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Grassroots Alert: Vol. 12, No. 9 3/4/2005


Much as we predicted with the introduction in Congress of NRA-backed lawsuit preemption legislation--S. 397 and H.R. 800--the anti-gun drumbeat against these bills has begun.

Last week, the New York Times reported that several city officials across the country are urging the Senate to reject S. 397 when it comes up for a vote.  Exhibit A among those city officials is New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (R), who, in a WABC radio interview last week, stopped just short of calling for an outright ban on handguns, telling interviewer John Gambling, "I`m not so sure I wouldn`t think that that is a good idea."

And would any discussion of gun control be complete without mention of U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.)?  Following the now familiar formula of trying to sink the legislation under the weight of bogus, anti-gun  "poison pill" amendments, Schumer revealed his strategy, announcing he fully intends similar action this time around.  "I`m not sure what it will be," he said, "but we will add amendments to this bill that may make the sponsors less enthusiastic about passing it."

As we`ve noted in recent Grassroots Alerts, NRA-ILA considers any votes for anti-gun poison pill amendments to these bills as votes against the underlying measure itself.

Please continue to contact your U.S. Senators and your U.S. Representative and ask them to cosponsor and support S.397 and H.R. 800.  And again, please reiterate to them that you consider any votes in support of anti-gun amendments to this legislation as a vote against the underlying bill itself!

To access the most up-to-date information on this issue, please go to the "Stop Reckless Lawsuits Against the Firearm Industry" heading at, www.NRAILA.org, and click the "Take Action" button.  This function will allow you to easily send an e-mail or letter to your U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators.  Please forward this link to your family, friends, and fellow firearm owners. 

You can find additional 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.


Anyone who doubts the depths to which the Brady Campaign will sink to advance its extremist gun ban agenda should do so no more. In a March 3 press conference to announce the introduction of legislation by Senators Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), Charles Schumer, and Jon Corzine (D-N.J.) to ban the FN 5.7mm caliber Five seveN pistol, the Brady Campaign`s President, Mike Barnes, stooped to a new low.

Even though "armor piercing ammunition" has been restricted under federal law since 1986, Brady and the anti-gun politicians nevertheless claimed that 5.7mm ammunition available to the general public penetrates bullet-resistant vests.

That lie is bad enough. But then Barnes demonstrated his group`s complete and utter disregard for gun safety and its flaming zeal to further restrict the rights of law-abiding gun owners, challenging NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre to "put on a bullet proof vest, and we`ll fire the weapon at him, and see what happens."

Claims made by Brady, Lautenberg, Schumer, and their ilk would lack credibility under any circumstances.  But Barnes`s outrageous comment, along with Brady`s lies about the pistol and its ammunition, prove that the group has severed all ties to reality.  For anyone interested in the facts, the BATFE--the nation`s regulatory authority over firearms and ammunition--has already made it clear that the pistol and ammunition that is available to the public are legal for importation and sale under federal law. (See www.atf.gov/firearms/firearmstech/fabriquen.htm)

Further, anyone who is even remotely familiar with firearms safety knows that you never point a gun--loaded or unloaded--at someone for anything other than defensive purposes.  That is the Golden Rule of gun safety.

Unfortunately, however, the media did not report Barnes`s preposterous statement for what it is--a hysterical attempt by a radical group that knows it is on the losing side of history, much like Barnes` former pen pal Marxist dictator Daniel Ortega--that is trying desperately to rejuvenate its failed gun-ban agenda.  We hope that the national media will demand a retraction of Barnes`s extremist and offensive statement and request that he issue an apology.

On this most important debate over the rights of law-abiding American citizens, opposing groups should be able to disagree without being disagreeable.  Apparently, Barnes has shown he is incapable of comporting himself in such a civil manner.


In a recent "National Journal" Congressional Insiders Poll of lawmakers, the NRA was rated as the most effective lobbying organization in Washington.  Asked to cite which lobbying group(s) they considered as the most effective on Capitol Hill, 73  lawmakers, representing both parties, determined that NRA was, "the lobbying group with the most firepower."

Commenting on their choices, one Republican lawmaker said, "The NFIB and the NRA, because they do not pull their punches or cozy up to their enemies.  Their allies respect them, and their adversaries fear them."

No less telling was a quote from the  Democratic side of the aisle, which stated, "‘Fear Factor` with the NRA and the Club for Growth.  Fairly rare floor votes--but when they hit back home, the hit long and hard."


This year`s Annual Meetings and Exhibits will be held at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas, from April 15-17, 2005.

In conjunction with our showcase event, the NRA-ILA Grassroots Division will host a FREE Grassroots Workshop.  This Workshop has been a regular part of NRA`s Annual Meetings for more than a decade. 

With our victories in the 2004 elections, we must now work to ensure that our electoral successes last year are transformed into legislative victories this year.  Among our pro-freedom legislative priorities are:  ending reckless lawsuits against the gun industry, repealing the D.C. gun ban, lifting restrictions on law-abiding gun owners, and much more.  And of course, we must remain eternally vigilant in beating back assaults on our freedom, as the anti-gunners are still pushing legislation to ban guns and ammunition, to shut down gun shows, and to further whittle away our Second Amendment rights.  Your attendance at this year`s NRA-ILA Grassroots Workshop in Houston is an important step toward ensuring the future of our gun rights.

At this FREE Workshop, NRA-ILA staff and NRA Officers will discuss how you can take on an even more active role in your community in our mutual fight to advance and protect our cherished freedoms, and we will provide you with the materials and strategies you will need to educate and empower your fellow gun owners as well.

Workshop details are:
Friday, April 15, 2005, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 Noon
(Registration and free continental breakfast from 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. in Grand Ballroom Pre-function)
Hilton Americas--Houston, Grand Ballrooms D & G,
1600 Lamar St., Houston, TX 77010
(713) 651-3900

Please encourage your family, friends and fellow firearm owners to attend as well.

To register for the Workshop, please call the NRA-ILA Grassroots Division at (800) 392-8683, or on-line at:  www.nraila.org/workshops/.


Once again the NRA is seeking volunteers to help at the 2005 NRA Annual Meetings in Houston.  To a large degree, the success of each year`s Annual Meetings is dependent on the support of our volunteers.  And you can be a part of that successful effort this year!

A number of volunteers are needed to help with set-up on Wednesday and Thursday, April 13- 14, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  During the actual exhibit and meetings Friday through Saturday, volunteers are needed to work in the NRA Store, at our Membership Services area, at the Airgun Range, as well as a number of other venues.

To volunteer or for more information, please visit any of NRA`s web sites or the Annual Meetings site (www.nraam.org), or, contact NRA Field Representative Gayle Carter-Cook at (361) 972-2166, or Dennis Eggers, Central Region Director, at 270-522-0909.  Their respective e-mail addresses are Gcook@nrahq.org,  and Deggers@nrahq.org,


(****For all of the action items below, you can find contact information for your legislators by using the "Write Your Representatives" tool at www.NRAILA.org****)

The Public Safety Committee is a week closer to its reporting deadline for bills pending before it, so it is essential that members continue to contact members of that committee and urge them to oppose SB 1133, the State Police omnibus anti-gun bill, SB 714, the ban on .50 calibers and ALL other gun bills currently under consideration in that committee. We also encourage you to contact members of Connecticut`s Legislative Sportsmen`s Caucus and ask them to oppose these measures. For a list of caucus or committee members and their phone numbers, please contact NRA-ILA`s Grassroots Division at (800) 392-8683. 

This week, the Senate Judiciary Committee derailed some of the anti-gun agenda when members voted down SB 317, a one-gun-a-month proposal, and SB 332, a dealer licensing bill that would have added another layer of bureaucracy to FFL holders by creating a state-level license in addition to the federal license for gun dealers.  Anti-gun Chicago Mayor Richard Daley (D) and Governor Rod Blagojevich (D) will likely do all they can to try to revive these measures, as well as promote numerous other attacks on our firearm freedoms.  Next week should see the Senate Judiciary Committee take up SB 1482, which seeks to ban .50 caliber rifles and ammunition, and the House Human Services Committee will likely consider HB 1060, which seeks to ban certain semi-automatic firearms, and HB 1098, another bill to ban .50 caliber firearms and ammunition.  On the pro-gun side, the Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to take up SB 56 and SB 57, which both seek to eliminate the current database on law-abiding gun owners maintained by the State Police.  Also, the House Agriculture and Conservation Committee could vote on HB 2567 and HB 2607, each of which seeks to establish a Right-to-Carry permit system.  Please call members of the Senate Judiciary Committee and urge them to oppose SB 1482, and support SB 56 and SB 57.  And remember to thank members of the committee for opposing SB 317 and SB 332.  In addition, call members of the House Human Services Committee and urge them to oppose HB 1060 and HB 1098.  Finally, please call members of the House Agriculture and Conservation Committee and ask them to support HB 2567 and HB 2607.  Of course, also ask all lawmakers to oppose any other anti-gun measures, and support pro-gun reforms.  You can find information on committee members, including contact information, by going to the Illinois General Assembly home page at www.ilga.gov/

HB 2439 will be heard before the House Federal & State Affairs Committee on March 8. HB 2439 seeks to correct the problem of local firearm ordinances, which result in a complex patchwork of restrictions from one jurisdiction to the next.  A majority of states have enacted firearm preemption laws that prevent local jurisdictions from imposing ordinances more restrictive than laws passed by the state legislature.  Please contact your House member and respectfully urge him or her to support this bill to end the unfair patchwork of gun laws in Kansas. 

On March 9, the Maryland House Judiciary Committee will be considering a package of pro- an anti-gun bills.  Please make plans to attend the hearings on March 9 at 1:00 p.m., in the Judiciary Committee Room of the Lowe House Office Building, 84 College Avenue in Annapolis.  If you are unable to attend the hearings, please be sure to contact your State Delegate and let your voice be heard.  Among the pro-gun bills being considered are HB 179, which would repeal the current law requiring that all handguns undergo "ballistic imaging" before they could be sold, and HB 1211, the "Citizens` Protection Act of 2005," which makes improvements to the state`s current discriminatory carry permit system, allowing trained, law-abiding citizens to obtain a permit to carry a firearm for personal protection.  The NRA-opposed bills being heard include: HB 948, the "Maryland Assault Weapons Ban of 2005," which proposes to ban the possession of  so-called "assault weapons" in Maryland, and HB 803, the "Police Officer Protection Act of 2005," which proposes to make it a crime for failing to report a lost or stolen gun within
48 hours after discovering the loss or theft.  Be sure to tell your lawmakers they need to crack down on criminals who steal guns, not on law-abiding victims from whom guns are stolen. 

A recent e-mail alert from the Humane Society of the United States announced that the effort to end dove hunting by putting it to a statewide vote is nearly complete.  HSUS has been gathering signatures since the day the bill was signed into law. In their e-mail HSUS claims to have gathered 170,000 signatures, nearly enough to put the measure on the ballot. They have until March 15 to submit their signatures for verification. If HSUS is successful in banning dove hunting through the ballot process, rest assured that they will be back to ban other types of hunting. Michigan is one of 41 states that has a season for America`s most plentiful game bird.  Please visit www.NRAILA.org for developments on this issue. 

On March 10, Missourians for Personal Safety (MPS), Gateway Civil Liberties Alliance (GCLA), and Western Missouri Shooters Alliance (WMSA) are sponsoring the 13th Annual Statewide Gun Rights Rally Day in Jefferson City.  The rally will be held in the Rotunda of the Missouri Sate Capitol Building from 9:00 a.m. until noon.  Please come out and celebrate the first anniversary of Right-to-Carry and your Second Amendment rights and bring your family and friends.  For information on bus rides to the rally from St. Louis, please call John Cuba at (636) 861-9265.  For bus rides from Kansas City, please call Gary Davis at (816) 924-7170.  For all other rally information, please contact GCLA at (314) 385-GUNS or via e-mail at questions@gclastl.org

On March 7, the House Judiciary Committee is tentatively scheduled to consider 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 committee will meet at 1:30 p.m. (or upon House adjournment), in Room 309 of the State Capitol in Santa Fe.  Please contact committee members and urge them to support HB 641.  For a list of committee members and phone numbers please contact NRA-ILA`s Grassroots Division at (800) 392-8683. 

A bill that would drastically expand the state`s current "assault weapons" ban by redefining what constitutes an "assault weapon" was approved by the Assembly Codes Committee on March 1.  In addition to expanding the ban, A 2466 would require those who currently own any firearm deemed an "assault weapon" to register it, render it permanently inoperable, or turn it in to the police. Those who choose to register their firearms would be subject to an additional NICS check and would be required to have the firearm tested for entry in to the state`s ballistic imaging program. The bill is expected to be considered on the floor early next week, so members are encouraged to contact their Assembly member and urge him or her to OPPOSE A 2466! 

Over the last week, Attorney General Greg Abbott (R) negotiated, and Governor Rick Perry (R) signed, Concealed Handgun License reciprocal agreements with South Carolina and Pennsylvania.  The House Law Enforcement Committee approved HB 1066 by Representative Glenn Hegar (R-Katy), which allows residents from any state to apply for a non-resident Texas CHL and expands the opportunity for reciprocal agreements with even more states.  And the House Land & Resource Management Committee heard testimony on HB 1364 by Representative Anna Mowery (R-Fort Worth), which protects hunting opportunities on private land that is annexed by cities.  The committee is expected to vote on an amended version of that bill in the coming weeks.  Please contact your State Representatives and urge them to co-author HB 1364.  Please also e-mail and call your State Senators and urge them to co-sponsor the Senate companion bill, SB 734 by Senator Tommy Williams (R-The Woodlands). 

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 his campaign has the support of Virginia gun owners, former pro-gun Attorney General Jerry Kilgore`s (R) gubernatorial campaign, will have a table at the "Dixie Classic Gun Show" in Richmond on March 26-27.  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.  For more information on the Kilgore campaign, please contact Bill Lattanzi at (804) 421-9966, or via e-mail at Bill@jerrykilgore.com.


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.