09/98 Smith Amendment Veto Threat

The President Threatens to Veto the Smith “Anti-Brady” Amendment
— And attacks GOA’s position on gutting Brady

by Gun Owners of America
8001 Forbes Place, Suite 102, Springfield, VA 22151
703-321-8585   fax 703-321-8408

(Saturday September 12, 1998)– Now that Congress is back in session, it is important to double-down in our efforts to get the Smith Anti-Tax and Registration amendment passed intact. The President has begun to draw the line in the sand, and has stated that he will oppose any bill that contains the “Anti-Brady” provision.

Your efforts have already helped tremendously. Weak-kneed politicians even tried to keep Sen. Bob Smith (R-NH) from introducing his amendment in the first place. Consider what Neal Knox, former First Vice-President of the NRA, had to say in his August 15 letter to his mailing list:

Republican leaders are nervous about hard votes– that’s why Senate leaders and NRA tried to keep Sen. Bob Smith from introducing his amendment to the Justice Appropriations bill. . . . [M]any in the Senate leadership, and the NRA, had feared that the Smith proposal– mainly pushed by Gun Owners of America– was “too good to pass.” There were efforts to get Sen. Smith to drop the civil sanction, or to agree to forego the vote entirely in exchange for adding the language in conference.

Thankfully, the members of the GOA grassroots network bolstered the resolve of squishy politicians. GOA members and activists flooded the nation’s capital with faxes, emails and letters before the vote. And in July, we saw the Senate include the Anti- Brady Amendment in the Commerce-State-Justice appropriations bill (S. 2260). The Smith amendment would defund the ability of the FBI either to collect a tax on gun owners or to use the Brady instant check to register gun owners’ names.

But now Bill Clinton, who is desperate to salvage his failing presidency, is threatening to undo your hard work. The President stated last month that,

In their official literature, the [Gun Owners of America] is proudly calling this measure, and I quote, “an anti-Brady amendment.” Let me be clear, I will oppose any legislation that would gut the Brady Law.

That’s why we need to bolster the resolve of our elected legislators more than ever. Don’t let them think that the interest over stopping gun owner registration has died down. Let’s ring their phones off the hook, and empty the paper out of their fax machines.


* Call you Representatives and Senators (202-224-3121), and ask them to support the Smith amendment. Moreover, ask them to vote against any version of the Commerce-Justice-State bill that has watered-down (or eliminated) the Smith provision.

* Use the information found below to assist you in contacting Washington.

P.S. Good News! The Senate failed Thursday to break the filibuster on the McCain-Feingold Free Speech Restrictions by a vote of 52-48 (where 60 votes were needed to end the filibuster).

If you are a constituent of one of the following Appropriations Committee members, then send the letter below to him or her at the appropriate fax number or e-mail address.

Key Appropriation Committee Members that will decide the fate of the Smith Anti-Brady Amendment:

Sen. B.N. Campbell (CO)
Ph: 202-224-5852 Fx: 224-1933

Sen. P. Domenici (NM)
Ph: 202-224-6621 Fx: 224-7371
[email protected]

Sen. J. Gregg (NH) *
Ph: 202-224-3324 Fx: 224-4952
[email protected]

Sen. E. Hollings (SC)
Ph: 202-224-6121 Fx: 224-4293

Sen. K.B. Hutchison (TX)
Ph: 202-224-5922 Fx: 224-0776
[email protected]

Sen. M. McConnell (KY)
Ph: 202-224-2541 Fx: 224-2499
[email protected]

Sen. T. Stevens (AK) *
Ph: 202-224-3004 Fx: 224-2354
[email protected]

Rep. B. Livingston (LA) *
Ph: 202-225-3015 Fx: 225-0739

Rep. A. Mollohan (WV)
Ph: 202-225-4172 Fx: 225-7564

Rep. H. Rogers (KY) *
Ph: 202-225-4601 Fx: 225-0940

* indicates the member is either a Committee or Subcommittee Chairman on the Appropriations Committee

— Clip & Send — — Clip & Send — — Clip & Send —


President Clinton is now threatening to veto the Commerce-State- Justice bill (S. 2260) because of the pro-gun amendment that was added by Sen. Bob Smith (NH) in July.

Nevertheless, it is imperative that the Smith amendment remain a part of this bill. The retention of this provision is critical to the Second Amendment. Without it, we will begin seeing the FBI register and tax gun owners starting December 1, 1998.

I hope you will fight to keep every word of the Smith amendment intact. It is drafted in such a way that the alteration of one word could dramatically compromise its impact.

Again, please vote “NO” on this bill if any part of the Smith language has been watered down or removed. Thank you.