Sen. Enzi Warns Hatch
“Seven Clones of Schumer” Bill Nearing Vote
–And in the Senate, one more Senator could soon jump off Hatch’s Horror Bill!
Sarah Brady and Chuck Schumer to gain with Puerto Rico Statehood
The Washington Times reported today that unrest is brewing in the Republican Party over Newt Gingrich’s pushing of H.R. 856, the Puerto Rico Statehood Act. Nevertheless, there are a surprising number of pro-gun Republicans that either plan to vote for it or are still undecided on how they will vote.
The Times article pointed to several problems with the bill, in addition to GOA’s gun rights concerns. Taken together, concerned citizens can present at least five reasons to their Rep. for opposing H.R. 856:
1. Firearms are registered and many are banned in Puerto Rico. Assuredly, statehood for Puerto Rico means at least six (or seven) more anti-gun Congressmen from the island — which makes Puerto Rico statehood six (or seven) times worse than D.C. statehood.
2. At least 50% of the island’s population is on food stamps. Under statehood that number would increase, as would the cost to the U.S. taxpayer ($3-4 billion annually in food stamps alone). Moreover, Puerto Rico will pay little “into the system” thanks to low incomes and tax credits.
3. The island’s independence movement will still exist, especially among the more extreme elements. Notice how terrorist acts always seem to cause the rest of us to lose more of our rights and freedoms.
4. Nine out of ten high school graduates in Puerto Rico cannot speak English. In regard to this point, pro-gun Rep. Gerald Solomon said that Puerto Rico statehood “could create a Quebec-style problem in the United States.”
5. Bill Clinton, the most anti-gun President in U.S. history, has endorsed H.R. 856 and demanded that Congress pass it. This reason alone should suggest that gun owners oppose the bill!
ACTION: Urge your Representative to oppose H.R. 856 (Call the Capitol at 800-522-6721 or 202-225-3121; the GOA website contains e-mail, fax numbers, and office numbers). If your Rep. is a Republican, then you especially need to contact him or her since their leadership is trying to “put the squeeze” on them. The vote was originally scheduled for March 4, but there is talk of bringing up the bill earlier — perhaps to preclude the increasing opposition from the grassroots.
One more Senator sends warning shot to Hatch on S. 10 Horror Bill
On Tuesday (2/24/98), Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY) sent a warning shot to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT). Enzi fired off a letter to Hatch, charging that several of the provisions in the bill “would unduly restrict the rights of law-abiding gun owners and dealers.”
After detailing these provisions — many of which have been covered extensively in previous GOA fax/email alerts — Sen. Enzi bluntly stated that,
I believe that the current version of S. 10 would unduly punish law-abiding citizens in its attempt to crack down on hardened criminals. As such, unless changes are made to S.10 to ensure that it will not be another vehicle for increased federal gun control . . . I will have to withdraw my name as a cosponsor of this legislation.
Your Calls Matter: U.S. News & World Report takes notice of heat applied by GOA and its members
The current issue of U.S. News & World Report (3/2/98) discloses that Hatch’s anti-gun crime bill is running into some stiff opposition. In an article entitled, “Gunning for Hatch,” the magazine stated that:
[S. 10], which the GOP touts as 1998’s big anticrime measure, is running into trouble. Gun Owners of America calls it “Hatch’s Horror Bill,” saying Utah’s Sen. Orrin Hatch would allow “crippling” suits against gun makers under anti-racketeering laws and would penalize parents harshly if children practice shooting without written approval. Conservative Sens. Wayne Allard, Conrad Burns, and Bob Smith have withdrawn support.
With a little noise from the grassroots, Senator Enzi could become the fourth one to withdraw!
One final note: GOA received a report today that yet * another * Senator will be soon announcing his withdrawal from S.10. GOA has yet been unable to confirm this report through the particular Senator’s office, but we will keep you posted.