Two Pro-gun amendments being blocked in the Senate

Two Pro-gun amendments being blocked in the Senate

This is a discussion on Two Pro-gun amendments being blocked in the Senate within the The Second Amendment & Gun Legislation Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Wednesday, February 25, 2009 Thank you for all your activism so far! Senator John Ensign of Nevada offered his amendment to repeal D.C.'s draconian gun ...

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Thread: Two Pro-gun amendments being blocked in the Senate

  1. #1
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    Two Pro-gun amendments being blocked in the Senate

    Wednesday, February 25, 2009

    Thank you for all your activism so far!

    Senator John Ensign of Nevada offered his amendment to repeal D.C.'s draconian gun ban today.

    But Senators John Thune of South Dakota and David Vitter of Louisiana have also stepped up to the plate. They filed an amendment that would result in REAL national concealed carry reciprocity -- without adversely affecting no-permit states like Alaska and Vermont.

    So now the battle lines are drawn! By the end of the week, the Senate will vote on whether to rule these two pro-gun amendments out of order.

    The vote could come on a so-called "cloture" motion to cut off debate (and thus kill the Ensign and Thune/Vitter amendments). Moreover, if the underlying bill is then passed, the virulently anti-gun jurisdiction of the District of Columbia will be rewarded with a voting member of the House of Representatives.

    But first, a little background on the two amendments:

    You've all heard of the various "microstamping" proposals crafted by the anti-gunners to ban guns and ammunition nationwide.

    The anti-gunners would do this by serial number "microstamping" requirements which are so onerous that guns (or ammunition) would become prohibitively expensive in all 50 states.

    In the wake of the Heller case, the District of Columbia's reaction to the Supreme Court's decision declaring its gun laws unconstitutional was to pass legislation which will, as a practical matter, continue its current policy of denying gun licenses to its citizens. But, to add insult to injury, it added a whole bunch of additional anti-gun provisions.

    One was a requirement that most guns used for self-defense be capable of "microstamping" a cartridge with a unique serial number. Aside from being useless for identifying any criminal who pockets his spent brass, this provision would, even if it were technologically possible, make guns so expensive that no one would buy them.

    If a few more liberal jurisdictions follow suit, this could start a chain reaction so that gun manufacturers will eventually be forced to manufacture ALL guns to meet the new microstamping standards.

    The Ensign amendment would completely repeal D.C.'s gun ban and, in the process, help stave off the push for microstamping.

    Next, the Thune/Vitter amendment on concealed carry reciprocity is an idea whose time has come. Why should your right to self-defense stop at the state line?

    But it must be the right kind of national reciprocity. It must protect states like Alaska and Vermont which do not require a permit to carry concealed at all and it must be done in a Constitutional manner that protects State's rights.

    The Thune/Vitter amendment would do these things -- it is REAL national reciprocity.

    But the problem is this: Nevada Senator Harry Reid has moved to cut off debate on the D.C. bill -- using a parliamentary maneuver known as a "cloture" petition -- for the sole purpose of ruling such pro-gun amendments out of order.

    You see, Barack Obama and the liberals who run Congress hate guns. They hate guns so much that they would probably be willing to kill the District's voting representative in order to preserve the District's gun ban.

    The next two days are crucial. While there will be votes in the Senate throughout the day on Thursday -- which may include either of the two pro-gun amendments -- it is likely that the true focus will be on Friday's cloture vote.


    ACTION: Contact your two Senators and urge them to vote AGAINST cloture on S. 160 until the Senate has had an opportunity to vote for all pro-gun amendments. As usual, you can use the Gun Owners Legislative Action Center to send your Senators the pre-written message below.

    ----- Pre-written letter -----

    Dear Senator:

    I urge you in the strongest terms to vote against cloture on S. 160 until senators have had an opportunity to vote on pro-gun amendments, such as those offered by Senators Ensign and Thune.

    The issue is not whether to give D.C. a voting representative. The issue is whether to impose a "gag rule" on those who oppose the District's efforts to use its draconian gun laws to undermine gun rights in other states.

    Cloture -- invoked for the cynical purpose of protecting D.C.'s anti-gun laws and to silence other pro-gun voices -- is not a vote on D.C. representation. It is a vote against the Second Amendment.

    Please let me know you do not favor silencing pro-gun voices. Please do not vote for cloture until those voices are heard.

    And once debate is allowed to continue, I ask that you vote in favor of the Ensign amendment to repeal the District's gun ban, as well as the Thune amendment for national concealed carry reciprocity.

    Sincerely,
    Turn the election's in 2014 to a "2A Revolution". It will serve as a 1994 refresher not to "infringe" on our Second Amendment. We know who they are now.........SEND 'EM HOME. Our success in this will be proportional to how hard we work to make it happen.


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    Excellent analysis of this matter! It is a great strategic move to tack these two amendments onto S.160!

    I've e-mailed both of my Senators this morning.


    The tyrant dies and his rule is over, the martyr dies and his rule begins. ― The Journals of Kierkegaard

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    Member Array JoeyD's Avatar
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    Went to GOA and used their super-easy tool to send emails to both my senators, who are historically pro-gun and who have heard from me many times on guns and other subjects. It helps them to vote with confidence when we let them know how their constituency feels.

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    Distinguished Member Array Stetson's Avatar
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    I fear this is only the beginning.We were talking about the dramatic changes at
    work and how President Bush probably will be the last conservative President
    in our lifetime.As each year passes the demographics don't support us due to
    all the immigration that's been allowed legal and illegal.This new President loves
    being on T.V. that's for sure.

  5. #5
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    I also e-mailed Reid, and requested he remove the cloture move, or otherwise allow full debate.

    He has not written me back


    The tyrant dies and his rule is over, the martyr dies and his rule begins. ― The Journals of Kierkegaard

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    Member Array MiloSC's Avatar
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    I have emailed both of my senators. Hopefully I'll get a response.
    When in doubt empty the magazine.

    "There is nothing so likely to produce peace as to be well prepared to meet the enemy." - George Washington

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    Distinguished Member Array kazzaerexys's Avatar
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    Wow. Kind of a win-win. Either repeal DC's gun control or shoot down DC representation.

    I like it! Shame we have to choose either/or, though.
    “What is a moderate interpretation of [the Constitution]? Halfway between what it says and [...] what you want it to say?” —Justice Antonin Scalia

    SIG: P220R SS Elite SAO, P220R SAO, P220R Carry, P226R Navy, P226, P239/.40S&W, P2022/.40S&W; GSR 5", P6.

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    I’ve already contacted both Florida’s Senators, and this topic needs to stay on top of DC until everyone knows about it and emails their Senators.

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    Post Partial Win!!!!!!

    Here's the latest:


    It appears the Ensign Amendment passed, but not the Thune Vitter Amendment.

    Partial Victory!



    Senate Vote Gives District a Voting House Member


    By TIMOTHY J. ALBERTA

    WASHINGTON--The Senate voted 61-37 for landmark legislation that would give the District of Columbia a voting member in the House of Representatives, but not before Republicans succeeded in attaching an amendment that would overturn many of the District's gun-control laws.

    Senate passage was widely seen as the legislation's biggest obstacle. A similar measure is expected to easily pass the House next week, and the gun amendment undoubtedly will be debated when members from both chambers meet to iron out differences between the two versions.

    "We passed a significant hurdle in our fight for full democracy for D.C. residents," said Ilir Zherka, executive director of DC Vote, a nonprofit group that has championed the legislation.

    The bill would create two new House seats beginning in January 2011, one for the reliably Democratic District and another for fast-growing and reliably Republican Utah. House membership would grow to 437 members from the current 435.

    President Barack Obama is expected to sign the bill -- he cosponsored the 2007 Senate version -- but that likely won't be the end of this dispute.

    Constitutional scholars on both sides of the issue expect the Supreme Court will ultimately decide the bill's fate. Opponents say the Constitution limits voting rights to the "several States" while advocates say the Constitution gives Congress authority "To exercise exclusive Legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such district."

    The gun control amendment comes eight months after the Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, overturned Washington, D.C.'s 32-year-old ban on handgun possession. GOP Sen. John Ensign, who sponsored the amendment, said in a statement after the vote that "the Senate spoke clearly that law-abiding citizens should be allowed to own a gun. I know that most of the people in my home state of Nevada would agree that this is a right that should not be trampled on." He added that, "Report after report continues to show that excessive gun laws do not translate into lower crime rates. Our nation's capital is example No. 1."

    Mr. Zherka called the Senate vote an "historic moment," and said advocates will "keep fighting to ensure that the bill signed into law is not tainted by this amendment." Our opponents thought that they would either defeat our bill or diminish our victory by adding this gun bill amendment," he said. "They didn't."

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada has targeted March 6 as a deadline for final congressional passage.

    When the new Congress convened last month, District Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton immediately reintroduced her "signature" legislation with hopes that greater Democratic majorities in the Senate and a supportive president would finally push the bill through. An unsuccessful attempt to give the District voting right through a constitutional amendment was initiated three decades ago.


    The tyrant dies and his rule is over, the martyr dies and his rule begins. ― The Journals of Kierkegaard

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    U.S. Senate Votes to Uphold
    Second Amendment in Washington, D.C.
    Thursday, February 26, 2009
    Fairfax, Va. - The United States Senate has voted, with overwhelming bipartisan support, to adopt an amendment offered by Senator John Ensign (R-NV) that seeks to protect the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens in the District of Columbia. The amendment, attached to S.160, the D.C. Voting Rights Act, will repeal restrictive gun control laws passed by the District of Columbia's (D.C.) city council after the landmark D.C. v. Heller Supreme Court decision. The vote margin was 62-36.

    "Today's vote brings us one step closer to restoring the Second Amendment freedom of law-abiding D.C. residents," said NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox. "It's ludicrous that good people in our nation's capital continue to be harassed as they try to defend themselves and their loved ones in their own homes. This vote reinforces the historic Heller ruling."

    After the Heller ruling, the D.C. city council passed a law requiring would-be gun owners to pay a registration fee, pass a 20-question multiple choice test, take a five-hour training course, undergo an invasive background check every six years, re-register any firearm every three years, and finally, submit all handguns for ballistics testing. Current D.C. law also bans an overwhelming majority of firearms commonly used for self-defense. This Ensign Amendment would also remedy that unjust practice.

    "NRA would like to thank the lead sponsor, Sen. John Ensign for his efforts to reform D.C.'s gun laws and enable folks to protect their property and their loved ones," concluded Cox. "It's time for leaders in Washington to wake up to the fact that the Supreme Court decision is now the law of the land."
    I got this from NRA

  11. #11
    BAC
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    Quote Originally Posted by kazzaerexys View Post
    Wow. Kind of a win-win. Either repeal DC's gun control or shoot down DC representation.

    I like it! Shame we have to choose either/or, though.
    I hope this is enough to make the bill fail. This is a blatantly unconstitutional bill by the Senate. If they want the District of Columbia to have a representative in the national legislature, they need to amend the US Constitution accordingly, not circumvent it.


    -B
    RIP, Jeff Dorr: 1964 - July 17, 2009. You will be missed.


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    It still has to traverse the House, then the Conference Committee, so it needs some real legs.

    It then will have to pass muster at the USSC. It is clearly not constitutional. The DC is not a "state".


    The tyrant dies and his rule is over, the martyr dies and his rule begins. ― The Journals of Kierkegaard

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    Maybe this is good

    Quote Originally Posted by Rock and Glock View Post
    It still has to traverse the House, then the Conference Committee, so it needs some real legs.

    It then will have to pass muster at the USSC. It is clearly not constitutional. The DC is not a "state".
    If it should happen that a bill passes both houses and becomes signed, and the bill has both the DC voting/representation and the gun stuff within it, we could get a big victory.

    Do you think the Supremes could knock down the voting representation portion of the bill, but still leave intact the gun rights portion?

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    BAC
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hopyard View Post
    Do you think the Supremes could knock down the voting representation portion of the bill, but still leave intact the gun rights portion?
    That's how the Supreme Court has been approaching the National Firearms Act and why certain parts, but not others, have been invalidated by later legislation.

    I still cannot support this. No matter what decision is made, at least one article of the US Constitution is being violated. If it falls through and S. 160 dies, then D.C. is still in violation of the Second Amendment. If it passes and is signed into law, then the Senate unconstitutionally granted a voting representative to a non-state.


    -B
    RIP, Jeff Dorr: 1964 - July 17, 2009. You will be missed.


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    VIP Member Array mlr1m's Avatar
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    Its sad that our congress would enact a law that they know is unconstitutional. DC is not a state. The founders knew what they were doing in not giving the seat of government the right to vote itself any more power than it was granted to begin with.

    Michael

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