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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Incase any of you missed a recent GOA letter
Monday, September 17, 2007

You may recall that in recent years, GOA has enlisted your aid in fighting so-called "gang" legislation, which typically includes attempts to apply federal RICO anti-racketeering statutes to minor gun infractions -- thus harassing and prosecuting otherwise law-abiding gun owners as though they were Mafia bosses.

Well, Feinstein's S. 456 is the latest vehicle for such underhandedness.

At issue is section 215 of the bill. In essence, your family, gun shop employees, or even church bowling league would be considered an organized "gang" and subjected to draconian prison sentences if you did any of a number of things, such as:

* having a gun (loaded OR unloaded) in your glovebox as you -- inevitably -- drive within 1,000 feet of a school, even if you didn't know the school was there;
* selling a gun out of your store while being entrapped in a Bloomberg-style "sting" operation;
* teaching your son to shoot without giving him a written letter of permission (which must be on his actual person), even if you are standing right behind him at the range the whole time; or,
* simply being one the 83,000 veterans whose names were illegally added to the Brady system by President Clinton (or, presumably, one of the thousands more who will be on the list if the current Veterans Disarmament bill passes), if you continued to possess a firearm.
Now, there's a lot of legal verbiage in S. 456, which is quite large as bills go. Feinstein and her anti-gun cronies will counter that the situations listed above aren't enough -- you also have to commit a crime of violence while engaging in them.

Oh yeah? Consider how many people defending themselves from carjackers or their businesses from hold-ups are indicted by anti-gun prosecutors merely for exercising their right to self-defense. And what judge is going to say that the "gun crimes" in those instances aren't crimes of violence?

Further, any anti-gun prosecutor could simply state that family members or gun shop employees are "co-conspirators" or are "aiding and abetting" actual criminals using guns.

And of course, we have had plenty of warning of what happens when prosecutorial powers are enormously expanded. Take the original RICO Act itself, for example. We were told that it was needed to shut down the Mafia -- a tool to be used in the fight against organized crime. But in the years since its passage, the RICO Act has become the overzealous prosecutor's version of going nuclear... wrapping everything up in one big package of conspiracy charges and twenty years to life prison terms.

It just isn't right that you, your spouse, and your two teenage boys could be treated like the Gambino family just because you brandished your firearm to scare away a carjacker... without firing a shot! And prison terms of 10, 20, or even all of your remaining years aren't right in such instances, either!

In short, section 215 of S. 456 is unacceptable. It must be deleted, period. To our knowledge, the entire Second Amendment community -- spearheaded by GOA and the NRA -- is adamantly opposed to Feinstein's scheme.

It should be noted that there is lots of talk on Capitol Hill about how to "handle" the problems of S. 456 with a minimum of fuss. The most likely scenario is that there would only be two amendments allowed -- one Republican and one Democratic. Once that is done, the Senate would immediately proceed to a vote on the bill... which may or may not be a recorded vote. Gun owners should bear in mind that, regardless of which politician is saying otherwise, there is NO GUARANTEE that the Republican amendment would even attempt to totally strike section 215. The amendment might not help matters that much, and might not pass anyway.

So this attempt to placate gun owners with a "roll of the dice" amendment vote is nothing more than the usual smoke-and-mirrors designed to give politicians cover from the wrath of a known activist constituency.

GOA doesn't believe in gambling with your rights. Our position is firm and unalterable: section 215 must go away, now. The time to kill a snake is before it strikes. And this snake could strike at any time; a vote on final passage could occur as early as this week.

So here's what you can do to help kill the snake. Any individual senator can place a "hold" on a particular piece of legislation until his or her concerns are addressed; if the Leadership ignores those objections, it becomes extremely difficult to move the legislation forward. The "hold" is a legislative tactic that we have used to great advantage in the past. We need at least one Senator to take that step and place a hold on S. 456.


Please contact your Senators right away and ask them to place a "hold" on S. 456 until such time as section 215 is deleted from the bill. You can use the Gun Owners Legislative Action Center to send your Senators a pre-written message by e-mail requesting they do so.


GOA has determined that the most likely senators to agree to place a hold on S. 456 are Sens. Jim DeMint (SC), David Vitter (LA), Tom Coburn (OK), and Sam Brownback (KS). PLEASE... activists in those states, be sure respond to this alert and send your messages. Also, it would be very helpful if you could contact any other pro-gun people in your state and convince them to take action as well.

---- Pre-written letter -----
Dear Senator:

Please place a hold on S. 456, the Feinstein "gang" bill. Please do not remove it until, at least, section 215 -- which is opposed by both GOA and NRA -- is struck from the bill.

It is not enough to secure a "roll-of-the-dice" vote on an amendment that may or may not address the anti-gun provisions of section 215. That section must actually be deleted... BEFORE any vote takes place.


Dang that sounds bad and very underhanded... that is unless you read the actual bill...

Their big todo is about Section 215
The part they have the trouble with is:
(3) by inserting after paragraph (9) the following:
`(10) who has been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor gang-related offense; or
`(11) who otherwise has, within the last 5 years, been found by any court to be in contempt of a gang injunction order, so long as the finding of contempt was issued after a hearing of which such person received actual notice, and at which such person had an opportunity to participate and challenge the sufficiency of process and the constitutional validity of the underlying gang injunction order,'.
(b) Definition- Section 921(a) of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:
`(36)(A) The term `misdemeanor gang-related offense' means an offense that--
`(i) is a misdemeanor under Federal, State, or Tribal law; and
`(ii) has, as an element, the membership of the defendant in a criminal street gang, illegal association with a criminal street gang, or participation in a criminal street gang activity
So it seems that the big deal is what is a gang and gang crimes. GOA says it is your church bowling league. Does the bill define gangs as such? Uh, no.
Sec 521
`In this chapter:

`(1) CRIMINAL STREET GANG- The term `criminal street gang' means a formal or informal group, organization, or association of 5 or more individuals--

`(A) each of whom has committed at least 1 gang crime; and

`(B) who collectively commit 3 or more gang crimes (not less than 1 of which is a serious violent felony), in separate criminal episodes (not less than 1 of which occurs after the date of enactment of the Gang Abatement and Prevention Act of 2007, and the last of which occurs not later than 5 years after the commission of a prior gang crime (excluding any time of imprisonment for that individual)).

`(2) GANG CRIME- The term `gang crime' means an offense under Federal law punishable by imprisonment for more than 1 year, or a felony offense under State law that is punishable by a term of imprisonment of 5 years or more in any of the following categories:

`(A) A crime that has as an element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person of another, or is burglary, arson, kidnapping, or extortion.

`(B) A crime involving obstruction of justice, or tampering with or retaliating against a witness, victim, or informant.

`(C) A crime involving the manufacturing, importing, distributing, possessing with intent to distribute, or otherwise trafficking in a controlled substance or listed chemical (as those terms are defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802)).

`(D) Any conduct punishable under--

`(i) section 844 (relating to explosive materials);

`(ii) subsection (a)(1), (d), (g)(1) (where the underlying conviction is a violent felony or a serious drug offense (as those terms are defined in section 924(e)), (g)(2), (g)(3), (g)(4), (g)(5), (g)(8), (g)(9), (g)(10), (g)(11), (i), (j), (k), (n), (o), (p), (q), (u), or (x) of section 922 (relating to unlawful acts);

`(iii) subsection (b), (c), (g), (h), (k), (l), (m), or (n) of section 924 (relating to penalties);

`(iv) section 930 (relating to possession of firearms and dangerous weapons in Federal facilities);

`(v) section 931 (relating to purchase, ownership, or possession of body armor by violent felons);

`(vi) sections 1028 and 1029 (relating to fraud, identity theft, and related activity in connection with identification documents or access devices);

`(vii) section 1084 (relating to transmission of wagering information);

`(viii) section 1952 (relating to interstate and foreign travel or transportation in aid of racketeering enterprises);

`(ix) section 1956 (relating to the laundering of monetary instruments);

`(x) section 1957 (relating to engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from specified unlawful activity); or

`(xi) sections 2312 through 2315 (relating to interstate transportation of stolen motor vehicles or stolen property).

`(E) Any conduct punishable under section 274 (relating to bringing in and harboring certain aliens), section 277 (relating to aiding or assisting certain aliens to enter the United States), or section 278 (relating to importation of aliens for immoral purposes) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1324, 1327, and 1328).

`(F) Any crime involving aggravated sexual abuse, sexual assault, pimping or pandering involving prostitution, sexual exploitation of children (including sections 2251, 2251A, 2252 and 2260), peonage, slavery, or trafficking in persons (including sections 1581 through 1592) and sections 2421 through 2427 (relating to transport for illegal sexual activity).
What would a church bowling league have to do to warrant each of 5 members of the league at least one year sentence in federal cases or 5 years in a state case?

If a veteran keeps a firearm while on the mentally disabled VA list, where are the 4 others that would constitute a gang?

Having a loaded gun in your glovebox as you drive by a school? Maybe if you had 4 other people in the car all with guns as you drove by the school and commit a violent act.

Selling a firearm in a Bloomberg sting? Sorry, were civil cases filed by NY City. The bill says convicted of a state or federal crime. Criminal case, not civil.

Teaching your son to shoot? Where are the other 3 people and the violent crime that must be committed?

So by reading the entire bill, it appears that NONE of the things GOA says the bill could cover, could in any way be covered. GOA is either lying or they don't know that they should read the whole bill before commenting on it.

Premium Member
8,460 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Taler said:
Regardless of Feinsteins's spin, she's a major reason I left Kalifornia. Kill the bill on the principal that Feinstein authored it.
I have no problem with that stance. I have no problem with someone being against it by saying no misdemeanor crime should remove your ability to own firearms. Even if you just claim the Feds should not interfere with what is mostly a State or even City/County crimes and punishment.

However, I think making up stuff on why to kill the bill is completely wrong. It is the type of thing Brady, VPC, and others do. Facts and reality should be what the pro-gun groups are pushing.
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