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Text of new Assault Weapons Ban introduced in Senate

Posted on 07/26/2003 6:25:39 PM PDT by conservativefromGa

Assault Weapons Ban and Law Enforcement Protection Act of 2003 (Introduced in Senate)

S 1431 IS

108th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. 1431 To reauthorize the assault weapons ban, and for other purposes.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

July 17, 2003 Mr. LAUTENBERG (for himself and Mr. CORZINE) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A BILL To reauthorize the assault weapons ban, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the `Assault Weapons Ban and Law Enforcement Protection Act of 2003'.

SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

(a) IN GENERAL- Section 921(a)(30) of title 18, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:

`(30) The term `semiautomatic assault weapon' means any of the following:

`(A) The following rifles or copies or duplicates thereof:

`(i) AK, AKM, AKS, AK-47, AK-74, ARM, MAK90, Misr, NHM 90, NHM 91, SA 85, SA 93, VEPR;

`(ii) AR-10;

`(iii) AR-15, Bushmaster XM15, Armalite M15, or Olympic Arms PCR;

`(iv) AR70;

`(v) Calico Liberty;

`(vi) Dragunov SVD Sniper Rifle or Dragunov SVU;

`(vii) Fabrique National FN/FAL, FN/LAR, or FNC;

`(viii) Hi-Point Carbine;

`(ix) HK-91, HK-93, HK-94, or HK-PSG-1;

`(x) Kel-Tec Sub Rifle;

`(xi) M1 Carbine;

`(xii) Saiga;

`(xiii) SAR-8, SAR-4800;

`(xiv) SKS with detachable magazine;

`(xv) SLG 95;

`(xvi) SLR 95 or 96;

`(xvii) Steyr AUG;

`(xviii) Sturm, Ruger Mini-14;

`(xix) Tavor;

`(xx) Thompson 1927, Thompson M1, or Thompson 1927 Commando; or

`(xxi) Uzi, Galil and Uzi Sporter, Galil Sporter, or Galil Sniper Rifle (Galatz).

`(B) The following pistols or copies or duplicates thereof:

`(i) Calico M-110;

`(ii) MAC-10, MAC-11, or MPA3;

`(iii) Olympic Arms OA;

`(iv) TEC-9, TEC-DC9, TEC-22 Scorpion, or AB-10; or

`(v) Uzi.

`(C) The following shotguns or copies or duplicates thereof:

`(i) Armscor 30 BG;

`(ii) SPAS 12 or LAW 12;

`(iii) Striker 12; or

`(iv) Streetsweeper.

`(D) A semiautomatic rifle that has an ability to accept a detachable magazine, and that has--

`(i) a folding or telescoping stock;

`(ii) a threaded barrel;

`(iii) a pistol grip;

`(iv) a forward grip; or

`(v) a barrel shroud.

`(E)(i) Except as provided in clause (ii), a semiautomatic rifle that has a fixed magazine with the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds.

`(ii) Clause (i) shall not apply to an attached tubular device designed to accept, and capable of operating only with, .22 caliber rimfire ammunition.

`(F) A semiautomatic pistol that has the ability to accept a detachable magazine, and has--

`(i) a second pistol grip;

`(ii) a threaded barrel;

`(iii) a barrel shroud; or

`(iv) the capacity to accept a detachable magazine at a location outside of the pistol grip.

`(G) A semiautomatic pistol with a fixed magazine that has the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds.

`(H) A semiautomatic shotgun that has--

`(i) a folding or telescoping stock;

`(ii) a pistol grip;

`(iii) the ability to accept a detachable magazine; or

`(iv) a fixed magazine capacity of more than 5 rounds.

`(I) A shotgun with a revolving cylinder.

`(J) A frame or receiver that is identical to, or based substantially on the frame or receiver of, a firearm described in any of subparagraphs (A) through (I) or (L).

`(K) A conversion kit.

`(L) A semiautomatic rifle or shotgun originally designed for military or law enforcement use, or a firearm based on the design of such a firearm, that is not particularly suitable for sporting purposes, as determined by the Attorney General. In making the determination, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that a firearm procured for use by the United States military or any Federal law enforcement agency is not particularly suitable for sporting purposes, and a firearm shall not be determined to be particularly suitable for sporting purposes solely because the firearm is suitable for use in a sporting event.'.

(b) RELATED DEFINITIONS- Section 921(a) of such title is amended by adding at the end the following:

`(36) BARREL SHROUD- The term `barrel shroud' means a shroud that is attached to, or partially or completely encircles, the barrel of a firearm so that the shroud protects the user of the firearm from heat generated by the barrel, but does not include a slide that encloses the barrel, and does not include an extension of the stock along the bottom of the barrel which does not encircle or substantially encircle the barrel.

`(37) CONVERSION KIT- The term `conversion kit' means any part or combination of parts designed and intended for use in converting a firearm into a semiautomatic assault weapon, and any combination of parts from which a semiautomatic assault weapon can be assembled if the parts are in the possession or under the control of a person.

`(38) DETACHABLE MAGAZINE- The term `detachable magazine' means an ammunition feeding device that can readily be inserted into a firearm.

`(39) FIXED MAGAZINE- The term `fixed magazine' means an ammunition feeding device contained in, or permanently attached to, a firearm.

`(40) FOLDING OR TELESCOPING STOCK- The term `folding or telescoping stock' means a stock that folds, telescopes, or otherwise operates to reduce the length, size, or any other dimension, or otherwise enhances the concealability, of a firearm.

`(41) FORWARD GRIP- The term `forward grip' means a grip located forward of the trigger that functions as a pistol grip.

`(42) PISTOL GRIP- The term `pistol grip' means a grip, a thumbhole stock, or any other characteristic that can function as a grip.

`(43) THREADED BARREL- The term `threaded barrel' means a feature or characteristic that is designed in such a manner to allow for the attachment of a firearm as defined in section 5845(a) of the National Firearms Act (26 U.S.C. 5845(a)).'.

SEC. 3. ELIMINATION OF SUNSET.

Section 110105 of the Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Protection Act is amended--

(1) by striking `--' and all that follows through `(1)'; and

(2) by striking `; and' and all that follows through `that date'.

SEC. 4. GRANDFATHER PROVISIONS.

Section 922(v)(2) of title 18, United States Code, is amended--

(1) by inserting `(A)' after `(2)';

(2) by striking `on the date of the enactment of this subsection' and inserting `as of September 13, 1994'; and

(3) by adding after and below the end the following:

`(B) Paragraph (1) shall not apply to any firearm the possession or transfer of which would (but for this subparagraph) be unlawful by reason of this subsection, and which is otherwise lawfully possessed on the date of the enactment of this subparagraph.'.

SEC. 5. REPEAL OF CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS.

Section 922(v)(3) of title 18, United States Code, is amended by striking `(3)' and all that follows through the end of the first sentence and inserting the following:

`(3) Paragraph (1) shall not apply to any firearm that--

`(A) is manually operated by bolt, pump, level, or slide action;

`(B) has been rendered permanently inoperable; or

`(C) is an antique firearm.'.

SEC. 6. REQUIRING BACKGROUND CHECKS FOR THE TRANSFER OF LAWFULLY POSSESSED SEMIAUTOMATIC ASSAULT WEAPONS.

Section 922(v) of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

`(5) It shall be unlawful for any person to transfer a semiautomatic assault weapon to which paragraph (1) does not apply, except through--

`(A) a licensed dealer, and for purposes of subsection (t) in the case of such a transfer, the weapon shall be considered to be transferred from the business inventory of the licensed dealer and the dealer shall be considered to be the transferor; or

`(B) a State or local law enforcement agency if the transfer is made in accordance with the procedures provided for in subsection (t) of this section and section 923(g).

`(6) The Attorney General shall establish and maintain, in a timely manner, a record of the make, model, and date of manufacture of any semiautomatic assault weapon which the Attorney General is made aware has been used in relation to a crime under Federal or State law, and the nature and circumstances of the crime involved, including the outcome of relevant criminal investigations and proceedings. The Attorney General shall annually submit the record to the Congress and make the record available to the general public.'.

SEC. 7. STRENGTHENING THE BAN ON THE POSSESSION OR TRANSFER OF A LARGE CAPACITY AMMUNITION FEEDING DEVICE.

(a) BAN ON TRANSFER OF SEMIAUTOMATIC ASSAULT WEAPON WITH LARGE CAPACITY AMMUNITION FEEDING DEVICE-

(1) IN GENERAL- Section 922 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by inserting at the end the following:

`(z) It shall be unlawful for any person to transfer any assault weapon with a large capacity ammunition feeding device.'.

(2) PENALTIES- Section 924(a) of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

`(8) Whoever knowingly violates section 922(z) shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both.'.

(b) CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENT-

(1) IN GENERAL- Section 922(w) of title 18, United States Code, is amended--

(A) in paragraph (2), by striking `on or before the date of enactment of this subsection' and inserting `in the United States on or before September 13, 1994';

(B) in paragraph (3)--

(i) by adding `or' at the end of subparagraph (B); and

(ii) by striking subparagraph (C) and redesignating subparagraph (D) as subparagraph (C); and

(C) by striking paragraph (4) and inserting the following:

`(4) It shall be unlawful for a licensed manufacturer, licensed importer, or licensed dealer who transfers a large capacity ammunition feeding device that was manufactured on or before September 13, 1994, to fail to certify to the Attorney General before the end of the 60-day period that begins with the date of the transfer, in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Attorney General, that the device was manufactured on or before September 13, 1994.'.

(2) PENALTIES- Section 924(a) of title 18, United States Code, as amended by subsection (a)(2), is further amended by adding at the end the following:

`(9) Whoever knowingly violates section 922(w)(4) shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.'.

SEC. 8. UNLAWFUL WEAPONS TRANSFERS TO JUVENILES.

Section 922(x) of title 18, United States Code, is amended--

(1) in paragraph (1)--

(A) in subparagraph (B), by striking the period and inserting a semicolon; and

(B) by adding at the end the following:

`(C) a semiautomatic assault weapon; or

`(D) a large capacity ammunition feeding device.'; and

(2) in paragraph (2)--

(A) in subparagraph (B), by striking the period and inserting a semicolon; and

(B) by adding at the end the following:

`(C) a semiautomatic assault weapon; or

`(D) a large capacity ammunition feeding device.'.

SEC. 9. BAN ON IMPORTATION OF LARGE CAPACITY AMMUNITION FEEDING DEVICE.

(a) IN GENERAL- Section 922(w) of title 18, United States Code, as amended by section 7(b)(1), is further amended--

(1) in paragraph (1), by striking `(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2)' and inserting `(1)(A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B)';

(2) in paragraph (2), by striking `(2) Paragraph (1)' and inserting `(B) Subparagraph (A)'; and

(3) by inserting before paragraph (3) the following:

`(2) It shall be unlawful for any person to import or bring into the United States a large capacity ammunition feeding device.'.

(b) CONFORMING AMENDMENT- Section 921(a)(31)(A) of title 18, United States Code, is amended by striking `manufactured after the date of enactment of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994'.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: banglist
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To: Flint
An M1 carbine? Surely they jest!

We wish, but they are as serious as a .45 ACP. Notice that you won't be able to transfer any assault weapon without the instant registration call. Which means I'll never transfer my M1 Carbine, because it's the only firearm I have that has no paper trail at all. I bought it from an individual at a gun show. All my other firearms were bought from dealers, some before some after the Brady Instant Registration requirement, but all with a yellow sheet residing at a dealers, or in the only case I'm not sure of, in the bowels of the BATF, if the dealer no longer is one. (That one is the SKS, the first center fire gun, other than a shotgun, that I ever owned, and it's a pre Bush I import restriction model, so it's bayonet is legal. :)

51 posted on 07/26/2003 8:22:48 PM PDT by El Gato
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To: billbears
You vote a solid Republican straight ticket so the majority of Pro-gun legislators can kill Bills like this in Committee. We still don't have a pro-gun Majority in the Senate. We do in the House.
52 posted on 07/26/2003 8:22:50 PM PDT by Shooter 2.5 (Don't punch holes in the lifeboat)
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To: FreedomCalls
shotgun with a revolving cylinder

There is also a 6 shot revolver (handgun), the Windicater (IIRC), that can fire either .41 magnum pistol rounds, or .410 shotgun shells. I wonder if it's banned too. Naw I don't think so, if they considered it a shotgun the little POS would be an NFA weapon as a short barrelled shotgun. :)

53 posted on 07/26/2003 8:26:24 PM PDT by El Gato
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To: conservativefromGa
A semiautomatic rifle or shotgun originally designed for military or law enforcement use, or a firearm based on the design of such a firearm, that is not particularly suitable for sporting purposes, as determined by the Attorney General

2nd - "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

Where in the second ammendment does it say guns are for sporting purposes only? These ass***** are proposing a law that blatently flys in the face of the constitution! Are they trying to equate a state policeman to a militiaman?

54 posted on 07/26/2003 8:27:07 PM PDT by RockyMtnMan
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To: conservativefromGa
`(ii) Clause (i) shall not apply to an attached tubular device designed to accept, and capable of operating only with, .22 caliber rimfire ammunition.

My 40 year old Colt "Colteer 4-22" will be happy to hear about this part. The rest of it sucks though, and any politician that attachs themselves to this piece of crap is finished. This had better never reach Bush's desk.

55 posted on 07/26/2003 8:31:54 PM PDT by spodefly (This is my tagline. There are many like it, but this one is mine.)
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To: Squantos
Saw it!!

I guess they're determined to make an outlaw out of me...
Semper Fi
56 posted on 07/26/2003 8:37:59 PM PDT by river rat (War works......It brings Peace... Give war a chance to destroy Jihadists...)
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To: joesnuffy
This bill is so outrageous
Thats probably a good thing
no one in there right (conservative) mind having any further political ambition would vote for it (except for dems of course)

Which is why I think it's a decoy, designe to make the other ban extension, ( S. 1034) look more "reasonable" and to in effect "run interferance" for it. That one merely makes the current ban permanent, and bans import of full capacity magazines, regardless of when manufactured.

57 posted on 07/26/2003 8:38:47 PM PDT by El Gato
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To: conservativefromGa
War is coming
58 posted on 07/26/2003 8:39:23 PM PDT by Noumenon (Anyone can see a forest fire. Skill lies in sniffing the first smoke. ---Robert Heinlein)
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To: FreedomCalls; Squantos; Shooter 2.5; Eaker; humblegunner
STRIKER 12" BARREL:

STREETSWEEPER 18" BARREL WITH STOCK:

I want one!!

59 posted on 07/26/2003 8:41:39 PM PDT by TexasCowboy (COB1)
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To: Shooter 2.5
The person you voted for said that we have enought gun laws and don't need any more but he would sign the Assault Weapons Bill. That's who you voted for.

Not me, and that's why. (but that was a "low risk" messae sending vote, since there wasn't a chance in hell he wasn't going to win Texas). I also voted against the the Traitor who is co-sponser of the companion House bill, and similar traitors in the state Senate and House, and will do so again. I belong to NRA, GOA, SOF/CCRKB, and JPFO as well as the Texas State Rifle Association, whose "Raging Bull" brasard/decal adorns the rear window of my car, on the drivers side where every SOB who passes me can see it. :)

60 posted on 07/26/2003 8:45:49 PM PDT by El Gato
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To: El Gato
The message we have to get out is we won't vote for anyone who tries to pass or sign the Assault Weapons Bill.

At the next election, we simply can't allow another dem back in the White House. That's reality.
61 posted on 07/26/2003 8:51:20 PM PDT by Shooter 2.5 (Don't punch holes in the lifeboat)
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To: Shooter 2.5
What about the bitch who says he wants to sign it. Did the NRA work for him
62 posted on 07/26/2003 8:53:08 PM PDT by FSPress
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To: river rat; TexasCowboy
I'll repeat this little gem for all here.....

""Did you really think that we want those laws to be observed?" said Dr. Ferris. "We want them broken....There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What's there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on guilt. Now that's the system, Mr. Rearden, that's the game, and once you understand it, you'll be much easier to deal with." -- Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Ch. III, "White Blackmail"

Stay Safe !

63 posted on 07/26/2003 8:53:55 PM PDT by Squantos (Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.)
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To: FreedomCalls
Whoops. Well, I've been wrong before.:)
64 posted on 07/26/2003 8:54:31 PM PDT by Threepwood
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To: conservativefromGa
The FBI should arrest every single co-sponsor of this seditious legislation, and they should be put on trial before a jury of their peers (drawn by lot) for sedition and conspiracy to deprive Americans of their civil Rights, along with other charges.
65 posted on 07/26/2003 8:56:04 PM PDT by Mulder (Live Free or die)
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To: Squantos
Amen....

Looks like our next/last campaign will be a lot closer to home that any of us imagined...

I guess that's good for us old farts with bad knees, and short of wind...

I'm as ready as I'll ever be...

Semper Fi
66 posted on 07/26/2003 8:58:56 PM PDT by river rat (War works......It brings Peace... Give war a chance to destroy Jihadists...)
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To: Shooter 2.5
You vote a solid Republican straight ticket so the majority of Pro-gun legislators can kill Bills like this in Committee.

Sorry but no. That person is to represent me in Congress. I vote for what a person believes in and how I feel they will cast their vote. That may seem old fashioned to some around here, but the intent of the Founders was just that and not to vote strictly down party lines.

67 posted on 07/26/2003 9:04:17 PM PDT by billbears (Deo Vindice)
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To: Squantos
Yep! That reminds me of a time over in Opelousas, Louisiana, when I saw a white tail deer stretched out in a long bed pickup with his head hanging off the tailgate.
He field dressed close to two hundred pounds.
I asked the guy driving the pickup where he killed it.
He said, "In the game preserve that used to be public hunting property I've hunted since I was a kid."
I said, "And you aren't afraid of getting caught?"
He said, "Well, the last one they sent to catch us is still on the missing person's list at the sheriff's office."
68 posted on 07/26/2003 9:06:26 PM PDT by TexasCowboy (COB1)
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To: river rat
"I'm as ready as I'll ever be..."

We used our brawn as youngsters, river rat.
Now we gotta depend on our brains......or what's left of them.

69 posted on 07/26/2003 9:10:23 PM PDT by TexasCowboy (COB1)
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To: BenR2
We Are Governed By Traitors in high places
You are right, but there is not much choice. My representive will not even answer my email any more since I insist that the live up to his oath. Also vote against him every election, and recommend the same to all friends.

Jack
70 posted on 07/26/2003 9:14:02 PM PDT by btcusn
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To: conservativefromGa
The hogs need to be fed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
71 posted on 07/26/2003 9:26:24 PM PDT by T Wayne
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To: joesnuffy
The real irony is that Saddam Hussein allowed his people to be armed. Who is the REAL tyrant?

I'm counting on Bush to veto this thing (if it passes). If he doesn't I want one of the die-hard Bush supporters that frequent this site to explain why.

72 posted on 07/26/2003 9:27:40 PM PDT by Cacophonous
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To: TexasCowboy
"Now we gotta depend on our brains......or what's left of them."

Roger your last!

Semper Fi

73 posted on 07/26/2003 9:31:00 PM PDT by river rat (War works......It brings Peace... Give war a chance to destroy Jihadists...)
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To: billbears
Yeah, I feel as sorry for North Carolina being saddled with Liddy as I do for New Yorkers being stuck with Hillary. My sympathies to residents of both states.
74 posted on 07/26/2003 9:33:06 PM PDT by Cacophonous
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To: El Gato
Which is why I think it's a decoy, designe to make the other ban extension, ( S. 1034) look more "reasonable" and to in effect "run interferance" for it. That one merely makes the current ban permanent, and bans import of full capacity magazines, regardless of when manufactured.

You are exactly right. This is part of an orchestrated political maneuver by the antis. It's actually an old trick. They throw out a truly outrageous bill as a sacrificial decoy, then your congressman or Senator hopes you will be so grateful that he or she voted against the really "bad" gun ban bill that didn't pass that you will forgive him or her for voting FOR the "not-so-bad" AW ban which did pass. Of course there will be a repeat of the process in another couple of years and they will get another slice of the salami.

It's a variation of the old 3 steps forward and 2 steps back routine. The antis have been using it successfully for the last 40 years, and that's why we're in the mess we're in today. It's time to draw the line and vote against ANYBODY, Dems, Pubs, Bush, whatever, who votes for or signs the "not-so-bad" bill.

That could hurt us in the short term, but it's the ONLY way the pols of either party will ever get the message. If the antis keep getting another free slice of the salami every couple of years it won't be long until the whole salami is gone.

75 posted on 07/26/2003 9:45:10 PM PDT by epow
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To: Jim Noble
From the way it looks, they ain't got nothin' else to do up there in DC.

They should spend more time outdoors.

76 posted on 07/26/2003 9:46:22 PM PDT by m18436572
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To: epow
They throw out a truly outrageous bill as a sacrificial decoy, then your congressman or Senator hopes you will be so grateful that he or she voted against the really "bad" gun ban bill that didn't pass that you will forgive him or her for voting FOR the "not-so-bad" AW ban which did pass.

It also gives the NRA cover to endorse those who vote for the "not so bad" version.

77 posted on 07/26/2003 9:49:47 PM PDT by El Gato
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To: Shooter 2.5
I'll just say this. I am one of the founders of Second Amendment Sisters, and work tirelessly to try to save the second amendment. I won't go into all that I have done during the last four years in this regard. I would use up so much bandwidth that I would probably get banned if I went on and on about my activities to preserve our Second Amendment rights.

I'll turn the question around. What did YOU do?
78 posted on 07/26/2003 9:52:06 PM PDT by basil
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To: Mulder
they should be put on trial before a jury of their peers (drawn by lot)

Why would you want them tried before a jury of Communists and other Socialistic scum? I'd prefer a jury drawn by lot from the voter registration lists accross the country. With the county or precinct from which a single voter would be drawn also drawn randomly. (I.E. One juror per precinct no more.

79 posted on 07/26/2003 9:53:58 PM PDT by El Gato
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To: Cacophonous
I'm counting on Bush to veto this thing (if it passes).

Don't hold your breath. During the campaign he said he would sign a renewal of the AWB, and since then his spokesmen have said that is still his position. This must be killed in the House, but my fear is that it, or the "not so bad" version, will be attached to some "must pass" legislation at O Dark Thirty, and will pass by acclimation of the 10 Congressmen and 3 Senators present.

80 posted on 07/26/2003 9:57:13 PM PDT by El Gato
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Comment #81 Removed by Moderator

To: Squantos
Good quote, one of my favorites follows:

IS IT TIME YET? Or is America still at the awkward stage?

by Claire Wolfe

On June 21, 2000, a 39-year-old California businessman, Stuart Alexander, shot three government meat inspectors to death. Alexander’s sausage plant had just re-opened after losing its federal license in January. The two federal inspectors and state inspector were reportedly there to serve another citation. The bureaucrats said his products didn’t conform to health regulations; Alexander said not a single customer had complained about product quality in the 79 years since his great-grandfather started the business.

On June 21, 2000, a California businessman shot three government meat inspectors to death.

In the wake of the shooting, friends called Alexander a good, but troubled man who felt he was being persecuted. One, Ellen Luque, commented, “[He] got a bad deal from the very beginning. Maybe too much came down on him all of a sudden.”

Others, however, spoke of a hothead who hated following rules and who’d once been accused of beating up an elderly neighbor for snapping photos of his messy backyard. A widely reprinted report from Knight-Ridder Newspapers opened with a comment about Alexander’s “anti-government wrath” and noted:

“…acquaintances say he also carried a grudge against fire marshals, police, building inspectors and nosy neighbors -- anyone he felt was burdening him with unnecessary red tape. …”

“I don’t think he was trying to get away with wrongdoing -- he was just somebody who doesn’t have a lot of patience for the government process or regulations,” said San Leandro City Councilman Gordon Galvan, who grew up with the man accused of fatally shooting three inspectors Wednesday at his meat plant. “He thought the bureaucrats were putting too much burden on the small-business owner.”

This shooting eerily echoed one committed by New Hampshireman Carl Drega in 1997. After years of trying to “fight city hall” in the courts over property rights, Drega finally reached his line in the sand after state troopers stopped him for having rust holes in the bed of his pickup truck. His toll: two troopers, a newspaper editor and a judge he believed was persecuting him.

After the California killings, a newspaperman tracked me down and asked me to comment. What, me? How did a mainstream reporter even know of my existence, and what could I possibly say about a shooting a thousand miles (and a whole world) away? But I didn’t have to ask what made him think of me.

Famous First Words

In 1996 I scrawled a pair of sentences that resonated with a lot of freedom activists.

America is at that awkward stage. It’s too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards.

Since then, I’ve heard those words quoted thousands of times. I’ve watched people argue about whether it is or isn’t “time.” Whenever some new government abuse makes the news, someone is bound to wisecrack, “Is it time yet, Claire?” Most alarmingly, I receive occasional glassy-eyed e-mails from strangers assuring me that the instant I issue the order, my Faithful Self-Appointed Lieutenant will remove any nearby oppressors from the face of the earth. (No such orders shall be forthcoming.)

Morally, of course it’s time to shoot the bastards.

Obviously, I voiced something a lot of people have been thinking about. Four years have passed since I flippantly said it’s too early. Is it time yet to shoot the bastards? At least it seems time to take keyboard in hand and give a straight answer -- yes, no, maybe and whatever turns your crank.

Yes

Morally, of course it’s time to shoot the bastards. It has been since long before I wrote those sentences -- before I learned my ABCs, before anybody reading this was born.

It was time the first day the first court upheld the first blatantly unconstitutional law for the sake of political expediency. It was time the first day the fedgov got the notion to use regulations or executive orders to control We the People, rather than merely the internal workings of agencies. All the abuses since - ninja raids, confiscatory taxation, rules too obscure to comprehend, bullying bureaucrats, millions imprisoned for victimless crimes, burgeoning nanny state, ever-increasing centralized control - are government gravy. The truth is, morally it’s been “time” since at least Lincoln’s day. And it’s time now.

It was time the first day the first court upheld the first blatantly unconstitutional law for the sake of political expediency.

It’s past time, since all those earlier Americans failed to get out the tar, the feathers or the M1 Garands because they were too quiescent, or too persuaded that justice would prevail. Or because -- like us -- they valued due process and knew the chaos that disregard for it could bring. Or because -- like us -- they feared the personal consequences. Or because -- like us -- they weren’t ever sure whether that moment was the right moment.

Whenever it becomes impossible to get justice or have freedom “within the system” of course it’s morally right to fight back. Even Gandhi recognized that, saying:

“He who cannot protect himself or his nearest and dearest or their honor by non-violently facing death, may and ought to do so by violently dealing with the oppressor. He who can do neither of the two is a burden.”

Maybe it was even “time” on the day federal inspectors tried to close down a little, family-owned sausage plant whose product had been safely used by consumers for eight decades. I don’t know. Stuart Alexander thought it was.

But is it practical? Sensible? In that sense, no. And no surprise. It’s not time to shoot.

And for all the individual injustices or perceptions of injustice that always exist in the world, have things gotten any worse in the last four years?

No

Too bad there’s no Tyran-O-Meter -- a gauge, like the atomic scientists’ Doomsday Clock -- that could provide a measure of just how close we are to reaching some critical mass of tyranny. If there were, it might show that some things have actually improved since 1996.

Back then, the abusive IRS seemed to be going strong despite a lot of talk about alternative tax systems. Today, the IRS is on its knees. The agency openly acknowledges that 65 million Americans scoff at filing requirements (though most, of course, still “contribute at the office,” even if they don’t file their 1040s). Bill Benson’s research showing that the Sixteenth Amendment was never ratified has within the last year gotten airings in such public forums as C-SPAN and USA Today. And lo and behold, in 1998 Congress passed a Taxpayers Bill of Rights that wasn’t merely a toothless tiger.

In 1996, the 104th Congress regurgitated one law after another designed to bring Americans’ activities under the microscope (if not the immediate control) of federal bureaucrats. Today, under extreme public pressure, Congress is making serious noises about protecting privacy - including undoing some of their own legislation.

A newly aroused public threw monkey wrenches into the FDIC’s Know Your Customer bank-snoop regulations, invasive home health care questionnaires, SSN-based drivers licenses, “unique identifying numbers” for everyone visiting a doctor, and drove the USPS back from the worst of its efforts to control private mailbox holders. Things got so hot that when once-all-powerful OSHA tried to extend its authority into the homes of telecommuting workers earlier this year the agency was forced to retreat in a single weekend -- no hearings, no lengthy debates, just a whimper. (God bless the Internet and several key groups of activists who used it so well.)

As of August, a new law put the burden of proof on government in civil forfeiture cases, protecting the property of many innocent owners.

While Australia and Britain bowed meekly to confiscation of firearms, American citizens stood adamant. Congress dared pass few new anti-gun laws. Even our polite Canadian neighbors -- too genteel even to rebel against King George III -- have rebelled against their 1995 universal registration law, making enforcement almost impossible.

In the rowdy West, when the Forest Service refused to re-open a washed-out road to a recreation area, thousands resisted, forming the Jarbridge Shovel Brigade -- and re-opened the road themselves, to nationwide cheers and support. The fedgov may yet have the last word -- but this time they knew better than to come in with tanks, helicopters and ski masked faces.

Some of these are very, very big things. All are encouraging signs that Americans may yet be able to take back freedom without shooting.

In light of that, maybe some would think I should be revisiting the other part of my statement, that it’s “too late to work within the system.” Aren’t all these advances evidence that “the system” can still work for freedom?

I still don’t think so.

On the other hand …

Aside from a heightening of public consciousness on privacy issues, there hasn’t been a single actual improvement in freedom’s circumstances. At best, activists have merely slowed the advance of tyranny. Even at that, the meaning of some apparent triumphs is unclear. The IRS’s collapse may be merely a PR ploy to prepare the way for yet another giant federal tax system. Federal revenues (including income tax revenues) haven’t suffered. On the contrary, according to 1999 Congressional Budget Office figures, “During the past five years, federal revenues have increased at an average rate of 8.3 percent a year … Consequently, revenues as a percentage of GDP have risen from 18.4 percent in 1994 to 20.5 percent in 1998 and will reach a postwar high of 20.7 percent in 1999 …”

Some of the so-called privacy protection measures Congress is considering would make matters worse -- for instance, by giving a federal “privacy czar” regulatory power over private databases.

Some of the so-called privacy protection measures Congress is considering would make matters worse -- for instance, by giving a federal “privacy czar” regulatory power over private databases. The number of wiretaps is soaring, cell phones have been mandated into tracking devices, the CIA admits to backing snoop technology firms, and the FBI has announced numerous initiatives to spy upon the innocent and guilty alike.

The public beat back many invasive regulatory proposals -- but often not until the damage had been done. And regulatory proposals are still coming at us like something from a John Carpenter movie. (As James Bovard writes in his book I Feel Your Pain, during the Clinton administration “…Federal agencies issued more than 25,000 new regulations -- criminalizing everything from reliable toilets to snuff advertisements on race cars.”)

The drug war still rampages on, having ravaged lives, property rights and the ideal of honest law enforcement beyond repair. Prison populations continue to bloat.

The drug war -- though increasingly losing its moral sanction -- still rampages on, having ravaged lives, property rights and the ideal of honest law enforcement beyond repair. Prison populations continue to bloat.

If Congress didn’t act against gun-rights, the executive branch did. The FBI has learned (no doubt to its bureaucratic glee) that it can halt all dealer gun sales in America, simply via a computer system glitch -- as it did for three days earlier this year, during the height of weekend gun shows. Though entitled by law to go on selling when the “instant background check” database is unreachable, dealers are too terrified of federal enforcers to do so. And the Clinton administration has used federal clout and lawsuits to pressure, if not cripple, the firearms industry.

The courts have already held, in Paladin Press’s Hit Man case, that the mere act of selling a book to a stranger can be culpable.

It is now a federal crime -- with Draconian prison sentences to publish details about “destructive devices.” Theoretically, the punishments only pertain if you have reason to believe your audience intends to commit a crime. The courts have already held, in Paladin Press’ Hit Man case, that the mere act of selling a book to a stranger can be culpable. Congress is now considering a bill with virtually identical language forbidding anyone to teach, publish or otherwise convey information about “controlled substances.”

In 1996, the federal government gobbled up $1.538 trillion of our substance. The OMB’s estimate for fiscal year 2000 spending is $1.766 trillion, and for FY 2001, $1.835.

Although federal civilian employment is actually down, the number of federal police has increased by 21 percent.

Although federal civilian employment is actually down (2,799,000 today vs 2,895,275 in 1995 -- with no figures available for 1996), during the same period, the number of federal police has increased by 21 percent (86,087 to 104,096). Anyone wonder why they’re needed -- when actual crime nationwide has been dropping?

Numb time

Is America still “at that awkward stage”? More than ever. The movement to reduce government’s grasp is certainly at a more awkward stage than it was in 1996. We’ve fought for liberty -- some of us for years, some for decades. Nothing great has happened. But neither -- lately -- has anything catastrophic -- just the usual crawl toward total government domination. And the nation is content. Even we have trouble sustaining our sense of urgency. What are we malcontents shouting about? Things aren’t so bad. Eventually, we begin to feel a sense of unreality, of sensory deprivation from our lack of connection to what our neighbors and the media tell us is the real world. We become uncomfortably numb.

On top of that, many of us threw a lot of energy into preparing for The-Y2K-That-Wasn’t. Though we all officially dreaded Y2Kaos, the truth is we needed a crisis that would bring matters to a head. When nothing happened a lot of us felt like the girl who’s gotten all dressed up for the dance, only to have her date not show.

But now we’re just exhausted and dispirited. If some Prince Charming showed up and offered to sweep us off to the Freedom Ball in his coach, we might just say, “Not tonight, Prince Baby. I’m tired.”

Future in the haze

Unless some unforeseeable trigger event strikes, we may remain at that awkward stage for a long time (maybe decades). Liberty will continue to erode, but not so fast we’ll jump out of the boiling pot. Freedom lovers will continue to shout that they’d rather die on their feet than live on their knees -- but will go on living on their knees. Congress and regulators will make minor adjustments when angry people make things hot for them, but will always gradually work toward total control. And the few poor saps who take action to halt it will languish in prison or the grave.

In his Sept. 21, 1997 column on Carl Drega, Vin Suprynowicz pegged the whole situation:

“The problem … [is] that our chemical castration is so gradual that there can NEVER be a majority consensus that this is finally the right time to respond in force. In this death of a thousand cuts we’re ALWAYS confronted with some harmless old functionary who obviously loves his grandkids, some pleasant young bureaucrat who doubtless loves her cat and bakes cookies for her co-workers and smilingly assures us she’s “just doing her job” as she requests our Social Security number here ... our thumbprint there ... the signed permission slip from your kid’s elementary school principal for possessing a gun within a quarter-mile of the school ... and a urine sample, please, if you’ll just follow the matron into the little room …”

It doesn’t take an oracle to know that anyone who starts shooting government agents now is going to hurt himself more than the system. And no Minutemen are going to rush to the aid of Stuart Alexander. No members of the “Henry Bowman Brigade,” inspired by John Ross’ novel, Unintended Consequences, are going to take some future Carl Drega’s act as a signal to follow suit.

Still, an increasing number of Alexanders and Dregas, standing on their own individual Concord Greens, will decide: No more. And I can’t by any means declare that it will never be me, or thee, or my next door neighbor who discovers one day that it is time to shoot, even if the entire rest of the world disagrees.

But am I gonna say you should turn meat inspectors into meat? Am I going to suggest you rig a bomb to the engine of your local tax man’s car? No way, not me. (If you do, make sure his wife and kiddies aren’t the next ones to get into the vehicle, though. That isn’t playing nice.)

Is is time? Morally, yes. Absolutely. If you do it, and if there’s a heaven, I hope you get a good seat.

Is it time? Morally, yes. Absolutely. If you do it, and if there’s a heaven, I hope you get a good seat. But if you pot a bureaucrat figuring it’ll light some fire under the cold, dead butts of a complacent nation … good luck.

Sepmer Fi

82 posted on 07/26/2003 10:09:04 PM PDT by An Old Man (USMC 1956 1960)
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To: An Old Man
Good informational post.......are you knowledgable of the teachings of Col. Ulius Louis Amoss ? I know some pretty sorid sorts follow his teachings but the mere possibility of 200 million Stuart Alexanders working on their own to fight the socialist bean countin polidiots and their trolls is something that those practicing sedition from public office "should" consider IMO......:o)

Stay Safe !

83 posted on 07/26/2003 10:27:14 PM PDT by Squantos (Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.)
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To: Squantos
Just an army of one!

Semper Fi
84 posted on 07/26/2003 10:30:40 PM PDT by An Old Man (USMC 1956 1960)
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To: Threepwood
OK, you've been hammered with photos of "revolving cylinder shotguns," but here's one in "action." Smoke, grenades, all the goodies.

Walken is typically weird in this flick. A good late night double feature companion to Wild Geese.

85 posted on 07/26/2003 10:36:03 PM PDT by kitchen
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To: An Old Man
I think the old line....the only way for two people to keep a secret is if one of them is dead....... applies to those who'd be effective in such an environment. The Soap, Ballot, Jury and in the end the Ammo box are how I plan my efforts to maintain our Republic in a constitutional manner.

Stay Safe !

86 posted on 07/26/2003 10:50:18 PM PDT by Squantos (Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.)
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To: kitchen
I see a loophole in this POS: THEY FORGOT TO SAY ANYTHING ABOUT BELT FED WEAPONS!!!! So that RIA M60 semi-auto, M1919, MG34/42 or a M2HB semi is OK. Idiots. All the better for sporting use - and they're 'antiques' as well. Time to buy some parts kits.

I agree with all who said that if the president signs this - or the not so bad bill - something has to be done. Would I vote for Hillary instead? Nope. That's sheer lunacy.
87 posted on 07/26/2003 10:56:06 PM PDT by 11B3 (We live in "interesting times". Indeed.)
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To: conservativefromGa
There's a Senator Ludenwright in my book.

He gets plinked.

88 posted on 07/26/2003 10:58:25 PM PDT by Travis McGee (----- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com -----)
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To: conservativefromGa
After closing shop this afternoon, I stopped at a liquor store to pick up a bottle of wine to go with dinner. Ran into an acquaintance, a class 3 dealer and gunsmith, who asked if I knew anyone that would be interested in an M-16. Talk about apoplexy to the PC crowd! I get home and find this eMail, with a copy of a letter from Lautenberg. There's more to him than S 1431.

Bob Esch, ANJRPC President received the following letter about S659 from Senator Lautenberg in response to his letter. Thought you'd like to see it!!!!

July 24, 2003

Mr. Robert Esch
825 Stonewall Court
Franklin Lakes, New Jersey 07417

Dear Mr. Esch,

Thank you for contacting me about the "Firearms Manufacturers Protection bill" (S. 659). I appreciate hearing from you.

The "Firearms Manufacturers Protection bill" would prohibit certain civil liability actions from being brought in any State or Federal court against a manufacturer or seller of a firearm, ammunition, or a component of a firearm that has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce. It would also require pending actions to be dismissed.

I intend to do all I can to block this unconscionable piece of legislation. It does not seek to end "frivolous" lawsuits against the 2nd Amendment. Rather, S. 659 puts a single interest ahead of the public interest, and that is never the proper thing to do. If this NRA-backed immunity bill is signed into law, victims of industry recklessness will be denied access to the courts. Straw purchasers working with rogue dealers to obtain guns for people who are ineligible to buy guns themselves would be immune. Dealers who engage in large-volume sales, such as an Illinois dealer who sold sixty handguns to one customer, would be immune for his reckless acts.

In this Congress, I will continue to push common sense gun safety measures, and I will fight any attempt to immunize the industry. I recently introduced "The Homeland Security Gun Safety Act of 2003" (S. 969). This law will combat the illegal flow of firearms to terrorists and criminals. It will require the maintenance of records for certain handgun transfers to coincide with the current Homeland Security Advisory System during heightened terrorist risk, close loopholes that have allowed terrorists to acquire firearms, and strengthen the regulatory controls and enforcement of gun dealers who violate gun laws. Implementing this rational approach to gun regulations for the security of our Nation is of paramount importance.

Thank you again for your letter.
Senator Frank Lautenberg


89 posted on 07/26/2003 11:00:09 PM PDT by kitchen
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To: El Gato
Which is why I think it's a decoy, designe to make the other ban extension, ( S. 1034) look more "reasonable" and to in effect "run interferance" for it.

BIngo. Go to the head of the class.

90 posted on 07/26/2003 11:02:29 PM PDT by Travis McGee (----- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com -----)
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To: epow
72 = exactly correct.
91 posted on 07/26/2003 11:03:56 PM PDT by Travis McGee (----- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com -----)
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To: Squantos; Mulder; Noumenon; Eaker; archy; Joe Brower
Only well trayned govermint agints shoold be abel to have fire-arms.

They are much to danjerus for ordinary peeple to hav.


92 posted on 07/26/2003 11:06:16 PM PDT by Travis McGee (----- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com -----)
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To: Squantos
Good informational post.......are you knowledgable of the teachings of Col. Ulius Louis Amoss ?

Enlighten us.

93 posted on 07/26/2003 11:32:45 PM PDT by Ancesthntr
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To: Ancesthntr
Us ?.............:o)


http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&q=leaderless+resistance+Col+Louis

Hope the link helps the both of you........
94 posted on 07/26/2003 11:40:05 PM PDT by Squantos (Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.)
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To: Threepwood
south african street sweeper has the described mechanism. (really)

They were quite popular in miami with homeowners in order to keep looters away after Huricane Andrew ripped up the souther part of the couty.
95 posted on 07/26/2003 11:56:22 PM PDT by longtermmemmory (Vote!)
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To: All
They would be better at focusing on passing the Federal Marriage Amendment than to go into such "touchy feely" make illegal. There are so many ambiguities that anything can be made illegal because it launches a projectile and can be made to look mean.
96 posted on 07/27/2003 12:02:45 AM PDT by longtermmemmory (Vote!)
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To: conservativefromGa
1. So WHEN will we begin to apply the necessary pressure to kill all these "AW Ban" bills by simply repealing the feculent "Sporting Purposes" law that was inserted into the GCA-68?
Virtually ALL of the "AW Ban's" build on that existing bit of "law", remove that foundation and these efforts collapse for lack of an underlying basis.

A bill to do so has already been introduced (Ron Paul?), but it is being ignored and left to die in committee by this congress.

2. All of these "AW Ban" bills attempt to greatly EXPAND the existing ban.
Bush said he would sign a bill to make the CURRENT ban permanent, he has no excuse to sign any bill EXPANDING the current ban one iota.

3. we are only two committed senate votes away from guaranteeing that S. 659 (stopping the lawsuits intended to bankrupt the gun industry, and replace congress with activist judges) is passed, immune to the continued filibuster threat! We need to REALLY jump on the senate to pass S.659!

4. I am the NRA-ILA Election Volunteer Co-ordinator for most of Nevada, this will be my third time doing this.
I have been very disappointed with two things as EVC.
A. The sparse number of volunteers who will actually take the time to help pro-RKBA candidates.
B. The number of supposedly pro-RKBA candidates who have no interest in having RKBA oriented volunteers!
Despite this NRA continues to be rated as the most effective lobby group in America.
97 posted on 07/27/2003 12:07:35 AM PDT by Richard-SIA (Nuke the U.N!)
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To: conservativefromGa
Notice, the mini-14 made it this time. It didn't the first time around. There were strong hints that the late Bill Ruger Sr. made a cute little deal with Clinton to back trigger locks and fixed mags that kept it off that list...but it sure made this one. Don't get me wrong, I own several Rugers, including a SS Mini-14 with factory folding stock, but those rumours are just too persistent and from too many credible sources (The New American) to ignore.
98 posted on 07/27/2003 12:49:19 AM PDT by ExSoldier (M1911A1: The ORIGINAL "Point and Click" interface!)
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To: Flint
Notice the clip fed, capacity EIGHT, Garand isn't on the list. They might live (or not) to regret that one. My Garand has clips sporting API-T rounds.
99 posted on 07/27/2003 12:52:08 AM PDT by ExSoldier (M1911A1: The ORIGINAL "Point and Click" interface!)
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To: Travis McGee
"He gets plinked"

I like the term ZOTSED (sp?) too!

100 posted on 07/27/2003 1:22:47 AM PDT by ExSoldier (M1911A1: The ORIGINAL "Point and Click" interface!)
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