Anti-gun “Compromise” Expected

Gun Control Moving Again on Capitol Hill
— Gun shows still on the chopping block

“House Republican leaders will press ahead with new gun restrictions despite a lack of cooperation from Democrats and resistance by Republican conservatives.”
— The Washington Times, 10/13/99

(Wednesday, October 13, 1999) — The battle lines are being drawn in the House and Senate, as negotiators soon plan to produce a “compromise” gun control bill. The new restrictions will be included as part of a much larger juvenile crime bill that was passed in each house earlier this year (S. 254 and H.R. 1501). The chief Republican negotiators, Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah and Rep. Henry Hyde of Illinois, are hoping to bring up the anti-gun bill for a House-Senate conference vote as early as today. The bill would then move to the House and Senate floors. According to press reports and legislative aides, the provisions in the bill will limit the freedoms of decent Americans and will include, but not be limited to, the following controls:

* A likely end to gun shows. The Senate version of the crime bill contained language allowing gun shows to be taxed without limits. And under the Senate version and an amendment adopted by the House, gun shows would be subject to draconian regulations and harassment-type inspections with no practical limitations. These are tools an anti-gun president could use to shut down gun shows nationwide.

* A ban on the importation of high-capacity magazines– items which are enormously useful for self-defense and some types of hunting.

* A “gun tax” resulting from a requirement that forces every handgun buyer to also purchase a “lock-up your safety” device.

In the House, Republican Reps. Tom DeLay (R-TX) and John Doolittle (R-CA) have led the opposition to the anti-gun provisions in the bill. In the Senate, Bob Smith of New Hampshire has promised to filibuster any “compromise” that contains one iota of gun control. Ironically, press reports indicate that the obsessively anti-gun senator from New York, Democrat Chuck Schumer, could join Smith in filibustering the bill. Many Democrats– Schumer included– are likely to balk at any bill that does not contain all of the gun control that passed the Senate in May.

ACTION: Make sure your Representative and Senators have heard your opposition to the juvenile crime bill. They could be voting soon on the final version that emerges from the conference committee. You can call toll-free at 1-888-449-3511; or 202-225-3121. See the GOA website for fax and e-mail contact information.

Will Congress Limit Your Ability To Get Gun-Related Information From Groups Like GOA?

In other news, the Senate will soon be debating legislation that GOA has been tracking very closely. Either late this week or early next week, the Senate will vote on whether to shut down a filibuster of the anti-gun “campaign finance” bill being pushed by anti-gun senators Russell Feingold (D-WI) and John McCain (R-AZ).

The House-passed version of that bill would outlaw GOA’s legislative alerts by treating them as campaign contributions and as expenditures for or against the senators and congressmen whose votes are discussed. Candidate ratings such as those that GOA puts out in election years would also be effectively outlawed.

Although the Senate sponsors have tactically deleted the anti-freedom provisions from the Senate bill, passage of that bill would result in a conference with the anti-gun House version, thereby bringing them back to life.

Please contact your two senators and ask them to vote against shutting down the filibuster of the McCain legislation (S. 1593).

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