May 2001

Guns and Shooting News

Congressional Battle Looms Over Gun Show Issue… The stage is being set for a renewed gun control debate in Congress as U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) are reportedly working together on legislation to require background checks on all firearm sales at gun shows. Word that the two are drafting a bill that may also include a government requirement for gun locks coincides with a newly announced national television ad campaign aimed at closing the so-called “gun show loophole.”

Gun show legislation passed both houses of Congress last year but died in conference committee when agreement could not be reached over how much time to allow for conducting the checks.


Do Your Part… The nation’s clay target governing bodies and sportsman’s clubs across the country have launched an aggressive shooting sports program for students in the junior high and high school age groups. The Scholastic Shooting Program will feature team competition in trap, skeet and sporting clays.

The program will emphasize safe firearm handling and shooting skills and provide for competition at the local, state and national level, while increasing interest in the shooting sports. The inaugural competition will be trap and will be known as the Scholastic Trapshooting Program (STP). The Amateur Trapshooting Association (ATA), including its affiliated state associations, and state wildlife agencies, will partner with the National Shooting Sports Foundation and more than 120 ATA-affiliated gun clubs in 20 states to get the program running.

The inaugural Scholastic Trapshooting Program’s first competition was held April 14 at the Missouri Trapshooters Association facility in Linn Creek, Missouri.

If you would like to sponsor a team through your company or club, contact Scott Moore at (203) 426-1320 or at smoore@nssf.org.


Handgun Licensing Bills Introduced In California… In addition to current state law that requires criminal background checks, dealer-conducted written tests and a 10-day waiting period before purchasing a handgun, California is now considering further restrictions on gun owners under proposed legislation currently before the state Senate (SB 52) and the Assembly (AB 35). Both bills seek to establish a licensing system requiring first-time gun buyers to pay a fee, submit fingerprints, and pass a police-administered written exam and gun range safety test in order to purchase a handgun. These latest proposals come after Gov. Gray Davis’s one-year moratorium on gun controls following the 1999 enactment of several bills that included a tightening of the state’s “assault weapons” law, mandating locking devices with all new guns sold and requiring so-called “safety standards” on new handguns.

Will the last gun owner leaving the Golden State turn out the lights? Oh, I forgot—they’re already off.

-Todd Woodard