This week's outrage comes to us from Winchendon, Massachusetts where, in yet another case of "zero-tolerance" enforcement defying common sense, fourth-grader Bradley Geslak was suspended from Toy Town Elementary School for bringing a Memorial Day souvenir to school.
Speak Up Now On Right-To-Carry In National Parks: As we've reported over the last few weeks, the U.S. Department of the Interior has issued a proposed rule to eliminate the prohibition on Right-to-Carry in national parks and wildlife refuges. The National Rifle Association led the effort to change this policy and we are very close to winning this important battle.
However, the new rules will not take effect until after a public comment period. Our opponents will take advantage of this time to try to convince the Secretary of the Interior to reverse his decision. NRA members must take action now so that the anti-gunners are not allowed to sway this process.
Stop BATFE Abuses -- Urge Your Congressman To Cosponsor H.R. 4900: Continuing concern about the treatment of firearm dealers by BATFE has caused members of the U.S. House of Representatives--with NRA-ILA's full support--to push for new and improved reform legislation. That push has taken the form of H.R. 4900-- the "Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Reform and Firearms Modernization Act."
STATE ROUNDUP (please click to see any updates on states not listed below.)
ARIZONA: Governor Vetoes Pro-Gun Bills! On Tuesday, May 27, Governor Janet Napolitano (D) vetoed NRA-supported House Bill 2629, which would have allowed the defensive display of a firearm. The Governor also vetoed Senate Bill 1106 which would have created a lifetime concealed carry license for Arizona residents. Although the 2008 legislative session will be adjourning soon, NRA is not giving up on issues important to our members, and is still working to pass a bill to make the defensive display of a firearm legal. We will keep you updated on the progress of this effort.
CALIFORNIA: Anti-Gun Bills Head to Senate! Earlier this week the Assembly passed Assembly Bill 2948 by a vote of 41 to 25. AB2948 seeks to ban the sale of firearms and ammunition on the property or inside the buildings that comprise the Cow Palace. The bill now heads to the Senate for its consideration. Also headed to the Senate are Assembly Bills 2235 and 2062. AB 2235 would prohibit the sale of handguns other than "owner-authorized (or "smart") handguns". AB 2062 would make it a crime to privately transfer more than 50 rounds of ammunition per month, even between family and friends, unless you are registered as a "handgun ammunition vendor" in the Department of Justice's database. Please contact your State Senator and respectfully urge him or her to oppose AB2948, AB2235 and AB2062 when they come before them for a vote. Contact information for your State Senator can be found by clicking here.
Santa Clara Board of Supervisors Considering Mandatory Spay or Neuter Resolution! The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors will be considering a resolution in support of the California Healthy Pets Act, AB 1634 on Tuesday, June 3. This measure requires every dog older than four months to be spayed or neutered. Owners hoping to breed their dogs at some point during their lives would be required to apply annually to their local government for an "intact" permit. Except under very limited circumstances, the local government official has the power to deny issuance of an intact permit without cause. The cost of the annual permit is unspecified in the legislation and is to be determined by the local government. Penalty for non-compliance is a $500 fine imposed by the state and any additional fines imposed by the local government. Please contact each member of the Board of Supervisors and respectfully urge them to oppose any resolution in support of AB 1634. Please click here to find contact information for the Board of Supervisors.
DELAWARE: "Landowner Liability Protection Act" Delayed by Trial Lawyers in Committee! Earlier this month we reported that a scheduled vote on House Bill 341, the "Landowner Liability Protection Act," in the House Housing & Community Affairs Committee was delayed because of opposition from the Delaware Trial Lawyers Association. HB341 would ensure that landowners who allow public hunting access incur no liability for property damage or personal injuries caused by hunters -- regardless of whether the damage occurs on or off the landowner's property. If HB341 is not enacted, landowners will continue to deny access to hunters for fear of being sued. Please contact the members of the House Housing & Community Affairs Committee TODAY and respectfully urge them to support this crucial piece of legislation. To find contact information for the committee members, please click here.
GEORGIA: The Fish and Wildlife Service has announced that it will prepare a management plan for the Savannah Coastal Refuges' Complex. The 56,000 acre Complex is comprised of a chain of refuges that together span a 100-mile coastline. Deer hunting is allowed on a number of the refuges that make up the Complex. The Service is asking for suggestions and information on the scope of the issues to consider in the planning process. Comments must be submitted by July 3. An open house will be held during the scoping phase. Questions and comments should be directed to Jane Griess, Project Leader, at 912-652-4415, or at email@example.com. If you hunt on any of the refuges within the Complex, it is important for you to participate in the planning process to secure hunting opportunities for the future.
ILLINOIS: Urgent Action Needed to Protect Our Rights! On Wednesday, May 28, the Illinois House of Representatives Executive Committee voted to amend House Bill 2760 to include a lost or stolen firearm clause. Under this new amendment, anyone with a valid Firearms Owner's Identification (FOID) Card who is either the victim of a crime where a lawfully owned firearm is stolen, or if they lose a firearm, must report the theft or loss to the authorities within 72 hours. The House could also take up Senate Bill 1007 at anytime, which would ban the manufacture, possession, delivery, sale, and purchase of standard capacity ammunition magazines capable of holding more than ten (10) cartridges. The 2008 Illinois legislative session is quickly coming to a close and it is critical that you make your voice heard. Please contact your State Representative IMMEDIATELY and respectfully urge him or her to oppose both HB2760 and SB1007. Contact information can be found by clicking here.
KENTUCKY: National Rifle Association Specialized License Plates! NRA is collecting applications for specialized NRA license plates for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The Kentucky Department of Motor Vehicles will only produce the plates if it receives at least 900 applications for the NRA license plate. The initial application fee is $28.00. For information on where to send your payment and where to submit your application, please click here.
LOUISIANA: Your Self-Defense Rights are at Stake! Earlier this week, the House Administration of Criminal Justice Committee passed NRA-backed Senate Bill 51. SB 51 would protect your right to lawfully transport and store firearms in your locked motor vehicle while parked in unsecured, public access parking lots controlled by your employer or a business you frequent. The bill now moves to the House floor for consideration. It's simple-if your employer or business can ban firearms from the parking lot, your right to self-defense during your drive to and from work or while running errands each day is gone. Your State Representative needs to hear from you TODAY! Please call your State Representative at 225-342-6945 or email him or her and urge them to support SB 51 when it comes before the full House for consideration in the coming weeks. You can find your State Representative and their contact information by clicking here.
Also, the Fish and Wildlife Service has announced that it will prepare a management plan for the Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge in Ouachita Parish, LA. The 4,500-acre Refuge is three miles north of Monroe. Resident game and migratory game bird hunting occur on the refuge. The Service is asking for suggestions and information on the scope of the issues to consider in the planning process. Comments must be submitted by June 23. An open house will be held during the scoping phase. Questions and comments should be directed to Tina Chouinard, Natural Resource Planner, at 318-305-0643, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you hunt this Refuge, it is important for you to participate in the planning process to secure hunting opportunities for the future.
MAINE: Maine Primary Elections, Tuesday, June 10! Tuesday, June 10 is Primary Election Day in Maine. Please be sure to vote Freedom First. For candidate ratings and endorsements, please call the NRA-ILA Grassroots Division at (800) 392-VOTE (8683). For more information about voting in Maine, please click here. Remember to Vote Freedom First on Tuesday, June 10!
MICHIGAN/NEVADA: Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Agreement Reached! Michigan and Nevada have reached a reciprocity agreement. Michigan and Nevada will now recognize each other's Right-to-Carry permits. Permit holders must comply with the laws that apply to the specific state in which they are traveling. For a list of prohibited carry locations as well as states that Nevada recognizes, please click here. Please click here to view the states that acknowledge a Michigan Right-to-Carry permit.
Registration Reform Bill Sent to Senate Judiciary Committee! House Bill 4490 and House Bill 4491 have passed the House and have been assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee. A hearing date has not been scheduled yet. The bills would repeal the required "safety inspection" for newly obtained handguns. Michigan law requires anyone who comes into possession of a pistol to take it to the police or sheriff's department for a safety inspection. The requirement of a safety inspection is a burdensome waste of time for law-abiding gun owners and the bills will end that inconvenience. Please contact the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Wayne Kuipers (R-30), and respectfully urge him to give hearings to both HB4490 and HB4491 before the committee. You can contact Senator Kuipers by phone at (517) 373-6920 or by email at email@example.com.
MONTANA: Montana Primary Elections, Tuesday, June 3! Tuesday, June 3 is Primary Election Day in Montana. Please be sure to go to the polls and "Vote Freedom First." For candidate ratings and endorsements, please call the NRA-ILA Grassroots Division at (800) 392-VOTE (8683) or visit www.NRAPVF.org. For more information about voting in Montana, please click here. Remember to Vote Freedom First on Tuesday, June 3!
BLM to Close Land to Recreational Shooting Outside Helena: The Bureau of Land Management is seeking public comment on its proposal to close land within the 4,700-acre North Hills Recreation Area located northeast of Helena. BLM proposes to close the entirety of Section 34, Township 12 North, Range 3 West. This would close several user-created shooting areas that are located adjacent to the main access road to the Recreation Area. The area would not be closed to hunting during the big game season. All BLM lands outside of the closed area would remain open yearlong to recreational shooting. The deadline for comments is June 15th. Comments should be submitted to BLM Butte Field Office, 106 North Parkmont, Butte, MT 59701, or electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org. For additional information you may call 406-533-7638. It is critical that gun owners and sportsmen take an active role in this process!
NEW HAMPSHIRE: Governor John Lynch Signs Pro-Hunting Legislation into Law! Recently, Governor John Lynch (D) signed House Bill 1266 into law. HB 1266 allows hunters to use .50 caliber pistols to take deer and moose in areas of the state where pistols are permitted for hunting. Please continue checking www.NRAILA.org for further updates on pro-hunting issues in New Hampshire.
NEW MEXICO: New Mexico Primary Elections, Tuesday, June 3! Tuesday, June 3 is Primary Election Day in New Mexico. Please be sure to vote Freedom First. For candidate ratings and endorsements, please call the NRA-ILA Grassroots Division at (800) 392-VOTE (8683) or visit www.NRAPVF.org. For more information about voting in New Mexico, please click here. Remember to Vote Freedom First on Tuesday, June 3!
NEW YORK: Paterson's Anti-Gun Proposal Still an Issue On Monday, May 19, Governor David Paterson (D) outlined a proposal that he plans to introduce that targets law-abiding gun owners and licensed gun dealers. The NRA strongly opposes this measure. Two areas that we specifically oppose are those that would implement more requirements for pistol license applicants without making licenses more accessible to those who qualify, as well as a plan to require licenses for employees of gun stores and granting the State Police broad authority to impose regulations on licensed dealers and gunsmiths. To view a copy of the press release on Governor Paterson's website, click here. Please call your State Legislators today at (518) 455-4100 and respectfully urge them to oppose this measure. To find your Assembly Member, click here. To find your State Senator, click here.
OHIO: Senate Passes "Castle Doctrine" Legislation! On Thursday, May 29, Senate Bill 184, Ohio's "Castle Doctrine" legislation passed out of the State Senate by a vote of 25 to 7. This legislation now heads to the Governor for his signature. Governor Ted Strickland (D) has already voiced his support for SB 184 and is expected to sign this legislation into law within the next couple of weeks. SB 184, sponsored by State Senator Steve Buehrer (R-1), will restore the right of individuals to respond with force in defense of their lives and family, and immunize the victim from civil lawsuits by criminals or the criminal's family. Included in SB 184 are several pro-gun amendments, which remove restrictions on carrying an unloaded firearm in a vehicle, protect the ability to store a firearm in a locked vehicle in privately owned parking facility, and the protect law-abiding gun owners from government gun confiscation during a state of emergency. Please keep checking www.NRAILA.org for further updates on this issue.
OKLAHOMA: Tax Break for NRA Events in Budget Bill On Friday, May 23, with just a few hours remaining in the 2008 Legislative Session, the Oklahoma Legislature gave final approval to an omnibus budget bill (HB1387), which included an important amendment that will exempt purchases and sales at Friends of NRA events from state taxes. We all know the numerous benefits derived by the Friends of NRA program and this legislation will only enhance our efforts on this front. Special thanks to State Senator Anthony Sykes (R-24) and State Representative Randy Terrill (R-53) for their leadership on this effort, and to our allies in both chambers for their support of Friends of NRA! This budget measure has been sent to Governor Brad Henry (D) for his consideration.
RHODE ISLAND: Anti-Gun ("Microstamping") Bills Head to Committee! After being pulled from the agenda of the House Judiciary Committee, House Bill 7834 has been referred to the House Finance Committee. HB7834, the "microstamping" proposal, would ban the sale of semi-automatic handguns not equipped with so-called "microstamping" technology. HB7834's Senate companion bill, Senate Bill 2720, is being held up for further study in the Senate Committee on Judiciary. Please contact the members of the House Finance Committee as well as the members of the Senate Committee on Judiciary IMMEDIATELY and respectfully urge them to oppose H7834 and S2720! For committee member contact information, please click here.
SOUTH CAROLINA: South Carolina Primary Elections, Tuesday, June 10! Tuesday, June 10 is Primary Election Day in South Carolina. Please be sure to vote Freedom First. For candidate ratings and endorsements, please call the NRA-ILA Grassroots Division at (800) 392-VOTE (8683) or visit www.NRAPVF.org. For more information about voting in South Carolina, please click here. Remember to Vote Freedom First on Tuesday, June 10!
Right to Hunt and Fish Gets a Second Chance Earlier this week new life was breathed into H 3202, the Right to Hunt and Fish Constitutional Amendment, but the new language is not supported by NRA. Previously thought to be dead, H 3202 has been amended to exclude language previously agreed to by both the Department of Natural Resources and NRA language that would have protected the rights of hunters in the Palmetto State. The current version of this bill will not protect hunter's rights. Please contact your State Senator and respectfully urge him or her to oppose any version of this bill that does not include NRA approved language. You can find the contact information for your Senator by clicking here.