Federal Watch List

This Watch List represents the positions of the GO-NH Board of Directors on pending Federal legislation. Later amendments may alter GO-NH support or opposition for a given bill.

To see the text of a Federal bill, click on the bill number. Due to the ephemeral nature of Federal legislation, these links may be invalidated by bill changes due to committee reports or post-hearing revisions. In that case, the bill can still be found by using the Library Of Congress' Thomas system, at this address: http://thomas.loc.gov/

To see the text of a listed Federal bill, enter the bill number in the "Legislation in Current Congress" search facility, and click "search".

S1702
Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act (introduced 9/23/2009)

General Court Logo A bill to amend the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act to facilitate the establishment of additional or expanded public target ranges in certain states.

SPONSORS: >Sen Udall, Mark

GO-NH Logo This bill needs to be watched as is could be changed to be bad.

Proposed Amendments to HR2640

These are reasonable solutions to the bill’s . shortcomings, and would be inserted in a REMEDIES SECTION of the bill – as the bill may change, if a truly final version becomes available (a rare thing in Congress) we will post the specific proposed location of each of the proposed amendments

1.      strike "on the date of the enactment of this Act" and insert "on July 26, 2007".

Ø      This is probably the most important provision. This would do two things. First, it would keep the law from being applied retroactively, and second, it would keep the BATFE from changing the meaning of the statute by changing its regulations between now and enactment. Remember, administrative regulations are primarily created by unelected bureaucrats.

2.      "Notwithstanding any other provision of law or of this Act, if a person is denied the right to purchase a firearm in a National Instant Criminal Background Check System pursuant to 18 U.S.C. [UNITED STATES CODE] 922(g)(4) et seq. that person shall, within 14 (fourteen) days of the denial, be sent a letter to the address the person provided on the 4473, informing the person denied specifically WHY they were denied, including date of record, the authority supplying the record, and if a court, the name and address of the court and docket number of the record.

If the denied person does not receive a letter within fourteen days from the NICS explaining specifically why they were denied, then the person may request such record from NICS. If NICS does not provide the requester with the specific reason for denial within 14 (fourteen) days of receipt of the request by NICS said person may bring an action against the head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation as the federal agency responsible for the National Instant Criminal Background Check System in the district court for the district in which such person resides, the current filing fee of $350.00 shall be waived, despite any local rules to the contrary, the person filing shall not be required to file electronically, if requested by the person filing the court shall hold a hearing on the matter within 120 (one hundred and twenty) days of filing, and, that person shall be awarded actual damages, attorneys' fees, and liquidated damages of $10,000.00 for having had to file to obtain the information held by NICS." (emphasis supplied for clarity)

Ø      This provision requires that NICS not simply ignore a person who has been denied a firearm, and allows those denied to receive a specific reason why they were denied within a reasonable period of time (the amendment mandates the court hear the matter within 4 months), and if NICS refuses to provide the specific information to the person as to why they were denied the right to purchase a firearm, this amendment allows the person to bring an action in their local court without having to pay an expensive filing fee as well as provides that the person will be reimbursed for expensive attorney fees.

 

3.      "Notwithstanding any other provision of law or of this Act, the name of a veteran, disabled child, or other person suffering from a disability may be made available to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System pursuant to 18 U.S.C. [UNITED STATES CODE] 922(g)(4) only pursuant to a finding of a judge, magistrate, or other judicial authority and only after notice and an opportunity to be heard by the individual whose name is to appear on this list. It shall be unlawful for the National Instant Criminal Background Check System to maintain the name of any veteran who was discharged under honorable conditions and who has not been subject to a finding of a judge, magistrate, or other judicial authority pursuant to the provisions of this paragraph. Any person whose name continues to be unlawfully retained by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System in violation of the provisions of this paragraph may, beginning on the day six months from the date of enactment of this Act, bring an action against the National Instant Criminal Background Check System in the district court for the district in which such person resides, the current filing fee of $350.00 shall be waived, despite any local rules to the contrary, the person filing shall not be required to file electronically, if requested by the person filing the court shall hold a hearing on the matter within 120 (one hundred and twenty) days of filing, and, upon a finding that such person's name has been unlawfully retained, shall be awarded actual damages, attorneys' fees, and liquidated damages of $10,000.00."

Ø      This requires that NICS not simply ignore a person whose name has been illegally or wrongfully included on the list and allows those prohibited from purchasing a firearm by the illegal inclusion of their name on the list a hearing within a reasonable period of time (the amendment mandates the court hear the matter within 4 months which is reasonable considering in many instances a person will not actually go to trial and receive a final decision from a judge until years after filing a suit it court), and if the person prevails, the person will regain the right to purchase a firearm. This amendment allows the person to bring an action in their local court without having to pay an expensive filing fee as well as provides that the person will be reimbursed for expensive attorney fees.

 

4.      "No person shall be prohibited from acquiring, possessing, or selling a firearm under subsections (d) and (g) of section 922, Title 18 U.S.C. [UNITED STATES CODE] solely because of a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or attention deficit disorder (ADD) or attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)."

Ø      This makes it clear that simply because an individual has been diagnosed by a psychiatrist or psychologist (maybe incorrectly) with a given condition, does not, by itself without more, prohibit them from owning firearms. Many veterans have served our country honorably, and the military is becoming more and more concerned with their mental health and now, in many instances conducts mental health examinations both before and after military service. This provision will insure that those who have honorably served our country will not be prohibited from owning firearms because of the emotional battle scars they may carry from honorably serving their country.

 

5.      "provided, however, that a soldier or veteran, honorably discharged, is not, by virtue of his service and the trauma suffered in connection with his service, prohibited from shipping, transporting, possessing, receiving, selling, or disposing of a firearm under paragraph (4) of section 922(d) and 922(g) of title 18, U.S.C.” [UNITED STATES CODE]"

Ø      This makes it clear that simply because a psychiatrist or psychologist (maybe incorrectly) believes a solider or veteran that has been honorably discharge suffers from a trauma in connection with his military service, that individual will not be prohibited from firearm ownership. We cannot punish our veterans for the scars that we demanded they incur on our behalf.

 

6.      "provided, however, that a person who, having been a child participating in a program under the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act, shall not be prohibited from shipping, transporting, possessing, receiving, selling, or disposing of a firearm under paragraph (4) of sections 922(d) and 922(g) of title 18, U.S.C. [UNITED STATES CODE], by virtue of a diagnosis in connection with such program."

Ø      Just being in the IDEA program wouldn't allow the federal government to equate the IDA diagnosis with that of a prohibited person. Many of those less fortunate than us, both intellectually and financially, are, as a practical matter forced to participate in this program. This would prohibit the federal government from stigmatizing and punishing those least able to protect themselves. This does not mean that having participated in the IDEA program is a pass from being included on the list. If an individual meets the criteria for inclusion on the list they may still be placed on the list, this amendment simply says that having participated in IDEA without more is not a sufficient reason to place someone on the list.

 

Submitted by attorney Penny S. Dean, Esq., A.A., B.A., M.I.P., J.D.

Attorney Dean was admitted by examination to the bars in New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts. She is admitted to all federal and state courts in those states as well as the First Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court. She is regularly consulted by the media on firearm issues.

Attorney Dean is not only a practicing attorney but a shooter and shooting instructor as well. She is an NRA Certified Pistol Instructor, Hunter Safety Instructor, a LFI I, II, & III graduate (Lethal Force Institute, Massad Ayoob, Director). She has been a guest commentator on Cam and Company, NRA Patriot radio, and numerous other local and national radio shows, including NH Outlook, New Hampshire Public Television 2/25/04 Gun Permit Debate with Laurel Redden, of New Hampshire ‘Million’ Moms, on the question, “Should Gun Owners be Required to Have a Permit in Order to Carry a Concealed Weapon?” On November 28, 2006 Attorney Dean gave a speech at Durham, UNH before the Young Americans for Freedom. She was an invited speaker at the Mensa Granite State Gathering 2004, Radisson Hotel Manchester, New Hampshire Girls Just Wanna Have Guns! and has spoken at countless other events as an invited speaker. She has testified countless times presenting an analysis of legislation before the New Hampshire General Court on firearms and other civil rights issues. She was a member of the Board of Directors of the New Hampshire Wildlife Federation in 2006.

 

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Judge Alito on Terry Stops of Armed Persons

Judge Alito, while sitting on the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, joined in, but did not author, an opinion regarding the constitutionality of a stop and frisk of a suspected armed robber, in U.S. v. Nelson, 284 F.3d 472 (3d Cir. 2002).

The opinion cited two other cases, Valentine and Ubiles, regarding two different situations in which police officers confronted individuals known or suspected to be armed:

In upholding the stop as reasonable [in Valentine], we distinguished United States v. Ubiles, 224 F.3d 213 (3d Cir.2000), a case factually similar to Valentine. In Ubiles, a man approached a group of officers during a festival to indicate that there was a man in the crowd whom he had seen with a gun. The officers frisked the identified man and recovered a gun. However, in the Virgin Islands, such gun possession is not illegal, and the informant never alleged that any illegal activity had occurred or would occur. [emphasis added] Id. at 215. In drawing the distinction, we emphasized that officers can consider the time and area, as well as suspicious responses--in Valentine, the walking away upon seeing the officers--in determining whether suspicion is reasonable. Id. at 356-57. Additionally, we noted that in Valentine, unlike in Ubiles, the mere possession of a gun without a permit was illegal. Id.

In essence, the precendents set forth that in a jurisdiction where possession of a firearm is legal without license or permit, simple possession of the firearm does not allow for a stop unless there is other information or evidence that gives rise to suspicion.

Thanks to Malum Prohibitum on Packing.org for this lead!

Alito's telling dissent in machine gun case:
He sought to limit reach of Congress

Bob Egelko, San Francisco Chronicle Staff Writer
Wednesday, November 2, 2005

For John Roberts, it was a "hapless toad'' in the path of a California housing development that represented the limits of the federal government's power to regulate activities within a state. For Samuel Alito Jr., it was a machine gun.

In a lone dissenting opinion as a federal appeals court judge in 1996, Alito argued that the federal ban on possessing machine guns was unconstitutional -- a stand described by both admirers and detractors Tuesday as one of the most revealing cases in the lengthy judicial record of President Bush's nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court.

"He understands the original design of the Constitution as being one of limited government,'' said Roger Pilon, director of the Center for Constitutional Studies at the libertarian Cato Institute. In his opinion, Alito said the federal ban on possessing machine guns exceeded Congress' power to regulate interstate commerce, but a majority of his court disagreed, and the Supreme Court denied review. He took no position on whether the Constitution protects an individual's right to possess firearms.

Pilon said the case showed Alito's recognition that Congress' constitutional power to regulate interstate commerce is not a license "to regulate anything and everything.''

... excerpt, click on link for full article ...

Federal Rifle Ranges Accessible to Public

Alan Korwin, publisher of the popular "Gun Laws" series of books, has pointed out a little-known law which states that any rifle range built at least partially by federal money may be used by the military and the public.

10 USC § 4309. Rifle ranges: availability for use by members and civilians
(a) Ranges available. -- All rifle ranges constructed in whole or in part with funds provided by the United States may be used by members of the armed forces and by persons capable of bearing arms.

Another part of this law requires any fees collected for use of military ranges must accure only to the operation and maintenance of the range, not to the general fund.

Anyone who is aware of the names and locations of federal, military, or federally-funded ranges in New Hampshire is requested to e-mail the details to GO-NH Director Michael Pelletier so that he may compile a list for publication.

Alan Korwin's PHXnews Article

© 2004 Gun Owners of New Hampshire
http://www.gonh.org/federal_information