October 1997

Wednesday, October 1st, 1997

The Second U. S. Circuit Court of
Appeals affirmed dismissal of a suit by
anti-gun Rep. Carolyn McCarthy of New
York against Olin Corporation’s Winchester
division in a 2-1 ruling that blocks state
courts from hearing her case.
McCarthy is a politician who rode an
anti-gun crusade to Congress. With this
summer court decision she failed to revive
her $1.49 billion suit against the maker of
so-called “mushrooming” bullets which
were used in the murder of nine persons in
the 1993 Long Island Rail Road slaughter.
“We…hold that Olin was under no
legal duty to prevent criminal misuse of its
product and therefore affirm the dismissal
of the negligence claims,” the panel said
in an opinion by Senior Circuit Judge
Thomas J. Meskill, who was appointed in
1975 by President Gerald Ford.
McCarthy’s husband, Dennis, was
among the dead and her son Kevin was
critically wounded in the brain when Colin
Ferguson opened fire on the third car of the
5:33 to Hicksville on December 7, 1993.
The McCarthys contend Winchester’s
marketing of the Black Talon’s “stopping
power” and its spreading razor-edge petals
lured Ferguson to use it.
Richard Feldman, Executive Director
of the American Shooting Sports Council,
Inc., said satisfaction with the dismissal
of the case is diminished by the cost of
repeatedly fighting identical cases, according
to THE WASHINGTON TIMES.
“The issues in America we seem to
want the courts to decide are legislative
issues,” said Feldman.
“It’s less relevant who manufactured
the 9mm gun than who’s holding the gun,”
he said. “If it’s Colin Ferguson, that’s bad.
It it was any of the citizens injured or killed
in that railroad car, it would have been
good, using it against Colin Ferguson.”
The two Clinton appointees on the
appeals panel split, with Judge Jose A.
Cabranes joining Judge Meskill and Judge
Guido Calabresi writing a dissent.
Ferguson, convicted of six murders in
1995 and of wounding 19 others, is serving
a life sentence.

President Clinton last month formally
nominated anti-gun Dr. David Satcher to
be Surgeon General of the United States.
As Director of the federal Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention, Satcher
oversaw the use of biased studies on
handgun violence to promote an agenda
designed to make gun ownership look
dangerous so that it becomes socially
unacceptable.
Alan M. Gottlieb, CCRKBA Chairman,
said “we oppose David Satcher. He’s
totally anti-gun…This is another slap at
gun owners by Bill Clinton, who is the
most anti-gun President in history.”
If confirmed by the U. S. Senate,
Satcher also would carry the title of Assistant
Secretary for Health in the Department
of Health and Human Services.
POINT BLANK readers could make
known their opinion on this nomination by
contacting both of their U. S. Senators as
well as Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott
at the U. S. Senate in Washington, D. C.
205l0.

Rep. Gerald D. Kleczka of Wisconsin
introduced H. R. 2342, to amend title 18,
United States Code, to permit gunsmiths
to obtain a federal firearms license without
having to comply with state or local laws
relating to zoning of firearms businesses.
It was referred to the House Committee
on the Judiciary.
Rep. Kleczka said he was concerned
with “a problem affecting gunsmiths as a
result of the 1994 Crime Act.
“The 1994 law contained a provision
requiring applicants for a new federal
firearms license, or renewal of an existing
one, to prove that they are in compliance
with and state or local zoning ordinances.
Many states and localities have zoning
laws that prevent individuals from obtaining
dealers’ licenses. For licensing
purposes, the term ‘dealer’ includes any
person who makes or repairs firearms,
which includes gunsmiths. Therefore,
many gunsmiths are now being denied
their federal firearms licenses.
“One of my constituents, who is a
gunsmith, informed me about his difficulties
in complying with the Crime Act.
As a result, I have introduced legislation
to create a new federal firearms license
category for gunsmiths. The Bureau of
Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, which
administers the federal license categories,
supports creating this new category.
“My legislation will not allow gunsmiths
to sell or transfer firearms, but it
will permit them to continue to work in
their profession.”
Under H. R. 2342, “gunsmith” would
mean any person engaged in the business
of repairing firearms, or of making
or fitting special barrels, stocks or trigger
mechanisms to firearms.

Rep. Steven R. Rothman of New Jersey
introduced H. R. 2359, a so-called “Gun
Shop Safety Act of 1997,” to require that the
Secretary of the Treasury, acting through
the Director of BATF, issue minimum safety
and security standards for dealers of firearms.
The regulations issued under H.R.
2359 would include minimum safety and
security standards for:
– a place of business in which a dealer
covered by the regulations conducts a
business or stores firearms;
– windows, the front door, storage
rooms, containers, alarms and other items
of a place of business; and
– the storage and handling of firearms
contained in a place of business.
Referred to the House Committee on
the Judiciary, H.R. 2359 co-sponsors include
Reps. Ronald V. Dellums of California,
Bob Filner of California, Nita M. Lowey of
New York, Marge Roukema of New Jersey,
Fortney “Pete” Stark of California, Robert
I. Wexler of Florida and Sidney R. Yates of
Illinois.

In Virginia, Paul Moog, Executive
Director of the Northern Virginia Citizens
Defense League and a CCRKBA Gun Rights
Defender of the Month Awardee, says he
is not sold on the candidacy of James
Gilmore for Governor.
Earlier this year, Gilmore split with the
current pro-gun Governor, George G. Allen,
when he said he would have signed a
Virginia bill to let Fairfax County bar guns
and knives from its recreation centers. Gov.
Allen vetoed the measure.
With regard to Gilmore, Moog says
“I’ve been disappointed by his willingness
to equivocate on the stances Governor
Allen has taken.
“Mr. Allen, despite his no compromise
stance on gun rights, remains a very popular
governor. I don’t think Mr. Gilmore is
going to gain anything by pandering to the
pro-gun control faction.”