Terror Bill Final Vote Tomorrow
Final Vote on Terror Bill is Tomorrow
— Time to make one last call!
(March 13, 1996) — Good news and bad news. For starters, the House today adopted an amendment (introduced by Rep. Bob Barr) which eliminated provisions that could have put the American firearms industry out of business. Because of the strong objections offered by GOA and its members, Barr offered his amendment to delete the negligence standard which was to be applied to sellers of firearms. Prior to passage of the Barr amendment, the bill would have terrorized gun owners by severely punishing individuals 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 would be clearly ludicrous (unless all sellers are clairvoyant) and would have been a change in the current law, which requires that the seller “know” the gun will be used in a crime. Barr’s amendment also deleted other harmful provisions.
However, the bill still represents an unacceptable infringement of Second Amendment rights. Here are some talking points you can use with your legislator in opposing the bill:
* The “DeLauro amendment” — added by voice vote on the floor of the House — would demonize laser-sighting equipment by enhancing penalties for crimes committed with laser sights. Why not enhance penalties for those who brutally beat victims with baseball bats, or for those who use a butcher knife? This amendment only stigmatizes an inanimate item which is nothing more than a fancy scope. It is used by hunters and is an item that certainly falls within the parameters of the Second Amendment. This amendment will only add momentum to restrict or ban this item in the future. (The amendment doesn’t even require that the laser-sight be used in the crime; it only requires that the laser-sight could have been used). Out of fairness, this amendment should not be allowed to become law without a recorded vote!
* The “armor piercing” study was rewritten in the Rules Committee, but is still unacceptable. The study tries to focus on cops killed and on the effectiveness of body armor. But why study this issue at all, if there is no authority in the Constitution to ban ammunition? It is difficult to imagine that the new language, which passed as part of the Barr substitute, will keep the Clinton Administration and the anti-gun faction in Congress from trying to ban even more ammunition.
* The Title IX (Habeas Corpus) provision will severely damage the ability of the courts to rescue honest gun owners who are unjustly incarcerated. This provision will seriously affect cases in which GOA is currently involved. Contrary to the claims of many, this provision does not just deal with death penalty cases. Pro-gun Rep. Helen Chenoweth (R-ID) introduced an amendment today to delete this entire provision. While her amendment was defeated by a voice vote on the floor today, it will be voted on again tomorrow — as a recorded vote. Support her amendment!
* The bill still contains a provision which could federalize many state crimes and, as a result, enlarge the BATF’s scope and jurisdiction (Section 104).
* Finally, the House bill — if passed — will be mixed with a horrendous Senate version.
HERE’S WHAT TO DO:
Call your Representative and tell him you still oppose H.R. 2703. Use the above points to explain why. Call him at 1-800-962-3524, 1-800-872-8513, or 202-225-3121.