Senate Might Compromise On Gun Makers’ Protection

— Ask Senator Frist to shield the bill from anti-gun “killer amendments”

As early as this week, the U.S. Senate could take up S. 397 — a measure originally designed to protect gun dealers and manufacturers from frivolous lawsuits.

The bill has been watered down substantially over the years, as pro-gun Senators have worked hard to get additional support for the legislation.

But far more important than what’s currently in the bill is what anti-gun senators plan to try to tack onto it. Anti-gun “killer amendments” could include:

* A lock-up-your-safety trigger lock mandate;

* A renewal of the semi-automatic ban, similar to the one which was successfully added to the same bill last year — a ban which eventually died because of the outpouring of opposition from grassroots gunnies;

* A .50 caliber ban;

* A Lautenberg amendment to match Instant Check applicants against an administration “enemies list”;

* A gun show crack-down which would subtly but effectively outlaw gun shows.

As was the case last year, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist has the parliamentary tools to block all of these amendments — if he chooses to use them.

He can use his privileged status to offer innocuous amendments to the bill until no more amendments are in order. This blocking strategy is called an “amendment tree.”

Or he can move to shut off debate on the bill before any of the anti-gun amendments have been adopted — and he can even lay the bill aside until it is time to vote on shutting off debate.

The bottom line is that the bill has not been shown to provide enough of the protection the gun industry really needs for gun owners to swallow a single anti-gun amendment. A pure bill will represent a good step forward. But we must not compromise — by swallowing anti-gun amendments — if we want to strengthen our gun rights.

ACTION: Contact Majority Leader Bill Frist. Ask him to use the parliamentary tools at his disposal to block amendments on trigger locks, semi-auto bans, .50 caliber bans, gun show bans, or any attempt to amend S. 397 with anti-gun provisions.

Because Senator Frist is reportedly looking to run for president in 2008, he should be eager to hear your views — even if you’re not a resident of Tennessee.

You can reach Sen. Frist via phone, fax or e-mail. However, non-constituents can only send e-mail by going to his website and filling out the form provided. If you choose to do that, please disregard any automated response you might receive (his office WILL take note of your position). Phone calls are encouraged.

Contact info for Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist:

Phone: 202-224-3344
Fax: 202-228-1264
Webform: (No longer active)

—– Pre-written message —–

Dear Senator Frist:

When S. 397 comes before the Senate, I urge you, in the strongest terms, to use the parliamentary procedures at your disposal to block the adoption of anti-gun amendments on trigger locks, semi-automatics, gun shows, .50 calibers, or any other gun control measure.

This watered-down bill is a good step forward, but it is NOT worth the adoption of any gun control amendment.



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