ACTION: Please urge your Senators and Representative NOT to cosponsor the Schumer-McCarthy bill. Don't think that just because your congressman is "pro-gun" that he won't sign onto this bill. Some relatively good legislators have been duped into cosponsoring it. So your elected officials need to hear from you.
After reading the alert, please send them the pre-written letter below. You can contact your Representative and Senators by visiting the Gun Owners Legislative Action Center at http://www.gunowners.org/activism.htm to send them a pre-written e-mail message.
(Tuesday, September 30, 2003)
Remember the so-called "Our Lady of Peace Act" from last year? Well, Our Lady is back, but under a new name.
Two notoriously anti-gun legislators have teamed up again to deny millions of additional Americans their right to keep and bear arms. They are Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY).
What makes this bill so dangerous is the fact that many Congressmen who are perceived to be "pro-gun" are supporting the bill as well.
According to CNS News, a current NRA Board member, together with a former board member, appeared at a press conference last week to support the Schumer-McCarthy legislation. Specifically, Senator Larry Craig (R-ID) and Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) lent their visible support on Thursday in favor of the "NICS Improvement Act."
NICS, of course, refers to the National Instant Check System -- a key component of the Brady Act which forces honest citizens to prove their innocence to the FBI before they can purchase firearms from gun dealers. The Brady Act, named after anti-gun lobbyists Jim and Sarah Brady, requires gun purchasers' names to be given to the FBI, thus creating the potential that the feds could keep an illegal registry of firearms owners.
As of today, this new bill still does not have a number. However, it is expected that it will be almost identical with its earlier incarnation, H.R. 4757, from last year.
As such, the bill could require states to turn over vast numbers of records (on potentially all Americans) to the FBI for use in connection with the Instantcheck. These records -- often containing sensitive, personal information -- could include ANY state record relevant to the question of whether a person is prohibited from owning a gun.
This starts with a large volume of mental health records, but the FBI could also require that a state forward all of its employment and tax records in order to identify persons who are illegal aliens. It could require that states forward information concerning drug diversion programs and arrests that do not lead to prosecution, in order to determine whether a person is "an unlawful user of... any controlled substance...."
GOA opposes adding mental health records because psychiatry is one of the most anti-gun professions of all. Consider the recent study published by the American Psychological Association. In the press release announcing the study, two Berkeley professors likened "right-wing conservatives" like Rush Limbaugh and Ronald Reagan to Hitler and Mussolini. Huh? These shrinks are the people we want to determine who should own a firearm? The Second Amendment should never be in the hands of this profession.
Regardless, one must realize that this bill is NOT about keeping bad guys and wackos from getting guns. Bad guys and wackos will ALWAYS be able to get guns, no matter how many restrictions there are.
The bill would also help FBI officials to effectively stop millions of additional Americans from purchasing firearms, because they were guilty in the past of committing minor misdemeanors. You might remember the Lautenberg Gun Ban which President Bill Clinton signed in 1996? Because of this ban, people who have committed very minor offenses that include pushing, shoving or, in some cases, even yelling at a family member have discovered that they can no longer own firearms for self-defense.
But the anti-gun nuts in Congress are upset because many of the states' criminal records are incomplete. As a result, the FBI does not access all of these records when screening the background of someone who purchases a firearm from a gun dealer. The McCarthy-Schumer bill would change all that and keep millions of decent, peaceful citizens from owning firearms because, in each case, of nothing more than a single, minor offense committed long ago.
This bill is all about control. Schumer and McCarthy want to keep pushing their agenda forward, making it impossible for more and more Americans to legally own guns!
Already, the Brady Bunch is crowing that passing this bill "would represent the first substantial piece of federal gun legislation since at least 1996" and that such passage would "explode the myth that nothing can be achieved on guns in [a Republican] Congress."
They might well get their way since prominent Republicans like Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah are supporting the bill.
The Schumer-McCarthy bill is an anti-self-defense piece of legislation that will only make the country safer for criminals while opening the door to invading the privacy of all Americans.
Dear Representative ______________,
I urge you NOT to cosponsor the Schumer-McCarthy bill, which has been dubbed the "NICS Improvement Act."
The Brady Act has been a complete failure, and it does not need to be improved. Not only does this bill violate the Second Amendment, it creates the very real potential that the FBI would illegally maintain a gun owners registry -- despite existing prohibitions in the law. (Remember how the FBI illegally provided files on prominent Republicans to President Bill Clinton in 1996?)
More to the point, the Brady Act has not stopped criminals from using guns in crime. One of the nation's leading anti-gun medical publications, the Journal of the American Medical Association (August 2000), found that the Brady registration law has failed to reduce murder rates.
It's no wonder. Criminals don't obey gun laws. Plus, laws such as the Brady Act have utterly failed to put criminals behind bars. In a fact sheet entitled "Instant Registration Check Threatens Gun Owners' Rights," Gun Owners of America notes that in the first five years the Brady Act was in force, eight people were prosecuted under the Act and only three were sent to jail. So while the Brady Law has been a failure at stopping bad guys, it has succeeded in giving gun owners' names to the FBI.
Regardless, you took an oath to uphold the Constitution -- a document which includes a protection stating that the right to keep and bear arms "shall not be infringed." But the Schumer-McCarthy bill is an infringement! Among other things, this bill will result in millions more Americans not being able to own guns, simply because they committed a Lautenberg-type offense, such as pushing, shoving or, in some cases, even yelling at a family member.
Finally, I am very uncomfortable with the idea that this bill could give the FBI access to all of my private tax and financial information. This is a dangerous expansion of federal power, and it is decidedly un-American.
Again, I hope that you will NOT cosponsor this bill. And I would like to hear from you about whether you support this massive increase in gun control.
Get the facts! The GOF Gun Control Fact-Sheet is your free, comprehensive guide to the truth about gun control vs. gun rights. Written in a concise manner, the Fact-Sheet is nonetheless fully researched (over 150 footnote citations). It shatters the gun grabbers' phony arguments and provides you with powerful proof for use in making the pro-gun case. Stop by http://www.gunowners.org/fs0101.htm to download or print a copy.