Gun Owners Win This Round Of Incumbent Protection

(Friday, July 13, 2001) — The House of Representatives shot down the Incumbent Protection Bill yesterday by a vote of 228-203. Victory came from a surprising corner of the House… from the supporters of the bill itself! Nineteen Republicans joined 209 disgruntled Democrats who could not agree on the rules for debating the anti-gun legislation.

The supporters couldn’t agree on the rules because they couldn’t agree on the specifics in the bill.

According to the Associated Press this morning, the Republican leadership crafted a rule for debate that would force “separate votes on killing a dozen late-hour changes” that the sponsors of the bill wanted to incorporate. The sponsors had asked that the package of changes be considered as a whole.

Democrats were furious with the terms of debate, so they voted to sink their own bill. But there’s even more good news. As stated by Salon magazine yesterday, the math on this bill shows the anti-freedom forces have been losing a war of attrition over the years: “On the other side of the aisle, 54 Republicans supported the bill in 1999, and 61 in 1998.” But yesterday, only 19 Republicans supported the Incumbent Protection Bill, a total decrease of almost 70 percent in three years.

“This victory should encourage gun owners,” said GOA Executive Director Larry Pratt. “Your activism is important. It does make a difference, and our rights would be in greater jeopardy if you remained silent.”

The Incumbent Protection Bill would squelch the ability of groups like GOA to report on a candidate’s record during a campaign. The anti-gun bill has now been put off indefinitely, and House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R) said he had no plans to bring up Incumbent Protection in the near future. Hill watchers predict the bill could be dead for the legislative session. Although House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt (D) says he might turn to a discharge petition which would force the Incumbent Protection Bill to the floor for a vote if Representatives can garner 218 signatures.

Please stay tuned. GOA will keep you abreast on further developments with this anti-gun legislation.


Attention Pro-gun Business Owners!

The GOA webmall, expected to open near the end of next month, will allow merchants to sell guns, ammo, and firearms-related merchandise through the GOA website. Best of all, there are NO up-front costs to vendors — and NO ongoing account fees. For details on how your business can become a part of this ground-breaking enterprise, please contact GOA via e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 703-321-8585.