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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I sure hope this crap dies in the House!,2933,113046,00.html

Senate Democrats Score Wins on Gun Bill

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

WASHINGTON ? The Senate voted Tuesday to extend for another decade a ban on military-style assault weapons and to require background checks on buyers at private gun shows, giving Democrats rare victories on gun legislation that would also deny crime victims the ability to sue gunmakers and dealers.

Democratic presidential contenders John Kerry (search) of Massachusetts and John Edwards (search) of North Carolina broke away from the Super Tuesday campaign trail to cast votes ? their first of the year ? with the 52-47 majority on the assault weapons ban and the 53-46 majority on the gun show bill.

The White House had preferred both Democratic bills be kept off the legislation immunizing the gun industry from liability suits, the National Rifle Association's (search) top priority this year.

"The semiautomatic ban, the gun show loophole, a variety of other kinds of issues could simply drag this bill down and deny us substantial tort reform," said Republican Sen. Larry Craig (search) of Idaho, the bill's main sponsor who voted against both measures.

House leaders said last year that they did not intend to renew the ban on the manufacture and importation of at least 19 types of common military-style assault weapons (search). Senate GOP leaders also argued against the ban, saying it was ineffective and unnecessary and could cause the House to kill the gunmaker immunity bill.

But with the help of a few Senate Republicans, including Senate Armed Services Chairman John Warner of Virginia, Democrats were able to get enough votes to approve the ban extension.

A few Republicans also voted with the Democrats to close the "gun show loophole." Under current law, unlicensed gun dealers at private shows are not required to ask for government background checks before selling weapons. Democrats and a few Republicans argued that loopholes allows people who normally wouldn't be able to buy guns get dangerous weapons.

"Criminals and terrorists are exploiting this obvious loophole in our gun safety laws," said Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona.

The appearance of Kerry and Edwards in the Senate for their first votes of the year underscored the political overtones of the assault weapons issue. Most Democrats voted for the ban, which had been due to expire Sept. 13, while most Republicans voted against it.

Ten Republicans broke party ranks: Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, Susan Collins of Maine, Mike DeWine of Ohio, Peter Fitzgerald of Illinois, Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, Richard Lugar of Indiana, Gordon Smith of Oregon, Olympia Snowe of Maine, George Voinovich of Ohio and John Warner of Virginia.

Six Democrats voted against extending the ban: Max Baucus of Montana, Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Zell Miller of Georgia, Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Harry Reid of Nevada.

"Once again we're in a political season, and once again we're debating gun ownership," Craig said.

Democrats argued that law enforcement officers and regular citizens all would be safer if the assault weapons covered under the bill continued to be banned. "These are weapons of war. They are designed to kill a lot of people quickly," said Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., who authored the 1994 gun ban while in the House.

Warner, who voted against the gun ban in 1994, said the testimony from law enforcement officials in his state convinced him to vote Tuesday for renewing it.

"Law enforcement has shown that it has reduced the use of these weapons in crime, so my words pale in significance to the law officers of the four corners of the commonwealth of Virginia," Warner said.

President Bush has staked out both sides of the issue, calling for the reauthorization of the assault weapons ban while arguing against the Senate's adding it to the gunmaker immunity bill.

After other amendments, the Senate is expected to easily pass the gunmaker immunity bill. It would bar lawsuits against gun makers stemming from a crime in when a legally sold gun is used to commit the crime.

After Senate action, the measure goes to a House-Senate negotiating committee that will hammer out differences with the version passed by the GOP-controlled House last year.

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6,739 Posts
Boy that sucks.

I can't believe that the republican from New Hampshire and both from Maine broke rank.
Those are both huge sportsman states.

Especially since New Hampshire has been talking about dropping the need for a CC permit ala Vermont.

So much for NH's motto "Live free or Die"

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2,851 Posts
Gentlemen, this is why Republican politicians can not be trusted. They will state one thing and then do another. As far as I am concerned they are nothing but Democrats. (What makes them even dirter, is they call themselves Conservatives and Republican) Warner form Virginia is nothing but a old wind bag that is completely out of touch with reality. Instead of making up bull shit lies about what law enforement wants (as if he really cares), he needed to investigate to see what the current AWB did not accomplish. The facts are clear that the ban did not stop crime or gun violence. Isn't the Senator paid to look into laws and their effect? The answer is Warner and the others pander to the liberals so as to avoid their critism in the media no matter what and the cost to the Second Amendment and law biding citizens. I am sure their sleezy hands will be out to take NRA and other pro Second Amendment organizations contributions. Further, it seems that the American firearms industry would also rather see the AWB extended so that their self interest is protected in two ways. The first is clear, they want insolation from law suits. The second, is a little more sneaky and under handed, they want to limit competition from foreign manufacturers. They will gladly give up a bayo lug, sporterize, pin stocks, and dismantle the Constitution over letting the former commies, now capitalists, sell their surplus. I have not faith the politicians in the Congress will see fit to make a stand, except if its in a line to get more money from the tax payers.

And what about the President. I believe we all better get used to it now, Bush has no clue and Kerry is a liar. He, Kerry, is very likely going to hand Bush an early retirement, just like like Slick Willie did to Bush 1, his out of touch father. You know read my lips, screw the middle class, tax the hell out of stupid bastards, take their rights away, while me and the boys work on this new (international corporate) world order. What was it that Yogi Bara said, daisha voo all over again.

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7,158 Posts shows this story:

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Senate Tuesday overwhelmingly voted to kill a bill that would have protected gun manufacturers from lawsuits, with supporters turning against the measure after senators added a provision extending the 1994 ban on assault rifles.

The bill died on a 90-8 vote after its principal sponsor, Idaho Republican Sen. Larry Craig, and the National Rifle Association urged a thumbs-down on the amended measure. Craig, an NRA board member, said his bill was "so dramatically wounded it should not pass."

"I would not send to this president or any president a bad bill of the kind that was crafted here in the Senate through the amendment process over the last several days," he said. But he added that the issue "will not go away."

Craig's bill would have shielded manufacturers from potentially ruinous lawsuits except in cases of defective products or illegal sales. More than 25 cities have filed lawsuits accusing gun manufacturers of negligently marketing their products in ways that make them readily available to criminals and of failing to include safety features.

Attorneys for gun manufacturers have said they sell firearms only through licensed distributors and fully comply with federal laws. They argue that holding manufacturers responsible for what a criminal does with a gun is unfair.

In a series of votes Wednesday, senators added an amendment to Craig's bill that would have closed the loophole that allows the purchase of guns at gun shows without a background check; an amendment to let off-duty and retired police officers carry concealed weapons across state lines; and another to extend the assault weapons ban, which is set to expire in September.

The NRA urged senators to vote against the bill after the amendments were added, calling them "poison pill" measures.

"While we will continue to work to save the U.S. firearms industry, we have said from the start that we would not allow this bill to become a vehicle for added restrictions on the law-abiding people of America," NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre told Senate supporters in a message Tuesday afternoon.

But New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, whose city is one of those with a lawsuit pending, said he was "extremely relieved" by the Senate vote.

"It would be have been outrageous to grant them immunity when firearms kill 7,000 people in this country every year," Bloomberg said in a written statement.

Congressional Republicans had promised President Bush a "clean" bill with no amendments, despite the president's campaign promises to support the assault weapons ban. The House of Representatives passed an unamended bill nearly a year ago.

Most senators who voted in favor of the amendments opposed the immunity provisions and voted against the final bill.

The gun show loophole and assault weapons ban were the most contentious measures. Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, and Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, co-sponsored the loophole bill, arguing that it is needed to prevent known criminals and terrorists from buying guns at gun shows.

Saying several suspected terrorists have been arrested after purchasing weapons at gun shows, McCain wondered, "How many were not arrested?" His amendment passed on a 53-46 vote, while the assault weapons ban passed on a 52-47 vote.

Craig said McCain's measure failed to "go after the criminal element." Instead, he said, it "puts a whole new trip-wire in front of the law-abiding citizen."

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California -- who sponsored the assault weapons ban's extension -- said her measure "has the support of 77 percent of the American people and 66 percent of gun owners."

"It has not removed a legal gun owner from his weapon and has reduced traces of assault weapons to crimes by two-thirds in the last 10 years," she said.

The amendment would continue to bar the sale of 19 different types of military and military-style assault weapons. It has the support of many law enforcement agencies.

Craig opposed both amendments, urging his colleagues to "let the assault weapons ban die peacefully" and insisting that closing the gun show loophole would not help stop criminals.

The third amendment, backed by Sen. Ben Nighthorse-Campbell, R-Colorado, passed overwhelmingly, 91-8.

"It defies common sense that trained policemen cannot carry (weapons) interstate when we all knew that criminals and terrorists do," he said.

Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Massachusetts, opposed that amendment, saying it undermined state and local law. Kennedy said after the vote that enacting the gun-show loophole and the assault weapons ban remained "an uphill battle."

"The Senate's adoption of these amendments today is a welcome step in the right direction, and I intend to do all I can to see that they are enacted into law this year," he said.

CNN Correspondent Joe Johns and Producer Craig Broffman contributed to this report.

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The one thing that is perhaps even more painful than watching anti-gun senators like Feinstein, Schumer, Kennedy, and Reed stand up on the floor of the Senate and release a torrent of mistruths and distortions regarding guns, is to have "our side" ineffectively and timidly respond with weak arguments.

Sen. Larry Craig was absolutely eloquent in presenting an honest, factual, and concise response to the contorted "logic" and emotional rhetoric that was presented by the anti-gun crowd, and should be commended for his efforts.

If you haven't already done so, please take a moment to call Sen. Craig's office (202-224-2752) and express your thanks for the superb job he did in representing gun owners and defending the Second Amendment. While you're at it, consider sending a donation to his campaign fund. Even if you don't live in Idaho, you will be helping a staunch pro-gun voice remain in office.

Sen. Larry Craig Campaign
P.O. Box 2754
Boise, ID 83701

In addition, Sen. George Allen of Virginia, who is undoubtedly going to be subject to very hostile criticism from anti-gun groups for his last-minute decision to vote against the ban, could use our thanks and encouragement too (202-224-4024). Sen. Allen had indicated in prior correspondence with constituents that he would support renewing the ban, but just a day before the vote, changed his position on the issue, saying "I have concluded, after a review of the evidence, that this symbolic ban of 19 firearms chosen for cosmetic reasons is a meaningless, toothless law that has virtually no impact on crime."

While every single vote against the ban deserves our thanks, Sen. Allen's bold turnaround has drawn the ire of the anti-gun lobby, and they will try to use this against him in his 2006 re-election bid... a hefty campaign warchest will help him fight back against these attacks.

Sen. George Allen Campaign
Attn. Tom Benedetti
1805 Monument Ave.
Suite 203
Richmond, VA 23220

And, of course, do not forget to call your own senator and express your thanks or disappointment for their vote on the AWB renewal. Here is how senators voted Tuesday on adding the AWB renewal to S.1805:

Sessions (R-AL), Nay
Shelby (R-AL), Nay

Murkowski (R-AK), Nay
Stevens (R-AK), Nay

Kyl (R-AZ), Nay
McCain (R-AZ), Nay

Lincoln (D-AR), Yea
Pryor (D-AR), Yea

Boxer (D-CA), Yea
Feinstein (D-CA), Yea

Allard (R-CO), Nay
Campbell (R-CO), Nay

Dodd (D-CT), Yea
Lieberman (D-CT), Yea

Biden (D-DE), Yea
Carper (D-DE), Yea

Graham (D-FL), Yea
Nelson (D-FL), Yea

Chambliss (R-GA), Nay
Miller (D-GA), Nay

Akaka (D-HI), Yea
Inouye (D-HI), Yea

Craig (R-ID), Nay
Crapo (R-ID), Nay

Durbin (D-IL), Yea
Fitzgerald (R-IL), Yea

Bayh (D-IN), Yea
Lugar (R-IN), Yea

Grassley (R-IA), Nay
Harkin (D-IA), Yea

Brownback (R-KS), Nay
Roberts (R-KS), Nay

Bunning (R-KY), Nay
McConnell (R-KY), Nay

Breaux (D-LA), Yea
Landrieu (D-LA), Nay

Collins (R-ME), Yea
Snowe (R-ME), Yea

Mikulski (D-MD), Yea
Sarbanes (D-MD), Yea

Kennedy (D-MA), Yea
Kerry (D-MA), Yea

Levin (D-MI), Yea
Stabenow (D-MI), Yea

Coleman (R-MN), Nay
Dayton (D-MN), Yea

Cochran (R-MS), Nay
Lott (R-MS), Nay

Bond (R-MO), Nay
Talent (R-MO), Nay

Baucus (D-MT), Nay
Burns (R-MT), Nay

Hagel (R-NE), Nay
Nelson (D-NE), Nay

Ensign (R-NV), Nay
Reid (D-NV), Nay

New Hampshire:
Gregg (R-NH), Yea
Sununu (R-NH), Nay

New Jersey:
Corzine (D-NJ), Yea
Lautenberg (D-NJ), Yea

New Mexico:
Bingaman (D-NM), Yea
Domenici (R-NM), Nay

New York:
Clinton (D-NY), Yea
Schumer (D-NY), Yea

North Carolina:
Dole (R-NC), Nay
Edwards (D-NC), Yea

North Dakota:
Conrad (D-ND), Yea
Dorgan (D-ND), Yea

DeWine (R-OH), Yea
Voinovich (R-OH), Yea

Inhofe (R-OK), Nay
Nickles (R-OK), Nay

Smith (R-OR), Yea
Wyden (D-OR), Yea

Santorum (R-PA), Nay
Specter (R-PA), Nay

Rhode Island:
Chafee (R-RI), Yea
Reed (D-RI), Yea

South Carolina:
Graham (R-SC), Nay
Hollings (D-SC), Yea

South Dakota:
Daschle (D-SD), Yea
Johnson (D-SD), Not Voting

Alexander (R-TN), Nay
Frist (R-TN), Nay

Cornyn (R-TX), Nay
Hutchison (R-TX), Nay

Bennett (R-UT), Nay
Hatch (R-UT), Nay

Jeffords (I-VT), Yea
Leahy (D-VT), Yea

Allen (R-VA), Nay
Warner (R-VA), Yea

Cantwell (D-WA), Yea
Murray (D-WA), Yea

West Virginia:
Byrd (D-WV), Yea
Rockefeller (D-WV), Yea

Feingold (D-WI), Nay
Kohl (D-WI), Yea

Enzi (R-WY), Nay
Thomas (R-WY), Nay

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