Hatch Pushing Terror Bill In Senate

Sen. Hatch Pushing for a Vote on Terror Bill this Week

(Monday, April 15) — Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) is reportedly the chief protagonist behind the drive to get a terrorism bill to the President by April 19. All indications show that the worst provisions passed in each House will remain in the final version of the bill. The House-Senate conference committee will probably vote on the bill tomorrow, thus leading to a vote in each house by the Friday “deadline.” Remember, we still have a chance to kill this Government Terror bill. The bill is too weak for President Clinton, and “toughening” the bill could lose many House votes.


1) Last week many of you called RNC chairman Haley Barbour to protest the actions of prominent House Republicans who are vigorously pushing the terror bill. Make sure you’ve called him (202-863-8700). Then, please follow up with a fax (202-863-8774) to further increase the pressure. Tell them you will not financially support a Party that is bent on restricting your constitutional rights.

2) Contact your Senators and Representative (1-800-962-3524 or 202-224-3121) to oppose this harmful legislation. Here are some talking points:

Nothing in either the House or Senate version would have prevented the OK City bomb- ing from occurring. Nothing would have prevented the Unabomber bombings. We already have enough laws on the books. Both versions of the Government Terror bill are nothing but a power grab at our constitutional rights, and a bold-faced attack on the Second Amendment.

Instead, please support the Feinstein approach to combating terrorism! Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) said she “carried a concealed weapon” less than 20 years ago to counter a terrorist threat against her life (Source: U.S. Senate hearings on terrorism, April 27, 1995). She actually said, “If somebody was going to try to take me out, I was going to take them with me.” Thus, let’s support H.R. 2634, a bill with the express purpose of allowing anyone “to carry concealed firearms in every State if they have been issued a license to do so by any State.” This bill would be a real deterrent to terrorists!

Problems with the Government Terror Bill. You can fax us a request to get our March 25 Fact Sheet that details many of the problems with the terror bill (please include your name and fax number).

In short, the House version will demonize an inanimate object (laser sights) by enhancing penalties for possessing these items (even while committing a NON- VIOLENT crime such as speeding on a federal reservation — Sec. 207). This is merely a first step to a ban on laser sights. In fact, Rep. Charles Schumer (D-NY) argued on the House floor for “ban[ning] the device.”

The House bill will also centralize federal, state and local police (i.e., bring us dangerously close to a national police force — Sec. 809); will federalize state crimes (giving BATF more authority — Sec. 104); will give BATF carte blanche to make recommendations for ammunition and firearms bans (Sec. 112); and will severely damage the ability of the courts to rescue honest gun owners who are unjustly incarcerated (Title IX).

Among other things, the Senate bill authorizes $100 million more for the BATF (Sec. 526); gives the FBI enhanced authority to conduct “fishing expeditions” and to obtain one’s financial and travel records under certain circumstances without any evidence one has committed a crime (Sec. 502); authorizes “roving wiretaps” (Sec. 909); weakens the Posse Comitatus law (Sec. 908); and more.