September 2006

Downrange: 09/06

The Coming Storm
U.S. gunowners are right to fear the confiscatory nature of our lawmakers who believe the 2nd Amendment is an anachronism. But the larger fight about any human being’s right to defend himself with a firearm is being played on a global stage, and the debate is chilling for anyone who believes gun ownership is a right on par with free speech, free assembly, and free association.

The United Nations Small Arms Review Conference, a summit of world leaders which discusses arms legislation every five years, heard a report by IANSA, a group of agencies including Amnesty International and Oxfam. IANSA estimates that there are about 640 million small arms in the world, 59 percent of them in the hands of civilians.

As many as 1.8 million people had been shot dead since the last UN review in 2001, it said.

The report said the problem was especially bad in developing countries, where easy access to guns, combined with widespread poverty, often created a lethal situation.

The mouthpiece for IANSA is one Rebecca Peters, who urged the United Nations to impose global regulations on arms distribution and set minimum guidelines for national rules on gun control. Her agency’s report recommended international co-operation to control the sale and transfer of firearms.

Have no doubt that the next battle for gun rights is being fought in nations that currently allow little or no ownership of firearms, and whose representatives laugh at the notion of a 2nd Amendment.

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Not Too Late To Call
California bill AB 2714 would prevent shooters from buying ammunition at retail unless the purchaser personally presents evidence of his identity and age to the seller of the ammunition. Violation of these provisions would be an offense punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for a term not to exceed 6 months, or by a fine not to exceed $1,000, or by both imprisonment and that fine, with increased penalties for 2nd or subsequent violations. The bill would provide that it does not apply to ammunition or reloaded ammunition that is rimfire ammunition.

In late June, AB 2714 passed the Senate Public Safety Committee and was to be heard by the California Senate Appropriations Committee sometime after the Legislature’s summer break. The NRA is urging gunowners to contact the committee members and urge opposition to AB 2714.

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Governor Closes "Concealed" Records
Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius signed a bill in May protecting the identities of holders of concealed gun permits. The law took effect July 1. Under the legislation Sebelius signed, all records of permits are sealed except those of individuals whose licenses have been suspended or revoked. Kansas will be among 48 states allowing residents to carry concealed guns. About two-thirds have closed their gun permit information to the public.

-Todd Woodard