Ask Rep. Barr To Back Full Repeal
Please help Rep. Barr understand that the Lautenberg gun ban is NOT “important and worthwhile legislation”!
(Monday, March 10) — In last Thursday’s USA Today, Rep. Bob Barr endorsed the concept of the Lautenberg gun ban, calling it “important and worthwhile legislation.” His only criticisms were that it should not be applied retroactively and that the law should not be changed to exempt the police. While both of these points are good, *he does not seem to understand that this gun ban is unacceptable on its own merits.* The Second Amendment says our right to keep and bear arms “shall not be infringed.” The Lautenberg gun ban certainly qualifies as an infringement!
His statement in USA Today went as follows:
This [Lautenberg gun ban] is important and worthwhile legislation, and we cannot allow its effectiveness to be reduced.
Unfortunately, this was not the first time that Rep. Barr has expressed his support for the underlying principle behind the Lautenberg gun ban. On September 28, 1996, Rep. Barr issued a memo on his Congressional letterhead stating that:
THE LAUTENBERG AMENDMENT WITH THE BARR LANGUAGE IS STRONG PROTECTION FOR WOMEN AND CHILDREN. [All Caps courtesy of Rep. Barr in the original.]
And then on October 12, 1996, Rep. Barr sent a letter to the editor of the Atlanta Journal Constitution, again saying that he had fought hard to improve the Lautenberg language. He noted that because of his amendment, the Lautenberg gun ban could now pass constitutional muster and not be struck down by the courts. Barr stated:
Under the Lautenberg language — which was cleared up through my amendatory language that was adopted — there was no consistent definition of “crime of domestic violence,” *and therefore the entire provision would have been declared unconstitutional. My language corrected this deficiency* by setting forth the common elements of the crime that would apply to everyone.
Finally, Rep. Barr was one of the Representatives who voted last September *in favor* of the Lautenberg gun ban as part of the omnibus spending bill (H.R. 3610).
As you know, Rep. Bob Barr is an important voice on the House Judiciary Committee. He has introduced a bill, H.R. 26, to repeal the *retroactive* part of the Lautenberg gun ban. Unfortunately, the above statements indicate he is content with *only* repealing the retroactive nature of the ban, and thus, leaving the gun ban in the federal code in perpetuity.
Please contact his office and urge him to support a FULL repeal of this onerous law. Explain to him that Congress has no Constitutional authority to deny people ANY of their rights based on simple misdemeanors! If he’s worried that violent types are able to get guns legally, then suggest to him prosecutors need to get tough on violent abusers by prosecuting them as felons and to stop plea-bargaining their offenses down to misdemeanors.
Fax him the following note at 202-225-2944. His is an important voice on the Judiciary Committee. So please contact him soon.
(Clip and fax, or cut and paste for e-mail, the note below)
Dear Rep. Barr:
I urge you, as an important voice on the Judiciary Committee, to do everything in your power to fully repeal the Lautenberg gun ban. This ban is one of the worst gun control laws passed in years.
Thus, I must respectfully disagree with your assessment of the Lautenberg ban in USA Today. The ban is NOT “important and worthwhile legislation.” While I agree with you that it must not be applied retroactively, nor be made to exempt the police, I hope you will agree that the ban itself violates the very right protected in the Second Amendment.
Never before have Americans been denied their Second Amendment rights based on a mere misdemeanor. To leave this ban on the books — even for future offenders — will set a horrible precedent in the federal code. With this law on the books, it will be very easy for Congress to extend the ban to cover other small offenses as well. The Lautenberg ban is just another step in the long-term program to eliminate private firearms ownership.