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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

Monday, September 17, 2007

You may recall that in recent years, GOA has enlisted your aid in
fighting so-called "gang" legislation, which typically includes
attempts to apply federal RICO anti-racketeering statutes to minor
gun infractions -- thus harassing and prosecuting otherwise
law-abiding gun owners as though they were Mafia bosses.

Well, Feinstein's S. 456 is the latest vehicle for such

At issue is section 215 of the bill. In essence, your family, gun
shop employees, or even church bowling league would be considered an
organized "gang" and subjected to draconian prison sentences if you
did any of a number of things, such as:

* having a gun (loaded OR unloaded) in your glovebox as you --
inevitably -- drive within 1,000 feet of a school, even if you didn't
know the school was there;

* selling a gun out of your store while being entrapped in a
Bloomberg-style "sting" operation;

* teaching your son to shoot without giving him a written letter of
permission (which must be on his actual person), even if you are
standing right behind him at the range the whole time; or,

* simply being one the 83,000 veterans whose names were illegally
added to the Brady system by President Clinton (or, presumably, one
of the thousands more who will be on the list if the current Veterans
Disarmament bill passes), if you continued to possess a firearm.

Now, there's a lot of legal verbiage in S. 456, which is quite large
as bills go. Feinstein and her anti-gun cronies will counter that the
situations listed above aren't enough -- you also have to commit a
crime of violence while engaging in them.

Oh yeah? Consider how many people defending themselves from
carjackers or their businesses from hold-ups are indicted by anti-gun
prosecutors merely for exercising their right to self-defense. And
what judge is going to say that the "gun crimes" in those instances
aren't crimes of violence?

Further, any anti-gun prosecutor could simply state that family
members or gun shop employees are "co-conspirators" or are
and abetting" actual criminals using guns.

And of course, we have had plenty of warning of what happens when
prosecutorial powers are enormously expanded. Take the original RICO
Act itself, for example. We were told that it was needed to shut down
the Mafia -- a tool to be used in the fight against organized crime.
But in the years since its passage, the RICO Act has become the
overzealous prosecutor's version of going nuclear... wrapping
everything up in one big package of conspiracy charges and twenty
years to life prison terms.

It just isn't right that you, your spouse, and your two teenage boys
could be treated like the Gambino family just because you brandished
your firearm to scare away a carjacker... without firing a shot! And
prison terms of 10, 20, or even all of your remaining years aren't
right in such instances, either!

In short, section 215 of S. 456 is unacceptable. It must be deleted,
period. To our knowledge, the entire Second Amendment community --
spearheaded by GOA and the NRA -- is adamantly opposed to Feinstein's

It should be noted that there is lots of talk on Capitol Hill about
how to "handle" the problems of S. 456 with a minimum of fuss. The
most likely scenario is that there would only be two amendments
allowed -- one Republican and one Democratic. Once that is done, the
Senate would immediately proceed to a vote on the bill... which may
or may not be a recorded vote. Gun owners should bear in mind that,
regardless of which politician is saying otherwise, there is NO
GUARANTEE that the Republican amendment would even attempt to totally
strike section 215. The amendment might not help matters that much,
and might not pass anyway.

So this attempt to placate gun owners with a "roll of the dice"
amendment vote is nothing more than the usual smoke-and-mirrors
designed to give politicians cover from the wrath of a known activist

GOA doesn't believe in gambling with your rights. Our position is
firm and unalterable: section 215 must go away, now. The time to kill
a snake is before it strikes. And this snake could strike at any
time; a vote on final passage could occur as early as this week.

So here's what you can do to help kill the snake. Any individual
senator can place a "hold" on a particular piece of
legislation until
his or her concerns are addressed; if the Leadership ignores those
objections, it becomes extremely difficult to move the legislation
forward. The "hold" is a legislative tactic that we have used to
great advantage in the past. We need at least one Senator to take
that step and place a hold on S. 456.
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