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ATTACKS ON GUN SHOWS EXPECTED SOON

The gun control lobby that calls itself "Americans for Gun Safety" (AGS) is poised to move forward with its campaign of exploiting the terrorist attacks of September 11 in order to further its anti-Second Amendment agenda.  AGS has shamelessly attempted to deceive the American public into believing that terrorists who are aided by renegade countries that support their murderous agenda with military arms and training, as well as millions of dollars -- are shopping at your local gun shows right alongside law-abiding hunters, collectors, and those interested in personal protection.  U.S. Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) -- the foremost spokesman for AGS in the U.S. Senate -- has teamed up with anti-gun U.S. Senators Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.), Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.), and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), and we expect them to try to force a vote in the Senate on their anti-gun show bill, S. 890, some time between now and Independence Day.  S. 890 is designed to run gun shows out of business through a variety of registration and licensing schemes -- and is clearly the first step towards the true goal of banning all legal private sales, including those between friends and family.

    It is critical that you contact your U.S. Senators today and urge them to oppose S. 890 when it is brought up for consideration. You can reach your U.S. Senators by calling the U.S. Senate switchboard at (202) 224-3121.  Just ask for your Senators` offices, or give the operator your state. For additional contact information, use the "Write Your Reps" tool at www.NRAILA.org.

MAJORITY OF AMERICANS SUPPORT DOJ VIEW ON RIGHT TO ARMS

A recent Zogby International poll shows an overwhelming majority of American voters (75%) support the Bush/Ashcroft Department of Justice`s (DOJ) accurate view that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms.  The poll of "likely voters" showed that, while Republicans were most likely to share this view (84%), a solid majority of Democrats (65%) also supported the DOJ`s position.  The ridiculous fabrication by anti-gun extremists that the Second Amendment protects only a "collective" right of states to maintain militias has now been repudiated by countless historians and legal scholars, and is proven to be resoundingly rejected by mainstream America.  This poll certainly explains why numerous Democrats are trying to distance themselves from the perception that the Democratic Party is synonymous with gun control -- some honestly, while others are working purely in the interest of expediency.

    While there are countless lawmakers (as well as voters, as the Zogby poll indicates) who are Democrats and who are solid supporters of the Second Amendment, the most visible and vocal Democrats -- including Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (S.D.); House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt (Mo.); U.S. Senators Hillary Clinton (N.Y.), Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), Ted Kennedy (Mass.), and Chuck Schumer (N.Y.); and U.S. Representatives, David Bonior (Mich.) and John Conyers (Mich.) -- are also some of the most strident advocates of restricting our Right to Keep and Bear Arms.  They, unfortunately, set the legislative and political agenda that all other Democrats are expected to embrace.

    But as anti-gun extremism continues to fall out of favor with the general public, perhaps more pro-gun Democrats will begin to take a greater role in directing the course of their party when it comes to firearms.  Already we have seen U.S. Senator Zell Miller (D-Ga.) speak passionately about his support of law-abiding gun owners when he spoke at NRA`s recent Annual Meetings in Reno, Nev.  And pro-gun stalwarts such as U.S. Representatives John Dingell (Mich.), Ike Skelton (Mo.), Charles Stenholm (Tex.), Collin Peterson (Minn.), and Ted Strickland (Ohio), to name just a few, continue to reject the anti-gun agenda of their party`s leadership.

    Unfortunately, another outcome of the general public`s rejection of anti-gun extremism seems to be a concerted effort by candidates to disguise their anti-gun records, and campaign under the guise of being "pro-gun."  Most recently, we have seen former Philadelphia Mayor Ed Rendell -- one of the pioneers of the reckless lawsuit campaign designed to drive law-abiding gun makers into bankruptcy -- claim he "support the Second Amendment," while he sought the Democratic Party`s nomination for governor of Pennsylvania.  But if having been endorsed by the gun-ban lobby wasn`t enough to tell you where Rendell truly stands, a recent opinion piece in the Philadelphia Daily News by Professor John Lott should remove all doubt.  In the article, Professor Lott recalls an encounter with Rendell in 1999.  Lott stated he overheard the then-Philly Mayor reassure representatives of the Violence Policy Center (VPC), "I just can`t say publicly what we want to do, we have to take these things slowly."  This comment to representatives of a group that openly advocates banning firearms should be an eye-opener to anyone who has bought into Rendell`s deceptive campaign.  But Lott goes on to relate that "Rendell said that, as a city prosecutor, he had never seen a defensive gun use, and that as far as he was concerned, he had never heard of a defensive gun use.  He said that he didn`t believe they occurred."  It`s hard to imagine someone can claim to support the Second Amendment, yet also claim to be ignorant of the defensive uses of firearms by law-abiding citizens.  Especially when research indicates law-abiding citizens use firearms for defensive purposes as many as 2.5 million times a year.

    Clearly there are many good Democrats who truly support our Right to Keep and Bear Arms.  But as the Rendell campaign shows, there are others who continue to embrace the gun-ban agenda, but also understand the general public has grown tired of anti-gun extremism.  While some, like Rendell, will do everything they can to camouflage their true anti-gun views, you can rest assured that NRA will continue to expose those lawmakers and candidates seeking office who are truly opposed to the Second Amendment.

PRIMARY ELECTION RESULTS...

On Tuesday, voters across the country propelled several pro-gun candidates to victory in primary elections.  In Alabama`s 3rd Congressional District, the pro-gun community helped State Representative Mike Rogers become the Republican nominee for this November`s general election.  In Iowa, redistricting moved current 5th Congressional District U.S. Representative Tom Latham to the 4th Congressional District, where he won the Republican nomination on Tuesday.  New Jersey State Assemblyman Scott Garrett won the Republican nomination in the Garden State`s 5th Congressional District -- a seat being vacated by retiring anti-gun Representative Marge Roukema ®.  And in New Mexico, State Senator John Arthur Smith defeated anti-gun Las Cruces Mayor Ruben Smith to become the Democrat nominee for the 2nd Congressional District.  All four of these winners received the NRA-PVF endorsement for their respective primary races.

    In another Alabama race, there will be a run-off election to determine the Democrat nominee for Alabama`s 7th Congressional District on June 25.  This race pits incumbent U.S. Representative Earl Hilliard against challenger Artur Davis.  In 2000, when Hilliard faced the same challenger, the gun-ban lobby formerly known as HCI made more than $18,000 in independent expenditures on behalf of Davis.  HCI likely targeted Hilliard for defeat because of his votes against final passage of the Brady Act and the ban on so-called "assault weapons" during the 103rd Congress, and his vote to repeal the "assault weapons" ban during the 104th Congress.

...AND THE NEXT ROUND OF PRIMARY ELECTIONS

Maine, North Dakota, South Carolina, and Virginia will hold primary elections this Tuesday, June 11.  NRA members in these states should have already received information on candidates endorsed by the NRA-Political Victory Fund for the primaries, so please be sure to go to the polls and support pro-gun candidates for office, and encourage your family, friends, and fellow firearm owners to do the same.  NRA members in these states who have not received this information can call the NRA-ILA Grassroots Division at (800) 392-8683.

NRA-ILA GRASSROOTS ELECTION WORKSHOPS

In preparation for the upcoming campaign season, NRA-ILA is hosting FREE Grassroots-Election Workshops in several areas across the country.  The next upcoming event will be in  Little Rock, Arkansas, this Saturday, June 8, followed by two held on June 15 -- one in Orlando, Florida, and one in Dearborn, Michigan.  Three Workshops will take place in California -- in Sacramento on July 9, Fresno on July 11, and San Diego on July 13.  Two more Workshops are scheduled for South Dakota, with the first in Rapid City on July 15, and the second in Pierre on July 17.  At these Workshops, you will learn what you can do in your own community to ensure pro-gun candidates are elected to office this election season.  NRA members who are interested in attending should contact the NRA-ILA Grassroots Division at (800) 392-8683 for details and to reserve their spots.  NRA members who have access to the Internet can also reserve their spots on-line by going to http://www.nraila.org/WorkShops.asp.

NOMINATIONS NOW BEING ACCEPTED FOR 2001 NRA-ILA VOLUNTEER AWARDS

The "Jay M. Littlefield Memorial NRA-ILA Volunteer of the Year Award" is an annual honor that recognizes an NRA member who demonstrates exceptionally meritorious activism in defense of our Second Amendment rights.  Similarly, the "NRA-ILA Volunteer Organization of the Year Award" is bestowed upon that group which has gone above and beyond the call of duty in defending our freedoms over the past year.  Nominations for these honors for last year (2001) should be submitted to:  NRA-ILA Volunteer Awards, c/o Chris Manthos, NRA-ILA Grassroots Division, 11250 Waples Mill Road, Fairfax, VA 22030. They can also be faxed to Chris at (703) 267-3918.  All nominations must be submitted by NRA members in good standing and accompanied by a one page description of why the nominated individual/organization is deserving.  Winners will be selected by NRA-ILA staff, and will be acknowledged at this year`s Fall Board of Directors Meeting.  The deadline for submissions is July 1, 2002.

A LOOK AT THE STATES

ARIZONA:

Arizona`s gun owners have been dealt another blow by the state`s activist judiciary.  Ruling contrary to the state`s preemption statute prohibiting cities and counties from regulating the sale of firearms, Division Two of the Court of Appeals authorized the City of Tucson to regulate the private transfer of firearms at gun shows on private property.  The decision overturns a well-reasoned finding by the Pima County Superior Court earlier this year that prohibited such local regulation.  NRA is considering an appeal of the case to the Arizona Supreme Court.  Your NRA-ILA will keep you informed on the progress of this critical issue.

CALIFORNIA:

California State Constitutional Amendment 12, a measure that would levy a five cent tax on every bullet sold in the state, passed out of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee on Wednesday.  The proposed amendment, introduced by Senator Don Perata (D-09), received the minimum seven committee votes required for passage.  Now, the Senate Revenue and Taxation Committee may see the amendment as early as next Wednesday, June 12.  Also on the docket are Senate Bill 682 (Perata) and Assembly Bill 496 (Paul Koretz, D-42), bills that  would effectively strip firearms manufacturers of current protection in state law granting them limited statutory immunity from being sued.  This limited immunity has been on the books since 1983 and was passed originally to halt greedy trial lawyers who want nothing more than to pad their bank accounts while putting this nation`s lawful firearm manufacturers out of business.  California gun owners must work hard to assure that these harmful legislative proposals are defeated!  Please contact your Senator and Assemblymember today and ask them to oppose SCA 12, SB 682, and AB 496!  For contact information, use the "Write Your Reps" at NRAILA.org, or call the Grassroots Division at (800) 392-8683.  

NEW HAMPSHIRE:

Thanks to an outpouring of opposition from law-abiding gun owners, the City of Laconia has withdrawn a proposal to make all or part of the city a "gun free zone" during "Bike Week."  The city pulled the proposed ban after receiving hundreds of phone calls, letters and e-mail messages in opposition the measure.  The public hearing that had been scheduled for Wednesday, June 5, was canceled.  Thank you to all NRA members who helped stop this measure for a job well done!

NEW MEXICO:

The New Mexico Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that allowing localities to deny state Right to Carry (RTC) permits is a violation of the state Constitution and the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. Attorneys for the NRA successfully argued this fact in written briefs submitted to the Court, supporting NRA`s position that the preemption clause of the New Mexico Constitution is of paramount importance, and that any RTC law should be uniform and consistent statewide.

NORTH CAROLINA:
Good news for North Carolina gun owners!  The long-debated redistricting maps for the upcoming 2002 elections have been certified and made FINAL.  The new North Carolina House and Senate districts created under these plans provide the best opportunity for a pro-gun majority in the last eight years.  North Carolina gun owners can look forward to making a difference at the polls come November.

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