Monday, September 26, 2011

Gun News

Obama Campaign Organizing Against Gun Owners
We reported last week on the Obama administration gearing up its “misinformation machine” in the form of a new website they launched called:
The purpose of the site is to give Obama supporters a way to report “attacks” on the president, implying that any criticism is based on lies or misinformation.  In our article, we noted that when it comes to firearms issues, it’s this site that is misrepresenting President Obama’s record on guns.
This week, NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox wrote a comprehensive op-ed for the Daily Callerentitled “Obama Campaign Organizing Against Gun Owners.”  The op-ed digs deeper into the Obama administration’s motives behind, particularly as they relate to NRA and Obama’s stance on gun rights. 
To read the piece, please click here.

Right-to-Carry Debate Taking Place in Huntley, Illinois on September 27
Plan to Attend and Join the Discussion!
On Tuesday, September 27, the Huntley Area Tea Party will be hosting a public forum on Right-to-Carry in Illinois.  Both opponents and supporters have been invited to present their views on this subject to encourage discussion of the issue.  Panel members include Right-to-Carry bill cosponsor state Representative Mike Tryon (R-64), Brady Campaign representatives Bill and Jennifer Jenkins, Huntley Police Chief John Perkins, and a representative from the Illinois State Rifle Association. 

Please plan on attending this event and participating in the respectful discussion as both sides of this issue are considered.  The panel will be taking questions from the audience, so please arrive prepared and remain considerate.  This event will take place from 6:30 PM to 9 PM in the Willow Room at the Cosman Cultural Center at 12015 Mill Street in Huntley.   

“The Recreational Lands Self-Defense Act” Introduced In The Senate: Urge Your Senators To Cosponsor And Support This Important Legislation
On September 21, Senators Jim Webb (D-Va.) and John Boozman (R-Ark.) introduced S. 1588 --  “The Recreational Land Self –Defense Act.”  S. 1588 is the Senate companion bill to H.R. 1865, and is designed to protect the rights of gun owners on lands owned or managed by the Army Corps of Engineers.
Legislation that made it legal to possess firearms for self-defense on National Park Service and National Wildlife Refuge System lands greatly expanded the places where law-abiding Americans can legally carry firearms for self-defense.  However, that change in the law did not include millions of acres of recreational land managed by the Army Corps of Engineers.  The Corps owns or manages over 11.7 million acres, including 400 lakes and river projects, 90,000 campsites, and 4,000 miles of trails.
After passage of the change in carry regulations for National Parks, the Army Corps released a statement that read: “Public Law 111-024 does not apply to Corps projects of facilities . . . It [the Army Corps] will continue to prohibit loaded concealed weapons on Corps properties regardless of the new law and notwithstanding any contrary provisions of state law.”
S. 1588 will reverse this Army Corps policy and prohibit the Secretary of the Army from enforcing any regulation that prohibits gun possession in compliance with state law on Corps projects and lands.  The legislation would not, however, allow firearms in federal facilities such as Army Corps headquarters, Corps research facilities, or lock and dam buildings.
This important legislation is another step in the removal of a patchwork of laws that prohibit or restrict where law-abiding people may legally carry a firearm for self-defense.
“Gun owners need to know that they can exercise their Second Amendment rights when they are legally camping, hiking or fishing in our nation’s parks and recreational lands,” said Senator Webb. “This bipartisan bill would provide consistent rules for all federal lands rather than the current patchwork of regulations where the Army Corps has different rules than the Parks Service.”
"Gun owners must be allowed to defend themselves on federal lands. This is important to protecting our constitutional rights and we owe it to law abiding gun owners to address this national gun issue,” said Senator Boozman.
Please contact your Senators and thank them if they have signed on to this important bill.  Or, if they are not yet cosponsors, please urge your Senators to sign on in support of S. 1588.

National Right-to-Carry Bill Under Attack
Friday, September 23, 2011
As we reported last week, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security recently held a hearing on H.R. 822, the "National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011."
This critically important bill, introduced earlier this year by Congressmen Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) and Heath Shuler (D-N.C.) and cosponsored by more than 240 of their colleagues, would enable millions of permit holders to exercise their right to self-defense while traveling outside their home states.
There is currently only one remaining state (Illinois) that has no clear legal way for individuals to carry concealed firearms for self-defense.  Forty states have permit systems that make it possible for any law-abiding person to obtain a permit, while most of the others have discretionary permit systems. (Vermont has never required a permit.) 
H.R. 822 would mark a major step forward for gun owners' rights by significantly expanding where those permits are recognized.  Dozens of states have passed Right-to-Carry laws over the past 25 years because the right to self-defense does not end when one leaves home.  However, interstate recognition of those permits is not uniform and creates great confusion and potential problems for travelers.  While many states have broad reciprocity, others have very restrictive reciprocity laws. Still others deny recognition completely.
H.R. 822 would solve this problem by requiring that lawfully issued carry permits be recognized, while protecting the ability of the various states to determine the areas where carrying is prohibited within their boundaries. 
Unfortunately, but predictably, H.R. 822 continues to be attacked in some quarters, namely the anti-gun media, like the New York Times and the Washington Post; anti-gun organizations, like the Brady Campaign, and New York City Mayor Bloomberg's Mayors Against Illegal Guns; and, regrettably, even some so-called pro-gun organizations.
Opponents of the legislation claim that it tramples on each "states' rights."  But states don't have rights, only powers.  And while many anti-gun lawmakers who've long pushed national gun bans, national bans on private gun sales, national waiting periods and other federal restrictions have suddenly become born-again advocates of "states' rights" to oppose this bill, several provisions of the Constitution give Congress the authority to enact interstate carry.  Congress also has the power to protect the rights of citizens, nationwide, under the 14th Amendment (please see related article from last week's Grassroots Alert).
Next, despite what a handful of "pro-gun" activists say, the bill would not create a federal licensing system, nor would it establish a minimum federal standard for the carry permit. Rather, it would require the states to recognize each others' carry permits, just as they recognize driver's licenses and carry permits held by armored car guards.  Unfortunately, these self-proclaimed "gun rights" supporters, who have no active lobbying presence in any legislature, have an agenda that has very little to do with promoting the interests of gun owners.  Here are the FACTS about a few of their claims:
Myth: H.R. 822 would involve the federal bureaucracy in setting standards for carry permits, resulting in "need" requirements, higher fees, waiting periods, national gun owner registration, or worse.
FACT: H.R. 822 doesn't require—or even authorize—any such action by any federal agency.  In fact, since it would amend the Gun Control Act, it would fall under a limitation within that law that authorizes "only such rules and regulations as are necessary to carry out" the GCA's provisions.  No federal rules or regulations would be needed to implement H.R. 822, which simply overrides certain state laws.
Myth: H.R. 822 would destroy permitless carry systems such as those in Arizona, Alaska, Vermont and Wyoming.
FACT: H.R. 822 would have absolutely no effect on how the permitless carry states' laws work within those states.  For residents of Arizona, Alaska and Wyoming, where permits are not required but remain available under state law, H.R. 822 would make those permits valid in all states that issue permits to their own residents.  Residents of Vermont, where no permits are issued or required, could obtain nonresident permits from other states to enjoy the benefits of H.R. 822.
Myth: If H.R. 822 moved through the legislative process, it would be subject to anti-gun amendments.
TRUTH: By this logic, neither NRA, nor any other pro-gun group, should ever promote any pro-gun reform legislation.  But inaction isn't an option for those of us who want to make positive changes for gun owners.  Instead, we know that by careful vote counting and strategic use of legislative procedure, anti-gun amendments can be avoided or defeated.
H.R. 822 is a good bill for gun owners.  Don't listen to false and misleading accusations.  Read the billyourself and read our fact sheet to get the facts.  Then, please contact your member of Congress and urge him or her to support the earliest possible consideration of H.R. 822 this year.
You can find contact information for your U.S. Representative by using the "Write Your Representatives" tool at  You may also contact your Representative by phone at (202) 225-3121.

Congress works to reopen gun ranges

Gun owners have been shafted for years, and a bill introduced in the United States House of Representatives on Friday stands to change things for the better. Hunters, recreational shooters and other gun owners pay an 11 percent excise tax, established under the Pittman Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act of 1937, on ammunition and other hunting and shooting equipment. It generates more than $700 million each year that is supposed to establish, restore and protect wildlife habitats and provide for hunter education. That means gun owners pay a tremendous amount toward maintaining and improving public lands, such as our national forests and properties governed by the Bureau of Land Management.

Activists want bullets to carry bar codes

Yvonne Carrington Payne and Carolyn Funches have cooked Thanksgiving dinners for the homeless, raised money for needy families, and set up a shelter for battered women. "We don't play around," said Carrington Payne, 70. "When people see us coming, they know we get things done." Now, in what surely will be their toughest challenge, the Chester duo are taking on the gun lobby. Specifically, they want bar codes on bullets as a way of tracking killers and reducing gun violence.

Lawyers, guns, and money

Last December, U.S. border patrol agent Brian Terry was murdered in a firefight with three Mexican nationals in Arizona. Two guns recovered at the crime scene were traced back to an ongoing Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) investigation, informally known under the code names "Gunwalker" and "Fast and Furious." As part of this investigation, ATF had allowed American firearms dealers to sell more than 2,000 guns to Mexican criminal gangs with no plan to interdict or recover the guns. Several ATF agents had expressed concern about the operation. One of the firearms dealers involved had even emailed the ATF agent in charge to express concern that the operation was putting the lives of border patrol agents at risk -- six months before Terry's murder.

Read About It: The Weekly Standard

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