Vote Report Plus A Look At What’s Next

House Narrowly Defeats Pro-gun Hostettler Amendment Once Again
— Gun battles now shift to the Senate

(Friday, July 21, 2000) — Despite a valiant effort, pro-gun Rep. John Hostettler fell just a few votes short of putting the brakes on the Clinton gun control agenda. A switch of six votes would have made all the difference.

Hostettler “Stop The BATF” Amendment Fails

By a vote of 204-214, the House rejected a Hostettler amendment to the Treasury-Postal funding bill that would have stopped the BATF from enforcing the Clinton & Wesson sellout agreement. The Republican Congressman from Indiana has fought a tireless battle in the Congress to peel back the restrictions that Clinton unilaterally imposed upon gun owners this past March.

[Activists can go to (Link Inactive) — click on “2000 (106-2)” — to see how Representatives voted on the Hostettler amendment. The vote may not go online, however, until sometime this weekend.]

While yesterday’s vote was certainly a disappointment, Hostettler has won a couple of significant victories in the recent past: 1. Stopping the Defense Department from showing any favoritism to Smith & Wesson in exchange for their sell out of gun owners; and 2. Keeping HUD from joining the coalition of state and local governments that are working to sue American gun makers.

Goode “No Preferences” Amendment Survives

On a positive note, the “no preferences” amendment — which was added to the Treasury bill by Rep. Virgil Goode (I-VA) in subcommittee — survived yesterday’s marathon session on the House floor. Despite rumors that an attempt would be made to strike the Goode language, no one actually made an effort to repeal it. As a result, H.R. 4871 now prevents the Treasury Department from showing any preference toward Smith & Wesson when purchasing firearms for their agents — including BATF, Secret Service, etc.

Battleground Now Shifts To The Senate

The office of Senator Bob Smith (R-NH) has told Gun Owners of America that he plans to offer some pro-gun amendments in the following weeks. For example, Smith may offer a Hostettler-type amendment in September when the HUD appropriations bill comes to the Senate floor. (More on that in upcoming alerts.)

In the near future, Smith wants to amend current law to make sure the FBI immediately destroys gun owners’ records that are compiled through the instant “registration” check. Thus, Smith could offer an amendment very soon that, if passed, will change current law to require the “immediate destruction of all [gun buyer] information.” The vehicle that Smith for that amendment is the Commerce-Justice-State bill (H.R. 4690) — a bill that is expected on the Senate floor next week.

ACTION: Please urge your Senators to support any Smith amendment (to H.R. 4690) that protects the privacy of American gun owners. The Smith amendment would require the FBI to immediately destroy gun owners’ records. Remind your Senators that this very same Smith language passed the Senate with 69 votes in July of 1998. (Unfortunately, the word “immediately” was subsequently stripped out in a conference committee.)

Contact your Senators at 202-224-3121 or toll-free at 1-888-449-3511. A pre-written message is included below for your convenience. E-mail and fax contact information can be found at in the Legislative Action Center — you can also send the pre-written message from there.

Of the 214 wrong votes, the list below represents the 50 compromising Republicans who voted against Hostettler and stabbed gun owners in the back:

Archer (TX)        Kuykendall (CA)
Bereuter (NE)      LaTourette (OH)
Bilbray (CA)       Lazio (NY)
Boehlert (NY)      Leach (IA)
Castle (DE)        LoBiondo (NJ)
Davis (VA)         McCollum (FL)
Diaz-Balart (FL)   Miller (FL)
Dunn (WA)          Morella (MD)
Foley (FL)         Northup (KY)
Fossella (NY)      Oxley (OH)
Franks (NJ)        Porter (IL)
Frelinghuysen (NJ) Pryce (OH)
Gallegly (CA)      Quinn (NY)
Ganske (IA)        Ramstad (MN)
Gekas (PA)         Rogan (CA)
Gilchrest (MD)     Ros-Lehtinen (FL)
Gilman (NY)        Roukema (NJ)
Goodling (PA)      Saxton (NJ)
Greenwood (PA)     Shaw (FL)
Horn (CA)          Shays (CT)
Houghton (NY)      Smith (NJ)
Hyde (IL)          Tancredo (CO)
Isakson (GA)       Upton (MI)
Kelly (NY)         Walsh (NY)
King (NY)          Young (FL)

—– Pre-written message —–

Dear Senator:

The Senate is expected to consider the Commerce-Justice-State bill very soon. And it is also possible that Sen. Bob Smith of New Hampshire will try to amend this bill (H.R. 4690) to protect the privacy of Americans.

I think it is imperative to require the FBI to immediately destroy gun owners’ records that are compiled through the instant “registration” check.

Thankfully, Smith could offer an amendment that, if passed, will change current law to require the “immediate destruction of all [gun buyer] information.”

This is the very same Smith language that passed the Senate with 69 votes in July of 1998.

I hope you will stand for the 2nd Amendment and support any amendment protecting the privacy of gun owners. Thank you.