The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, numbered both S659 and S1805, is the Senate version of the NRA's gun industry liability protection legislation. In the Senate, it became the center of several close votes as anti-gun forces tried to attach their bills as amendments (and, mostly succeeded). The amendments were sufficient to kill the final bill.
The Senate will begin another debate on federal gun laws this week, and at least one issue may put it at odds with Republicans in the other chamber.
A Republican-led bill to immunize gun makers from wrongful-death claims is expected to hit the floor tomorrow, but Democrats and liberal Republicans will propose an amendment to extend the federal assault-weapons ban, possibly setting up a showdown with the House.
President Bush supports the assault-weapons proposal as well as the overall immunity bill.
These bills should stay separate. We have compromised enough on this issue.
NRA denying compromise on AWB
Passage of S. 1805 is critical -- but not worth allowing legislation going to the President including either an extension of the Clinton gun ban or restrictions at gun shows. There will be no compromise. The only choice is a "clean" bill or no bill.
The legislative process in Congress is complex and far from perfect. Fortunately, Congress is a bicameral (two house) legislative body and both the House and Senate must agree on the same bill before enactment. While we are uncertain of the outcome of several pending anti-gun amendments in the Senate, the House is strongly pro-gun and it (or a conference committee) will not accept any anti-gun Senate-passed amendment as part of the final product to be sent to the President.
This is from a statement the NRA is sending out via email to people who write them expressing concerns about an AWB compromise. It sends a mixed message; the NRA is claiming they won't compromise on the final bill sent to the President, but implying that they'll accept a compromise bill from the Senate that includes anti-gun amendments, in the hopes of stripping those provisions out in the conference committee. I'm willing to let the NRA play their game with respect to some of this stuff, but the gun show amendment and the assault weapons ban amendment are off-limits. If those get attached in the Senate, the bill must not leave the Senate.
Gun Liability Bill: Update for Saturday
Nothing much happened on Friday. A number of amendments were proposed, but no votes. The latest skinny on scheduling says that the Senate will vote on the amendments Monday, and the final bill Tuesday. So: on Monday, everyone calls their Senator to say "No amendments." On Tuesday, we take stock of what got attached to the bill on Monday (if anything) and call our Senators to let them know whether to kill it or pass it.
Here's what's still on the table (and significant in some way) regarding guns:
And the stuff in the bill as it stands:
The gun lock amendment looks fairly tame on first glance, since just about every manufacturer and dealer are doing this anyway. There have been some hints that it would provide for liability to individual gun owners who did not use their locking device, but I can't find that in the bill -- granted I could easily have missed it.
The armor piercing amendments are a little worrying. The one proposed by Senatory Kennedy could be construed to ban just about any rifle round. The one proposed by Senator Craig contains a justice department study, prohibitions on manufacture, and penalty enhancements for using "armor piercing ammunition" but doesn't define armor-piercing ammunition so far as I can tell. That definition appears elsewhere (see the analysis from KeepAndBearArms.com).
This amendment is troubling but probably acceptable -- and with luck we can get it stripped out in conference committee.
The other armor-piercing ammunition amendment is much worse (it could easily be read to ban just about all rifle rounds); if that one gets included, I think the whole bill should die.
The gun show bill would essentially ban gun shows completely -- the organizations would be criminally liable if all provisions, including some fairly minor ones, were not followed exactly, even if they were not the ones responsible for the problems. I don't think anyone would be willing to take that risk.
National concealed-carry for law-enforcement is OK, but not something I consider desirable; I'd rather not hand out more special rights to police officers. But it's not worth opposing the bill for.
I hope I don't need to say anything about the assault weapons ban itself. Hopefully we can keep that out of the bill.
At the moment, I'd say we have a tentative "go forward" so long as we don't get any further amendments. .
There are a few amendments from the Bizarro World where amendments are really "I want to pass my bill too", but I haven't seen anything especially scary about them.
Monday Morning Gun Liability update
To open your morning, Publicola has some good analysis of the NRA's position. The situation is the same as it was Friday evening; we're waiting for votes on the amendments already proposed and expecting the really nasty ones to be proposed either today or tomorrow. KeepAndBearArms.com has a good summary, too. And I expect Geek with a .45 will be continuing his blow-by-blow from CSPAN. The NRA has their own status update. And you can keep up with the action on C-SPAN2.
Contact your legislators at 1-202-224-3121. Use the CapWiz button on the left to send email. Do both, in fact, but make sure to call; it's faster. Email might not be read in time. Here's the message:
Senator, I support the passage of S1805, but only without any further anti-gun amendments. Senator McCain's gun show bill is unacceptable. So are any amendments renewing the Assault Weapons Ban. I urge you to vote against those amendments specifically, and to vote against any other anti-gun amendments, including either version of the armor-piercing ammunition amendment. Most important, Senator, if the Assault Weapons Ban or the Gun Show Ban are passed as amendments to this bill, I insist that you vote to kill the entire bill. I support a clean bill only; no compromises for additional gun control.
That message may change as amendments are voted on. In particular, the moment I hear that the gun show bill or the assault weapons ban have been amended into this bill, I'll send out something saying explicitly that it's time to kill the bill. Here's the scorecard at the moment:
Currently in the Bill
- Senator Boxer's Trigger Lock amendment...
- ... with Kohl's amendment to make it more palatable.
Currently awaiting a vote
- "Gun Show" ban
- "Assault Weapons" ban renewal
- National Concealed-Carry for Law Enforcement
- Senator Kennedy's Armor-piercing ammunition ban, which would ban all common centerfire rifle rounds, including the .30-30
- Senator Craig's "armor-piercing ammo" amendment, which restates current law and increases penalties for killing a police officer
- Orrin Hatch's bill to end the DC gun ban
Stuff we've stopped
- A "law enforcement exemption" that would allow suits by law enforcement victims
- A special exemption for the DC sniper case
Just to get a quick summary out: the gun show ban is bad, and if it passes, we kill the bill; the assault weapons ban is bad, and if it passes, we kill the bill; the LEO concealed-carry bill is OK; Kennedy's ammunition ban is bad, and probably worth killing the bill; Craig's amendment isn't great, but is acceptable if it keeps Kennedy's amendment out of the bill; and if we can kill the DC gun ban with this bill, that's a good thing. For more details, see the analysis from Angel Shamaya of KeepAndBearArms.com.
If you're wondering who to call to have the most effect, check out this list of 2004 Senate races. These are the people who are up for reelection this November. These are the people with the most incentive to listen to voter input. Note that Senator Boxer is on this list, and while she's not likely to change her mind, Nicki Fellenzer has come up with a good way to show her what we think.
S1805: Tuesday Morning Update
OK, stuff is going to get tricky today. On Monday, we had a lot of talk but little action. Just one vote, that I noticed, on the Binghamptom amendment. It was a bad amendment (I think the gun show one) and it lost badly.
All indications are that the upcoming votes are going to be close. Schumer even asked that Cheney be present in case a tie-breaking vote was required. Without doing explicit vote counting, I think that the vote on the Assault Weapons Ban will come down to the wire. The bill itself is likely to pass, whether the AWB is on it or not. And the more gun control in the bill, the easier for the democrats to support it -- so the more likely it is to pass. Our goal remains to keep the anti-gun amendments off the bill. (Senate staffers don't usually record comp[icate if-thens from voters; they'll register "support for the bill" and likely won't be able to turn that support around on a dime if the AWB or other gun control is added at the last minute). The show starts at 9:30 EST.
Amendments on the table
- Assault Weapons Ban
- National Concealed Carry for Law Enforcement
- Two versions of the armor-piercing ammunition ban
- Possibly repealing DC's gun ban
I will not be posting anything else on this topic until we know the results... or it becomes necessary to kill the whole bill, because of attachments. Last night, I think we killed the gun show ban. But the real fight is today. And it's going to be close.
Gun Liability Bill Update: Assault Weapons amendment
The assault weapons amendment passed (52 yea, 47 nay, preliminary count). Call your senators right now. KILL THE BILL!
Gun Liability Bill: Gun Show Amendment
Voting on the gun show amendment... 53 aye, 46 nay, amendment agreed to. KILL THE BILL!
Senator Larry Craig just recommended pulling S1805!
They are voting on S1805 now! Larry Craig, the author and sponsor IIRC, recommended AGAINST voting for the bill! He wants to kill it! And it did, in fact, die. We'll be back, hopefully with a cleaner bill, on the liability issue. We might have to do this again later. But for the present, we stopped several extremely bad bills, and remember, we don't have to pass anything for the AWB to expire. We just have to play for time.
Summary of Senate events
The past few days have been very exciting for liberty activists, especially those with a right-to-keep-and-bear-arms orientation. In case you haven't had the time to follow the situation blow-by-blow (though I hope you had time to call your senators!), here's the sequence of events:
- Pro-gun and anti-gun forces in the senate are in a Mexican standoff; either side can filibuster the other's bills.
- To break the standoff, a deal is struck; the NRA's Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms act will get a vote, but the anti-gunners can offer gun-control bills as amendments
- The deal is approved by a cloture vote (75 in favor)
- The pro-gun bill is introduced as S1805
- President Bush urges a clean bill
- Amendment: "Closing the gun show loophole" (passed, 53-47)
- Amendment: "Assault Weapons Ban" (passed, 52-48)
- Amendment: "Gun locks (Boxer version)" (passed)
- Amendment: "Gun locks (Kohl version)" (passed)
- Amendment: "LEO national concealed-carry" (passed)
- Amendment: "Armor-Piercing Ammo (Craig-Frist version)" (passed)
- Amendment: "Armor-Piercing Ammo (Kennedy? version)" (failed)
- Amendment: "Exception for DC Sniper shootings" (failed)
- Amendment: "Exemption for LEO victims" (failed)
- Larry Craig courageously decides the amendments are not worth it, and urges pro-gun forces to vote no on the final bill.
- The final vote is 90-7 against.
So what does this mean? Well, it means a couple things. First, both sides went into this thinking they might get something they wanted, and they might get something they didn't much like. Their own vote counting, on both sides, showed that the situation was very close.
No one could force passage of a clean bill; the anti-gun forces knew they couldn't get a majority in favor of their most important bills (closing the gun show "loophole" and the assault weapons ban) by themselves, but if they offered some political cover by making it a "compromise" bill then they had a chance. Pro-gun forces couldn't move their bill forward by itself, due to filibuster rules, but they also knew that they had enough votes to pass the bill in a straight vote. They also knew the House is more firmly pro-gun.
So the deal is struck. S1805 gets it's straight vote, no filibuster, but the antis can offer a collection of amendments. Here's where it gets tricky. Some pro-gun strategists think the best hope is to pass the bill with whatever amendments, then try to strip those amendments in the house. Others take the no-compromise position and want to kill the whole bill if it accumulates more than token gun control.
Rocky Mountain Gun Owners sends out email warning its members that the NRA is brokering a backroom deal to get the legislation passed, with the AWB and/or the gun shows bill attached, in the hopes that it can be stripped out in the house. This is a risky legislative strategy, and the NRA's record is far from spotless; suspicions are understandable but lacking in proof.
This warning sparked a LOT of opposition from within the gun-owning Internet community -- enough that the NRA started sending out emails of its own denying the accusation, but leaving themselves a suspiciously large amount of wiggle room. So, Senators are getting deluged by gun owners urging them to pass a clean bill, and at least some of these are specifying "but if the AWB is attached, kill it." Maybe some antis are calling in, too. Hard to say.
The three big votes are the gun show loophole, the assault weapons ban, and the whole package (S1805 with amendments). The two anti-gun amendments pass, and are attached to the bill. We lost those votes, folks. If we could have garnered another 3 votes our way, we could have had a reasonable liability protection bill in place without any significant gun control attached.
So, we lost there. But, we also won, and we won something big -- something I certainly did not expect, and something that damn near floored me when it happened.
Larry Craig, as I understand it the original author of S1805, stood up on the Senate floor and urged his colleagues to vote against his own bill. It was his bill, and he took personal responsibility to putting it out of its misery after the anti-gun amendments had tortured it. That takes balls. I'm proud of him for standing up and making that call. He made this tough decision and he got a vote of 90+ against his own bill. That's the anti-gunners voting against and that's the pro-gunners voting against; the ones left in the middle were the ones who wanted a compromise.
Why is this such a big deal? Remember the pro-gun strategists were saying they could kill the provisions in the House! That's the NRA, folks, who issued a half-hearted denial of exactly that intent after the RMGO called them on it. For a long time, compromise has been the order of the day for the NRA and for pro-gun forces in the Senate. The Brady Bill, and the Assault Weapons Ban, were both examples of compromise at work. Compromise a little here, a little there -- one slice of rights at a time.
But now that's changed. Pro-gun forces have just drawn a line in the sand. "This far, and no farther."
I may be wrong, and this may not represent a sea change in Senate firearms policy. In any case, the upcoming elections are sure to shake things up. But if I am right, it's an encouraging sign, because it means that our senators are listening to us. The NRA was not telling senators to kill the bill; they wanted it to pass even with some gun control and could barely muster straight-faced opposition when called on it. Gun Owners of America, bless their no-compromise hearts, couldn't even get me a postcard with the wrong bill name on it before the final vote. (I'll still send it in; can't hurt.)
We told them to kill the bill if it had the assault weapons ban or the gun show amendment attached. We told them to, and they did it. That's you and I, not the NRA, not even the GOA.
Ladies and gentlemen... welcome to the 21st century. We've been given a republic... if we can keep it.
So we've been fought hard, and we've managed to preserve the status quo. We might need to tell our Senators how to vote again on this issue, but this time we held the line, and I don't think they'll be eager to try again without the political cover the immunity bill would have offered. We lost some votes, to be sure, and we didn't get our bill out; but we also blocked the assault weapons ban. We don't have to win a vote to get that ban to expire; we just have to hold the line. And that is exactly what we did.
Please take the time to find out how your Senators voted and give them a call to congratulate or chastise them as appropriate. When you do so, please indicate that you supported a clean S1805, but you agree with the decision to kill the bill once the assault weapons ban or the gun show amendment were attached. We wouldn't want them to think you were calling for the Brady Bunch, after all.
You might want to contact Larry Craig and thank him for his courageous stance on voting against his own bill. We need to show that we understand that kind of hard decision and that it was the right decision.
Friday Morning summary of action
Just for background, the Senate is currently having it out over the gun liability protection bill, and the way that it was set up to come to a vote, the anti-gunners have the opportunity to add their own amendments to the bill. And boy, they are sure trying hard to throw everything they can at it -- including the kitchen sink.
Here's what has passed so far:
Still in the wings waiting for a vote are the Assault Weapons Ban amendment, a bill establishing national concealed-carry for law enforcement, and probably one or two pieces of small cutlery.
This presents a question: what do we do about the bill? It has some gun control measures attached now. In an email to awbansunset.com, the NRA promises that it will kill them in conference committee:
The legislative process in Congress is complex and far from perfect.
Fortunately, Congress is a bicameral (two house) legislative body and both
the House and Senate must agree on the same bill before enactment. While we
are uncertain of the outcome of several pending anti-gun amendments in the
Senate, the House is strongly pro-gun and it (or a conference committee)
will not accept any anti-gun Senate-passed amendment as part of the final
product to be sent to the President.
The question is whether to trust them. They've tried this and been caught by surprise before. To my mind, it depends on what the stakes are; under no circumstances is this bill worth a renewal of the AWB. Nor is it worth eliminating gun shows.
As it stands right now, though, it's a tougher question and you'll have to make the call for yourself. Speaking of which, Congress still needs phonecalls: 1-202-224-3121. Give them a call EVERY SINGLE DAY this is on the table, and tell them you are a supporter of gun rights and you DO NOT want any anti-gun amendments on S1805. Tell them that if the AWB amendment or the gun show amendment is added, kill the bill. And if you've decided that the trigger lock or ammunition amendments aren't acceptable, just tell them to kill the whole thing... but tell them it's because of the anti-gun amendments on the bill!. You don't want the senator to mis-identify you as a member of the Brady Bunch.
The message here is loud and clear, regardless of your decision on the bill as currently amended: the clean bill was good, anti-gun amendments are bad. The only question is whether the existing amendments are bad enough to kill the whole bill. Rocky Mountain Gun Owners has been generating the accusations about an NRA deal on this issue, and they say kill the bill.
Remember, politicians are like mules; they'll take the easy way down a slippery slope and they'll balk if they aren't carefully managed -- especially when you're trying to go back up the hill.
If you want to watch things as they happen, here are some sources:
Action items for today:
- Call your senators at 1-202-224-3121.
- Send email using the Gun Owners of America site Their email is a little out of date, so look below for what I sent this morning as a sample. Check their vote from the link above, and add specific congratulations or admonishment for their votes.
Sample Email to Senators
I have been closely following the progress of the gun manufacturer's protection
act (S1805) in the Senate. I SUPPORT this bill but OPPOSE any anti-gun
amendments being added.
Already, two GUN CONTROL AMENDMENTS have been added to this bill. More are
I URGE YOU TO OPPOSE ALL ANTI-GUN AMENDMENTS.
If either the GUN SHOW AMENDMENT or the ASSAULT WEAPONS BAN AMENDMENT are added
to this bill, I urge you to KILL THE BILL.
The American people will not accept a compromise. We will not accept additional
gun control even attached to an otherwise desirable bill. We will hold you AND
YOUR ENTIRE PARTY responsible for your votes individually and the overall
outcome of this legislation. We will remember how you vote when it is our turn
to vote. It may be years before you are up for re-election -- but we will
NO COMPROMISE. HOLD THE LINE.
Sen. Barbara Boxer on Tuesday unveiled a proposed federal law requiring safety locks on all handguns sold in the United States.
"Most handguns have so little trigger resistance they could be fired by a 3-year-old, yet there are an estimated 3.3 million children in the United States living in houses with guns that are always or sometimes kept loaded and unlocked," said Boxer, D-Calif. "The potential for tragedy is overwhelming."
Boxer, whose seat is up for election this year, plans to introduce the bill in Congress later this week. It would prohibit manufacturers and dealers from selling or transferring a handgun for retail purposes unless it had a safety lock.
Violators could have their licenses revoked and face up to $15,000 in fines.
California already has some of the strictest handgun controls in the nation, including laws that limit handgun purchases and ban the sale of assault weapons and cheap guns commonly known as Saturday night specials.
If they can make you buy a $2 gun lock, they can make you buy a $1000 gun safe for a $50 handgun.
Sure to rekindle the gun debate once more, the Senate is expected to vote next week on a bill that would shield the gun industry from certain lawsuits. If the bill passes, victims of gun-related violence would not be able to sue gun manufacturers or dealers, who the bill's proponents say are not responsible for crimes committed once the guns leave the shop.
It took a while to get this to a vote. Hopefully, it will pass, but I'm concerned about the deals that have been made to pass it.
Backers of a bipartisan bill that would shield firearms dealers and manufacturers from lawsuits are pushing for a vote this week in the Senate, injecting the volatile issue of gun control into this year's presidential and Congressional elections.
The bill, which would grant legal immunity to gun makers and dealers so long as they did not sell defective weapons or violate any law, has the support of the White House and 55 sponsors in the Senate, including the Democratic and Republican leaders. It has already passed the House and could come up for consideration in the Senate as early as Wednesday.
For you, it's a baseball bat, maybe the one your kid uses at the sand lot. Or the one you drag out of the closet every summer when that softball league at the office forces you to resolve to get more exercise. It's a recreational device in your hands, but in the hands of a criminal, a potentially deadly instrument. Baseball bats, after all, are among the most frequently used assault weapons in America.
So, when someone maims a victim with that slugger in a robbery, or breaks through a car window to abduct a frightened woman, or enforces a gang's turf with it, would it be right for big city mayors to drag sporting goods companies through lawsuits in the courts and threaten them with ruin because a crook used their bat? What if you were sued because a bat stolen from your house was used in a crime?
That's what happened beginning in 1998 when the first of more than 30 lawsuits were filed against the firearms industry.
Your help is urgently needed!
The anti-gun folks are asking their people to call between the following hours:
9:00 AM - 1:00 PM Eastern Standard Time
8:00 AM - 12:00 PM Central Standard Time
7:00 AM - 11:00 AM Mountain Standard Time
6:00 AM - 10:00 AM Pacific Standard Time
Call 202-224-3121 and ask for one of your Senators' offices (you'll have to call back to reach the other one).
OK, folks, Senate Bill 659 is just about up to bat. That's the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. Contact your senators and urge them to pass the bill with no amendments. Anti-gunners are trying to attach all sorts of stuff to this bill. including extensions to the Assault Weapons Ban. This is your chance to contact your senators and make your voice heard. The points to get across are that you want them to support S659 without amendments. We need to specify that because, if the AWB amendment is added, legislators might be inclined to accept the compromise and pass the bill. This is not acceptable; the AWB must expire. We can come back for the immunity issue afterwards if we need to. It's an important bill. But the Assault Weapons Ban must die. This was all started by GeekWithA.45, BTW.
After you've done that, send email from the below links, or use the capwiz button on the left:
If you want some more thoughts on this issue before you decide exactly what to say, here are some bloggers:
The Administration strongly supports Senate passage of S. 1805. The
Administration urges the Senate to pass a clean bill, in order to
ensure enactment of the legislation this year. Any amendment that
would delay enactment of the bill beyond this year is unacceptable.
The manufacturer or seller of a legal, non-defective product should
not be held liable for the criminal or unlawful misuse of that product
by others. The possibility of imposing liability on an entire
industry for harm that is solely caused by others is an abuse of the
legal system, erodes public confidence in our Nation's laws, threatens
the diminution of a basic constitutional right and civil liberty, sets
a poor precedent for other lawful industries, will cause a loss of
jobs, and burdens interstate and foreign commerce. S. 1805 would help
curb frivolous litigation against a lawful American industry and the
thousands of workers it employs and would help prevent abuse of the
legal system. At the same time, the legislation would carefully
preserve the right of individuals to have their day in court with
civil liability actions. These civil actions are enumerated in the
bill and respect the traditional role of the States in our Federal
system with regard to such actions.
Since Bush has stated that he supports the Assault Weapons Ban in the past, this is a little heartening, in that it indicates he doesn't want a renewal of that ban on his desk if he can avoid it. This doesn't mean we can let up on the issue! Neal Knox has more to say on the matter, too.
The time has come ... sooner than expected. But the battle is about to begin.
Starting on Wednesday, the U.S. Senate is scheduled to begin debate on S. 659, the gun makers' protection bill. This bill would attempt to end the dozens of frivolous lawsuits that have been launched against gun makers, in an attempt to put them out of business (or force them to adopt gun restrictions on the firearms they sell).
But this will not be the only measure considered.
Anti-gun Senators like Dianne Feinstein and John McCain are lining up to offer anti-gun amendments to this bill -- provisions that would extend the Clinton ban on semi-automatic firearms or impose restrictions at gun shows.
We can't let this one slip by, folks. Go directly to the GOA action center and send your message to support S659 and oppose any amendments. Do that right now. Then, call your senators.
S.659 has been dropped and a similar version (still clean and written by NRA Board of Director Larry Craig) called S.1805 is now being considered. For those who want to see the exact text, visit Thomas.loc.gov and type in S.1805 (also see related Craig bill S.1806). Sen. Frist introduced S.1805 today and indicated they will discuss the bill tomorrow afternoon depending on whether or not an attempt to filibuster an unrelated ob/gyn bill is made tomorrow. Sen Frist also introduced a motion of cloture on S.1805. Cloture is a motion used to shut down a filibuster - so it sounds like we may have at least 60 votes in support of S.1805 right now. Cloture also limits the time a bill can be debated. If we are successful with the cloture motion, then we will know the answer to this in about 4 business days.
Looks like the bill has been renumbered. In case this is wrong, it might be worth specifying both the old and new numbers in any contact with congresscritters.
Lawsuit immunity and associated amendments update
Since Monday, the gun industry liability protection bill has been up for consideration in the Senate. This is a high-stakes time period. We must make sure that no anti-gun amendments are added to the liability protection bill. If we can do that, we should be OK; there are probably enough votes to pass. But if we can't keep the bill clean, we need to kill it. We can return to the issue of liability later, but it's not worth any of the amendments being proposed. It's especially not worth renewing the Assault Weapons Ban.
I'll be posting updates each morning that the issue remains active, containing my own summary of the previous day's activity and appropriate contact information.
For today, rumor has it that cloture passed (77-22). This limits the amendments and debate that can be offered, and prevents a filibuster. However, some proposed amendments will still be considered. Rumor from Geek with a .45 says that these are the important ones:
You can get a description of each one from this PDF document
. The short version is, we don't want any of them (not even the last one). The Assault Weapons Ban is obvious; the "gun show" bill would make show organizers (not individual dealers) criminally liable as a felony offense, thus shutting down gun shows completely because no one would be willing to risk making a mistake; and the concealed-carry for law enforcement bill would enshrine into law the special status many LEO's already feel they deserve, as well as reducing their motivation to help ordinary citizens get concealed-carry reciprocity.
Action on this bill will start at 9:30am. You can watch the action on C-Span 2. There's a prewritten email message that you can send, courtesy of Gun Owners of America. And your Senators are accessible through 1-202-224-3121.
In a dramatic, almost wacky turn of events, the Senate overwhelmingly rejected S. 1805, a bill earlier this month that would have immunized firearm manufacturers and dealers against many forms of tort liability. The bill's own sponsors turned against it, as did its original NRA supporters, after opponents succeeded in adding two "poison pill" amendments ? one extending a soon-to-expire ban on so-called assault weapons, and another closing an alleged "gun-show loophole" for unregulated sales of firearms.
Pro-gun and anti-gun groups seemed equally disappointed. The NRA had lobbied long and hard for tort immunity, and lost. Gun-control advocates dearly wanted an assault-weapons extension and new gun-show rules; they lost too. Call us contrarians, but we're delighted on both counts. To us, this is a win-win situation ? a win for the Constitution and a win for law-abiding gun owners everywhere.
I've got to agree with this basic conclusion. It's clear that the gun control amendments on the bill needed to be stopped, and while the liability bill is perhaps desirable, it undeniably assumes federal powers which are properly reserved to the states. It was always an uneasy compromise in that respect.
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