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Grassroots Alert: Vol. 12, No. 5 2/4/2005

INTERNATIONAL DISARMAMENT: 
HUMAN "RIGHTS" COALITION PLEADS CASE TO UNITED NATIONS

The international gun prohibitionists have their sights set on you. 

A coalition of human "rights" groups is urging the United Nations (UN) to begin drawing up plans for a "legally binding," worldwide "marking and tracing" system that they foresee as a means to track firearms from "factory" to "user" anywhere in the world (including the United States).

The coalition includes the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA) and its vehemently anti-gun Director Rebecca Peters (who, in October 2004, debated NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre in the "Great Gun Debate"), in addition to Amnesty International and Oxfam International.

Despite the fact that numerous iterations of this flawed concept have already proven ineffective and unworkable, the gun-ban groups are nonetheless pushing the proposal, which, in the end, amounts to nothing more than a dressed up global registration scheme.  It is also, they hope, a means by which they can foist their anti-gun agenda on other countries worldwide.

But, of course, it`s not hard to see through the coalition`s predictable posturing and alarmist rhetoric.  Behind the humanitarian platitudes exists a clear goal--a complete ban on private handgun possession, especially here in the United States.  Ms. Peters freely admitted as much during her debate in London with Wayne LaPierre.  The truth is that she and her cohorts are determined to destroy our Second Amendment rights.  Rest assured, NRA-ILA remains unalterably opposed to their crusade.

NRA members can obtain a DVD or VHS copy of the debate between Ms. Peters and Wayne LaPierre by calling the NRA-ILA Grassroots Division at (800) 392-8683.

NRA-ILA WEBSITE FEATURES
NEW "RECKLESS LAWSUITS" FEATURE

One of NRA-ILA`s top legislative priorities in Congress this year will once again be the passage of a "clean" federal law to block reckless lawsuits against the firearm industry.  The "Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act" passed in the House in 2003, and had majority support in the U.S. Senate (and is supported by President Bush), but was torpedoed last year by anti-gun zealots, including former Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), who helped his fellow anti-gun Senators attach a number of anti-gun amendments to the underlying measure.

We can`t over-emphasize the need to take action in support of this critically important measure, and continue to ask you to please contact your U.S. Senators in support of legislation to halt these reckless lawsuits, and defeat any "poison pill" anti-gun amendments.

When formulating your plan of action, timely and accurate information is indispensable.  To ensure that you have fast and easy access to the most up-to-date and useful information possible, NRA-ILA recently added a new feature to the home page of our website--www.NRAILA.org--titled:  "Stop Reckless Lawsuits Against the Firearm Industry."

The new function will allow you to easily send an e-mail or letter to your U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators.  To access the link, please go to the "Stop Reckless Lawsuits Against the Firearm Industry" heading at  www.NRAILA.org and click the "Take Action" button.

Please be sure to visit this site often for the latest information and action items on this critically important issue, and please forward this link to your family, friends and fellow firearm owners.

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.

A LOOK AT THE STATES

ARIZONA
SB 1271, a bill establishing a voluntary, semester-long course in firearms safety and proficiency for students in public and charter schools, passed the Senate K-12 Education Committee by a vote of 8-0.  This is one more step in the right direction to help improve gun safety in Arizona.  Please contact your state senator and ask him to support SB 1271 when it is considered on the full Senate floor.  You can find contact information for your Representative by using the "Write Your Representatives" tool at www.NRAILA.org

CONNECTICUT
Members of the General Assembly`s Public Safety Committee voted yesterday to hold a public hearing on an omnibus anti-gun bill submitted by Governor Jodi Rell`s (R) State Police.  Included in the proposal are provisions which would outlaw the private sale or transfer of long guns and would apply purchase age requirements to possession, effectively eliminating youth hunting! This bill would also create universal registration.  Last week we reported to you that the committee agreed to hold hearings on legislation banning .50 caliber firearms, as well as several other gun-related measures that would likely be used as anti-gun vehicles should they be approved by the committee. All of these proposals could be heard as early as Thursday, February 10.  It is critical that NRA members contact members of the Public Safety Committee today and urge them to oppose ANY gun bills currently before them.  For a list of committee members and their phone numbers, please call NRA-ILA`s Grassroots Division at (800) 392-8683. We also encourage members to contact Governor Rell at (860) 566-4840 to voice your opposition to the State Police omnibus anti-gun bill! 

IOWA
Please make plans to join NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre and NRA President Kayne Robinson on Friday, February 25, for the Iowa Sportsmen`s Federation Annual Banquet.  The event will be held at Val-Air Ballroom, located at 301 Ashworth Road, in West Des Moines.  Doors will open at 5:30 p.m., and dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m.  Tickets are $20 per person or two tickets for $30.  Please RSVP to (515) 554-5210.  Don`t miss this exciting event! 

NEW MEXICO
Representative John Heaton (D-Carlsbad) has filed HB 641, an NRA-backed Right-to-Carry Reform bill which lowers the minimum age for a Concealed Handgun License to 21, gives the Department of Public Safety the authority to enter into reciprocal agreements with certain other states, and makes several other changes to streamline the training and licensing processes.  The bill has been referred to the House Government & Urban Affairs and Judiciary Committees.  Please contact committee members and urge them to support HB 641.  For a list of committee members and their phone numbers please contact NRA-ILA`s Grassroots Division at (800) 392-8683. 

SOUTH CAROLINA
H 3110--NRA-backed legislation that seeks to establish a straight recognition law regarding Right-to-Carry permits--was passed out of the House Criminal Laws Subcommittee on February 3, on a unanimous vote.  If H 3110 becomes law, South Carolina would automatically recognize any valid Right-to-Carry permit issued by another state.  There are now 37 cosponsors of this critical reform that would help to ensure that the right to personal protection does not end at the South Carolina state line.  A hearing in the full House Judiciary Committee could take place in the next two weeks.  Please continue to contact your Representatives and urge them to cosponsor H 3110, and to work to ensure it becomes law.  If your Representative has already signed on, please thank him for his support, and ask him to encourage his colleagues to become cosponsors, as well. You can find contact information for your Representative by using the "Write Your Representatives" tool at www.NRAILA.org.  

SOUTH DAKOTA
On Monday, February 7, three NRA-supported bills will be heard by the House State Affairs Committee.  HB 1189 seeks to correct language in existing South Dakota law that could turn anyone who sells a pistol to another person without imposing a waiting period into a criminal.  HB 1190 would allow for full recognition of Right-to-Carry permits from every issuing state.  And HB 1209 would allow for verification of Right-to-Carry permits while expanding the privacy rights of gun owners, ultimately preventing back-door gun registration. Please contact your Representative and respectfully urge him to support these three bills.  You can find contact information for your Representative by using the "Write Your Representatives" tool at www.NRAILA.org

VIRGINIA
Earlier this week, the Virginia Senate stood in defense of law-abiding hunters and sportsmen by voting to defeat SB 952, sponsored by Senator Russell Potts (R-27).  SB 952 would have required Virginia`s public schools to include extremist animal rights and anti-hunting curricula as a part of the Commonwealth`s Standards of Learning. Fortunately, a majority of the Senate recognized SB 952 for what it was--a thinly-veiled attempt to indoctrinate Virginia`s public school students with radical anti-hunting propaganda--and rejected SB 952 by a 22-17 vote. To see a roll call of the Senate vote, please visit http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?051+vot+SV0182+SB0952.  Also, please be sure that you thank your Senator, or register your displeasure, depending on how he or she voted.  In addition, with Virginia being one of only two states holding gubernatorial races this year, all eyes will be on the Commonwealth as a harbinger of things to come in next year`s congressional elections.  In order to ensure they have the support of Northern Virginia gun owners, two very pro-gun candidates will have booths at "The Nation`s Gun Show" at the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly on February 11-13.  Pro-gun Attorney General Jerry Kilgore (R), who is running for Governor this year, will have a table at the show.  Please stop by to sign Jerry Kilgore`s petition, to pick up extra copies of the petition to circulate, and to pick up bumper stickers and learn more about how you can help with his campaign in Northern Virginia.  For more information on the Kilgore campaign, please contact the Kilgore Northern Virginia office at (703) 277-9635. Or e-mail Hunter Kurtz at Hunter@JerryKilgore.com or Nick Meads at Nick@JerryKilgore.com.  Pro-Second Amendment champion Delegate Dick Black`s (R-32) campaign will also be attending the show to recruit the well-deserved support of gun owners in his district.  And, finally, NRA will also have a booth at the show, so stop by your NRA booth as well! 

WYOMING
House Bill 271 passed out of the Wyoming House Travel, Recreation and Wildlife Committee, Wednesday.  Introduced by Representative Becket Hinckley (R-41), HB 271 will appropriate monies from the General Fund to build and maintain a public shooting range in Laramie County.  Please continue to contact your state Representative and respectfully urge him or her to support Wyoming`s continued heritage in the shooting sports by passing HB 271.  It is vital that NRA members continue to voice their support for this much-needed facility.  House Bill 298 was also passed out of the House Minerals, Business, and Economic Development Committee.  HB 298, also introduced by Representative Hinckley, will allow for the carrying of concealed firearms without a permit (as recently implemented in Alaska), leaving the current permitting system in place for the purpose of reciprocity with other states.  Again, please take a moment to contact your state Representative and respectfully urge him or her to support HB 298.  Since bills move quickly in Wyoming, HB 271 and HB 298 could be up for a vote soon!  To contact your state legislature during the legislative session, constituents in Wyoming are encouraged to use the Voter Hotline (Phone 1-866-996-VOTE).  While it is not possible to speak directly with a legislator on the Voter Hotline, the message will be delivered more quickly than by calling any other number at the legislature. You can find further contact information for your Representative by using the "Write Your Representatives" tool at www.NRAILA.org.

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.