Juvenile Injustice Update And More
Little News Emerges From House-Senate Conferees
–BATF validates GOA fears over instant registration check
(Friday, September 17, 1999) — House and Senate negotiators have still not agreed on a final juvenile crime bill. While both the House and Senate passed juvenile crime legislation earlier this year, the Senate included vast amounts of gun control in its bill (S. 254). The House did not. As a result, tensions have built up on both sides, making any kind of agreement very difficult.
The Washington Times reported last week that any proposed compromise “would include most of the Senate [gun] restrictions, but include a milder gun-show provision.” That’s not good news for gun owners. But the paper did say that “pressure from both sides may kill the entire legislation.” That is certainly something to cheer about.
The House and Senate conferees have to walk a fine line. If they put too much gun control in the bill, it is possible that pro-gun congressmen will succeed in killing the bill. But if the conferees don’t put enough gun control in the bill, then Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) may filibuster the bill when it hits the Senate floor. Ironically, he would be joined by pro-gun Senator Bob Smith (I-NH) who has threatened to filibuster the bill if it contains ANY gun control. Either way, it’s now clear that the conference committee will be loading down the juvenile crime bill with gun control, so please make sure you’ve asked your Congressmen to oppose the entire bill. Call toll-free at 1-888-449-3511; or 202-225-3121. See http://www.gunowners.org/h106th.htm and http://www.gunowners.org/s106th.htm for fax and e-mail contact info.
BATF And FBI Want To See All The Gun Buyers– Everywhere
Meanwhile, the BATF issued a report this month on the implementation of the Brady registration law. Among other things, the BATF report makes it clear that background registration checks will be conducted at the federal level, whether or not a state conducts its own check. Thus, those states that foolishly passed their own state background checks in an attempt to fend off the Brady law at the national level are now stuck with “double-barrel” gun control– that is, “Brady” checks at both the state AND the federal level.
GOA has fought legislative battles in those states that have tried to impose such foolish gun control on their citizens. [GOA activists may remember the tremendous victory in Alabama when GOA teamed up with Alabama Citizens for Safe Government to defeat an instant registration bill in 1998.] The problem with background checks is that they always give government officials the potential for registering gun owners; and registration is always dangerous, regardless of whether it’s the state or the feds who are doing it. Those who have supported state “Brady” checks in the past should realize that in some states, officials have greater legislative authority to keep names on gun buyers than do their counterparts at the FBI. Plus, states are not prohibited from taxing gun buyers if they choose to do so.
But these two problems are not the only ones resulting from dual background checks. Consider that gun buyers must now get approval from two separate authorities. Thus, there is now double the chance of running into a “delayed” purchase because of computer difficulties or human error. The lesson for gun owners should be this: don’t try to fend-off federal gun control by actively supporting gun control at the state level. Compromising our principles never works.
Incumbent Protection Bill Passes In Late-Night Session
The House of Representatives passed a campaign finance bill on Tuesday night– a bill that represents yet another attack on the freedoms guaranteed in the Bill of Rights. The bill (H.R. 417) would severely regulate, or “chill,” the free speech of groups like GOA by limiting their ability to report on incumbents’ records during the election season. This, of course, would benefit the anti-gun media and incumbents, who would not be limited in their ability to publicize (and distort) their own records or viewpoints.
Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-MS) has promised a vote on the legislation next month. Last year, Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) effectively filibustered this bill in the Senate, and he has already indicated his intention to lead the charge again. Please stay tuned for more details.
Did you know? Much of the recent news focus on Waco was actually old news– many of the details having already been presented in the Academy Award nominated film, Waco: The Rules of Engagement. You can still order this video from Gun Owners Foundation by calling toll-free 888-886-GUNS or by visiting http://www.gunowners.com/resource.htm on the GOF website. Cost is $24.95 plus shipping.
GOF will be carrying the new sequel to this film as soon as it is released.
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