By The Small Arms Review Editorial Staff
The Grassroots division of the NRA Institute for Legislative Action offers programs specially designed for legislative and political action. The following excerpts are from the NRA GRASSFIRE! Newsletter, June 1998. For more information call 1-800-392-8683.
RECREATIONAL SHOOTING ON FEDERAL LANDS
There have been growing concerns over the last few years regarding shooting areas and ranges located on federal lands. You may recall that there have been difficulties experienced by certain ranges and shooting areas, particularly as they related to the Tucson Rod & Gun Club (Inside NRA, May 1998). In response to these problems, NRA is gathering information from around the country on shooting areas or shooting ranges that have been closed by federal officials in the past five years. Information is also needed from clubs, associations, or individuals who have requested that an area of federal land be opened to recreational shooting or proposed the building of a shooting range and have been turned down. We hope to be able to use this information to help to ensure that public lands are managed and used efficiently, effectively, and safely to meet public shooting sports needs. For any firsthand information you can share concerning such closures or denials on federal lands, please send it to NRA-ILA’s Conservation, Wildlife and Natural Resources Division at 11250 Waples Mill Road, Fairfax, VA 22030. You may also fax information to 703-267-1543.
How many times have you attended a gun show, club meeting, or even an NRA event and noticed how few of today’s youth were actively involved in the cause of protecting our freedoms? While NRA has a myriad of programs geared toward our diverse membership, the Second Amendment of tomorrow can be safeguarded if we involve the youth of today. The NRA-ILA College Program is aimed at college and high school students, and this outreach program attempts to identify and work with pro-gun students to reach the next generation with our message. Our goal is to provide today’s students with the tools and information they’ll need to effectively bring the debate over our rights to campuses across the nation. Whether forming pro-Second Amendment student groups, hosting debates, rallies, forums, or utilizing school newspapers, today’s student can become and can influence tomorrow’s leaders on this most important issue. If you’re a student, or if you’re a parent with a college or high school-age son or daughter, and would like more information on this program, contact the NRA-ILA Grassroots Division, and inquire about our College Program.
F.A.I.R. TRADE GROUP
Trade Group President Decries Schumer Maneuver As “Pure Political Grandstanding”
Charles E. Steen III – president of the FAIR Trade Group, a trade association of firearm importers – today decried Rep. Charles Schumer’s effort to strip “in-transit relief” from the FY-1999 Treasury Appropriations bill as “pure political grandstanding.”
“Schumer’s point-of-order reflects only his growing desperation about his dismal failure thus far in the Democratic primary in New York, “Steen continued. “He’s spent obscene amount of money on political ads to introduce himself and his policies to the voters of New York. All he’s gotten in response is a big yawn. Now he’s trying to make headlines on the backs of small businesses whose property was appropriated by the federal government.
Steen explained the background of the “in-transit relief” provision. “On April 8 of this year, Bill Clinton announced a dramatic revision of import criteria for firearms. The immediate impact of this announcement was felt by several small businesses that were in the midst of lawfully importing products into the country. The Administration essentially took the property of these law-abiding importers, who had acted on approved import permits, only to find that their product had arbitrarily been declared contraband by the time it arrived. This Clinton announcement made a mockery of their property rights – and this provision merely compensates them for their losses”.
Steen noted a precedent for the provision, and pointed to the provision’s broad bipartisan support, emphasizing that even the Administration agrees with the provision. We’ve been down this road before. Congress has passed, and Bill Clinton has signed, relief for other importers who were caught in this situation. Now, the House and Senate Appropriations committees have voted in support of this provision, and once again the White House and Treasury Department have signed on. They appear to understand the simple concept of fairness in government – that citizens and legitimate businesses should be compensated for losses suffered as a direct result of government action. Ask Schumer if he would protest compensating his constituents if their houses were condemned for a highway.”
“This isn’t about the principle of the matter,” Steen concluded. “This is about a desperate politician trying to salvage a failed bid for higher office. And if Chuck Schumer thinks that the voters of upstate New York will be impressed by his endless parade of gun control demagoguery, then let me be the first to wish him success in whatever career he chooses after losing the primary.”
FIREARM AND AMMUNITION IMPORTER’S ROUND TABLE TRADE GROUP
No. 5 St. Matthews Court –
Washington, D.C. 20036
Ignore Criminals & Blame Honest Gun Owners: Clinton Endorses a Misguided Anti-Crime Proposal
(FALLS CHURCH, Va., July 8, 1998) “President Clinton’s latest anti-crime endorsement targets parents and ignores criminals,” said James J. Fotis, Executive Director, Law Enforcement Alliance of America (LEAA) an association of 65,000 members and supporters comprised of police officers, crime victims, and concerned citizens.
“Clinton’s endorsement of the Durbin/Chafee measure, which imposes harsh punishments on firearm-owning adults whose guns are illegally taken by teenagers, is a clear indication that the President’s anti-crime efforts continue to focus on responsible gun owners instead of recidivist criminals,” said Fotis, a retired, highly decorated Long Island (NY) police officer.
“The Durbin/Chafee measure is a trap for honest gun owners. It is a useless proposal that will not reduce violent crime. The only purpose of the measure is to threaten law-abiding gun owners with stiff punishments if their firearms are taken illegally by teenagers. The measure ignores criminals and predisposes blame onto honest gun owners,” said Fotis,
“Clinton’s endorsement of the Durbin/Chafee amounts to federal law redundancy. Every state in America already has criminal negligence laws on the books that punish irresponsible individuals who allow guns to fall into the wrong hands. If those laws are broken then the violators should be prosecuted. Americans do not need new laws when existing law does the job. Americans need tough prosecutors and judges who will enforce those existing laws,” said Fotis.
With over 65,000 members and supporters, the Law Enforcement Alliance of America is the nation’s largest coalition of law enforcement professionals, crime victims, and concerned citizens dedicated to making America safer.
|This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V2N1 (October 1998)|