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Grassroots Alert: Vol. 10, No. 42 10/17/2003

TIMESMAN AND BRADY BUNCH "DISCOVER" DECADES-OLD DOCUMENT

For decades, NRA has tracked, researched, and documented the positions taken by organizations and celebrities on issues affecting our Right to Keep and Bear Arms.  This information has been periodically published in our magazines,  disseminated to literally hundreds of thousands of interested parties upon request, and posted on our website for as long as it has existed.  It is nothing more than a catalogue of groups and individuals who have lent their support, activism, and in many cases, their money, to anti-gun causes.  In short, those listed have gone out of their ways to lend their active support for restrictions on our Second Amendment Rights.

In any event, NRA`s decades-old list was recently "discovered" by a sharp-eyed New York Times columnist, who penned a rather inane column about it.  His scribbling just happened to coincide with a desperate fundraising gambit from the Brady gun-ban group.  The Brady bunch has thrown together an anti-NRA website, which attempts to bash NRA as "blacklisters" for exposing the anti-gun leanings of such mainstream Americans as Madonna, Britney Spears, and Alec Baldwin, to name but a few.   NRA members and gun owners want to make conscientious and informed decisions.  They want to know whether the hard-earned dollars they spend are benefitting companies or individuals working against their constitutionally-guaranteed Second Amendment rights.  The compilation of this list provides that information to pro-gun individuals so they can choose for themselves if they wish to patronize those on the list.  Nothing more, nothing less.

Nonetheless, if it is okay for gun banners such as Michael Moore, Martin Sheen, and Rosie O`Donnell to use their celebrity and influence to speak out against our rights, why is it not okay for NRA to alert the nation`s 65 million gun owners of their positions?  The same goes for corporations that actively support the gun ban lobby`s agenda.  If those listed are so embarrassed or ashamed about NRA documenting their anti-freedom position, perhaps they should reconsider their positions.  When an individual or company stakes out a position or gives money to an anti-gun cause, you can rest assured NRA will continue to inform its members and supporters so they can render judgement themselves.

UPDATE ON D.C. RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS CASE

On October 8, a hearing was held on a motion to dismiss in the pending Seegars v. Ashcroft lawsuit.  The lawsuit was brought as a result of the extremely restrictive gun laws that have been in effect in Washington, D.C., for more than a quarter of a century.  Handguns are effectively banned in the District of Columbia.  Before 1976, citizens could possess registered handguns in the District.  The city`s law required all firearms to be registered, but that year a law was passed prohibiting the registration of any more handguns, thereby completely banning them!  The Seegars lawsuit seeks to allow D.C. residents the right to once again lawfully possess handguns. The case is a narrowly focused effort to encourage the court to recognize the Second Amendment as an individual right and to declare the D.C. handgun ban unconstitutional, so that residents who are threatened daily by criminal violence may keep handguns in their homes to defend themselves.

NRA supports this litigation as a first step toward restoration of Second Amendment rights to law-abiding D.C. citizens.  NRA is also in strong support of current legislation introduced in both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives to repeal not just the handgun ban, but also the requirement that all firearms be registered.  The goal is the complete restoration of Second Amendment rights, and NRA will continue vigorously to pursue this objective in the courts and in Congress.

CONTINUE TO SUPPORT S. 659

As regular readers of the Grassroots Alert know, in recent months, we have frequently reported on the growing 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.

While we are encouraged by this positive trend, the fight is still far from over.  As we await a vote on this crucial legislation 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.

In addition, 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.

A LOOK AT THE STATES

NEW JERSEY
In preparation for the November 4 election, NRA-ILA is hosting a FREE Grassroots-Election Workshop in Iselin tomorrow (Saturday, October 18).  Workshop registration and continental breakfast will be held from 8:00 to 9:00 a.m., with the program beginning promptly at 9:00 a.m., and concluding no later than 12:00 noon.  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).

NEW MEXICO
This week The Blue Ribbon Tax Reform Commission sent  its final package of recommendations to the Governor and Legislature, which did not include a proposal to tax the receipt of 501(c)3 and (c)6 entities, such as your local Friends of NRA dinners.  It is still expected that a move to tax these non-profit groups could surface in the special session beginning October 27. We will keep you posted on any further developments.  Right-to-Carry (RTC) Rules Hearing:  Thanks to everyone who participated with NRA-ILA and the New Mexico Shooting Sports Association (NMSSA) in Wednesday`s hearing in Santa Fe to comment on proposed rules issued by the Department of Public Safety (DPS) for implementing the states new Right-to-Carry law.  The department is aiming to finalize these rules by November 15.  You can obtain a copy of the  proposed rules at www.dps.nm.org.  If you were unable to attend this week`s hearing, we encourage you to share your concerns with your state lawmakers before the rules are finalized.

OHIO
Two "Defense Walks" in support of House Bill 12, "Right-to-Carry" legislation are scheduled for this weekend. The Tony Gordon Memorial "Defense Walk" will be in  Manchester (home of Senate President Doug White) on Sunday, October 19, at 1:00 p.m.  There will be a safety meeting, with the "Defense Walk" to follow immediately thereafter.  The staging area will be held in the Eagle Club parking lot on Broadway Ave., in Manchester. For advance instructions & detailed directions to the Manchester "Defense Walk," or to volunteer to be a Block Captain (safety organizer), please contact Local Organizer Rick Jones at  rljones@zoomnet.net. The Toledo area "Defense Walk" will be held in Swanton on Sunday, October 19, at 1:00 p.m.  The event will start with a safety meeting, immediately followed by the "Defense Walk."  The staging area will be held at 517 S. Main St. (St. Rt. 64N) just off Airport Highway in Swanton.  For advance instructions & detailed directions to the Toledo-area "Defense Walk" in Swanton, or to volunteer to be a Block Captain (safety organizer), please contact Local Organizer Bill Davis at DAVISFlint62@aol.com, or by phone at (419) 825-1837.

WISCONSIN
On Monday, October 13, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed the 2003 Personal Protection Act on a 3-2 vote. The measure now moves to the full Senate for a vote on Wednesday, October 22. The House Judiciary Committee will also be meeting and voting on the 2003 Personal Protection Act on Wednesday, October 22. It is critical that gun-owners continue to contact their legislators and encourage them to support the 2003 Personal Protection Act. You can find contact information for your legislators by using the "Write Your Representatives" feature at www.NRAILA.org or by calling the NRA-ILAGrassroots Division at (800) 392-8683.

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.