NRA-ILA Grassroots Alert Vol. 13, No. 14 04/07/06
States with updates this issue: Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, New York, South Carolina, and Texas.
RIGHT-TO-CARRY NOW LAW IN NEBRASKA!
On April 5, Governor Dave Heineman (R) signed Legislative Bill 454 into law, making Right-to-Carry the law of the land in Nebraska!
"It took over a decade to bring Right-to-Carry to the good citizens of Nebraska, but those years of hard work have paid off tremendously," declared NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox. "I want to thank Governor Dave Heineman, and Senator Jeanne Combs (R-32), for their support and their efforts in giving Nebraskans the right to protect themselves and their loved ones. Senator Combs’ dedication and persistence was vital in ensuring passage of this measure through the state legislature."
LB 454 passed with bi-partisan support, as Nebraska senators voted 33-12 in favor of the measure. The bill allows law-abiding Nebraskans who undergo a background check and apply for a permit to carry a concealed firearm for self-protection.
Two weeks ago, legislators in neighboring Kansas overrode Governor Sebelius’ (D) veto to bring Right-to-Carry to that state as well. Now, of all the 50 states, only Wisconsin and Illinois flatly refuse to recognize the right of law-abiding citizens to carry concealed firearms for self-protection against criminal attack.
"Once again, on behalf of our NRA members in Nebraska, I want to thank all the legislators who voted to bring Right-to-Carry to their state," concluded Cox. "And as always, we appreciate the commitment and participation of our members in Nebraska for their part in making it happen."
To view this legislation use the "Bills" feature at the following link http://alisdb.legislature.state.al.us/acas/ACASLogin.asp
GOVERNOR RILEY SIGNS ALABAMA "CASTLE DOCTRINE" INTO LAW!
On April 4, Alabama Governor Bob Riley (R) signed NRA-backed "Castle Doctrine" bill SB 283 into law. Senator Larry Means (D-10), and Representative Albert Hall (D-22), sponsored the self-defense bill.
With overwhelming support, SB 283 passed the Alabama House by a vote of 82 to 9, and the Alabama State Senate by a vote of 30 to 2.
ILA’s Chris W. Cox, stated, "We thank Governor Riley for signing this vital legislation into law for the people of Alabama. Law-abiding citizens now have the choice to defend themselves and their families in the face of attack without fear of criminal prosecution and civil litigation."
The "Castle Doctrine" bill removes the "duty to retreat" if an individual is attacked in his or her home, vehicle, place of business, or any other place he or she has a legal right to be. This legislation also states that victims may use necessary force to defend themselves against the attacker.
"I would like to thank the bill’s sponsors, Senator Means and Representative Hall, and the Alabama State Senators and State Representatives who supported this bill. As always, we also thank all the NRA members and lawful gun owners who contacted their representatives and urged them to support this vital self-defense measure," concluded Cox.
SUPPORT HR 5092–
"THE BATFE MODERNIZATION AND REFORM ACT OF 2006"
On April 5, the leaders of the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security–Representatives Howard Coble (R-N.C.), and Bobby Scott (D-Va.)–joined forces to introduce H.R. 5092, the "Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) Modernization and Reform Act of 2006." This bipartisan bill is a critical first step toward finally reforming BATFE.
First and foremost, H.R. 5092 totally revises the system of administrative penalties for licensed dealers, manufacturers and importers of firearms. Today, for most violations, BATFE can only give an FFL holder a warning, or totally revoke the license. This bill would allow fines or license suspensions for less serious violations, while allowing license revocation for the kind of serious violations that would block an investigation or put guns in the hands of criminals.
H.R. 5092 also clarifies the standard for violations-allowing penalties for intentional, purposeful violations of the law, but not for simple paperwork mistakes. Congress thought it had fixed this problem in 1986 when it passed the Firearms Owners’ Protection Act, but the government has ignored that law-and has even argued in court that the 1986 changes were "without practical significance."
The bill also improves the process by which BATFE imposes these penalties, notably by allowing FFLs to appeal BATFE penalties to a neutral administrative law judge, rather than to an employee of BATFE itself.
H.R. 5092 would change BATFE’s enforcement operations in several ways, from requiring the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Justice to review of BATFE gun show enforcement operations, to demanding that the Bureau establish clear investigative guidelines. Finally, the bill would focus BATFE’s efforts on violations of firearms, explosives, arson, alcohol and tobacco laws, rather than non-jurisdictional areas.
Please be sure to contact your U.S. Representative at (202) 225-3121, and urge him or her to cosponsor and support H.R. 5092, the "Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Modernization and Reform Act of 2006!"
SENATOR VITTER INTRODUCES S. 2599–THE SENATE VERSION OF
THE "DISASTER RECOVERY PERSONAL PROTECTION ACT OF 2006"
On April 7, U.S. Senator David Vitter (R-La.) introduced S. 2599–the Senate companion bill to H.R. 5013, the "Disaster Recovery Personal Protection Act of 2006" introduced on March 28, by U.S. Congressman Bobby Jindal (R-La.). This NRA-supported bill would amend federal emergency statute laws to prohibit local authorities from confiscating lawfully owned firearms during times of disaster.
Thirty three states have "emergency powers" laws that give the government permission to suspend or limit gun sales, and to prohibit or restrict citizens from transporting or carrying firearms–something NRA-ILA is working to change. In some states, authorities can seize guns outright from citizens who have committed no crime–and who would then be defenseless against disorder.
Please be sure to contact your U.S. Senators and your U.S. Representative, and urge them to cosponsor and support S. 2599, and H.R. 5013, respectively, the "Disaster Recovery Personal Protection Act of 2006!" You can reach your Senators at (202) 224-3121 and your Representative at (202) 225-3121.
SUPPORT H.R. 5005,
THE "FIREARMS CORRECTIONS AND IMPROVEMENTS ACT"
Representative Lamar Smith (R-Tex.) recently introduced H.R. 5005, the "Firearms Corrections and Improvements Act," which would make a variety of technical changes to federal firearm laws. The bill would roll back unnecessary restrictions, correct errors, and codify longstanding congressional policies in the arena of firearms laws.
Among its provisions, H.R. 5005 would: permanently ban taxes or "user fees" on background checks by the federal instant check system–fees that Congress has prohibited in annual appropriations riders since 1998; permanently ban creation of a centralized electronic index of dealers’ records–a threat to gun owners’ privacy that Congress has barred through appropriations riders for a decade; codify limits on disclosure of trace records–which Congress has already limited through a series of appropriations riders over the past few years, out of concern for gun owners’ privacy and the confidentiality of law enforcement records; and repeal of obsolete language from the Brady Act’s "interim" waiting period provisions, that expired in 1998.
Please be sure to contact your U.S. Representative at (202) 225-3121, and urge him or her to cosponsor and support H.R. 5005, the "Firearms Corrections and Improvements Act!"
PLAN TO ATTEND FREE MILWAUKEE GRASSROOTS WORKSHOP!
The NRA-ILA Grassroots Division will host its FREE Grassroots Workshop in conjunction with NRA’s Annual Meetings in Milwaukee. This Workshop has been a regular part of NRA’s Annual Meetings for a decade. At this event, you will hear from NRA officers, NRA staff, and your fellow NRA members on what you can do in your own community to ensure victory for the Second Amendment in this year’s elections.
We will also discuss how you can work with your local Election Volunteer Coordinator (EVC). Your EVC is a local NRA member who is working with the various pro-gun campaigns in his area to provide critically-needed volunteer support for a variety of activities, including: phone banks, precinct walks, literature drops, voter registration drives, Get Out The Vote & Election Day activities, etc. EVCs also promote NRA-ILA’s legislative agenda at the federal and state levels.
With the 2006 campaign season in full swing, it is critical that we start implementing our grassroots battle plan to ensure we are ready to meet these electoral challenges head on as Election Day 2006 approaches. Rest assured, the anti-gunners are already doubling their efforts to ensure the defeat of pro-Second Amendment candidates in critical elections across the country, so we must ensure we are prepared to defeat their efforts at every turn.
Workshop details are:
NRA-ILA Grassroots Workshop-FREE!
Friday, May 19, 2006, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 Noon
(Registration & free continental breakfast-8:00 – 9:00 a.m.)
Hilton Milwaukee City Center
509 W. Wisconsin Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53203
To reserve your seat, or for more information, please call NRA-ILA at (800) 392-VOTE (8683). You may also register on-line at www.nraam.org/seminars/grassroots.asp. We hope to see you in Milwaukee on Friday, May 19!
NRA-ILA "MIX N’ MINGLES"
How often do you get the opportunity to mix n’ mingle with NRA-ILA Headquarters staff and fellow NRA members in your community, to earn FREE NRA items, and to assist with the efforts of candidates seeking office in your area? Well, in preparation for the 2006 elections, you will have the opportunity to do just that.
This election year, NRA-ILA will be hosting FREE NRA-ILA Mix N’ Mingles across the country. These events will provide NRA members with training on what they can do locally to propel candidates to victory this election season. The meetings also provide attendees the opportunity to meet and socialize with lawmakers, candidates and their staffs, NRA-ILA Headquarters staff, and fellow area NRA members–and to earn FREE NRA fraternal items such as hats, pocketknives, buttons, etc. Mix N’ Mingles, including materials, food, beverages, and NRA items, are FREE!
Mix N’ Mingle events are scheduled for:
– Eau Claire, WI — 05/23/06
– Ashland, WI — 05/24/06
NRA members who have access to the Internet can go to www.nraila.org/workshops/ to reserve their seats on-line. NRA members are encouraged to check this website address frequently to see if any upcoming "Mix N’ Mingles" are scheduled in their area. NRA members may also contact the NRA-ILA Grassroots Division at (800) 392-VOTE (8683) for details and to reserve their seats.
A LOOK AT THE STATES
(***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. As always, thank you for your support.***)
States with updates this issue: Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, New York, South Carolina, and Texas.
The Arizona Department of Game and Fish is hosting an area meeting to discuss locations for a new shooting range in Northern Arizona. Your presence is needed to help show support this new local shooting range. This meeting will be held Saturday, April 15, from 10:00 a.m., to 2:00 p.m., at the Northern Arizona University du Bois Center located at 306 E. Pine Knoll Drive, Flagstaff, 86011. Please mark you calendar for this date! For more information please contact: Mark Meyer at (480) 967-1343 or via e-mail at email@example.com. More meetings will be scheduled in the future, so please keep checking the NRA-ILA website for updates. After working closely with NRA leadership in Arizona, State Representative Pamela Gorman (R-6) has withdrawn her amendment, regarding state operated shooting ranges, from SB 1291. We here at NRA realize we have a strong ally in Representative Gorman, who will work to protect Arizona ranges and your Second Amendment rights. Please take a moment to send Representative Gorman a note thanking her for working with the NRA to resolve this issue and encourage her to continue to work with us to protect Arizona’s gun owners and sportsmen. State Representative Gorman’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
As we have been reporting, the anti-gun crowd has redoubled their efforts to pass last year’s proposal to make it a crime to fail to report the loss or theft of a firearm within 72 hours from when you "knew or should have known" of the theft. This year’s version is outrageous! H.B. 5818, now includes language that would subject gun owners to criminal investigation and jeopardy of prosecution even if they report the theft because a court will now be given the ability to decide whether the firearm was stored in such a manner that provided "substantial and unjustifiable risk" that it would be stolen. Even worse, if the police recover the firearm before the gun owner has discovered it missing and made the report, it will be considered automatic evidence of guilt of violation of this proposed law, as well as guilt of an illegal transfer. Conviction of the "illegal transfer," which is a felony, would permanently end your right to own a firearm! In response to the large number of phone calls that are coming in from legitimate gun owners, Connecticut Against Gun Violence has put out desperate pleas to the anti-gun crowd asking them to write, e-mail and call lawmakers in an effort to drown out your voice! If you have not contacted your legislators yet, we urge you to do so today! The Public Safety and Security Committee could consider HB 5818 as early as next week. The Public Safety and Security Committee can be reached at (860) 240-0570. For more information on the Public Safety and Security Committee please visit www.cga.ct.gov/ps/.
The Delaware House of Representatives may be voting as early as Tuesday on H.B. 359, sponsored by Representative Deborah Hudson (R-12), the NRA-backed "shall-issue" Right-to-Carry bill. This bill would allow law-abiding citizens that fulfilled the requirements for a concealed weapons permit to be granted a permit without discrimination. Your State Representative needs to hear from you! Please take the time to call or e-mail your State Representative TODAY and respectfully urge him or her to support HB 359 when it comes before them for consideration. The future of Right-to-Carry in Delaware depends on it!
Thanks to the efforts of NRA members across the State of Idaho who sent thousands of e-mails and made countless phone calls to State lawmakers, four important bills have become law in the state and a fifth is on the way. Senator Gerry Sweet (R-20) and Representative Bill Sali (R-21) co-sponsored three NRA-supported bills: House Bill 686 will protect non-profit shooting ranges and gun clubs from having taxes imposed on their range fees and membership dues; Senate Bill 1401, "Emergency Powers" legislation, will prevent government officials from imposing restrictions on the lawful possession, transfer, sale, transport, storage, display or use of firearms and ammunition during a disaster emergency; and Senate Bill 1428, "Right-to-Carry" reform legislation, that extends the concealed weapon license from four to five years and, like driver’s licenses, requires renewal notices be sent out prior to license expiration. This bill also provides an exemption from the concealed weapon license requirement for a person who possesses a concealed weapon while on property he or she owns or leases. Senator Skip Brandt (R-8) proposed House Bill 608, legislation that creates an NRA motor vehicle license plate. This bill has also become law, so look to sign up for a special NRA license plate in the near future. The fifth bill, Senate Bill 1441, is "Castle Doctrine" legislation that would provide immunity from civil action for anyone who has used lawful force in self-defense. Under SB 1441, if a criminal attacks a victim and the victim successfully defends him or herself and, in the process, injures or kills the criminal, then neither the criminal nor the criminal’s family can obtain a judgment against the victim for damages. This bill, carried by Senators Mel Richardson (R-32) and Joyce Broadsword (R-2), has passed both the Senate and House and is headed to the Governor’s desk.
Thanks to the efforts of those who contacted their State Representative, H.B. 4853 passed the House with an NRA-supported amendment that excludes ammunition. The House concurred on this legislation with the Senate offered and NRA-supported amendment overwhelmingly by voting 115 to 1. Without this important amendment, H.B. 4853 as originally passed by the House could have been used to target ammunition manufacturers, distributors, users, and owners of property where firearms are lawfully discharged. This legislation will now head to the Governor’s desk.
On Tuesday, the Senate Judiciary C Committee reported out S.B. 93, by Senator Joe McPherson (D-29), NRA-backed legislation amending the state’s emergency powers act to prohibit the seizure and confiscation of legally possessed firearms in the unfortunate event of another natural disaster in the State of Louisiana. The full Senate could vote the bill on as early as Monday afternoon. Please e-mail and call your State Senators on Monday morning and urge them to support SB 93. Although an official agenda had not been posted as when this Alert went to print, it is expected the House Administration of Criminal Justice Committee may hold hearings on the House versions of measures to end New Orleans-style gun confiscations during a state of emergency: H.B. 36 by Representative Pete Schneider (R-90), H.B. 136 by Representative Troy Hebert (D-49), H.B. 172 by Representative Danny Martiny (R-79), and HB 760 by Representative Steve Scalise (R-82). Please email and call the members of the committee and urge them to support these measures. The committee normally meets on Wednesday and Thursday mornings in Room 6 of the State Capitol. To contact your state lawmakers, check the committee’s schedule, and agenda, or for a list of committee members, please call the PULS line at (225) 342-2456 (from the Baton Rouge area) or (800) 256-3793 (outside the Baton Rouge area) or visit http://senate.legis.state.la.us/Senators, http://house.louisiana.gov, and http://www.legis.state.la.us
Representative Josh Tardy (R-Newport) is offering an important amendment that adds two important provisions to L.D.1938, "An Act To Protect Victims of Domestic Violence." The "Tardy Amendment" would do the following: (1) Allow the court to order a person seeking a "protection from abuse" order–who is proven to be in "bad faith"–to pay damages and reasonable attorney’s fees to the defendant and; (2) Makes law enforcement officials responsible for damage to firearms resulting from a lack of reasonable care, which are seized, surrendered or relinquished. Presently, the possibility of "bad faith" orders within the court system create a "shadow of doubt"–hurting the true victims of domestic violence. This measure would help eliminate "bad faith" orders from occurring, thus furthering validity for all legitimate "protection from abuse" proceedings. Furthermore, relinquished firearms are often damaged and sometimes never returned to the owner after a "protection from abuse" order is terminated. This amendment would correct that problem. Similar language recently passed the Pennsylvania Legislature and was supported by all stakeholders, including gun owners as well as domestic violence organizations. This measure passed overwhelmingly with bipartisan support. Please call your State Legislator today and respectfully ask him or her to support the "Tardy Amendment!" Your State Legislator can be contacted in Augusta at (800) 423-2900.
Governor Jennifer Granholm (D) signed two pro-gun bills, both sponsored by Representative Rick Jones (R-71). H.B. 4643 addresses a problem with concealed pistol licenses (CPL) being renewed in a timely fashion. Apparently, the Detroit area was taking 9 to 10 months to renew concealed pistol licenses! HB 4643 corrects the renewal process by requiring a proper renewal to be completed within 60 days or the license is extended for 180 days or until the permit is renewed. H.B. 4642 allows a licensed spouse to carry or transport another licensed spouse’s inspected pistol. A thank you goes out to Governor Granholm for signing these two important Right-to-Carry reform bills into law.
On April 9, members of the Assembly Health Committee are set to consider A. 6608A, sponsored by Assemblywoman Ginny Fields (D-5), an NRA-supported bill that would protect existing shooting ranges from new noise ordinances and nuisance lawsuits aimed at shutting them down. A. 6608A provides that facilities must comply with noise ordinances in place at the time of construction of the range. The Senate companion bill to A 6608A, S. 3353A, is sponsored by Senator Dale Volker (R-59) and could be voted on by the full Senate at any time. Please contact your lawmakers today and urge them to support A. 6606A and S. 3353A. The general phone number to the Senate is (518) 455-2800. The general phone number for the Assembly is (518) 455-4100.
Thanks to phone calls from NRA members H. 4681, introduced by Representative Mike Pitts (R-14), unanimously passed the House Judiciary Committee’s Constitutional Laws Subcommittee with an added amendment that further strengthens the bill. H 4681 will now come before the full Judiciary Committee. This legislation would remove the ability of local governments to restrict the use, sale, or transportation of firearms during a state of emergency, and would also prohibit South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) from releasing the personal information of Right-to-Carry (RTC) permit holders unless the request for the information is part of an investigation by law enforcement. Please contact the members of the House Judiciary Committee and urge them to support H 4681. A list of the members of the Judiciary Committee can be found by going to www.scstatehouse.net/html-pages/housecommlst.html#jud
Primary runoff elections will be held on Tuesday, April 11. Please check www.nrapvf.org to see whether a runoff election is being held in your area and to see how the candidates measure up on issues of importance to gun owners and sportsmen. Spread the word to your family, friends, and co-workers about the primary runoff elections, because every vote counts!
Hunting, shooting and target practise are some of the most popular pastimes in the USA, but make that you learn all about the rules and regulations regarding firearms and their safe use.
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