Good News And Bad News

Good News and Bad News:
Your activism has paid off, but more work needed

(Tuesday, September 17, 1996) — Last Tuesday, GOA alerted you to several gun votes which would be arising in the Senate. In particular, we asked you to call your Senators and urge his opposition to the taggants study. Well, you’re efforts were rewarded. On Wednesday, the Senate voted down taggants study on gunpowder by a 57-42 vote.

Domestic Confiscation. Unfortunately, the Senate later passed Sen. Frank Lautenberg’s “Domestic Confiscation” provision by a 97-2 vote on Thursday — only Senators Bingaman (NM) and Heflin (AL) voted right. (Sen. Hatfield (OR) did not vote.) This provision, known on Capitol Hill as the “Domestic Abuser Gun Ban,” orders guns removed from homes where a “domestic violence” misdemeanor has occurred. (The provision passed as an amendment to the Treasury spending bill, H.R. 3756.) The Lautenberg provision expands the list of persons deprived of their Second Amendment rights by including — for the first time in U.S. history — certain misdemeanor convictions. This, of course, opens the door to depriving firearms to all misdemeanor offenders, including non-violent ones (such as traffic violators, check bouncers, etc). The provision will also threaten to permanently disarm parents in those jurisdictions where officials have successfully prosecuted parents for merely spanking their children under the charge of “domestic violence.”

On “Meet the Press” on Sunday, House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) said he viewed the Lautenberg legislation as “a very reasonable position.” Reuters reported yesterday that Gingrich sees a House vote coming soon, meaning that he will do nothing to stop it from coming to the floor.

School Zone Gun Ban. Another issue of concern is the Herb Kohl amendment which passed in the Senate on Thursday. Sen. Kohl (D-WI) introduced a school zone gun ban provision which also passed as an amendment to H.R. 3756 by a vote of 72-27. Among the problems with this gun ban, it would: severely punish (up to five years in jail) anyone who passes within 1,000 feet of a school with a loaded gun in his glove compartment or his unlocked gun rack, even if the person did not know he was in the vicinity of a school; and punish even off-duty law enforcement personnel who carry firearms and pass by a school.


1. a) Contact your Representative (1-800-962-3524 or 202-225-3121). Urge him to oppose the School Zones Gun Ban and Lautenberg’s “domestic confiscation” provision. As mentioned above, the Lautenberg provision orders guns removed from homes where a “domestic violence” misdemeanor has occurred. Thus, besides threatening to disarm those who spank their children, the Lautenberg provision will disarm the very women who need a gun to protect themselves against a violent spouse. Three-fourths of wives who kill spouses are not even charged because it’s determined to be a case of self-defense (Source: Don Kates, Guns, Murder and the Constitution, p. 25).

b) Contact House Speaker Newt Gingrich (ph: 202-225-4501; fax: 225-4656 or 7733) and urge him to prevent a vote on the Lautenberg “Domestic Confiscation” provision. Newt promised last year that he would prevent any gun control legislation from coming to the floor under his watch. Hold him to his promise.

For more talking points on the domestic confiscation provision, see the other problems mentioned above. You might also mention that 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 (D-NJ) himself has an “F-” rating from GOA.

2. If you live in Alabama, Iowa or Louisiana, then please contact the following subcommittee and committee chairmen, who could (if pressured) play an important role in killing both the School Zones provision and the Lautenberg amendment. These men will sit on the House-Senate conference committee on the Treasury/Postal spending bill (H.R. 3756), a bill which now contains both of the above provisions. Ask Sen. Shelby, Rep. Lightfoot and Rep. Livingston to strip H.R. 3756 of both of these provisions:


Sen. Shelby (Sen. Treasury Approp. Subcom. Chrmn.)

ph) 202-224-7337 fax)224-3416


Rep. Lightfoot (House Treas. Approp. Subcom. Chrmn.)

ph) 202-225-5834 fax)225-6973


Rep. Livingston (House Appropriations Com. Chairman)

ph) 202-225-2771 fax)225-0739