Legislation Update

Last month, I warned readers about the knee-jerk reaction to the Littleton shootings which was bound to come from the Anti-gun members of Congress. Well, as I compose this month's column, there are 17 House Bills and 18 Senate Bills before the houses for consideration which would prohibit or restrict the ownership or exchange of guns in the United States and it's territories. One of the most interesting details is why there are so many more Senate Bills, per senator, than House Bills, but, of course, the answer is that Senators only have to stand for reelection every six years, and House members are reelected every two years. Not every anti- Second Amendment bill relates to skirmishing, however, we can not afford to let the Boxers and Lautenbergs of this world begin to encroach on any part of the Second Amendment.

Senator Frank Lautenberg, D-NJ, has introduced legislation (Senate Bill 443) which would regulate the sale of firearms at gunshows, which is bound to curtail your picking up an original Burnside, Colt or Springfield at future gunshows if passed. Lautenberg has also introduced legislation to encourage State and local governments to "bring claims for the rising costs of gun violence in their communities," with federal incentives for those governments (S.B. 560).

Senator Patrick Moynihan, D-NY, is even farther out in left field than Lautenberg (do they have early retirement for Senators?). Moynihan wants to either tax 9mm, .25 and .32 caliber ammunition 1,000% (S.B. 157), or prohibit the manufacture , transfer or importation of 9mm, .25 and .32 caliber ammunition altogether (S.B. 156). Hey, no kidding, I don't make this stuff up. This restriction on ammunition, a direct violation of the Second Amendment, will seriously hamper reloaders who produce this ammunition at home, or use .32 caliber pieces for their Cowboy Action Shooting. Wow, Moynihan is so far out in leftfield, he makes Lautenberg look like a shortstop! Moynihan has 7 bills in the Senate that all aim to prohibitively tax or prohibit outright the use of certain ammunition (Senate Bills 152 - 158).

On the House of Representatives side, House Bill 35, which was introduced before Littleton, would ban the possession or transfer of "a junk gun", which the bill defines as a non-sporting handgun and additionally determined by the Secretary of the Treasury as meeting the definition of "junk gun." What about blackpowder revolvers? Will the bill ban their possession and transfer? Will skirmishing be identified as one of the shooting sports? Do you want liberal, cry-baby Democrats making these decisions concerning your inventory? What if skirmishing is determined to be a "hobby?" Will that then allow this legislation to prohibit the possession of blackpowder arms? This bill stinks, that ain't the Anacostia river you smell.

House Bill HR-85, from Rep. Rod Blagojevich (IL-5th Dist-D), wants to prohibit the transfer or possession of a handgun to an individual not 21 years of age. Again, will this mean that all Revolver Team members will have to be 21 or older? Current law allows possession, etc. at 18 years of age. This bill is so bad it's been cosponsored by DC's Eleanor Holmes Norton and MD's AL Wynn. Blagojevich also wants to clamp down on mail-order and Internet sales of ammunition, and require reporting of transactions of more than 1,000 rounds (HR-87). What about components? If a team orders 1,000 44-40 cases, are they going to be under surveillance by Big Brother? Who thinks of this stuff?!

The news is not all bad from Capital Hill. There are some members who are fighting for our Second Amendment rights. Maryland's own Roscoe Bartlett (MD-6th Dist-R) has introduced HR- 347, which would protect the right to obtain firearms for security and to use them in self-defense, and would also provide for the enforcement of such a right. See, they're all not brain-dead up there. Republican Senator Bob Smith of New Hampshire has also introduced a bill to amend the Appropriate section of the United States Code to protect the rights of citizens under the Second amendment. Both of these bills are in committee as we go to press.

So, what can you do? Well, like I said last time, write/e- mail/pony express your federal elected representatives and tell them your position on these bills. Want to know more, try the National Rifle Associations website at www.nraila.org/research.html. Make your voice heard frequently and loudly in the halls of Congress. It's your government, make it work for you. Write your Congressman and both Senators at the Capitol. Overland mail to Congress(wo)men at: Honorable (name), United States House of Representatives, Washington, DC 20515. Senators may be addressed to: Senator (name), United States Senate, Washington, DC 20510. If you prefer a phone call, dial 202-224-3121 for the Capitol Switchboard for both houses of Congress.

Both houses maintain websites at www.house.gov for the House of Representatives and www.senate.gov for the Senate. Testimony for some of these Bills began last month, and I am including a link to the testimony of Mr. Darrell Scott, who appeared before the House Subcommittee on Crime on May 24. Read this, memorize this and share this with friends. It is powerful stuff.

You know, after all the mail I got from last months article, I felt like I could maybe run a little side-bar every month on legislation, but the sad news is, it would take the whole column every month just to keep track of legislation -- we are under attack. And, yes, a lot of it is senseless, but we have to individually stand up and scream for our Second Amendment rights. I'll add a link to the NRA Research website on our www.civilwarguns.com website, so e-skirmishers and e-shooters can check that out on a regular basis. We, each and every one of us, need to stand up and account for ourselves as responsible gun owners who will not tolerate any erosion of our Second Amendment rights. It all starts with banning ammunition, suing manufacturers, etc., then they want all the guns turned in. Join the fight, and stay in the fight. Support organizations that promote our Second Amendment rights. Let's keep the entire Bill of Rights intact for another 200 years.

I've got some interesting stuff in the pipeline, I hope to see everybody on the line this summer or at Gettysburg, and remember to promote responsible gun ownership, shoot safe and have fun.

1999 by Tom Kelley

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