Lautenberg “Spanker” Gun BanLautenberg “Spanker” Gun Ban

Urge Your Senators to Oppose “Spanker” Gun Ban

(Wed., August 14) — Another threat against your rights is working its way to the President’s desk. Congress is moving to expand the number of people who are prohibited from possessing a firearm. The bill in question is on the verge of becoming law, yet it could very easily take away a father or mother’s gun rights for spanking their children! (The bill, H.R. 2980, has been passed by both the House and the Senate. The bill could go to a conference committee, or it may be attached to a Defense spending bill in the Senate.)

The anti-gun language was originally attached to H.R. 2980 as an amendment by Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ). His amendment would remove guns from a home where someone has been convicted of a misdemeanor involving domestic violence. But this amendment greatly threatens your rights! Here’s how:

1. The Lautenberg amendment would mean a lifetime gun ban for persons who, in many cases, have committed offenses very minor in nature. In many jurisdictions, for instance, parents are being threatened with prosecution for spanking their children.

2. Under many state laws, persons convicted of misdemeanors with less than six months imprisonment are not even entitled to jury trials. Therefore, it would be possible for parents to be subjected to a life-time gun ban without enjoying the protection of a jury.

3. The Lautenberg amendment is a dangerous expansion of the list which deprives persons of their Second Amendment rights, and opens the door to depriving firearms to all misdemeanor offenders — including non-violent ones (such as traffic violators, check bouncers, etc.).

The stated purpose of the amendment is to protect women from spousal abuse. But the Lautenberg amendment actually endangers the battered women it purports to help by removing guns from the home. A woman’s best defense against an attacker is a firearm.

The Lautenberg proposal — when it was first introduced as a stand alone bill (S. 1632) — was cosponsored by Senators Dianne Feinstein (CA), Edward Kennedy (MA), and other infamous anti-gunners. Lautenberg himself has an “F-” rating from GOA.

While Sen. Lautenberg claims to have good intentions (he wants to crack down on abusive spouses), one needs to realize that Lautenberg is not a friend on the gun issue. In fact, any gun amendment by him should be considered suspect. Lautenberg has opened a very dangerous door — a door that could allow the Charles Schumers in Congress to extend firearms prohibition to more and more people. Moreover, his amendment would hamper a woman’s best defense.


* Contact your Senators and relay your concerns about the Lautenberg amendment (1-800-962-3524 or 202-224-3121). This provision will greatly threaten ALL of our gun rights. You can use the arguments made above, pointing out that the amendment:

a) threatens any parent who spanks their children;

b) represents a backdoor way of revoking one’s gun rights without a jury trial;

c) unnecessarily expands the list of people who cannot own a firearm;

d) endangers women by ordering self-defense guns from the home; and finally

e) is completely unconstitutional, as there is no authority in the Constitution for passing such a measure.

Note: Your Senators’ offices may give you Sen. Lautenberg’s reasons for supporting the amendment. That is, because many offenders plea bargain their felonies down to misdemeanors, the Lautenberg amendment will catch these people by revoking the firearms rights of these misdemeanor offenders. The problem is, Sen. Lautenberg would also punish non-violent “offenders” such as any parent who spanks their children in a state which frowns on such activity.

If a person is truly violent and the criminal justice system plea bargains his sentence down to a misdemeanor, then there’s a problem with the criminal justice system, not with gun owners. Why punish otherwise law-abiding Americans for a problem inherent in the courts? Urge your Senators to vote against H.R. 2980 as long as the Lautenberg language remains in the bill.