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SITREP: August 1999

By Dan Shea

Don’t count us out. Not yet. The gun owners of the United States are still fighting and kicking hard. Several fronts are moving towards correcting some of the unconstitutional indignities that law abiding citizens are put through in order to own firearms.

Probably on the front lines at the moment is the 1934 Group, and their quest to end the requirement for a law enforcement signature on the Forms 1,4, and 5. This “Requirement” has been continually abused as a de facto form of gun control. No signature, no NFA firearm. It would be nice to have that changed to something more in the original intention of the tax statute, perhaps using the NICS instant check system on the back of the Form, as opposed to the CLEO signature. I’d like to see the system go back to stopping people who are criminals from purchasing the firearms, not what we have now, that prevents law abiding citizens from owning Title II firearms. Note the raffle they are having which is mentioned in the “Letters” pages this issue. Let’s get the support out there... there’s no telling what can be accomplished if we stick together.

Congress is reviewing the NFRTR, the records of the NFA firearms, and how accurate or inaccurate they are. Eric Larson, one of the pit bulls of the NFA community, has been running a campaign to straighten out the records. This is something that we should all be supporting- the fact that the registry is off means that we are all at peril of having one of our legally taxed and registered NFA firearms mistaken as an Untaxed Unregistered firearm, with the ensuing legal problems. I personally think that the law enforcement community should support whatever measures it takes to correct the NFRTR, and it seems that Congress is feeling that way as well. SAR will be bringing you an update on this, as it progresses. Way too early to say the “A” word, but maybe in some future year we can get to that point.

Gun Owners of America is on the front line as well, as usual. Larry Pratt and his organization are great friends of the American firearm owner, and they need our support.

Senator Bob Smith of New Hampshire has declared his intention to run for President of the United States. You won’t find many people who are truer to their words and their oaths than the Senator. He is asking gun owners to participate in a grassroots campaign to drive him to the front of the pack- send $50 to his campaign, and tell your friends. Take a moment to see what he stands for. To the naysayers, who point out that a relative unknown could not become president of these United States, I suggest you read your recent history- President William Jefferson Clinton was not a known person before a year into the election campaign, and he rode the wave to the presidency. At the worst, Senator Smith has the integrity to bring our common interests to the debate in the Republican party, and if we support him strongly enough, to ensure that the faint of heart do NOT go quietly into that good night, and continue writing off our freedoms. Check out his campaign.

Now, if we could only find a way to stop the US Government from funding massive advertising campaigns that demonize us or the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, we’d be doing really well. Oh- right!! The next election is coming up! Let’s do what we did in 1994, and shake them to the roots- put in a president that will work for the Constitution, and a congress that will stay true to their vows to protect and defend.

- Dan

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