When you read this issue of Gun Mag the election will be over and we will know who won not only the Presidential election but also Congressional and state legislative contests. We know that there will be a “lame-duck” session before Christmas. I predict that gun control issues will not be considered. That said all bills introduced in the current session of Congress that haven’t been signed into law will die by the end of 2012 and all must be reintroduced in the 113th Congressional Session that begins on January 3, 2013.
Anti-Gun Amendments to Cybersecurity Act in the US Senate-will not be passed.
As we reported last month, the UN concluded the Second Review Conference of the UN Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons in the middle of September. This conference, unlike the failed proposed UN Arms Trade Treaty this past July, for now is only recommending arms control legislation for its member nations on a voluntary basis. However, in his remarks to the conference UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon exclaimed, “an arms trade treaty is long overdue… I urge you to redouble efforts to agree on a robust ‘ATT’ as soon as possible.” Many countries including Mexico, Cuba, Iran and North Korea are still promoting a UN treaty. It is entirely possible that anti-gun senators and representatives will be using this “international effort” in the propaganda for new federal anti-gun legislation.
FY 2013 State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Appropriations Bill, which included S. 2205, prohibiting the Obama administration from using “the voice, vote, and influence of the United States, in connection with negotiations for a United Nations Arms Trade Treaty, to restrict in any way the rights of United States citizens under the second amendment to the Constitution of the United States, or to otherwise regulate domestic manufacture, assembly, possession, use, transfer, or purchase of firearms, ammunition, or related items, including small arms, light weapons, or related materials,” has not been sent to Obama for his signature. If the past (December 2011) is any indication, we may see a continuing resolution for all spending pass the Congress in December. That continuing resolution may or may not include non-spending legislation.
Fast and Furious
On Aug. 13, the House Government and Oversight Committee (HG&OC) filed a federal lawsuit against Attorney General (AG) Eric Holder for his failing to respond to the Committee’s subpoena for documents concerning the Fast and Furious gun-walking scandal, obstruction of justice by the AG, and Obama’s assertion of Executive Privilege. On Oct. 17 the DOJ requested that the US District Court for the District of Columbia dismiss the HG&OC lawsuit. In their argument the DOJ stated, “Disputes of this sort have arisen regularly since the founding…the disputes have been resolved between the political branches through a constitutionally grounded system of negotiation, accommodation and self-help.”
HG&OC responded with a statement:
“The Obama Administration’s argument should trouble Americans who believe the President and the Federal government are not above the law. In perpetuating a cover-up, through false and misleading statements that even the Justice Department’s own Inspector General found troubling, the Obama administration argued for months that it did not have to meet its legal obligations to a lawfully issued congressional subpoena. Now, the Department is advancing arguments—already rejected by the federal judiciary—that our court system does not have jurisdiction to ensure accountability either. The American people deserve to know the full truth about what happened in Operation Fast and Furious and why top justice officials stood behind false denials of reckless conduct.”
It appears that there may be more to hide by the Obama Administration than was originally thought.
The House also passed HR-822, National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011, but it will not be passed. Sen. Feinstein (D-CA) has placed a hold on both S. 2188 and HR-822.
HR-3594—Second Amendment Protection Act of 2011, introduced on Dec. 7, 2011 by Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL), will not be passed.
S.5326—An amendment to allow citizens to possess firearms on Army Corps of Engineers Water Resources Development lands was added to the FY2013 Energy and Water Development Related Agencies Appropriations Bill, but will not be passed.
The Senate reauthorized the Land and Water Conservation Fund after adding an amendment by Sen. Jon Tester to put aside 1.5% of the fund to secure public lands for hunting. This amendment was part of the highway bill, S-1813, that has passed the Congress and was signed by President Obama.
S-3525—While The Sportsman’s Heritage Act, HR-4089, passed the House in April, there may be a chance that the Senate version, S-3525, may have a vote on the Senate floor before the election. In a previous report I stated “Senate Majority Leader may use this vote to help Senator Jon Tester (D-WY) in his election battle against Congressman Denny Rehberg (R-WY). Both men have very good credentials on the gun and hunting issues, so Reid may see his opportunity to help Tester keep his seat.” On Sept. 9 that scenario played out. You can read it here: http://democrats.senate.gov/2012/09/19/republican-objection-to-s-3525-the-sportsmen-act/. It is obvious that Reid got the anti-hunting Democrats to allow this to pass, Sen. Kyl (R-AZ) objected on the grounds that Reid would not promote other bills. Kyl’s statement, “I had asked the distinguished majority leader if I requested an amendment to his request to add a piece of legislation that he and I both support, whether he would have to object to that, and I presume his answer is that he would have to object, and as a result, rather than doing that and forcing him to object, I’ll simply pose my objection at this time.”
S.436, Fix Gun Checks Act, sponsored by Sen. Schumer will not be passed.
Armed Pilots: The $10 million added to the program will probably be cut under a Continuing Resolution.
Check your state for latest updates
The legislatures of several states have adjourned, some with no pro-gun or anti-gun measures enacted, while others did enact gun-related legislation as previously reported in this column. The states that have adjourned are: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
Gov. Jerry Brown signed three anti-gun bills that go into effect on Jan. 1, 2013. Now Los Angeles County is excluded from California’s firearms preemption law so they can regulate BB, toy, and replica guns as they wish. He also banned the hunting of bears and bobcats with dogs and the open carrying of unloaded long guns.
A right-to-carry bill was NOT passed in 2012. In Cook County the County board has proposed a surtax on the purchase of ammo and firearms. The tax would be $25 per firearm and 5-cents per bullet. As of Oct. 29 the Commissioners did not vote on this proposal. Additionally Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy is promoting the concept that Illinois gunowners should be required to report when guns are lost, stolen or even sold.
The Senate passed SB-525, to ensure that Michigan right-to-carry permits do not expire before the county permitting board meets to authorize the renewal. Gov. Rick Snyder signed the bill. All other bills have died.
AB-1216, legislation that increases the penalty for firearms possession on an educational institution from a second-degree crime to a third degree crime, passed the Law and Public Safety Committee on June 8. Since New Jersey legislators are elected in odd years, their legislative session begins in an even numbered year and ends in an odd numbered year. Therefore all legislation will be held over to 2013.
HB-495, a bill to reform Ohio gun laws, was passed by the House on a 59-28 vote. This bill would: establish automatic reciprocity with states that also have automatic reciprocity; eliminate the current requirement for a shooting test for renewal applications; change the definition of a loaded firearm in a vehicle, and simplify the definition of “concealed handgun license” so that it applies in each section of the Ohio code. The Senate may still consider this needed legislation.
SB-273 was not considered in the House of Representatives before adjournment.