Lautenberg Repeal Update

More Cosponsors Join Effort to Repeal Lautenberg
— Still time to send a Western Union Mailgram

Five more Representatives have responded to the grassroots plea to overturn the Lautenberg gun ban and have joined onto Helen Chenoweth’s repeal bill (H.R. 1009). With the additions of Representatives Cannon (UT), LaHood (IL), Smith (MI), Thornberry (TX) and Wicker (MS) the total cosponsorship number is now up to 26.

Your hard work has enabled the Chenoweth bill to become the leading repeal bill in the Congress. The total number of cosponsors on her bill continues to grow, and is pulling away from Rep. Bob Barr’s compromise bill, which was introduced two months earlier than Chenoweth’s.

Nevertheless, there are indications that Rep. Barr (R-GA) may begin pushing his compromise repeal measure through the Judiciary Committee shortly after the Memorial Day break (which ends in early June). Rep. Barr made it clear in USA Today (3/6/97) that he only supports a retroactive repeal of the gun ban and that he supports the actual ban itself! He stated, “This [Lautenberg gun ban] is important and worthwhile legislation, and we cannot allow its effectiveness to be reduced.”

His support even dates back to the passage of the ban itself. Shortly after Rep. Barr voted last September for the spending bill which contained the Lautenberg ban, he issued a memo defending his vote. His September 28, 1996 memo was set on Congressional letterhead and stated his support for the underlying principle behind the Lautenberg gun ban. “The Lautenberg Amendment with the Barr Language is strong protection for women and children,” he said.

Miscellaneous notes on the Lautenberg repeal:

A. Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), the author of the gun ban, has been lobbying members on the Hill to keep his ban in place. This is, most likely, an effort on his part to halt the existing momentum for the repeal effort.

B. One gun owner has notified GOA that Rep. John Shaddegg (R-AZ) is telling constituents that he is holding off on cosponsoring the Lautenberg repeal (H.R. 1009) until he receives enough calls, letters and faxes. Rep. Shaddegg has apparently made the same challenge regarding H.R. 27, “The Citizen’s Self-Defense Act.” Folks, let’s not disappoint him. Get those calls and faxes going!

Have a Safe Memorial Day Holiday!