12/96 96 Elections And Your Gun Rights: Win, Lose Or Draw
This means, of course, another four years of battling for our gun rights with the most anti-gun President in American history. So the real issue is how did pro-gun forces fare in the Congress? Will we be able to withstand the onslaught of anti-gun proposals sure to be put forth by a President no longer concerned with being reelected?
Little Change in Congress
The overwhelming majority of House and Senate incumbents who ran for reelection were able to retain their seats. 400 incumbents fall into this category, with 94% of them winning a trip back to Washington. (Several races were still undecided at press time.)
Of the 22 incumbents who were defeated, eight were rated “A” by GOA. Of these eight, seven were replaced by anti-gun challenges, so the loss of pro-gun incumbent seats is seven.
Meanwhile, there were many open seats, 27 of which were previously held by pro-gun legislators. Pro-gun candidates won 25 open races, indicating a loss of two pro-gun seats.
Therefore, the pro-gun cause, on paper anyway, suffered a net loss of nine seats in the Congress. Virtually all of the loss occurred in the House.
All the news on election day wasn’t bad, however. Several staunch pro-gun candidates prevailed in House races. Space does not permit naming all the candidates, but following is a sampling of folks who should be Second Amendment leaders:
In the 3rd district of Kansas, Vince Snowbarger defeated his opponent although he was continually assailed for having introduced pro-gun legislation in the state senate. Kansas, noted for being one of the more moderate midwestern states, improved greatly overall on the firearms issue.
Bob Schaffer of Colorado also has a pro-gun record in the state senate. Mr. Schaffer was in a bitterly fought primary, with two other candidates trying to woo pro-gun voters. GOA was instrumental in pointing out to voters that the two other challengers had been less than candid about their anti-gun record, which helped push Schaffer over the top.
In Virginia, Democrat Virgil Goode will become far and away the most pro-gun Democrat in Congress. Sadly, another pro-gun Democrat, Harold Volkmer, lost his reelection bid.
Maryland Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, who has introduced several pro-gun bills in Congress, won handily over his opponent. Throughout the campaign, Bartlett was attacked for aligning himself with pro-gun “special interest groups.”
Similarly, Helen Chenoweth of Idaho endured a ruthless attack, which centered around her being “too extreme” on the gun issue. She will continue to be one of the gun owners’ very best friends.
Ron Paul of Texas is a familiar name to gun owners, as he was formerly in Congress, and had run as the Libertarian Party presidential candidate in 1988. GOA knows Ron Paul to be a man of his word, and is looking forward to working with him to stem the tide of the Clinton agenda.
Finally, in Texas, Representative Steve Stockman was singled out by Handgun Control, Inc. and others as the number one target to defeat in 1996. Over the past two years, Rep. Stockman introduced legislation to repeal the Brady law, the “assault weapons” ban, the Washington, D.C., strict liability law, and introduced legislation to protect gun dealers from BATF harassment.
Rep. Stockman isn’t out of the woods yet, however, as he now prepares for a December 10th run-off election against an anti-gun tax assessor, Nick Lampson.
In the U.S. Senate, gun owners actually made substantial gains. Of course, it would have been hard not to have had an improvement over last session’s Senate, which did next to nothing for gun owners.
Most notably, in Wyoming, pro-gun candidate Mike Enzi prevailed over Kathy Karpan. Ms. Karpan tried to convince voters that she was every bit as pro-gun as Enzi, and she was even effective in neutralizing other pro-gun organizations. GOA was able to get involved in the race and help point out the differences between the candidates, and ultimately help get Mr. Enzi elected.
In Colorado, Wayne Allard has been a consistent, though quiet, friend of gun owners for a long time. Also, the two Kansas Senate seats should be a vast improvement over the previous incumbents.
Sarah’s Newest Darlings
A couple of races were particularly noteworthy in that vehement anti-gunners were elected. In the 4th district of New York, Carolyn McCarthy, a Democrat, ran on one issue: gun control. There is no doubt that Mrs. McCarthy will be aligned right next to her fellow New Yorker, Charles Schumer, as a bomb thrower for Sarah Brady and Handgun Control, Inc.
In Texas, a Brady can potentially win a seat in the House. Kevin Brady, a Republican from the 8th district, is no relation to Sarah, except ideologically. Mr. Brady is blatantly anti-gun, and will have no qualms about pushing the other Brady’s agenda.
There is a chance that Brady will not make it to Washington, as he must face pro-gun candidate Gene Fontenot in a December 10th special election.
Perhaps the greatest disappointment on election night was in Louisiana. Staunch pro-gun state senator Woody Jenkins was narrowly defeated by extremely anti-gun Mary Landrieu. Ms. Landrieu may rival Diane Feinstein in her zeal to take away your guns.
The Fight Goes On
So what does all this mean in practical terms? Well, any hope of a veto-proof Congress is lost. Gun owners should be prepared for another two years of intense battle to protect our right to keep and bear arms. And this is where you must play a vital role.
We must pressure the Congress to bring up for a vote legislation to repeal Bill Clinton’s gun control. But remember, they’re not going to want to do this! The excuse will be the same one we’ve been hearing for two years: President Clinton will veto it anyway, so why hold the vote? The reason they need to vote on this issue, of course, is so that we, the voters, can determine who our true friends are. We can then take that information with us to the polls the next time around.
GOA is prepared for the excuses. 58 newly elected representatives have committed in writing to cosponsor legislation repealing the assault weapons ban and the Brady law. GOA will be notifying its members who live in any of these districts. And then you can put the pressure on the Congress. After all, if someone has already committed in writing to cosponsor a bill, it should take no time at all to put their name on a piece of legislation. If they don’t, that means they were not totally up front with you before the election.
That’s why it is so important to keep your GOA membership current. We will be applying the pressure on Capitol Hill, but nothing can replace the impact of thousands of cards, letters, faxes and phone calls from concerned constituents pouring into a congressional office.
If together we can pressure those 58 representatives (in addition to others who should be supportive of our efforts) to cosponsor pro-gun bills, it will be difficult for the leadership in Congress to ignore us.
Remember, we’re in this battle for the long haul. Of course we would have liked to have done better this year, but it didn’t work out that way. Now we must do all we can over the next two years to hold our legislators accountable and then come back in the next election and turn things more in our favor. As the founders were fond of saying, eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.
The Year in Review:
GOA members setting the agenda on Capitol Hill
by Larry Pratt
“I am very troubled about the scheduled Floor action on the current version of the anti-terrorism bill,” began the letter addressed to the House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-TX). “Many of us have worked too long and too hard to allow our record to be characterized . . . as ‘anti-gun.'”
So read the February 28 letter sent by Rep. Bob Barr (R-GA), who was pleading with the House leadership to shelve the terrorism bill. But why? What would have caused one of the principle authors of the terrorism bill to ask his party leaders to shelve his own bill?
GOA’s “intense” grassroots
Well, Gun Owners of America had just completed several mail and leafleting campaigns in certain districts around the country. Grassroots members of GOA had walked precincts and gone door-to-door delivering fliers exposing those legislators involved in pushing this anti-gun bill.
Citizens took GOA’s information and directed their outrage against those Representatives, asking them to kill the anti-gun terror bill. In fact, Rep. Barr even cited concern over Speaker Gingrich’s being “portrayed in grass-roots campaigns as ‘pushing a government terror bill.'”
You will remember that GOA coined the term “government terror bill” and used it quite effectively in the battle against this legislation this past year. By redefining the terms of the debate and by showing that this legislation would dramatically enlarge the powers of the state (including the powers of anti-gun bureaucrats), GOA was able to put the heat on various key legislators.
Congressmen were now asking the House leadership to keep them from “walking the plank.” They were requesting the leadership to not bring up the terror bill for a vote.
While the leadership rebuffed Barr’s request, they did allow him to introduce an amendment which gutted many of the anti-gun provisions that were hidden in the terror bill. (The leadership had previously not been interested in amending the bill.)
The terror bill eventually passed with some gun control, but GOA had succeeded in stripping out many of the harmful provisions.
Congressional praise for GOA
GOA fought passage of the government terror bill each and every step of the way.
“Gun Owners of America provided a consistent voice of opposition against any and all provisions that were harmful to our liberties,” said Rep. Joe Scarborough (R-FL) after the final vote on the terror bill. “GOA has been a voice of reason out there.”
Indeed, the battle over the anti-gun terror bill is a vivid illustration of GOA’s approach to lobbying. GOA is committed to keeping legislators accountable. But to do that, we believe the grassroots must be informed and must keep the “heat” on their elected officials. This is what GOA helped its members do in 1996, and what we will continue to do next year.
GOA: a unique gun lobby fighting for your rights
Because of your support, Gun Owners of America has remained on the front lines while defending your gun rights during the 104th Congress. In fact, in many battles, GOA has remained virtually alone at the national level:
* GOA remains the premier organization pushing the Citizen’s Self-Defense Act. GOA drafted this legislation years ago in response to the growing number of cases where anti-gun prosecutors have persecuted innocent civilians (like Bernie Goetz) for using a gun in self-defense. During the 104th Congress, the Citizen’s Self-Defense Act (H.R. 78) gained over 50 cosponsors and came within a whisker of making it to the House floor for a vote.
* GOA was the only national gun lobby working for a COMPLETE repeal of the semi-automatic gun ban. Gun Owners strongly endorsed and pushed for passage of the Bartlett/Stockman bill, H.R. 464, which would have repealed ALL the gun control that passed as part of the 1994 crime bill.
The Bartlett/Stockman bill would have overturned the ENTIRE gun and magazine ban. The bill which passed the House left the definition of large-capacity magazines in the U.S. Code. This not only demonizes such items, but it also keeps the definition available for some future regulation or executive order applying special sanctions to owners of these magazines.
The Bartlett/Stockman bill would also have repealed provisions that are being used to force thousands upon thousands of gun dealers out of business.
GOA worked closely with Congressman Steve Stockman to force a vote on the better repeal bill. While the bill which finally made it to the House floor was inferior, GOA’s efforts alerted many Congressmen to the fact that gun owners nationwide want every infringement of our liberties to be repealed.
GOA kills anti-gun legislation
* Similarly, GOA successfully killed the greatest Trojan Horse in the 104th Congress. Early in the Congress, the Republican leadership was pushing a repeal bill (H.R. 1488) that, while repealing the semi-auto ban, would also have increased the power and scope of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. GOA tirelessly worked to alert gun owners to this huge threat to our liberties, and got several pro-gun Congressmen to speak out against the bill’s dangerous provision.
The Republican leadership finally relented to GOA’s demands and asked GOA to help clean-up the bill. Roll Call, the newspaper of record for events in Congress, reported that GOA “won a match” in forcing changes in H.R. 1488.
Indeed, sources on Capitol Hill stated unequivocally that the postcards, letters, faxes and emails from GOA members were instrumental in getting Congressmen to agree to make the change. Before the avalanche of mail, there was little support for striking the dangerous provision from the bill.
* Also at GOA’s insistence, an unconstitutional provision that would have imposed a fifteen year prison sentence for the conversion of a single firearm to an automatic was removed from H.R. 1488.
* GOA was the only national gun group pushing legislation to repeal the Brady registration law. Gun Owners of America is committed to repealing both the waiting period and the instant “registration” check, as both provisions are dangerous infringements of our Second Amendment liberties.
* GOA led the pro-gun opposition forces against the recent gun bans passed in Congress, and was the only group to oppose every compromise version that surfaced. Without GOA, these two bans would have slipped by into law without any fierce opposition. While the legislation still passed, GOA had energized more than 30 different groups in opposition to the gun bans and is helping to prompt attempts to repeal these laws — both in Congress and in the courts.
* GOA led the charge on pushing for cuts in BATF. GOA worked closely with Rep. Helen Chenoweth (R-ID) who introduced an amendment to cut their pay, and remained a tireless advocate for cutting an agency that has often disregarded the constitutional rights of the citizens they serve.
GOA commended for killing terror bill
Perhaps the biggest battle GOA fought in the 104th Congress was over the government terror bill. Although proposed by the Republican congressional leadership, the bill was largely modeled after H.R. 896, a bill drafted by anti-gun New York Congressman Charles Schumer.
GOA targeted a number of anti-gun provisions and succeeded in getting many of them stripped from the bill. In fact, at one point, GOA and its grassroots were largely responsible for killing the bill outright.
As noted by Rep. Scarborough, “Gun Owners of America led the fight in defeating the terrorism bill in 1995. They generated grassroots pressure that made it possible for us to hold tight and keep the bill from passing.”
Roll Call also remarked that GOA’s grassroots pressure helped freshmen Congressmen hold tight and kill the bill late last year: “The [terror bill] compromise unraveled as conservative House Republicans — many of them freshmen — backed the Gun Owners position and refused to follow Barr [the cosponsor of the bill].”
GOA leads opposition to terror bill
While GOA was pleased to force many anti-gun provisions from the bill, it was discouraging to see a so-called compromise eventually pass. The final version still contained many anti-gun provisions and was consistently opposed by GOA and its grassroots.
What follows, however, are some of the changes that GOA was able to effect:
* GOA fought the lone battle over a provision that would have terrorized gun owners by severely punishing individuals (as well as gun dealers and manufacturers) for selling a gun to someone they should have known was going to use, or threaten to sue, the firearm in a “crime of violence.”
To punish the seller of a firearm under this standard would have been clearly ludicrous (unless all sellers are clairvoyant) and is a change in the current law, which requires that the seller “know” the gun will be used in a crime.
Despite being the only group to take an interest in this provision, GOA was nevertheless successful in killing it during the 104th Congress.
* GOA opposed — and was successful in deleting — language which would have allowed the BATF and federal prosecutors to punish otherwise law-abiding citizens for far-reaching “conspiracy” charges (including simple paperwork and technical violations) even though no overt act was committed. This victory was achieved by GOA largely single-handedly.
* GOA opposed a provision expanding the ability of officials to prosecute gun owners for Title II firearms registration offenses. (Changing this provision would open the door to more Waco and Ruby Ridge type incidents.) GOA was able to get this provision dropped from the bill.
* GOA joined forces with other pro-gun, conservative and civil libertarian groups to kill an unconstitutional “roving wiretaps” provision that threatened the privacy of gun owners. This provision would have allowed a federal agency to wiretap your home because a friend of yours who was under investigation visited your home.
* GOA also pooled forces with other groups to oppose any further ammunition bans and succeeded in keeping all terror bills from expanding military enforcement over civilian law.
GOA: on the cutting edge in the states
Gun Owners of America has remained the only national group that is actively pushing Vermont-style concealed carry legislation in the states. GOA has model legislation, mirroring Vermont’s law, that will allow citizens to carry firearms concealed without paying any fees or taxes, without acquiring any licenses or going through any background checks.
GOA has already managed to get this model bill introduced in several states (such as Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Ohio, Oklahoma and Oregon) and has succeeded in forcing votes on these bills as well. GOA’s state candidate survey program has identified scores of legislators who will support Vermont-style right to carry, and will be working to get these bills passed next year.
GOA members and supporters pitched in with money and votes to give victory to several solid pro-gun candidates in critical state races. For example:
* State Representative Ron Hood (R-57) was returned to office in his Ohio District with 54% of the vote. Ron is the sponsor of Vermont-style right to carry legislation, HB 485, which gun owners in Ohio supported under the slogan “Stay alive with 485.”
* Dr. Suzanna Gratia Hupp (R-54) is now the state representative in her Texas District. A survivor of the attack in Luby’s Cafeteria in Killeen in 1991, Suzanna is a strong supporter of the Vermont-style right to carry legislation and has become national advocate for this cause.
* GOA also helped expose Rep. John Ryan (R-16), an anti-gun Republican in Michigan who voted against concealed carry legislation in the state House of Representatives. Ryan lost to the pro-gun Democrat Bob Brown by less than 300 votes. His loss helped to hand the control of the legislature over to the Democrats.
In 1996, GOA “put the heat”on scores of legislators all across the country by informing the grassroots as to how their state legislators have been voting. Their votes have also been posted on GOA’s website at http://www.gunowners.org.
GOF challenges Brady in Supreme Court
Gun Owners Foundation has filed an amicus brief before the Supreme Court in opposition to the Brady registration act. GOF makes the point that the Brady law is not only bad policy (it does not reduce crime and violence in this country as its proponents claim), but it is also blatantly unconstitutional. The case will be heard in early December.
GOF has also distributed thousands of books, tapes and other educational materials defending our gun rights; and has assisted many gun owners through its legal protection program.
This year, GOA provided a no-compromise voice on Capitol Hill, and in 1997, GOA plans to keep delivering that same no-compromise message. Our rights are not negotiable and we will continue putting the heat on legislators who disregard their oaths to uphold the Constitution.
While GOA will be there speaking on your behalf to oppose Brady II legislation, we will also be there to convey your opposition to the slightest compromise or gun control proposal. But we will be there taking an offensive approach.
We will continue working with legislators to introduce a host of pro-gun bills, such as a repeal of the ENTIRE semi-auto gun and magazine ban.
Gun Owners will continue pushing for a repeal of the Brady registration act, and will push legislation overturning the gun bans which passed in late September.
GOA will continue to push Rep. Bartlett’s Citizen’s Self-Defense Act, thus protecting gun owners from mean-spirited prosecutions.
We need to put the gun ban crowd on the defensive, to be proactive and not just reactive. There’s a lot of work to do this next year. We hope you will support GOA and work with us in 1997.
The Second Amendment Takes Another Hit
— Congress enacts two gun bans in final hour
An overwhelming number of Congressmen delivered a parting shot to gun owners just before adjourning this past October. Giving the President a public relations victory, more than 300 Representatives joined anti-gun Rep. Charles Schumer of New York in passing two of the most repressive gun bans on the books.
The New York Times hailed these gun bans as “progress on gun control” after President Clinton signed the provisions into law. How did it happen?
Anti-gun Congressmen succeeded in adding the two gun bans to an omnibus spending bill, arguing the two provisions were needed to defend women and children. But despite the rhetoric, the provisions will actually jeopardize women and children, and will blow even more holes in our Second Amendment freedoms.
Pro-gun Congressmen who voted for the bill claimed they had no choice. Many did not want to be perceived as voting “against women and children,” while others complained that they couldn’t vote against a spending bill just because of two provisions that were stuck into the bill.
GOA leads national coalition against gun bans
Some Congressmen claimed they did not know the bans were included in the bill. If true, they certainly should have known. GOA barraged Congressional offices with information on the gun bans every day for an entire week prior to the vote.
Moreover, GOA led a national coalition of almost 30 groups in opposition to the two gun ban amendments. GOA succeeded in organizing these groups and helped raise a united voice against the legislation. These groups covered the legislative gamut, and included single-issue groups dealing with either pro-gun, pro-family, law enforcement or women’s issues.
Having collected the signatures from representatives of these different groups, GOA delivered the coalition letter to Congressmen on Capitol Hill.
Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX) also warned every Republican member of the House about the dangers of the two gun bans which were lurking in the omnibus bill. Stockman summarized the two bans quite effectively, showing how the first ban will “prohibit most persons from carrying unloaded firearms in their automobiles,” and how the second ban will “impose a lifetime gun ban on small misdemeanors within a family.”
Gun Free Zones Ban
The first gun ban, known as the “Gun Free Zones” legislation, would create a virtual 1/2 mile wide “gun free” circle around every American school (or a 1,000 foot zone going in any one direction from any school) — a zone which could possibly include home schools.(1)
According to Alan Korwin, author of Gun Laws of America, there are 112,000 schools in the country — meaning there are now a like number of gun free zones. The ban, added as an amendment by anti-gun Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI), makes it possible for local police and BATF to arrest unsuspecting drivers who have a firearm in their car.
Road blocks to search for guns?
The Fourth Amendment does offer some hurdles to general “stop and frisk” type gun sweeps. But based on different court decisions — and based on several police department precedents from around the country in places like Washington, D.C. — gun owners face a definite risk under this new legislation.
Based on existing law and practice, local authorities can establish “safety check points” in conjunction with the BATF within a 1,000 foot school zone to perform sobriety checks, to check for seat belts being worn, and to visually inspect the passenger compartment for any evidence of firearms. Thus, even though the bill does not specifically authorize the police to set-up check points, there is sufficient precedent for states and localities to enforce the “Gun Free Zones” in this manner.
Anyone carrying a gun within a “Gun Free Zone” would be subject to five years in prison, unless he or she has fulfilled one of the government-ordained exceptions to the law. These exemptions treat our liberties more as privileges, rather than rights. Consider the following:
* The law does exempt most CCW (carry concealed weapons) holders, although ONLY if they live in a state that requires a background check before the issuing of a permit. This means that people in states like Alabama or Vermont, who are not forced to undergo background checks before carrying firearms, are not exempted under this provision. What this so-called exemption does is force a citizen to register with the authorities as a gun owner before he can carry a firearm for self-defense in these gun free zones.
* There is NO explicit exemption in this legislation for using a gun in self-defense. Thus, any citizen, including CCW permit holders, would enter a legal gray area if forced to defend themselves with a firearm while they are within a gun free zone, and are not on private property.
* Under certain circumstances, the language does allow persons to travel with a firearm, but only if the firearm is both UNLOADED and LOCKED AWAY.
* The ban also exempts private property within 1,000 feet of a school zone, but any gun owner carrying his firearm from private property to, say, his car parked on the street, would be in violation of the statute.
* The language does exempt those who are gaining access to hunting lands, BUT ONLY if one has prior approval from the “school authorities.” A law enforcement officer is exempted, BUT ONLY IF he is “acting in his or her official capacity.”
Domestic Gun Ban
The second gun ban was added to the spending bill by Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), who has an “F-” rating from GOA. Lautenberg originally cosponsored the domestic gun ban with anti-gun Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Edward Kennedy (D-MA) as S. 1632.
As the largest wholesale firearms ban in decades, this provision prevents thousands upon thousands of Americans from owning firearms for life. For now this gun ban only applies to domestic dispute misdemeanors, but it sets a very bad precedent, since previously, only serious crimes (such as felonies, dishonorable discharges, etc.) could strip a person of his or her rights.
A person can become subject to Lautenberg’s lifetime gun ban for “the use or attempted use of physical force.”(2) Despite the anti-gun rhetoric of just punishing “wife abusers,” this legislation is quite expansive in its reach.
Far-reaching gun ban
Consider the following real-life example: A man comes home upset one night and starts breaking windows and verbally abusing his wife. She calls the police, but because the damaged property is his, the police cannot arrest him. Exasperated, the woman slaps her husband in the face.
The irony of this situation is that the police, in this case, charged the wife for the “assault.” She was convicted of a “domestic violence” misdemeanor, so the woman is now prohibited for life from owning firearms. The one who most needs a gun has been disarmed by this unconstitutional law.
In his Dear Colleague letter to House Republicans, Rep. Stockman explained that the “use of physical force” language is so broad, the lifetime gun ban would even apply, in some jurisdictions, to parents who spank their children.
The bottom line is this: If an act of domestic violence is serious enough to lose your civil rights, then it should be a felony — a penalty which already prohibits persons from owning firearms. If it is not serious, it should be treated as a misdemeanor — a penalty which historically has not forced one to forfeit his or her rights.
Everything, including the kitchen sink, thrown in bill
Besides the two gun bans mentioned above, legislators also threw in the study on placing taggants in black and smokeless powders — a provision which had previously stalled in the Congress.(3)
Not only are these taggants unsafe, they will inevitably lead to the registration of ammunition. After all, the purpose for putting taggants in black and smokeless powder is to “register” the purchaser, so as to help the authorities find the criminal by following the trace left by the taggant. If Congress succeeds in requiring that taggants be put in all gunpowder, then it could eventually be put in ALL types of ammunition — thus registering gun owners in the process.
The bill also gives the BATF a PAY INCREASE of almost $100 million dollars for next year –$16 million in the regular budget plus an additional $66 million for anti-terrorism efforts.(4)
Moreover, H.R. 3610 continues the language included in the previous year’s budget prohibiting the BATF from “investigat[ing] or act[ing] upon applications for relief from Federal firearms disabilities.”(5) This means that non-violent offenders who lose their gun rights won’t be getting them restored any time soon.
Finally, the “best” part of the bill was a provision in the Labor-HHS section containing a prohibition on the CDC’s ability to spend any funds “to advocate or promote gun control.” Despite this apparent victory, there are still two problems with this and other language in the CDC budget.
First, the department which conducts the anti-gun studies did not receive a pay cut. Second, the so-called prohibition in this provision ONLY prevents the CDC from actually lobbying in favor of gun control. As long as the CDC does not call for any gun bans, waiting periods, etc., the “prohibition” will not prevent them from placing the same anti-gun studies in medical journals — the very same studies which are always used by the media and HCI to impugn our firearms rights.(6)
1. Congressional Record, 9/28/96, p. H11743, Sec. 657 of the Treasury-Postal portion of H.R. 3610.
2. Congressional Record, 9/28/96, p. H11743, Sec. 658 of the Treasury-Postal portion of H.R. 3610.
3. Congressional Record, 9/28/96, p. H11650, Sec. 113(2) of the general provisions of the Justice Department Title in H.R. 3610.
4. Congressional Record, 9/28/96, p. H11729, H11747,H12015.
5. Congressional Record, 9/28/96, p. H11729.
6. Congressional Record, 9/28/96, p. H11710, H11963-64, Title II of the Labor-HHS provisions.
Did Your Congressmen Vote Against the Gun Bans?
On September 28, 1996, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3610, a bill containing the Lautenberg “Domestic Confiscation” ban and the Kohl “Gun Free Zones” ban. The House passed the bill by a 370-37 vote. On September 30, the Senate passed the Lautenberg and Kohl amendments as part of H.R. 4278. The Senate vote was 84-15. The following Congressmen either voted CORRECTLY or DID NOT VOTE:
House members voting correctly: Barcia (MI), Barton (TX), Becerra (CA), Beilenson (CA), Burr (NC), Chabot (OH), Chenoweth (ID), Coble (NC), Coburn (OK), Coleman (TX), Cooley (OR), Cox (CA), DeFazio (OR), Duncan (TN), Hall (TX), Hefley (CO), Hoekstra (MI), Hyde (IL), Istook (OK), Jacobs (IN), Kanjorski (PA), Kaptur (OH), Klink (PA), Klug (WI), Largent (OK), Nadler (NY), Neumann (WI), Rohrabacher (CA), Roybal-Allard (CA), Salmon (AZ), Sanford (SC), Scarborough (FL), Schroeder (CO), Sensenbrenner (WI), Stearns (FL), Stockman (TX), and Tiahrt (KS).
House members not voting: Baker (LA), Berman (CA), Blumenauer (OR), Boucher (VA), Cardin (MD), Collins (MI), Conyers (MI), Dellums (CA), Dornan (CA), Durbin (IL), Filner (CA), Flake (NY), Fowler (FL), Frank (MA), Green (TX), Hancock (MO), Hayes (LA), Heineman (NC), LaFalce (NY), Lincoln (AR), Lipinski (IL), Menendez (NJ), Myers (IN), Quillen (TN), Taylor (NC), Waters (CA), and Waxman (CA).
Senate members voting correctly: Ashcroft (MO), Brown (CO), Burns (MT), Coats (IN), Faircloth (NC), Feingold (WI), Frahm (KS), Gramm (TX), Grams (MN), Gregg (NH), Inhofe (OK), Kyl (AZ), McCain (AZ), Specter (PA), and Thomas (WY).
Note: All the above Senators voted for the Lautenberg gun ban as a separate measure on September 12, 1996. And that same day, Senators Ashcroft, Brown, Burns, Coats, Frahm, Gramm (TX) and Specter voted for the Kohl gun ban as a stand alone measure.
Senate members not voting: Campbell (CO).
Every Representative or Senator not listed above voted anti-gun by voting in favor of the legislation.
What They’re Saying
About GOA’s Effectiveness
“Gun Owners has [an impact] on Capitol Hill. As a U.S. Congressman, I see, first hand, the tremendous influence GOA members wield when their letters and postcards begin landing on the desks of my colleagues.”
— Rep. Steve Stockman, July 1996
“Gun Owners of America led the fight in defeating the terrorism bill in 1995. They generated grassroots pressure that made it possible for us to hold tight and keep the bill from passing.”
— Rep. Joe Scarborough, September 1996
“Gun Owners of America has drafted language for a string of bills, most recently one to repeal all gun control laws, that have been introduced [in Congress].”
— Roll Call, February 1996
“GOA has resisted the bipartisan effort here in Washington to federalize more and more crimes. Were it not for GOA and some other grassroots groups, we would have seen an even worse erosion in this area.”
“Gun Owners have posted some success on Capitol Hill, chiefly by killing the anti-terrorism bill in the House last year.”
— Roll Call, February 1996
“The [terror bill] compromise unraveled as conservative House Republicans — many of them freshmen — backed the Gun Owners position and refused to follow Barr [the cosponsor of the bill].”
— Roll Call, February 1996
“I believe that we can thank Larry Pratt of GOA for putting enough pressure on Congressman Barr that the offending provision [to increase the scope and authority of the BATF] was removed from H.R. 1488.”
— Brad Alpert, October 1995
in the Bullet, official publication of
Western Missouri Shooters Alliance
With Larry Pratt
“Talk that’s right on target.”
Join GOA’s Executive Director Larry Pratt for an open and active discussion of America’s Second Amendment rights and the U.S. government’s attempts to illegally infringe upon them.
Live Fire is aired on WWCR, World Wide Christian Radio, Shortwave Frequency 1 and 5.065 from 9:00 pm to 10:00 pm EST every other Tuesday night. Upcoming guests on Live Fire include James Fotis, Executive Director of Law Enforcement Alliance of America, Laura Kuriatnyk, and Rep. Steve Stockman. Look for the show on November 26, December 10 and 17, January 7 and 21.
Live Fire is being sponsored by The Viking Companies. Call 1-800-451-4452 for details.