04/95 Repeal Efforts Update

Update on Efforts to Repeal the Gun Ban

by Gun Owners of America

(Monday, August 14) — There are new developments in the fight to repeal the gun ban. As you know, Gun Owners of America strongly supports the repeal of the semiautomatic ban. But we oppose efforts to tie that repeal to a monumental expansion of federal jurisdiction over state crimes, as section 3 of H.R. 1488 would do.

Make no mistake: By extending the federal government’s reach to virtually every state crime committed with a firearm, section 3 would dramatically expand the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms at a time when the BATF should, instead, be a candidate for abolition.

* Get a free information packet from GOA to get the facts on H.R. 1488 and the BATF enhancement provision. If you’re not a member of GOA, JUST RETURN THIS E-MAIL MESSAGE and you’ll receive the free membership packet, as well as GOA’s August 15 newsletter containing a step-by-step analysis of the problems with H.R. 1488 and a report on the terror package in Congress. (If you are a GOA member, your newsletter is already in the mail.) To get the free information packet, you must be sure to include your name and address.

GOA members have deluged Congress with postcards opposing the Section 3 provision in H.R. 1488. Already, some Representatives have responded favorably and have expressed serious concerns with this problem section in the bill. Rep. David Funderburk (R-NC) stated in a letter dated July 5, that “I agree with you entirely; we must not allow an otherwise good bill to be used as a vehicle to expand the power and authority of the BATF.”

Meanwhile, Congressmen Roscoe Bartlett is also concerned with the BATF enhancement provision in Section 3. His office is working with GOA to draft an amendment which will completely strip away any new authority which otherwise would have been given to BATF.

GOA will keep you abreast as to the progress on that amendment. Many times, a good draft proposal can be dangerously weakened by the House Legislative Drafting Services. Thus, it would be premature to push other Congressmen to support this amendment right now, because we don’t know what the final language will look like. Please stay tuned.

* Not doing their homework. Some Congressional letters in support of H.R. 1488 have been quite comical. Rep. Thomas Petri (R-WI) sent a letter to a constituent who was opposing H.R. 1488 on the grounds that Section 3 would enhance the authority of the BATF. In the letter, Mr. Petri said he found the constituent’s opposition to H.R. 1488 “confusing” because Section 3 did not specifically mention the BATF by name. However, a little research by Mr. Petri’s office would have discovered that Section 3 amends the gun offenses of Title 18 of the U.S. Code– which means the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is necessarily involved because it has jurisdiction over that section of the code. (In fact, none of the gun laws in the 1968 Gun Control Act even mention the BATF by name in their text, and yet, the BATF enforces those laws.)

* On the cutting edge. Following the August recess, Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX) intends to file a discharge petition to force House consideration of his bill to repeal the semi-auto ban. Having already introduced the rule (H.Res. 210), Stockman has now set the wheels in motion for getting the House to vote on a pure gun ban repeal. Stockman’s upcoming discharge petition will pull the “Bartlett/Stockman Assault Weapon Ban Repeal Act” (H.R. 464) out of the Judiciary committee and bring the bill to the floor for an immediate vote — under the rule established in H.Res. 210 which prevents any and all anti-gun amendments from being offered. H.R. 464 is infinitely superior to H.R. 1488. Stockman will need to get 218 signatures on his discharge petition before the bill, H.R. 464, can be voted on.

This alert was posted by Gun Owners of America, 8001 Forbes Place, Suite 102, Springfield, VA 22151, (703)321-8585, fax: (703)321-8408.