07/98 Sen. Smith Puts FBI On Notice

House To Reconvene Next Week:

Issues affecting your 1st and 2nd Amend. Rights soon coming for a vote

by Gun Owners of America
8001 Forbes Place, Suite 102, Springfield, VA 22151

(Friday, July 10, 1998)

ACTION: Send the letter found below to Sen. Bob Smith (R-NH). He’s the number one champion in the U.S. Senate defending our rights, and we need to encourage him to remain strong against the pressures of the leadership in Washington, D.C.!

Incumbent Protection Bill to rear its ugly head again (Call Capitol Hill: 202-225-3121)

It’s often said that two things you can count on are “death and taxes.” Well, add another one to the list: “Politicians always find ways to keep themselves in power.” Last year, Senators McCain and Feingold tried to force the passage of an Incumbent Protection Bill, but were thwarted by a minority of Senators. (As you may remember, that bill would have heavily restricted the ability of GOA to communicate with its members on 2nd Amendment issues.) Earlier this year, Representatives defeated a similar proposal in the House. But the battle is far from over.

A threatened discharge petition has forced the issue once again in the House. Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX) has done a yeoman’s job of trying to kill the Incumbent Protection Bill, and has organized the introduction of over 400 “killer” amendments to the bill.

For example, on Tuesday, July 14, an amendment sponsored by Rep. John Doolittle (R-CA) will be voted on. His amendment will preserve the ability of groups – like GOA – to provide you with voter guide information near an election. [Under the House Incumbent Protection Plan (introduced by Reps. Shays and Meehan), these kinds of voter guides would be made virtually illegal.] Ask your Reps. to support the Doolittle amendment and to vigorously oppose any so-called Campaign Finance Reform like the Shays-Meehan bill (H.R. 3526) that would trample the 1st Amendment.

Pro-gun champion Sen. Bob Smith still has his “hold” on Hatch’s Horror Bill (S. 10)

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) called a press conference in late June to push his fledgling anti-gun crime bill. GOA had met with his staff – and the staff of Sen. Sessions (R-AL) – to discuss our opposition to the bill. While some positive changes have been made, S. 10 still contains anti-gun provisions. Thus, GOA’s strong opposition to the bill remains in force.

Meanwhile, Sen. Bob Smith (R-NH) still has a “hold” on S. 10, and recently indicated to Gun Owners of America his intention to continue fighting for the rights of gun owners. People should write Sen. Smith and thank him for his vigilant defense of our constitutional rights. [See the letter below.]

Sen. Smith puts FBI on notice; looks to gut Brady Registration Law

In early June, the FBI released its draft proposals for implementing the Brady Registration Act. Among other things, the FBI wants to register gun owners for at least 18 months and to impose an additional tax on certain gun owners.

After the FBI draft regulations were issued, Senator Bob Smith put the FBI on notice regarding his intentions to get an amendment placed in an upcoming appropriations bill. The Smith amendment would defund the ability of the FBI to collect a tax on gun owners. Moreover, it would defund any attempt by the FBI to use the Brady instant check as a mechanism to keep gun owners’ names, and requires the “immediate destruction of all [gun buyer] information, in any form whatsoever.”

Finally, the Smith amendment improves upon other proposals in Congress that would seek to prevent the FBI from registering gun buyers. Other bills leave the “policing” of the FBI to Attorney General Janet Reno. Not Senator Smith’s language. His proposal specifically allows for aggrieved private citizens to sue the agency and collect monetary damages, including attorney’s fees.


Please send the letter below to Sen. Bob Smith. Senator Smith is going to come under fire from the leadership in Washington for the stand he’s taken in defending gun owners’ rights.

We need to let him know that gun owners stand behind him! Don’t let the fact that you live outside of New Hampshire keep you from contacting him. As a Presidential candidate, Senator Smith should be happy to hear from you, even if you live outside of his home state.

To contact Senator Bob Smith:

Fax:   202-224-1353

Email:   [email protected]

————– Clip to Fax or E-Mail ——————-

Dear Senator Smith:

I know that statesmanship can sometimes be a thankless job. And so I wanted to make sure you knew that Americans like myself are very grateful for your leadership on a couple of issues that relate to gun owners.

First, I’m sure that the “hold” you placed on S. 10 is one of the main reasons this legislation has not proceeded forward. As long as S. 10 applies RICO to firearms in any way, shape or form, then this bill will remain unacceptable! Even beyond the RICO problems, S. 10 still contains a myriad of penalties for innocent activity that gun dealers and gun owners might engage in. These penalties range from punishing dealers who make record-keeping mistakes, to increasing penalties on gun owners for taking their kids handgun shooting without a written note of permission. It’s incredible that legislation like this could even pass out of the Senate Judiciary Committee!

Second, I agree with you that the FBI needs to be slapped down in its attempts to use the Brady Law to register and tax gun owners. This registration scheme needs to be completely dismantled. But short of that, your proposal is the next best way to deal with bureaucratic abuse – hit them in the pocketbook! Giving aggrieved citizens the ability to sue, and upon winning, to get their attorney’s fees, is certainly a potent way of keeping bureaucrats from violating the privacy of gun owners.

Again, thank you for your efforts on both of these fronts. If you can single-handedly stop S. 10 from moving, then I’m all in favor of that. And, whatever you can do to repeal the effects of the Brady Registration Law will be “icing on the cake.” Please keep up the fight for our rights, and know that millions of Americans like myself appreciate what you are doing.