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By Jennifer Freeman

October 19, 2005

When a pro-gun bill is introduced in the House or Senate, you would not expect it to contain anti-gun clauses. Right? And yet, that is exactly what appears to be happening with S.397, one of two Lawful Commerce in Arms proposals.

The original intent of S. 397 and H.R. 800 is to acknowledge that the Second Amendment is an individual right that shall not be infringed and to protect lawful firearm manufacturers, dealers, and importers from lawsuits resulting in the misuse of their product. Misuse of a firearm primarily includes pointing a loaded firearm at a person and pulling the trigger while not in a self defense situation. Most people would call that murder. But the anti-gun crowd has never sought to hold criminals accountable for their actions; they prefer to blame the inanimate firearm and its manufacturers. In their view, if guns did not exist "gun crimes" would not occur. Unfortunately this line of reasoning fails to take into account the overwhelming value of firearms in society and daily life.

In reality, if guns did not exist, law-abiding citizens, particularly the elderly, handicapped, and women would be at an extreme disadvantage in the face of violence. "Gun crimes" would be a non-issue compared to the rampant bloodshed and mayhem that would ensue. And while anti-gunners want to demonize and bankrupt lawful firearm manufacturers and dealers via frivolous lawsuits, the police cannot be held liable if they fail to protect you. Politicians cannot be held liable for passing laws that may put your life in jeopardy. If it were not for the ownership of firearms by private citizens, the United States would never have existed but would have remained under tyrannical rule. Clearly, the liberation of citizens from tyranny and the ability to protect one's life in the face of grave danger demonstrates the value of the firearm. A value that is outweighed by its misuse in the face of an unarmed victim.

S. 397 and H.R. 800 were drafted to protect firearm manufacturers, importers, and dealers from such lawsuits. The two bills are not identical, however. S. 397, the bill that seems to be favored by the House and Senate, contains gun control measures whereas H.R. 800 does not. Unbelievable. Turn your head for one second and the guy (or girl) you voted into office tries to sneak your rights out from under you.

S. 397 would promote "safe storage" designed to prevent unauthorized persons from obtaining a handgun. The bill is not clear about what constitutes "safe storage". For example, is an unloaded, locked firearm really safe if a gang of thugs is coming in through the window? Is the firearm supposed to be safe from criminals or are law abiding citizens supposed to be able to defend themselves?

How do you prevent an unauthorized person from obtaining a handgun? First of all, if this person is unauthorized, they are already in violation of the law, right? Does this provision require biometric gun locks? We do not know as the proposal isn't clear and we have no idea how this could be interpreted in a court of anti-gun law.

Another provision of S. 397 would ban "armor piercing" ammunition. This could eliminate most hunting ammunition. Since the bill does not specify what constitutes "armor piercing", we have no idea what rounds of ammunition this includes. Anti-gunners know that most people are not likely to say that they support "armor piercing" ammunition, which is exactly why they will try to cast that net as wide as possible to include all the rounds they think they can get away with.

H.R. 800 does not contain any anti-gun clauses. And yet, your elected officials have decided to pursue S. 397 instead. What does that tell you about Washington? Your officials will seek to disarm you any way they can if they think they can get away with it. And remember, the Republicans are in control.

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We kept them in check when gun-banners tried to make the ban on selected semi-automatic rifles permanent ("assault weapons" ban) and we can do it again with this bill. All you have to do is get mad and get active.

Contact the leader of the Second Amendment Caucus, Representative Marilyn Musgrave (CO) at: 877-762-8762.

Locate your Senator and Congressman.

Read the text of the bills.

� 2005 - Jennifer Freeman - All Rights Reserved

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Jennifer Freeman is Executive Director and co-founder of Liberty Belles, a grass-roots organization dedicated to restoring and preserving the Second Amendment.

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But the anti-gun crowd has never sought to hold criminals accountable for their actions; they prefer to blame the inanimate firearm and its manufacturers.