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Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Heller earthquake continues to send tremors through gun control
communities in middle America.

Following the Supreme Court's U.S. v. Heller decision in June, at least one
town in West Virginia and two jurisdictions in Illinois have been forced to
reconsider their gun control laws. The latter two -- in Wilmette and Morton
Grove, Illinois -- repealed their handgun bans in July.

But while some communities have "seen the light," others
continue to dig in
their heels. Take Washington, DC, where the city council has thumbed its
nose at the Court's ruling and has redrafted its registration law to impose
a burdensome 12-step process that, as summarized in one legislative report,
involves "multiple trips to gun dealers and government offices,
fingerprinting, a written exam, and ballistic testing."

At a minimum, some officers believe this process will take 14 days. But a
more realistic assessment was offered by DC Police Chief Cathy Lanier who
said the process "could take months."

In response, the U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote soon on
legislation to simply repeal the DC gun ban -- a vote that could come as
early as today.

HR 6691, introduced by Rep. Travis Childers (D-MS), would repeal much of the
gun control in the District -- including the ban on semi-auto pistols and
rifles, and the registration requirements which require residents to get
permission from the city council before they can own a weapon.

The Childers bill will also strike the "trigger lock"
provision which
endangers gun owners by forcing the lucky ones who successfully jump through
the 12-step process to render their guns unusable for immediate defensive
purposes.

Faced with a discharge petition that had gained tremendous momentum -- in
large part, thanks to your efforts which was a response to an earlier GOA
alert -- the Democratic leadership realized that a bill to repeal the DC gun
ban was definitely going to be brought out of committee and passed on the
House floor. So the anti-gun leadership decided that the place to kill the
bill was in the Senate.

Consider what news reports are saying:

"Although the bill is expected to pass in the House, possibly as soon as
this week, its fate is less clear in the Senate," reported The
Washington
Post this past Tuesday. "It has won the backing of 48 [House] Democrats,
many facing reelection in strongly pro-gun areas, and is expected to pick up
broad support among Republicans."

Remarkably, the Post is right. (A stopped clock is also right twice a day.)
The Democrats are trying to "have their cake and eat it too"
by protecting
Democrats from rural districts -- allowing them to vote pro-gun -- but then
letting the bill die in the Senate.

That's why GOA is encouraging members to contact their two senators at this
time.

ACTION: Please urge your senators to demand a vote on repealing DC's gun
control. While we certainly don't want to discourage you from contacting
your Representative, the main battle is going to be in the other chamber, so
please make sure you contact both of your senators.

You can use the pre-written message below and send it as an e-mail by
visiting the GOA Legislative Action Center at
http://www.gunowners.org/activism.htm (where phone and fax numbers are also
available).

----- Pre-written letter -----

Dear Senator:

I am glad to see that the House is taking up HR 6691, a bill introduced by
Mississippi Democrat Travis Childers. His bill would help enforce the
recent Supreme Court decision in U.S. v. Heller. It would do so by
repealing the gun ban in the District -- including the ban on semi-auto
pistols and rifles, and the registration requirements which require
residents to get permission from the city council before they can own a
weapon.

The Childers bill will also strike the "trigger lock"
provision which
endangers gun owners by forcing the lucky ones who successfully jump through
the 12-step process to render their guns unusable for immediate defensive
purposes.

Regardless of what happens to HR 6691, I would implore you, in the strongest
possible terms, to urge Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to schedule a vote
on repealing the DC gun ban. Thank you.
 
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