Juvenile Injustice: What Happens Next?

Good News and Bad News on Capitol Hill
— To preserve the House victory, pick up the phone and keep up the pressure

“House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill. [favors enacting] some gun control, but not so much as to turn off conservative campaign donors next year.” –Associated Press, June 19, 1999


  1. Illinois Residents. House Speaker Denny Hastert is still committed to passing “some gun control” legislation this year. Tell him you don’t want ANY 2nd Amendment restrictions and warn him that “conservative campaign donors” might find more worthy causes to give to if he keeps pushing gun control. You can call his leadership office at 202-225-0600 (or email: [email protected] fax: 202-225-7733).
  2. Texas and California Residents. Ask House Whip Tom DeLay (R-TX) and House Deputy Whip John Doolittle (R-CA) to use their leadership positions to ensure that no further action is taken on the juvenile crime legislation. If they hear a huge outcry from the grassroots, they can forcefully argue that Americans don’t want the current brand of crime legislation being served up on Capitol Hill. Contact DeLay at ph: 202-225-5951, fx: 202-225-5241, no e-mail; and Doolittle at ph: 202-225-2511, e-mail: [email protected] fax: 202-225-5444.
  3. Anyone With a Phone or Modem. Senator Orrin Hatch is trying to send juvenile crime legislation to conference committee. Now that media reports have revealed he’s running for President in the year 2000, his office should be glad to hear from ANY potential constituent inside the U.S. You can give Hatch the same message as listed above (in #1) by contacting his office at ph: 202-224-5251, e-mail: [email protected] fax: 202-224-6331.
  4. Finally, go to http://www.gunowners.org/106hvote.htm on the GOA website to view the full analysis of each firearms related amendment that was voted on last week, as well as the complete voting records relating to all of these provisions. Voice your displeasure with Representatives who have cast anti-gun votes. (If you don’t have Web access, but you’re a GOA member, don’t fret! GOA members will receive an upcoming newsletter containing a House and Senate breakdown of the votes.)


(Friday, June 25, 1999)– The hard-fought victory gun owners achieved in the House last week is still standing– for now. While the House defeated the “gun control approach” to solving juvenile crime, they did pass a separate bill which takes a more “cultural approach” to dealing with the issue (e.g., allowing the Ten Commandments to be posted on school walls, etc.). This bill (H.R. 1501) could potentially be sent to a House-Senate conference committee where it would be blended together with the very anti-gun Senate crime bill (S. 254) that passed last month.

BUT, no conference committee can begin meeting until the House and Senate first vote to send the bills to conference. Thankfully, pro-gun champion Senator Bob Smith (R-NH) has placed a “hold” letter on the juvenile crime legislation– a parliamentary maneuver that keeps any action from happening until he gives his consent. While this is a good start, a “hold” letter increases in effectiveness as more Senators sign on to the letter. Activists in Oklahoma and Wyoming especially, should ask pro-gun Senators James Inhofe (R-OK) [ [email protected] ] and Michael Enzi (R-WY) [ [email protected] ] to join Smith and sign on to the “hold” letter on H.R. 1501 (call 202-224-3121). [Note: any legislator can be reached toll-free at 1-888-449-3511.]

The Good Guys. The results of the House votes from last week display a grim picture. Out of 435 Representatives, only five voted 100% correct in regard to the 11 gun votes that GOA rated. All five were Republicans: John Doolittle (CA), John Hostettler (IN), Rick Hill (MT), Zach Wamp (TN), and Ron Paul (TX). (Rep. Henry Bonilla (R-TX) also voted 100%, although he missed five of the votes.)

Another legislator who deserves honorable mention is Rep. Tom DeLay, who fought several insider battles to allow “killer” pro-gun amendments to be offered to the House juvenile crime bill H.R. 2122. Those “killer amendments” encouraged enough anti-gun Republicans and Democrats to vote against the bill.

The Bad Guys. Democrats on the Appropriations Committee are giving thought to trying to attach anti-gun amendments to legislation providing funding for the Treasury Department. According to the Associated Press, “Ready with amendments are Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., whose proposal would tighten requirements for sales at gun shows; Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., who wants to raise the minimum age of hand-gun buyers [sic] from 18 to 21; and Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., who favors mandatory safety devices with all hand guns.”

Website news of note:

In the short time they’ve been available on the web, GOA T-shirts have become quite a hit with activists. These 100% cotton shirts are printed front and back with color logos and the no-compromise message “It’s A Right… Not A Privilege!” Available in sizes M through XXL for $15.50 each, the shirts can be ordered at http://www.gunowners.org/tshirt.htm using our secure server.

Many gun owners are familiar with the mail order company Cheaper Than Dirt. As sellers of gun accessories, ammo, and military surplus, CTD knows the importance of defending firearms rights. (It’s also tough to run a business when the government keeps trying to ban your inventory.) Accordingly, Cheaper Than Dirt wishes to donate a percentage of activists’ orders to GOA. If you enter their online store from the link found at http://www.gunowners.org/links.htm#ctd the donation will be automatically calculated from your purchase total. Please also mention GOA when ordering by phone.