Senators Peddling Snake Oil
Senators Just Don’t Get It
— more pressure needed to defeat S. 10
by Gun Owners of America
Senators on Capitol Hill are peddling lots of “snake oil,” claiming that the problems in Hatch’s Horror Bill (S. 10) have been fixed. But look at some of the folks who still have problems with this anti-gun crime bill …
Senator Wayne Allard (R-CO):
I was an original cosponsor of the Juvenile Crime bill, S. 10, up until recently when I withdrew my support. While I support the main intent of the bill, I was not comfortable with a firearms provisions that requires forfeiture to the federal government of firearms suspected of being used in felonies or gun trafficking. Passage of this provision would vastly enlarge federal authority and potentially violate the constitution, as well as trigger enormous amounts of litigation over weapons seizures.
(Source: Letter to Gun Owners of America, 10/24/97.)
Larry Pratt, Gun Owners of America:
Despite some minor changes, S. 10 is still unconstitutional and continues to treat unsuspecting gun owners like organized crime figures. The RICO provisions in the bill are extremely dangerous as they could be used by Handgun Control, Inc. to bring lawsuits against gun dealers and manufacturers — all with the intent of crippling the gun industry.
Joe Phillips, National Rifle Association:
[S. 10] is not a perfect bill. There were a number of things that were supposed to have been fixed in the final passage of that bill … primarily in regard to violations under the use of RICO offenses that were not taken out …. It [S. 10] is not quite as good as portrayed at final passage of that bill.
(Source: Speech quoted in The New Gun Week, 10/20/97.)
Here’s some Facts (in brief) on Hatch’s Horror Bill (S. 10)
1. Suing the Second Amendment out of existence. Handgun Control Inc. (HCI) and other anti-gun lawyers are already bringing liability suits against gun dealers and manufacturers to “punish” them for selling guns that are later used in crimes. Under the RICO provisions in S. 10 (section 206), these anti-gun lawyers would be able to cripple the gun industry by exacting treble damages for victims of gun violence.
2. Stiff penalties for non-violent “offenses.” The bill still applies severe punishments for many offenses that could be nothing more than innocent behavior:
a. S. 10 could raise the federal penalties for a father who goes shooting with his children. Under this bill, he could now get five years in jail for the ONE TIME “offense” of taking his child pistol shooting without the written note of permission that is required by law (sec. 207).
b. While S. 10 no longer applies the RICO provisions to record-keeping mistakes, the bill still increases the punishment for such offenses, and thus, could now send many unsuspecting gun dealers to jail for five years (sec. 506).