster that anti-gun Senators have threatened to launch in a last-ditch attempt to defeat S. 659.
 Also, as noted in the lead story, please continue to communicate with your U.S. Representative and your Senators, and urge them to oppose current legislation seeking to reauthorize and expand the 1994 Clinton gun ban-H.R. 2038, S. 1431, and S. 1034, respectively.  Please remember that for all of the above-mentioned action items, you can find contact information for your elected officials (including their district office contact information) by using the "Write Your Representatives" tool at www.NRAILA.org, or you can call your U.S. Senators at (202) 224-3121 and your U.S. Representative at (202) 225-3121.

A LOOK AT THE STATES

COLORADO
On Monday, August 25, at 7:30 p.m. the town council of Breckenridge will consider an ordinance prohibiting the open carrying of a firearm in certain buildings and areas within town limits. Please try to attend this meeting and let the council know that law-abiding gun owners pose no threat to the safety of Breckenridge. The meeting will be held at the town`s Municipal Building. If you are unable to attend the meeting, please call at (970) 453-3167 or e-mail at mjl@townofbreckenridge.com and express your views. 

MISSOURI
After the legislative session this year, Governor Bob Holden (D) vetoed two bills-HB 349, Right to Carry, and SB 13, Reckless Lawsuit Preemption-despite the fact that both passed both the Senate and House by overwhelming majorities. HB 349 and SB 13 will next be considered in early September, when the Legislature will hold a special veto override session. It is critical that you contact your legislators in Jefferson City before early September, and tell them that law-abiding Missourians expect them to rectify the Governor`s action on these bills.  You can contact your Senator at (573) 751-3824 and your Representative at (573) 751-3659.

NEW YORK
Please join  NRA and other state sportsmen`s groups in urging Governor George Pataki to veto S. 2735A.  This bill seeks to outlaw "canned shoots" but is so broadly written that it could have an enormous impact on many big-game hunting activities, and could put many guides and game preserves out of business. Please contact Governor Pataki today. The Governor can be reached by phone at: 518-474-8390; by fax at: 518-474-3767; by mail at: Office of the Governor, State Capital Building, Albany, NY 12224-0341, or by e-mail at: gov.pataki@chamber.state.ny.us

NEW HAMPSHIRE
On Saturday, Aug. 30, make plans to attend Skip`s Gun & Sport Shop`s "Labor Day Weekend Bash" event in Bristol (837 Lake Street) as it celebrates more than 40 years in business! Festivities include a kids` archery contest (with prizes for every shooter), the New Hampshire Fish & Game`s Interactive Booth, along with representatives from the Pemi Fish & Game Club, and free "5 Alarm" chili for those willing.  The local radio station, WLKZ Oldies 105, will be broadcasting live from 12:00-3:00 p.m., plus Skip`s will be offering big "in store" sales all weekend.   While there, be sure to meet your NRA-ILA Election Volunteer Coordinator (EVC), Scott Newhall, who will be hosting an NRA-ILA Information Table.  Scott will be providing information on how you can become more politically active in your community.  Scott is an NRA member who, in his volunteer leadership capacity as EVC, works with and organizes volunteers to affect firearm-related legislation in New Hampshire and on Capitol Hill.  He also assists pro-gun candidates with phone banks, literature drops, voter registration drives, precinct walks, and other campaign activities.  Please be sure to stop by the ILA table to meet your EVC and learn how you can make a difference in the gun control debate.  For information/questions regarding this event, please contact EVC Scott Newhall at 603-536-1345 or via e-mail at: pnpadre@adelphia.net.  
OREGON
A recent legal review found that the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission does not have the authority to prohibit the possession of any type of firearm during hunting or pursuit seasons.  As a result,  the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), Oregon State Police, and the Oregon Department of Justice will thoroughly review the existing regulations to identify all instances where possession of firearms or ammunition has been limited by actions of the Commission. Based on the review, ODFW Director Lindsay Ball has been ordered to develop and adopt a temporary rule suspending all firearm and ammunition possession restrictions in the 2003 big game and furbearer regulations. ODFW will incorporate the changes into the 2004 Oregon Big Game Regulations.  Oregon Revised Statutes allow the Fish and Wildlife Commission to regulate the manner in which wildlife can be taken by hunting and trapping. However ORS 166.170, adopted by the 1995 session of the Legislature, restricts the authority to regulate the sale, acquisition, transfer, ownership, possession, storage, transportation, and use of firearms to the Legislative Assembly.  We will continue to monitor the situation and advise our membership as details develop.

SOUTH CAROLINA
Thanks to a request by State Representative Bill Sandifer (R-2), Attorney General Henry McMaster (R) has issued an opinion that South Carolina should recognize North Carolina`s new Right to Carry (RTC) reciprocity law.  Ultimately, the decision as to whether South Carolina will officially recognize valid North Carolina RTC permits is in the hands of South Carolina`s State Law Enforcement Division (SLED).  This opinion, however, may help to encourage SLED to take the necessary steps to ensure North and South Carolina recognize each other`s valid RTC permits.  Please be sure to send Rep. Sandifer and AG McMaster a note of appreciation for their efforts.  Rep. Sandifer`s mailing address is: 518B Blatt Building, Columbia, SC 29211.  AG McMaster`s mailing address is: Rembert C. Dennis Building, P.O. Box 11549, Columbia, SC 29211. 

WISCONSIN
A joint committee hearing on the 2003 Personal Protection Act (PPA) is scheduled for Tuesday, September 9, at 10:00 a.m. The hearing will be held in Room 411 South of the State Capitol Building in Madison.  Media will be in attendance, making it imperative for gun owners to have a strong presence at this event. The likelihood that Gov. Jim Doyle will veto this legislation makes it even more critical that Wisconsin gun owners stand up for freedom and attend this hearing in support of these bills.  You can be sure that the anti-gunners in Madison will be mobilizing against your right to self-defense.  We hope you are able to sacrifice one day of the year to fight for your freedom at the state capitol.  If passed, Rep. Scott Gunderson`s AB 444 and Sen. Dave Zien`s SB 214 would make Wisconsin the 36th state to provide its citizens with the protection of a "shall-issue" carry law.  If you are unsure of who your representative and senator are, you can visit http://www.legis.state.wi.us/waml and enter your home address.  You may also call the Legislative Hotline toll-free at (800) 362-9472. Senator Dave Zien (Dist. 23), the primary Senate Sponsor of the 2003 Personal Protection Act, is offering regular updates on the status of the 2003 PPA.  To receive these updates and review press releases, go to his web site at http://www.legis.state.wi.us/senate/sen23/news/.  Click on the link "contact me" and ask to be added to his PPA email alert network.  Legislation has also been introduced in the Wisconsin Assembly to stop reckless lawsuits that attempt to hold the firearm and ammunition industries civilly liable for the criminal actions of others.  Please call your lawmakers and urge them to support AB 96.  The legislature will likely act upon the Reckless Lawsuit Preemption Bill some time this September.

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.