Rep. Hostettler Scores Big For Gun Owners

Rep. Hostettler Scores Big for Gun Owners
— But GOA activists need to step up to the plate once again

(Thursday, June 22, 2000) — Rep. John Hostettler (R-IN) set back the gun grabbers’ agenda yesterday when he successfully forced a pro-gun amendment through the House. The provision curbs the administration’s ability to bring more communities into the federal agreement with Smith & Wesson.

“White House officials are railing against [the] House vote,” reported the Associated Press early this morning.” Because of the Hostettler amendment, the Clinton administration will not be able to issue press releases or have its lawyers help the coalition of state and local governments that are conspiring against the gun industry.

The coalition, known as the Communities for Safer Guns Coalition, is being spearheaded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The Hostettler amendment was attached to the bill funding the Department of HUD and narrowly passed on the House floor by a vote of 218-207. Another Hostettler amendment (described below) was offered to the HUD appropriations bill, but it failed by a close vote of 219-206. The bill number was H.R. 4635.

Already, 411 localities have joined the coalition and have agreed to make Smith & Wesson firearms the preferred guns for their law enforcement agencies. But Hostettler stated that this legislative victory was “pretty significant” because it would mean that “local law enforcement agencies won’t feel pressure from a federal agency… in the procurement of firearms.”

This victory follows the Hostettler win on the Department of Defense authorization bill last month. That amendment stops the DoD from showing any favoritism to Smith & Wesson when purchasing firearms for the military.

GOA Members Alone On The Front Lines; Activists Must Step Up And Help Hostettler Again

Invigorated by this recent victory, Rep. Hostettler now plans to offer a similar amendment to the bill funding the Department of Justice (DoJ). This new amendment will prevent DoJ from expending any funds to enforce the Smith & Wesson agreement.

If successful, DoJ would not be able to sue Smith & Wesson — or any other company — for failing to abide by the terms of the agreement signed in March.

ACTION: Support The Next Hostettler Amendment; Hold Legislative “Traitors” Accountable

As far as the grassroots is concerned, GOA members and activists are all alone in this fight. Thus, your help is needed desperately so that John Hostettler has all the grassroots support possible. There are two action items today that are tremendously important. All of you should act on Action Item #1, while only some of you will need to act on Action Item #2. As always, you can use the GOA Legislative Action Center at to identify and contact Representatives.

1. Ask your Representative to vote IN FAVOR of the Hostettler amendment that will be offered to the Commerce-Justice-State bill. (There is still no number assigned to this bill.) This next amendment is VERY IMPORTANT. Please see suggested letter below.

2. Hold those legislators accountable who voted AGAINST Hostettler yesterday (see weblinks for Roll Call votes and pre-written letter below).

ACTION ITEM #1: Ask Representatives To Support The Next Hostettler Amendment

Rep. John Hostettler expects to offer an amendment on Friday that will stop the Justice Department from being able to enforce the recent Smith & Wesson agreement. If this amendment passes, the government will be strictly forbidden from taking S&W — or any other company — to court for failing to abide by the terms of that agreement. This amendment will bolster the resolve of the gun industry to keep away from Smith & Wesson. And it will prevent the Clinton administration from using extortion (via the threat of a lawsuit) to browbeat other gun makers into joining the gun control agreement.

—– URGENT pre-written letter —–

Dear Representative:

I support the amendment that Rep. John Hostettler is expected to offer to the Commerce-Justice-State appropriations bill. This important amendment will stop the Justice Department from in any way enforcing the gun control “legislation” that was foisted upon the country in the Smith & Wesson agreement back in March.

The Smith & Wesson agreement is legislation through litigation, and it would regulate and restrict ALL firearms sold by dealers that carry Smith and Wesson products. This horrible agreement is not limited to just S&W. It will also restrict the sales of firearms made by Glock, Remington, H&K, etc.

Almost as dangerous is the fact that the gun control in the S&W agreement was unilaterally imposed by the President’s administration upon the people of this nation.

Gun Owners of America supports the Hostettler language; and I hope that you will also support this amendment to the CJS funding bill. Please let me know what you intend to do.


ACTION ITEM #2: Hold Legislators Accountable For Voting Against Common Sense Legislation That Will Stop Clinton From Unilaterally Imposing Gun Control Upon The Nation

A. Rep. Hostettler forced a vote yesterday on the VA-HUD appropriations bill to curb the Clinton administration’s ability to bring more state and local governments into the federal agreement with Smith & Wesson. The amendment passed by a vote of 218-207.

B. Rep. Hostettler also forced a vote yesterday that would have forbidden HUD outright from enforcing the gun control agreement that was signed in March by the Clinton administration and Smith & Wesson. This amendment failed by a vote of 219-206.

NOTE: The letter below can be sent to any legislator who voted against one or both of the above Hostettler amendments. To view these votes, please go to and select House 2000 (106-2).

—– Pre-written message —–

Dear Representative:

I was disappointed to see that you voted against language offered by Rep. John Hostettler to rein in an executive department that is out of control. On Wednesday, June 21, Rep. Hostettler offered two amendments to the HUD appropriations bill. Both amendments were very important. Both related to the recent gun control agreement signed by HUD and Smith & Wesson. I was hoping that you would have supported both of these amendments.

The Clinton administration has no business imposing gun control upon the nation through agreements that are extorted from the gun industry. It is shameful that the administration uses the threat of lawsuits to implement far-reaching gun control agreements.

I hope you will change your voting behavior to support Second Amendment freedoms. Thank you.