-- Plus news on OSHA gun control, DC Gun Ban and more
The gun issue has been in the news a lot lately, despite the strange silence coming from Capitol Hill on the status of the McCarthy bill (HR 2640). Many Senators on the Judiciary Committee are being kept in the dark as to when the legislation will start moving.
But The New York Times seems to have let the cat out of the bag this week when an editorial indicated there would be Senate hearings on the bill very soon. The Times ability to glean this information is probably related to the close relationship that their editorial writers have, no doubt, with New York's Chuck Schumer, who is the primary backer of the bill in the Senate.
Since the bill will start off in the Senate Judiciary Committee, it is time for gun owners to start targeting Senators there. Committee members who could stand to hear from gun owners include: Patrick J. Leahy (D-VT), Arlen Specter (R-PA), Orrin G. Hatch (R-UT), Charles E. Grassley (R-IA), Jon Kyl (R-AZ), Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), John Cornyn (R-TX), Sam Brownback (R-KS) and Tom Coburn (R-OK).
Of special note is Sen. Sam Brownback. As a candidate for President, who vocalizes support for the Second Amendment, he should be interested to hear from gun owners all over the country. Hence, today's alert is geared specifically for him. More on that below.
IN OTHER NEWS: Last week, Democrats on the House Appropriations committee tried to kill the so-called Tiahrt amendment, which is a pro-gun legislative rider that has been passed every year since 2003. The amendment, which is named after Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-KS), prevents the use of gun trace data except where law-enforcement can show they need it for a specific criminal investigation. Committee Democrats failed to repeal the provision on Thursday when a sufficient number of members from their own party broke ranks and voted pro-gun.
This week, there has been another mini-victory of sorts. You've probably heard about the proposed OSHA regulations that have taken the Internet by storm. Published on April 13, the regs went virtually unnoticed until late last month.
On July 3, GOA issued comments in opposition to the proposed regs, citing fears from the firearms industry that the new requirements would threaten to bring the sale and transportation of ammunition in this country to a halt.
But on Monday, the Labor Department (which oversees OSHA) sent Rep. Dennis Rehberg (R-MT) a letter, notifying him that "OSHA is taking prompt action to revise this NPRM to clarify the purpose of the regulation."
Hence, even though the public comment period was extended to September 10, it now seems that we will have to take a "wait and see" approach, and examine the revised regulations once they become available. Please stay tuned.
In other news, DC Mayor Adrian Fenty, announced yesterday that his city will appeal the Parker decision, which struck down the draconian gun ban in our nation's capital. Gun Owners Foundation will be issuing an amicus brief in that case.
Finally, we twice emailed you to solicit support for GOA Life Member Paul Broun, who was running for Congress in a special election to replace the late Rep. Charlie Norwood in Georgia. Well, after the election on Tuesday, Dr. Broun -- who is a Republican -- won by 373 votes. Since his opponent was a long-time legislator with the support of the mainstream Republican establishment, it is obvious that gun owners helped put Brown over the top. Thanks to all of you who helped elect a staunch pro-gunner by contributing to his campaign!
UPDATE: In our previous alert, we told you about Horatio Miller of Pennsylvania, who lost his gun rights after being involuntarily committed for essentially making an off handed comment (saying that it could be worse than VA Tech if someone broke into his car). He was not charged with a crime, but the local district attorney had him involuntarily committed anyway.
Subsequent news articles indicate that Miller, among other things, may have made inappropriate remarks to his neighbors in the past, as the police had previously been called to his home to investigate. But what's significant is that he was never charged with any crimes (prior to his being involuntarily committed). No charges were ever leveled and his concealed carry permit was never revoked. Nevertheless, if it turns out that Miller is an obnoxious individual (and not a suitable example), one should still understand that this man initially got zapped without due process. That is the key point here. The truth of the information about his other behavior -- if it's true -- and an assessment of him being a danger, should have been determined in a court of law. Our gun rights should not hang on the whims of an anti-gun district attorney!
The Miller case illustrates the danger presented by the McCarthy legislation. HR 2640 would, for the first time, statutorily make a battle-scarred veteran (suffering from Post Traumatic Stress) or a troubled school kid (who was considered a problem on the playground but later grew up just like everyone else) a "prohibited person" based solely on a diagnosis by a shrink. Again, lose your guns -- forever -- without due process in court. (See more specifics on this legislation by going to http://www.gunowners.org/netb.htm and check out "What Others are Saying about HR 2640.")
ACTION: Senator Sam Brownback is a member of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee. He is also a candidate for President. This is a perfect opportunity for a Senator like Brownback, who wants to solicit gun owners' support from around the country, to stand up for the Second Amendment. Ask him to not only oppose this bill, but to solicit others on the committee to join him as well. You can use the letter below to help direct your comments to Senator Brownback.
CONTACT INFORMATION: There are several ways to contact Sen. Brownback. If you choose to contact him electronically, please note there is no direct e-mail address available. You can copy/paste the letter below into Brownback's webform.
----- Pre-written letter -----
Dear Senator Brownback:
Gun Owners of America tells me that the New York Times has let the cat out of the bag. The paper is acknowledging that gun control will be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee soon.
The specific gun control bill is the Brady enhancement bill that was passed in the House (HR 2640). I hope you will do everything in your power to OPPOSE this bill when it comes to a vote in committee.
As a presidential contender who advocates support for the Second Amendment, you have a wonderful opportunity to show Americans that you will fight for the rights of gun owners. You can't go wrong opposing a bill that is being supported or sponsored by gun control fanatics like Rep. Carolyn McCarthy and Senator Chuck Schumer.
I should add that the Military Order of the Purple Heart is also OPPOSING this bill, stating that for the first time in history, HR 2640 "would statutorily impose a lifetime gun ban on battle-scarred veterans."
Despite what you may have heard elsewhere, this bill THREATENS gun owners' rights and represents one of the biggest gun bans in history. For more information on this -- and for a point-by-point analysis of HR 2640 -- please go to http://www.gunowners.org/netb.htm on the website of Gun Owners of America.
Again, I hope you will do everything in your power to defeat the McCarthy gun control bill (HR 2640) or any comparable Senate bill. Thank you.