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Grassroots Alert: Vol. 12, No. 2 1/14/2005


You know the anti-gunners are desperate when they have to resort to nonsense like this.  Even though violent crime has declined 12 straight years and is at a 27-year low, the Brady Campaign says that 31 states deserve a "D" or "F" grade for their gun laws.  This, according to their eighth annual "report card."

If that isn`t silly enough, on the January 12 episode of NRA`s live talk-radio show, NRANEWS.com, Brady spokesman Peter Hamm claimed Brady`s grades are determined by a "secret" formula. There`s no secret, though.  Plain and simple, Brady gives the highest grades to the states that have the most "gun control."  So, for example, the state of Maryland gets the highest grade (A-), even though it has the nation`s second highest murder rate and highest robbery rate.  But low-crime states with fewer restrictions on the rights of lawful gun owners, like Idaho, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming and Vermont get a "D" or "F."

If anyone deserves a bad grade, the Brady Campaign does for failing "Civics 101."  It reduced Ohio`s grade from a "D+" to a "D-" because the state`s Right-to-Carry law "forced police to issue CCW" permits!  Well of course they did; that`s called "democracy."  Legislatures, representing the people, pass laws.  That`s what they do!

The Brady Campaign also gets an "F" for failing math, claiming that "gun control" reduces crime.  As noted in numerous studies, including recent ones from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and National Research Council, there is no evidence to support that claim.

Basically, the Brady Campaign`s "report card" is a superficial publicity stunt, perpetrated by an extremist anti-gun organization trying to attract attention to itself because it is fast on its way to becoming irrelevant.  Name the issue, and the Brady Campaign is either losing the battle, or has lost the war. To wit:  the right to arms is now widely recognized as an individual right.  The federal "assault weapons" ban expired.  The federal waiting period expired in favor of Instant Check.  And NRA-PVF-supported candidates were even more successful than usual in the recent elections, while virtually all Brady-supported candidates for national office were defeated.

While sitting in the corner, the folks at the Brady Campaign would do well to read the writing on the wall.


The Maryland State Police Forensic Sciences Division has called for scrapping the state`s ballistic imaging program, the Maryland Integrated Ballistics Identification System (MD-IBIS), stating it has found the system to be an ineffective tool for law enforcement.

The program has cost the taxpayers of Maryland more than $2.5 million, but has produced no results.  "There have been no crime investigations that have been enhanced or expedited through the use of MD-IBIS," the report says.  "The program simply has not met the expectations and does not aid in the Mission statement of the Department of State Police."

"This report proves what we have been saying all along," commented NRA-ILA Executive Director, Chris W. Cox.  "Ballistic fingerprinting is not a useful law-enforcement tool and is simply another attempt by those who would take away our Second Amendment rights to interfere with the ownership of firearms by law-abiding people."

The new report provides detailed information on the failure of the system, including the system`s failure on four blind proficiency tests to match test-fired cartridges from handguns sold in the state.

In the end, the Maryland State Police report provides three primary recommendations:  1) discontinue the program and moth-ball the equipment; 2) enact legislation repealing the current law to require collection of casings; and 3) transfer personnel and funds to the state DNA database program.

The report concludes that MD-IBIS "has not proven to be a time saving tool for the Firearms Examiner or an investigative enhancement to the criminal investigator. It has simply failed in the Mission and Vision concepts originally established for the Program."

"NRA sincerely hopes the legislature of Maryland and Governor Ehrlich (R) will heed the recommendations in this report and repeal this expensive, ineffective, and intrusive program." Cox said. "It is time that the millions of dollars of taxpayer money be put to better use, and, more importantly, that the Second Amendment rights of the people of Maryland be restored."


As we reported in  previous Grassroots Alerts, the City of San Francisco is attempting to place a ballot measure before its voters this November banning handguns.  The measure would strip any citizen of his or her right to own a handgun for any reason.  Only law enforcement officers, members of the military, and security guards would be allowed to possess them.  The measure would also completely ban the sale, manufacture, and distribution of all handguns and ammunition in San Francisco, as well as the transfer of gun licenses.   If passed in November, city residents would be forced to surrender their firearms within 90 days. 

We need not hypothesize about what would happen in that city if law-abiding citizens are stripped of their right to legally own handguns.  Washington, D.C.-- the murder capital of the United States -- has already proven what occurs when only criminals own guns and are free to prey upon an unarmed populace.

Over the past few decades, California has served as a laboratory for gun control experiments.  And very often, sadly, what happens out west tends to drift eastward to other pockets of the United Sates.  So not only would passage of the handgun ban have dire consequences for San Franciscans, but it would also no doubt serve as a harbinger for similar bans for other Americans outside of San Francisco who live under the fist of anti-gun city officials.

NRA-ILA is committed to defeating this assault on freedom. We will keep you posted of relevant developments on this issue in these pages and elsewhere.  In the meantime, however, NRA members and supporters in San Francisco need to ensure their voter registration is current, and actively work to register other opponents to the handgun ban as well.  For information on voter registration, please visit www.NRAILA.org and visit the "Register to Vote" section.  Finally, for those of you who reside outside of San Francisco, but who know pro-gun supporters living within the city, you need to ensure they are aware of this onerous proposal and are currently registered to vote.

CPAC 2005

NRA Members are invited to attend CPAC 2005—the 32nd Annual Conservative Political Action Conference, February 17 - 19, 2005, at the Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center on Pennsylvania Avenue, in Washington, D.C., just steps away from the White House, the Washington Monument, the Smithsonian, National Archives, and the hundreds of other monuments, memorials, and museums in our nation`s capital.  CPAC is the nation`s premier annual gathering of conservative leaders, celebrities, elected officials, and grassroots activists.  CPAC will feature book signings by the nation`s hottest conservative authors, live broadcasts of national and local radio talk shows, hands-on training sessions from grassroots activism to media strategy to technology workshops, a young leader`s seminar, Internet row, a blogger`s corner, a silent auction, and much more!   CPAC is co-sponsored by NRA and more than 60 leading conservative organizations.  For additional information, or to register for the conference, please call (703) 836-8602, or visit CPAC online at www.cpac.org.


Lawmakers gathered in Dover this week for the opening of the 143rd Delaware General Assembly.  There will be numerous issues discussed during this legislative session that affect Delaware`s law-abiding gun owners, and NRA-ILA will keep you informed of developments as they occur. 

This week, Iowa lawmakers returned to Des Moines for the start of this year`s legislative session.  Be sure to log onto www.NRAILA.org and continue reading the weekly Grassroots Alert for the latest legislative information affecting Iowa`s gun owners and sportsmen.

The Maryland General Assembly returned to work this week in Annapolis for the start of their annual 90-day legislative session.  There will undoubtedly be attempts this year to infringe upon the rights of law-abiding gun owners and sportsmen in Maryland, and NRA-ILA will keep you updated with the latest information regarding these attacks and what you can do to stop them. 

On January 14, Senator Jeanne Combs (I-32) introduced LB 454, the Concealed Handgun Permit Act that would allow law-abiding Nebraskans the right to carry concealed firearms.  Please contact your Senator and respectfully urge him or her to support LB 454. You can find contact information for your Senator by using the "Write your Representatives" feature at www.NRAILA.org

Last August, Governor Mike Easley (D) signed into law SB 464, which established a NRA license plate for North Carolina motor vehicles. Before the plates become a reality, however, 300 North Carolinians need to commit to purchasing them. Please contact the NRA Western North Carolina Field Representative, Doug Merrill, at (828) 628-0410 for more information on
obtaining an NRA plate.  You will need to submit a check for $10.00 for a standard plate, or $40.00 for a personalized plate, as well as fill out an application.  

The South Carolina Legislature convened this week for the 2005-06 Session, and NRA`s top priority this year is cleaning up the existing problem with Right-to-Carry reciprocity.  Pro-gun Representative Mike Pitts (R-14) has introduced H 3110, NRA-backed legislation that seeks to establish a straight recognition law regarding Right-to-Carry permits.  In other words, if H 3110 becomes law, South Carolina would automatically recognize any valid Right-to-Carry permit issued by another state.  This bill has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee.  Please contact your Representative and urge him to cosponsor H 3110, and work to ensure it becomes law.   Please also thank Representative Pitts, as well as the current cosponsors--Representatives Bill Sandifer (R-2), Jeff Duncan (R-15), J. Adam Taylor (R-16), Rex Rice (R-26), Thad Viers (R-68), Chip Huggins (R-85), Mac Toole (R-88), and William Witherspoon (R-105)--for taking the lead on this critical reform.  You can find contact information for your Representative by using the "Write Your Representatives" tool at www.NRAILA.org.


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.