August 2000

Tuesday, August 1st, 2000

In Washington, D. C., CCRKBA announced its support of H.R. 4790, by Rep. Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, to recognize the hunting heritage and to provide opportunities for continued hunting on public lands.

Referred to the Committee on Resources, co-sponsors include Reps. Randy Cunningham of California, Mark Green of Wisconsin, James V. Hansen of Utah, Collin Peterson of Minnesota, Charles “Chip” Pickering, Jr. of Mississippi, John R. Thune of South Dakota, and Don Young of Alaska.
In California, the State Supreme Court on June 29 overturned a 1998 ruling by the California Third Appellate Court of Appeal that had struck down certain provisions of the State’s Roberti-Roos Assault Weapons Control Act.

According to the 1998 ruling, a provision of the 1989 law that allowed the State’s Attorney General, with a judge’s consent, to add guns to the list of banned firearms was unconstitutional because it violated the separation of powers between the State Legislature and the Judiciary. The 1998 Appellate Court ruling suggested that the law unconstitutionally “violates equal protection” because the banned firearms are indistinguishable from other guns not affected by the law.

The June 29 ruling, however, held that the law did not improperly delegate legislative authority to the courts, did not violate equal protection guarantees when it left unaffected guns that are virtually identical to banned firearms, and did not violate due process protections despite leaving unclear which guns were banned.

Following the June 29 ruling, attorneys questioning the law’s constitutionality indicated that other lawsuits challenging the ban are being considered and that an appeal of the ruling in question may be filed with the U.S. Supreme Court.
In New York State, State Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno agreed with the Pataki Gubernatorial Administration and the State Assembly to pass a modified version of Gov. Pataki’s gun control package on a 39-20 vote. The package includes a ban on so-called “assault weapons,” a requirement for retail firearm dealers to sell locking devices with all new guns, a “ballistic fingerprinting” plan that critics claim amounts to “backdoor registration,” NICS checks on all sales at gun shows, and a new age requirement of 21 for eligibility to receive a handgun license, which is required for simple possession under New York State law.

Later, New York State Attorney General Eliot L. Spitzer sued the gun industry, making the Empire State the first state to sue the firearms industry, claiming manufacturers and wholesalers created “a condition of danger.”

The state is seeking changes in the way manufacturers market and distribute guns, but its lawsuit does not ask for monetary damages.

Among the manufacturers named in the lawsuit are Glock, Beretta U.S.A., Colt’s Manufacturing, Taurus, Ruger & Co., and Intratec.
In New York City, anti-gun Mayor Rudolph Giuliani announced that his city would become the 32nd municipality to file a reckless lawsuit against members of the firearms industry. The suit cites “deceptive marketing,” “irresponsible supervision of sales,” and “design flaws” as the causes of gun deaths and injuries. The Center to Prevent Handgun Violence, a legal ally of Handgun Control, Inc., signed onto Giuliani’s suit as co-counsel.

In reaction, U.S. Rep. Bob Barr of Georgia, a CCRKBA Legislator of the Year Awardee who is author of a bill, H.R. 1032, to eliminate these ridiculous lawsuits, stated in a letter to Giuliani that “your claim that manufacturers should somehow be held legally responsible because different states regulate their products in different ways is absurd. As a former United States Attorney, you are undoubtedly aware that making manufacturers of legal, proper functioning products liable for the unforeseen actions of criminals is an action completely unsupported by any significant law or precedent. These lawsuits against gun manufacturers represent a direct attack on the successful free market system that your city embodies…Please show some respect for the free enterprise system and the Constitution by dropping this lawsuit.”
In Brasilia, Brazil, the national government June 20 decreed an immediate ban on the sale of firearms.

The ban will remain in effect until the end of this year, Justice Minister Jose Gregori announced at a news conference. By then, the government hopes to have won congressional approval of a more restrictive bill that would virtually ban the possession of firearms by any Brazilian citizen who is not a member of the armed forces, a police officer or an employee of a private security company.

Freedom-loving Brazilian patriots inform POINT BLANK that they, in the meantime, may attempt to develop a gun lobby in Brazil drawn primarily from the millions of Brazilians who now own guns in an attempt to thwart the government’s politically correct gun-grabbing agenda.
Handgun Control, Inc. recently awarded President Bill Clinton, the gun-grabber-in-chief, its “James and Sarah Brady Lifetime Achievement Award.”
According to a survey conducted by America On Line after the Million Mom March, which actually had far less than a million marchers, only 27.6 percent of the nearly 20,000 respondents indicated support for positions taken by the March and its organizers.

When asked what Congress should do to curb gun violence, 21.1 percent answered “require registration and safety training,” and 6.5 percent answered “ban all guns,” two March positions.

On the other hand, 61.3 percent answered “enforce existing regulations,” 9.5 percent answered “gun safety training in schools,” and 1.6 percent were not sure.