December 2003

Downrange: 12/03

DASCHLE PROTECTS GUN RIGHTS? You know that Democratic politicians have learned that gun-rights advocacy can save their jobs when Senate Minority Leader Thomas A. Daschle (D-S.D.) moves to protect gun manufacturers and dealers from legal liability when crimes are committed without their knowledge.

“The vast majority of gun owners, manufacturers and sellers are honest and law-abiding,” Daschle said of his support for the bill. “It is wrong—and a misuse of the civil justice system—to try to punish honest, law-abiding people for illegal acts committed by others without their knowledge or involvement.”

Daschle submitted an amendment to a current gun-liability law that would clarify a product liability exception by providing coverage for reasonably foreseeable uses of a gun that aren’t criminal. The Senate bill has 55 co-sponsors and could come to the floor at any time.

Wayne LaPierre, the NRA’s executive vice president, said, “It’s a constructive amendment. This is very important to the folks back in South Dakota.”

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AMMUNITION LAWSUITS. Five internet ammunition retailers are the target of Massachusetts Attorney General Thomas Reilly, who has sued two retailers and reached settlements with three others for the payment of a $2,500 fine. None of the dealers held proper Massachusetts licenses to sell ammunition or verified that a buyer was authorized to buy ammunition under Massachusetts law, according to Reilly’s office. The settlements were reached with Discount Distributors, Inc., of West Berlin, New Jersey, which operates www.ammoman.com, Midway Arms, Inc. of Columbia, Missouri. and Kiesler’s Police Supply of Jeffersonville, Indiana. Suits were against The Ammo Bank of Rochester, New York, and Cascade Ammunition of Roseburg, Oregon.

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TSA PICKS H&K AGAIN. The Transportation Security Administration has re-affirmed its choice for Heckler & Koch to supply as many as 9,600 .40 S&W-caliber pistols for commercial airline pilots. The pistols would be carried in cockpits by pilots successfully completing special training authorizing them to have access to firearms while in flight. The contract for USP40 Compact Law Enforcement Model semiautomatic handguns would be worth about $3.3 million.

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FASTEST GUN IN THE WEST, OR THE SOUTH FOR THAT MATTER. Jerry Miculek used a Smith & Wesson Performance Center Model 66 K-frame at the recent Police Nationals handgun competition in Jackson, Mississippi, setting a speed record for shooting five rounds fired into a single target in only 0.57 second. He then chose 10 Model 64s to break the existing record for multiple revolvers fired into a single target, shooting six rounds from each in a total time of 17.12 seconds. That’s better than the previous 21-second record, when only five rounds were fired from each gun.


-Todd Woodard