Full Brady Repeal, Gun Lawsuits, And More

Rep. Paul Reintroduces Full Brady Repeal
— Other pro-gun bills picking up steam

(March 19, 1999) — The last two weeks have seen a frenzy of pro-gun bills introduced in Congress, thus giving gun owners much to cheer about. While the total number of bills introduced may seem small– and pale in comparison to the number of anti-gun bills in the hopper– there is much encouragement in seeing new faces showing up to the battle, ready to take on the Schumers in Congress.

No Gun Owner Tax or Registration. Pro-gun Rep. Tom Coburn (R-OK) is the newest leader in the fight to reclaim lost ground. He joined Sen. Bob Smith (R-NH) by introducing identical legislation this week that will begin rolling back the unconstitutional Brady law. The Smith-Coburn bills (S. 597 and H.R. 1178) will help protect gun owners by putting a halt to the FBI’s dangerous tax and registration schemes. As mentioned in last week’s alert, these two bills do much more than just set restrictions on the FBI– restrictions that might otherwise be ignored by that agency. Their bills contain teeth, since private individuals will be specifically authorized to sue the FBI for any violations of privacy under the Brady Law and will be able to receive compensation for attorney’s fees.

The Smith-Coburn bills represent a good first step– a step which Congress can realistically take this Congress. Smith’s provision passed with a veto-proof majority last year, and it is likely that the House could follow its lead this year by passing the Coburn bill. On the Senate side, grassroots activism has now helped S. 597 garner seven cosponsors, including Senators Burns (MT), Craig (ID), Enzi (WY), Grams (MN), Inhofe (OK), Murkowski (AK) and Sessions (AL).

Ultimately, of course, true defenders of freedom realize that the entire Brady Law– including the unconstitutional Instant Check– must be repealed. The surest way to safeguard the Second Amendment and prevent abuses of gun owners’ rights is to completely wipe anti-gun legislation of this type off the books.

Full Brady Registration Repeal. And to this end, Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) has reintroduced his bill to repeal the entire Brady Law. But H.R. 1179 will not only repeal the Brady registration law, it also eliminates the 1994 semi-auto ban and the limitation on magazine capacity. Moreover, the bill repeals all the gun control from the 1994 crime bill, including the provision allowing the BATF to act as “zoning cops.” This latter provision has been used by the BATF to put over 100,000 gun dealers out of business. Finally, H.R. 1179 removes the “sporting purposes” test which was recently used by the Clinton and Bush administrations to ban many firearms from importation.

Pulling the trigger on anti-gun lawsuits. GOA alerted you two weeks ago that legislation aimed at stopping the anti-gun lawsuits would soon be introduced in Congress. Indeed, Rep. Bob Barr (R-GA) has introduced H.R. 1032 to stop the suits being filed by the country’s mayors. His bill already has 40 cosponsors. In the Senate, Bob Smith (NH) will be introducing a similar bill in the very near future. Please stay tuned.

ACTION: Make sure you express your support to your representatives and senators in Washington (202-225-3121 voice, http://www.gunowners.org/h106th.htm and http://www.gunowners.org/s106th.htm for fax and e-mail info) regarding the bills above. In the following weeks, GOA will be providing activists with postcards that can be distributed to friends and family so as to generate even more “heat” on representatives. Keep watching for further GOA alerts that will inform you when these materials are ready.