Previous Alerts

03/09 Emergency Alert!

-- Compromise on massive land bill does not protect Second Amendment rights -- Compromise on massive land bill does not protect Second Amendment rights

Tuesday evening, March 10, 2009


Gun Owners of America does not sound the "Emergency alarm" often -- and when we do, we mean it.

Remember the massive land bill, S. 22, that passed out of the Senate last month?

It was expected to pass quickly in the House, but your opposition to an expansion of gun control contained in the bill forced it to be pulled from the floor.

GOA has just learned that after some backroom deals, the bill is headed to the floor WEDNESDAY MORNING, without any amendments to truly protect your Second Amendment rights on National Park Service (NPS) land.

You have fought the battle over the NPS gun ban for a long time. 

Unlike U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land, which allow for state and local law to govern firearms possession, NPS land is subject to a complete gun ban for any citizen who does not hold a concealed carry permit.

The bill coming to the floor March 11 greatly expands NPS land, thus spreading the agency's anti-gun regulations into more areas. 

S. 22 is actually a compilation of over 190 bills, many of which were never even debated on their own merits.

Here are just a few examples of land expansions in the bill:

* Section 5204 of the bill establishes the Washington-Rochambeau Route as a Historic Trail.  This dual trail begins in Rhode Island and travels 650 miles to Yorktown, Virginia.  The trail includes parts of major thoroughfares on the east coast such as Interstate 95 and US Route 1, meaning the gun ban could effect hundreds of thousands of unsuspecting gun owners each day.

* Section 5301 authorizes the federal government to buy private land adjacent to national parks and trails. Such land would be controlled by the NPS, and thus be subject to the agency's anti-gun regulations.

* Section 7002 makes the birthplace of William Jefferson Clinton a National Historic Site.  Perhaps it's fitting that the legacy of former President Clinton, who was responsible for so many anti-Second Amendment laws, will include yet another "gun free" zone.

In all, the bill designates over 2 million acres of wilderness, establishes three new national parks, a new national monument, three new national conservation areas, and four new national trails. 

In an effort to persuade pro-gun Congressmen to vote for the bill, the leadership apparently agreed to one backroom change-- an amendment to protect hunting and recreational shooting.

The compromise measure misses the point.  The founding fathers did not, in their struggle to secure essential freedoms, craft the Second Amendment with the idea that it would protect hunting and recreational shooting.

It is seemingly simple to understand, yet we have to continually remind the Congress that the Second Amendment is not about hunting!

If we have any chance of stopping this bill, you must contact your Representative right away.

The bill is scheduled to come to the floor before noon, Wednesday, March 11.

Please don't let Congress sneak this expansion of gun control through the House under the guise that compromise language protects your Second Amendment rights.  It doesn't.

ACTION: Right now, please use the Gun Owners Legislative Action Center to send your Representative the pre-written letter below.

----- Pre-written letter -----

Dear Representative,

On March 11, the House intends to take up S. 22, a massive bill containing nearly 200 separate pieces of legislation.

This bill will greatly expand land controlled by the Nation Park Service, thereby expanding the agency's anti-gun regulations.

There is compromise language being offered to supposedly protect hunting and sport shooting.  That is insufficient, as the Second Amendment is NOT about hunting and recreational shooting!

And while there may be some parts of this bill that you support for our state or our district, please do not give such parochial issues priority over my Second Amendment rights.

I urge you, in the strongest possible terms, to vote against this 1,294 page bill until the leadership allows an amendment that will truly protect the right to keep and bear arms.

Gun Owners of America will rate a vote for this bill as an anti-gun vote, and will inform me of your position.

Sincerely,