September 2003

Monday, September 1st, 2003

CCRKBA Chairman Alan M. Gottlieb
stated that July’s dismissal of
the NAACP’s Brooklyn, N.Y. lawsuit
against gun makers could mark a
significant turning point in the history
of such actions. Federal Judge
Jack B. Weinstein decided to follow
the recommendation of a 12-member
advisory jury that found in favor
of gun industry defendants in the
case. “Judge Weinstein’s ruling is
significant,” Gottlieb said, “because
his past judicial history, particularly
in the case of Hamilton v. AccuTek,
has not been favorable to the firearms
industry. This ruling just might serve
as a signal to the anti-gun community
that even a judge like Weinstein sees
little merit in lawsuits against gun
makers.”
During a July meeting of the
House Appropriations Committee,
Rep. Todd Tiahart of Kansas proposed
an amendment to the fiscal
2004 funding bill for the Commerce,
Justice and State Departments
targeting the Bureau of Alcohol,
Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
It would prohibit the use of federal
funds for several BATFE activities,
and prevent the bureau from requiring
firearm dealers to conduct
a physical inventory. It would stop
BATFE from denying licenses to
dealers whose sales fall below a
certain level, and from demanding
that certain dealers provide documentation
for all used guns sold in
a given period. The amendment won
committee approval on a 31-30 vote.
It still must receive full House-Senate
approval.
Earlier this summer, Tennessee
joined Kentucky, Indiana and Montana
as states that honor all other
state permits or licenses to carry “defensive
weapons,” reports Legally
Armed. Two other states, Alaska and
Vermont, do not require any permit
or license to carry firearms if the
individuals carrying are law-abiding
citizens.
In Madison, WI, a state Supreme
Court decision allowing home owners
and business owners to carry
concealed weapons on their property
has re-ignited a movement to
relax Wisconsin’s ban on carrying
concealed weapons. “Basically, the
Supreme Court has stated that with
Wisconsin’s Right to Keep and Bear
Arms constitutional amendment, the
Legislature should look at creating
a permitting system for individuals
to carry a concealed weapon,”
said State Rep. Scott Gunderson.
“We feel the time has come for the
Legislature to pass the Personal
Protection Act, especially in light
of the Supreme Court’s decision in
the Hamdan case.” In that case, the
court ruled in a 6-1 decision to overturn
the conviction of a Milwaukee
grocer who had been found guilty of
carrying a concealed weapon in his
store following several robberies in
1999.
In mid-summer, the gun-grabbing
Brady Campaign To Prevent
Gun Violence and Million Mom March
ran a full-page ad in The New York
Times calling for the defeat in the
U.S. Senate of a bill, identical to one
passed by the House of Representatives,
which would preempt lawsuits
designed to wipe out the firearms
industry, or impose nationwide gun
control “laws” by local judicial fiat.
“The U.S. Senate,” the ad stated, “is
on the verge of voting to let reckless
gun dealers get away with murder.”
Passage of this measure, S. 659,
is a top CCRKBA priority. CCRKBA
Members and Supporters could
contact both of their U.S. Senators
and urge them to support this bill.
In a commentary on the firearm
used in last year’s Washington, D.C.-
area multiple sniper attacks, Richard
Barth wrote in The Wall Street Journal
that, “while Bull’s Eye Shooter
Supply (from which the Washington
sniper rifle was stolen) is possibly
negligent in the care and sale of its
inventory, any final determination
would be a case for a jury. However,
I can think of no reason the maker
of Bushmaster rifles should be held
responsible for these murders. Bull’s
Eye was a licensed firearm dealer. It
is not the job of Bushmaster to police
the firearm dealers; it cannot transfer
to any dealer unless that dealer has
a valid license. To hold Bushmaster
accountable for the actions of an
individual who can in no way legally
possess, much less purchase, the
carbine is an unreasonable expectation.
This case is another attempt
by the Brady Center to Prevent Gun
Violence to hijack the headlines.
Through this lawsuit the group is attempting
to accomplish via the courts
what it cannot otherwise – put a gun
manufacturer out of business.”