Ammo Ban: HR 1710

Congress Needs to Hear From You on Several Items

by Gun Owners of America

TO ORDER POSTCARDS: Call 1-800-417-1486 and order postcards for H.R. 1488 or H.R. 666 (explanations are given near the end of this alert). The cost of the postcards is $6.00 for the first set of 51 cards, $4 for a second set and $2.50 for each additional set. Distribute them to all your pro-gun contacts and let’s deluge the Congress!

(Monday, June 26) — You guys were terrific! In response to GOA’s alert on June 15, callers blasted Rep. Mike Flanagan (R-IL) for his vote in favor of Schumer’s extremely broad “cop-killer” bullet ban in the Judiciary Committee. After receiving some heated calls, Rep. Flanagan made a rare procedural motion to reconsider the vote on the ammo ban.

As a result, a substitute provision was voted on and passed as an amendment to H.R. 1710, the anti-terrorism bill. The substitute provision calls for the Justice Department to conduct a study on so-called cop-killer bullets. While this could still pose a problem in the future (depending on which bureaucrats are conducting the study), gun owners at least ‘dodged a bullet’ for now. There is no ammo ban in the bill; only a study which will look into the issue. Rest assured, Rep. Schumer will probably offer his ammo ban on the floor of the House.

Nevertheless, there is even more anti-gun legislation in the bill which your Congressman needs to know about.

1. More gun control in the anti-terrorism bill. The House Judiciary Committee has passed H.R. 1710, and it will probably come to the floor of the House after the July 4th recess. There are serious problems with the bill:

First, an amendment to the bill now defines a “terrorist” to include any person who uses a “firearm [for non-pecuniary purposes] with the intent to [indirectly] endanger the safety of [an] individual or to [indirectly] cause substantial damage to property.” As one Representative stated, “every crime in the country involving a gun . . . other than a simple robbery — now becomes a federal offense and . . . a terrorist act.” This means more federal jurisdiction; more federal cops intruding into the lives of honest citizens who might use a gun in self-defense. Thus, law-abiding gun owners who act outside of the government’s narrow view of self-defense could end up being branded as “terrorists.”

Second, the bill imposes a mandatory minimum prison sentence on any person who transferred a firearm “having reasonable cause to believe” that the firearm would be used in a crime of violence. (The term “crime of violence” is defined very broadly and includes threatening to use force against property.) This section is a loaded gun, pointed at the head of the American firearms industry. Currently, the dealer, manufacturer, or seller must “know” that the firearm he is transferring will be used in a crime of violence in order to invoke criminal liability. If he does not “know” that what he is doing is wrong, he is not guilty.

But the new definition would allow a prosecutor and court to analyze the sale of any firearm which was subsequently used in a crime to determine what the manufacturer, dealer, or seller “should have known.” In the hands of a “Janet Reno,” there is even a possibility that a manufacturer could be prosecuted for selling a type of firearm “having reasonable cause to believe” that the characteristics of that type make it more likely to be used in a crime of violence. Or, they could prosecute a manufacturer under the reasoning that ‘Out of all the guns you sold, you should have known that some would wind up in the wrong hands.’ This provision could conceivably drive gun manufacturers and gun dealers out of business. Moreover, BATF will be entrusted with enforcing this provision — a move which will likely result in the added harassment of those manufacturers and dealers.

ACTION: Contact your Representative (by mail and fax) and urge them to oppose ANY anti-terrorism bill that has gun control in it, including the provisions mentioned above.

2. Distribute postcards and deluge Congress. Multiply the impact of your voice by ordering postcards for the bills listed below and distributing them to your pro-gun contacts. The bills which Congress really needs to hear about are:

* H.R. 1488 — This gun ban repeal bill has been weighted down with an impossible-to-swallow provision. Section 3 of the bill would massively expand the role of the Federal government, giving the BATF more authority and more jurisdiction. Under this provision, merely brandishing a firearm to discourage an assailant could subject a person to the investigative jurisdiction of the BATF and a 10-year MANDATORY MINIMUM sentence. The postcards are addressed to House Speaker Newt Gingrich and to a Representative with a blank space for the name to be filled in by the sender. The postcards ask them to support dropping the “BATF enhancement” provision in this bill.

* H.R. 666 — This bill encourages the harassment of gun owners by removing the incentives for officers to secure a warrant. Rep. Harold Volkmer said that under this bill, law enforcement agents will “not have to go to the magistrate and get a warrant for anything. They [can] just go right in there and bust those doors down and go in and take the guns.” Postcards will go to both Senators and Representatives; the text of the postcards oppose the House and Senate versions of this legislation.

TO ORDER POSTCARDS: Call 1-800-417-1486 (see 1st paragraph).

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