Gun Owners of America E-Mail Alert
8001 Forbes Place, Suite 102, Springfield, VA 22151
Phone: 703-321-8585 / FAX: 703-321-8408
Thursday, August 11, 2005
"We're going to hit them right where it hurts -- in their bank
accounts -- and we won't stop hitting until they stop flooding our
streets with guns." -- Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, a leading
proponent of the "bankrupt the gun industry" movement
This quote demonstrates the rabid zealotry that exists in the
anti-gun community. It also shows why it's so important for Congress
to enact good legislation that will put an end to the dozens of
frivolous lawsuits that have been launched against the gun industry.
At least two gun makers -- Bryco and Navegar -- have already been put
out of business. And many other gun makers have been forced to dole
out millions of dollars to protect themselves from these unscrupulous
If we want to continue enjoying our Second Amendment rights, it is
imperative that we work through the Congress to put a halt to these
Rep. Marilyn Musgrave has taken up the cause in the House. She wants
the Congress to send the President a CLEAN bill that will protect gun
makers and sellers, without punishing gun owners in any way. The
House bill (H.R. 800) is much better than the Senate version (S.
397), since the former is free and clear of all gun control.
As introduced, S. 397 would have been a good first step towards
curtailing anti-gun lawsuits. Unfortunately, Senator Frist allowed
two anti-gun amendments to be offered, and they turned a marginally
beneficial bill into a huge albatross.
The first amendment -- offered by Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI) -- requires
gun dealers to include a "lock-up-your-safety" device with every
handgun sold. In addition to imposing a "gun tax" on every
buyer, this amendment paves the way for future legislation mandating
that gun owners use those trigger locks.
The second provision -- offered by Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) -- amended
the armor-piercing bullet provisions of federal law. At its core,
the Craig language did two things:
* It gave impetus to adopting a "penetration standard" for armor
piercing bullets by commissioning a Justice Department study of the
issue. If a "penetration standard" were adopted, a gun-adverse
administration could probably use it to ban virtually all ammunition.
* It established a fifteen year MANDATORY MINIMUM PRISON SENTENCE for
anyone who carries a single armor piercing bullet during the
commission of a "crime of violence" -- or who
"possesses" such a
bullet "in furtherance of... such crime..."
It is significant that "crime of violence" is defined in 18
924(c)(3) to mean a felony that (1) involves the actual, attempted,
or threatened use of force against person or property, or (2)
involves a "substantial risk" of force against person or property.
Hence, if a concealed carry permit holder opens his coat to display a
firearm in order to thwart an assault -- and such an action is
prohibited by a state's anti-self defense law and therefore
constitutes a felony of "criminal threatening" -- then the
sentence the concealed carry permit holder to a fifteen year
mandatory minimum sentence if he is carrying an "armor piercing
bullet." The judge has no discretion.
The only "good news" in regard to the Craig language is that the 18
U.S.C. 921 definition of "armor piercing ammunition" was not
affected. The definition is fairly restricted and limited to:
* A handgun projectile wholly made of tungsten alloys, steel, iron,
brass, bronze, beryllium copper, or depleted uranium, or
* A handgun projectile larger than .22 caliber with a jacket weighing
more than 25% of the total weight of the projectile.
Thankfully, Rep. Musgrave is pushing the House leadership to get real
lawsuit protection enacted, without endangering the Second Amendment
rights of gun owners in any way.
ACTION: Please ask your Representative to sign onto the Musgrave
letter opposing the anti-gun amendments in S. 397. And then, forward
this alert to your pro-gun friends and family. Even if you have
already contacted your Rep., please consider doing so again.
Musgrave needs a huge outpouring of support if she is to convince the
House leadership that they should push H.R. 800, rather than just
taking the Senate version at face value.
You can visit the Gun Owners Legislative Action Center at
to send your Representative a
pre-written e-mail message such as the one below.
Or, you can call your Representative toll-free at 877-762-8762.
--- Pre-written letter ---
As you know, the Senate recently passed much-needed lawsuit
protection for the gun industry (S. 397). But this bill passed with
some unwanted baggage -- specifically, two amendments that chip away
at the Second Amendment rights of all Americans.
One amendment imposes a handgun tax and paves the way for future
requirements that gun owners lock up their guns, thus rendering them
unavailable for self-defense. The second provision -- the armor
piercing ammunition language -- would also pave the way for future
restrictions, as explained in detail at www.gunowners.org/a081105.htm
on the Gun Owners of America website.
For these reasons, I urge you to sign onto a letter being circulated
by Rep. Marilyn Musgrave which deals with real efforts to gain
lawsuit protection for gun makers and gun dealers, without
endangering ordinary gun owners.
The letter asks the House leadership to push H.R. 800, a lawsuit
protection bill that contains no gun control, rather than its Senate
counterpart. H.R. 800 has been well received in the House, as it
currently has 257 cosponsors.
America deserves a CLEAN bill which offers real protection for gun
makers and dealers. Thank you very much.