Gun Rights Video News

CNN's report on the 2009 Gun Rights Policy Conference


May 1997

Thursday, May 1st, 1997

In Congress, support for H. R. 339,
the proposed Right to Safety and Personal
Protection Act introduced by Rep.
Cliff Stearns of Florida, is growing. The
measure would allow a citizen who has
a permit to carry a concealed firearm in
any state to carry that gun in any state.
Cosponsors now include Reps.
Spencer Bachus of Alabama, James
Barcia of Michigan, Bob Barr of Georgia,
Roscoe Bartlett of Maryland, Ed
Bryant of Tennessee, Jim Bunning of
Kentucky, Barbara Cubin of Wyoming,
Terry Everett of Alabama, Virgil Goode
of Virginia, Porter Goss of Florida, Ralph
Hall of Texas, James Hansen of Utah,
Van Hilleary of Tennessee, Earl Hilliard
of Alabama, Tim Holden of Pennsylvania,
John Hostettler of Indiana, Ron Lewis of
Kentucky, David McIntosh of Indiana,
John Murtha of Pennsylvania, Bob Ney
of Ohio, Charles Norwood of Georgia,
John Peterson of Pennsylvania, Charles
Pickering of Mississippi, Nick Rahall of
West Virginia, Bob Riley of Alabama,
Pete Sessions of Texas, Bob Stump of
Arizona, Gene Taylor of Mississippi and
Don Young of Alaska.
If your own U. S. Representative is
not on this Honor Roll, contact him or
her and request that he or she get on it!
In the Everett, Washington HERALD
and in other newspapers, political
columnist John Carlson commended
Alan M. Gottlieb, CCRKBA Chairman,
for supporting House Bill 2078 in the
State Legislature. The proposal would
hold someone responsible for committing
a misdemeanor if he or she stored
a loaded weapon so recklessly that a
child in the house got hold of it without
the owner’s permission or supervision.
Wrote Carlson: “The one page bill
is clear and straightforward. It does not
prescribe a litany of rules and regulations
that gun owners must comply
with. It simply states that if someone
stores a loader weapon where a child
(15 and under) is likely to gain access
and the child actually gets possession
of it, the adult has committed a gross
misdemeanor offense…
“‘There is no way that you and I can
defend irresponsible gun owners who
leave loaded guns on the kitchen table so
that unsupervised six-year-olds can blow
their sibling’s brains out,’ states Alan Gottlieb,
the Chairman of the Citizens Committee
who spent months meeting with
liberal and moderate groups to shape
a proposal that protects children from
unnecessary risks. That, essentially,
sums up the case for the bill.”
In writing in a somewhat sarcastic
manner to THE WASHINGTON TIMES
about home invasion robberies in
Montgomery County, Maryland, in suburban
Washington, D. C., Frank Tauss
of Sterling, Virginia, also in suburban
Washington, asked “why is it that these
crimes occur in Montgomery County
and not in Fairfax County or eastern
Loudoun County (two Virginia counties
in suburban Washington), where the
demographics are roughly the same?
“Perhaps we in Virginia owe a debt
of thanks to Adrienne T. Washington.
Ms. Washington has pointed out time
and time again in her columns in THE
WASHINGTON TIMES that Virginia is
the Wild West of the East Coast, with
gunslingers ready to blast any miscreant
that crosses their path. What with
those gunfights over parking spaces and
the gunning down of anyone who looks
remotely suspicious, a hood could get
hit with a stray bullet. Better for them to
stay in Maryland where those sensible
politicians and bureaucrats keep tightening
the screws on law-abiding citizens
who want to buy or purchase a firearm.
It is a much safer working environment.”
“There is a legal axiom that bad
cases make bad law,” writes attorney
Charles J. Smith of Moline, Illinois. “The
1939 Miller v. United States case is a bad
case because it is a case where Miller,
a known bootlegger, was arrested with
a sawed-off shotgun in his possession.
He attempted to use the Second Amendment
as a defense to this possession.
The District Court that heard this defense
agreed and the indictment was quashed,
and held the National Firearms Act is
unconstitutional.
“The federal attorneys appealed this
case to the Supreme Court for the United
States. Neither Miller nor his attorney
appeared before the Supreme Court to
support the District Court ruling in favor
of Miller. However, the Supreme Court
went to great length to explain why it
was reversing the District Court and
remanding it back to the District Court
for further proceedings.
“Here is the exact language of the
Supreme Court, and remember there
was no evidence taken in the District
Court. The District Court ruled on this
case summarily that the National Firearms
Act (is) unconstitutional if it restricts
owning or possessing a firearm and
this would include sawed-off shotguns.
What the Supreme Court said is this.
‘In the absence of any evidence tending
to show that possession or use of
a at this time
has some reasonable relationship to
the preservation of efficiency of a well
regulated militia, we can not say that
the Second Amendment guarantees the
right to keep and bear such an instrument.
Certainly it is not within judicial
notice that this weapon is any part of
the ordinary military equipment or that
its use could contribute to the common
defense.’
“We do not know if this court would
have ruled differently if Miller had introduced
evidence that sawed-off shotguns
are commonly used in trench warfare,
jungle warfare and guard duty. We do not
know if this court would have ruled differently
if a sawed-off had been used by an
honorable citizen in repelling a criminal
gang from committing a violent crime.
If the Supreme Court Justices had any
military experience they probably could
take judicial notice that sawed-off shotguns
are common military weapons, but
they were not about to give this benefit
to the bootlegger, Miller, who apparently
did not have enough interest in the case
to defend it before the Supreme Court.”