Urgent! Change In Status Of Liability Bill

Change In Status Of Gun Bill
— Immediate calls needed to your Representative

Last week, a bill containing a mandatory trigger lock requirement looked to be dormant on Capitol Hill. The prevailing wisdom was that the bill was dead for the year.

However, given the mercurial nature of legislation and legislative bodies, one can never be certain of what is going to happen as long as Congress is in session. One event that can always shake up the legislative calendar is experiencing a leadership change — such as when pro-gun House Majority Leader Tom DeLay stepped down from his position recently.

What we do know at this point is that the bill is before the Rules Committee today, and will most likely reach the House floor sometime this week.

The underlying bill would help protect the firearms industry from frivolous lawsuits brought by cities, municipalities, and radical anti-gun interest groups.

Unfortunately, the bill was amended on the Senate floor in July by anti-gun Democrat Senator Herb Kohl (WI), who added language requiring licensed gun dealers to supply a trigger lock device with every handgun sold.

House leadership is now being pressured to quickly adopt the Senate version of the bill instead of taking up its own bill, which contains no gun control.

While it is imperative that the Congress pass legislation to protect the firearms industry, this bill should not be used as a vehicle for a misguided gun control proposal.

The Kohl amendment would effectively impose a “gun tax” on all handgun purchases.

Worse, the amendment leads gun owners to the verge of mandatory trigger lock usage, which would actually endanger lives by rendering self-defense firearms useless. While the amendment does not require that gun owners use trigger locks at this point, it is easy to see how trigger locks, like automobile seatbelts or motorcycle helmets, can quickly become compulsory.

Mandatory trigger locks has long been part of the agenda of anti-gun zealots. Though masquerading as a modest step, the amendment will inevitably serve as a stepping-stone to more onerous legislation.

The House bill, introduced by Florida Congressman Cliff Stearns, could potentially help protect the gun industry, but it would do so without saddling American gun owners with yet another gun control law.

H.R. 800, the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, garnered well over 250 cosponsors and would pass the House easily if the leadership would bring up this bill rather than its Senate counterpart. In that case, the bill would either go to a joint House-Senate conference, where the different bills would be reconciled, or back to the Senate, forcing that chamber to either pass a clean bill or explain to voters their refusal to protect the beleaguered gun industry.