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Grassroots Alert: Vol. 10, No. 40 10/3/2003


In recent months, we have frequently reported on the growing ground swell of support for passage of S. 659, the "Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act."  Dozens of national associations, unions, wildlife conservation groups, and shooting sports organizations—representing literally millions of dedicated members, workers, and sportsmen—have expressed their unqualified support for this critically important legislation which seeks to protect America`s firearm manufacturers and dealers from malicious, predatory lawsuits.

On September 23, the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) added its name to this growing list.  In a letter to U.S. Senators, UMWA International President Cecil E. Roberts encouraged lawmakers to, "cosponsor and strongly support" S. 659.  The letter emphasized the potential negative economic impact of these reckless lawsuits against the gun industry and the resultant adverse effects they would inflict on workers and their communities.  Enactment of S. 659 would protect the industry and, subsequently, jobs.

We hope to have a vote on this legislation in the coming weeks, and, thus, 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.  You can call your U.S. Senators at (202) 224-3121, or you can use our "Write Your Representatives" tool at www.NRAILA.org to find contact information.


It`s hard to believe that a year has already gone by since the tragic Washington, D.C.- area sniper attacks terrorized the region.  Residents and visitors who experienced those anxious weeks won`t soon forget them.  And gun-ban proponents like Representative Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.) Won`t soon stop trying to exploit them.

This week, Rep. McCarthy attempted to link the tragedy to her political agenda, calling for an extension and expansion of the 1994 Clinton gun ban.  Flaunting her indifference to the rights of law-abiding gun owners to decide which guns they choose to own, McCarthy commented, "What are these people thinking?" she asked.  "If you want an assault weapon, go join the army."  Of course, none of the guns covered by the ban are used by military forces.

Commenting on the gun banners` latest attempt to blame lawful gun owners for the acts of violent criminals, NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris Cox stated,  "In recent years ban groups have embarked on a campaign of exploiting tragic events in an attempt to restore their political relevance.  Today, they politicized a despicable crime spree.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families."

Please continue to urge your U.S. Representative and your Senators to oppose current legislation seeking to reauthorize and expand the 1994 Clinton gun ban—H.R. 2038, S. 1431, and S. 1034.  You can find contact information for your elected officials 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.


This week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the results of  a broad-ranging federal review of the nation`s gun-control laws.  The CDC appointed task force, made up of 14 academic, business, and government health experts,  reviewed 51 studies to determine whether gun laws do, in fact, prevent violent crimes, firearm- related accidents, or suicides.  Included in the laws reviewed were bans on specific firearms or ammunition, mandatory registration and licensing, mandatory waiting periods, right to carry, and restrictions on firearm purchases.

What results did this study find?  In every case, the CDC task force found "insufficient evidence to determine the effectiveness of any of the firearms laws."  In short, a thorough review of 51 published studies concerning the effectiveness of eight different types of gun control laws found no conclusive proof that these measures reduce violent crimes, accidents, or suicide.

Commenting on the findings, Dr. Edgar Suter, chairman of Doctors for Integrity in Policy Research, said, "It`s certainly a quantum leap in the right direction.  It has been as plain as the nose on my face that disarming innocent victims is not a policy that saves lives.  The real benefit of defensive firearm use is the lives that are saved, injuries that are prevented, property that is saved and medical costs that are eliminated."


Elections for statewide office and state legislative seats will be held tomorrow.  NRA-PVF candidate ratings and endorsements should have already arrived in your mailboxes, so please remember to go to the polls and vote for the candidates who support our Second Amendment rights. 

The Missouri Sheriff`s Association has finalized a procedure for Missouri citizens wishing to obtain Right To Carry permits.  Before a citizen can apply for a permit, he must have the following information:  proof of training from a qualified firearms safety instructor; a valid Missouri Driver`s License, non-driver`s license, or military I.D.; and cash, or a check or money order, in the amount of $100.00 made payable to the County Sheriff`s Revolving Fund.  Any individual wishing to obtain a permit will be charged a maximum of $100 by his local sheriff`s office.  This fee covers the cost of fingerprints and background checks, but does not cover the proper firearm training. Citizens can obtain a list of qualified trainers, licensed by the state to teach the Academy`s Basic Firearms, from their local sheriff`s office.  The new law will go into effect on October 11, 2003. 

In preparation for the November 4 election, NRA-ILA is hosting a FREE Grassroots-Election Workshop in Iselin on Saturday, October 18.  At this Workshop, you will learn what you can do in your own community to ensure victory for the Second Amendment on Election Day.  NRA members who are interested in attending should contact the NRA-ILA Grassroots Division at (800) 392-8683 for details and to reserve their spots.  (NRA members can also reserve their spots on-line by going to www.NRAILA.org/workshops.asp).

The Blue Ribbon Tax Commission (BRC) has rescheduled its vote on final proposals to the Governor and Legislature on tax reform for October 14. The Commission had been awaiting the results of the special election on Amendment 2, dealing with education funding. Had Amendment 2 failed, it would have put any and all tax proposals, including a removal of the exemption on receipts for 501(c)(3) and (c)(6) entities, back on the table. Although Amendment 2 appears to have narrowly passed, the Commission could still vote to impose a tax on such non-profit and charitable organizations, including the NRA Foundation and your local Friends of NRA Dinners.  Please continue contacting the state lawmakers who serve on the BRC (through October 14), and warn them that such a move could cripple the operations of these important groups.  For members of the Blue Ribbon Commission, please contact NRA Grassroots Division at (800) 392-8683. 

The General Assembly will soon reconvene and will be considering House Bill 12, sponsored by Representative Jim Aslanides (R-94).  This Spring, the House of Representatives passed HB 12 which would allow law-abiding citizens, who have satisfied a criminal background check and taken a training course, to obtain permits to carry concealed handguns for personal protection. The Senate, however, passed a different version of HB 12, which 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 inaccessible and useless for self-defense. Since the House and Senate approved different versions of HB 12, the bill will head to a Conference Committee to be considered as early as next week. However, a number of Senators are reluctant to form a Conference Committee.  Unless the Committee is formed, HB 12 will not be considered, and the bill will die.  The members of the Ohio Legislature need to hear from you.  For the first time in ten years, Right to Carry is on the brink of being a reality in Ohio.  Please contact your State Senator, Representative, and Governor Bob Taft (R) and urge their support for the formation of a Conference Committee to consider HB 12.  Names and phone numbers of State Senators and Representatives can be found by logging on to www.NRAILA.org and using the "Write Your Representatives" feature. 

As the Legislature prepares to vote on the 2003 Personal Protection Act, it is critical that gun owners continue to encourage their lawmakers to support AB 444 and SB 214. The anti-gunners have mobilized against your right to self-defense, and law-abiding gun owners need to act quickly to counter the opposition. You can find contact information for your legislators by  using the "Write Your Representatives" feature at www.NRAILA.org, or by calling the NRA-ILA Grassroots Division at (800) 392-8683.


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.