Terror Bill Vote Coming: Get Postcards

Terror Bill Coming to a Vote Next Month
— Distribute postcards and let’s swamp legislators with opposition

(Monday, February 12) — GOA has learned from sources on Capitol Hill that the “terror bill” is coming to a vote during the week of March 11. It appears that some folks in the Republican leadership have still not gotten the message, that Americans don’t want this bill. Nevertheless, the House Republican Conference has issued some Talking Points on the “terror bill” which say that the bill (H.R. 2768): “provides a fair balance between the need to protect our country from criminals and the need to respect the civil liberties and right to privacy of our citizens.”

Wrong. The bill does none of the above. As Second Amendment scholar David Kopel has noted: “You can read every line of the very lengthy House bill, and its Senate counterpart, and you will not find a single thing that would have prevented the heinous Oklahoma City bombing, or the Arizona train derailment. But you will find many ways in which ordinary American citizens will be forced to surrender their rights . . . to show that [Clinton] can ‘do something’ about crime.”

H.R. 2768 STILL does all of the horrendous things which GOA warned you about in a fax last month. Specifically, H.R. 2768 punishes certain sellers of firearms using a ludicrous standard,(1) orders a study on whether to ban even more “cop-killer” bullets (much ordinary hunting and rifle ammo could become suspect), orders a second study which could set a precedent for registering ammunition,(2) allows FBI “fishing expeditions” into your financial and travel records (without any evidence you’ve committed a crime), allows government officials to benefit from illegal wiretaps done in “good faith,” allows the government to use secret evidence in court in some circumstances, limits the right of gun owners to appeal bad court decisions, etc.

HERE’S WHAT TO DO (note: distribute this alert at gun shows this coming weekend):

* Order postcards opposing the bill. Call 1-800-417-1486 and ask for the terrorism bill postcards to pass out to friends, family, etc. You can get the first set of 51 cards for $6.00.

* Let your Representative know that H.R. 2768 STILL contains many infringements of the Bill of Rights, including the Second Amendment. Tell him that despite all the changes they did to the earlier versions (H.R. 1710 and H.R. 2703), the current bill STILL contains all the problems listed above. Call your Representative at 1-800-962-3524, 1-800-872-8513, or 202-225-3121.

* Call House Majority Leader Dick Armey and protest the fact that the leadership would sche- dule a vote on this bill. (Several sources on Capitol Hill have fingered Armey as the one in the leader- ship who is pushing H.R. 2768.) Call him at the 800 numbers above or 202-225-7772, fax: 5-7614.

* Note: GOA members will be getting a very in depth analysis of the terror bill’s problems in our upcoming newsletter, which should be in mailboxes soon. If you are not yet a GOA member, you can become a member for only $20. Simply use your credit card and call 703-321-8585, or fax the credit card information (card number and expiration date) for $20 to 703-321-8408. (To simplify matters, we can fax you a membership form upon request.)

1. Sections 102 and 204 will terrorize gun owners by severely punishing individuals (as well as gun dealers and manufacturers) for selling a gun to someone they should have known was going to use, or threaten to use, the firearm in a “crime of violence.” To punish the seller of a firearm under this standard is clearly ludicrous (unless all sellers are clairvoyant) and is a change in the current law, which requires that the seller “know” the gun will be used in a crime.

2. The bill orders a study on whether taggants should be put in explosives, which would most likely include black powder. Once this study is completed, you can be sure there will be pressure to put taggants in handloading and over-the-counter ammunition. This would mean registering ammunition sales. After all, the whole purpose for putting taggants in explosives or ammunition is to “register” the purchaser, so as to help the authorities find the criminal by following the trace left by the taggant.