In July, the U. S. Senate Judiciary Committee
shot down a proposed trigger
lock provision that had been introduced
by Sen. Herb Kohl of Wisconsin as an
amendment to the juvenile justice bill.
The Committee replaced the proposal
with one introduced by the Chairman,
Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, deemed
acceptable by the American Shooting
Sports Council, a firearms industry
representative group.
The Kohl proposal would have mandated
the sale of a trigger locking device
with every handgun sold by federally
licensed dealers. The Hatch amendment
stipulates simply that federally licensed
dealers must make these locks available
for sale at their places of business.
President Clinton said he was “disappointed”
in the Committee action.
When the bill, S. 10, comes to the Senate
floor for a vote, possibly this month,
Sen. Kohl is expected to offer his proposal
there again as an amendment.
Other objectionable initiatives which
most likely will be offered as amendments
to S. 10 include proposals to
reduce further the number of federal
firearms license holders, already down
to 110,000 from 286,000 in 1993, to 50,000,
by mandating government prescribed
“security” measures for the FFLs; to
create new “gun trafficking” crimes; to
eliminate purchases of more than onegun-
a-month; and to define and ban
so-called “junk guns.”
On July 29, the Appropriations Committee
of the U. S. House of Representatives
approved an amendment to the
Treasury Department appropriations bill
which would allow certain surplus U. S.
military rifles and pistols to reenter the
United States and be sold here.
Among the affected surplus imported
firearms would be M-1 Garand and M-1
carbine rifles and .45 caliber M1911 pistols.
Sponsoring the amendment was Rep.
John P. Murtha of Pennsylvania. His
proposal would bar federal agencies
from spending government funds to
block applications from parties seeking
to import the affected firearms.
Anti-gun Sen. Frank Lautenberg of
New Jersey, who opposes the move,
blistered, saying that “if the gun lobby
wants to flood our streets with 2.5 million
more weapons and enrich foreign
governments, they ought to have the
guts to do it in the open.”
Also opposed, apparently, is Raymond
W. Kelly, the Treasury Department’s
Undersecretary for Enforcement, who
commented that “this is a policy change
that shouldn’t be made without more
deliberation,” and that it “could be a
problem for law enforcement.”
Bill McIntyre, however, speaking for
the Firearms Importers Roundtable
(FAIR), said it is “outlandish” to raise
fears of criminals toting M-1 carbines.
Hilary Rosen, President of the Recording
Industry Association of America,
“says she was called into the office of Sen.
Kent Conrad (D.-N.D.), who showed her
a letter from a distraught constituent,”
reports Linton Weeks in the July 30 Style
“The man’s teenage son,” continues
Weeks, “had shot himself while listening
to a Marilyn Mason record. Conrad
wanted to know what Rosen was going
to do about this.
“Rosen replied, ‘Senator, where did a
14-year-old kid get a gun?’
“Conrad told her that everyone in
North Dakota can get guns.
“‘So, Senator,’ she said, ‘you want to get
rid of the music, but everybody wants
to keep their guns?’
“Asked to comment on the story, Conrad
said that Rosen didn’t get it quite
straight. ‘It’s kind of disappointing
that somebody comes to my office, then
misrepresents what occurred there,’ he
said. ‘I asked her to go back to the record
company and ask them how they justify
making tons of money off of music that’s
irresponsible and twisted. Don’t they
have some obligation to the society to
cease and desist putting out this garbage?
“‘What she has done is very clever. It
is to twist this into a gun control issue,’
he said. ‘She’s a smooth Washington
In Hartford, Connecticut, the State
Supreme Court ruled July 21 that a state
law requiring safe storage of guns at
home, known as the “kids-and-guns”
bill, is constitutional.
The United Nations has urged the
nation of Columbia to outlaw peasant
self-defense groups operating across the
country, reports THE WASHINGTON
Columbia’s Constitutional Court was
getting ready to rule on the legality of
a 1994 decree permitting the creation of
rural militias.
Columbia’s Attorney General, Jaime
Bernal Cuellar, said in July that he sees
no reason to ban such armed groups
and that, in his opinion, the decree is
constitutionally sound.
However, Almudena Mazarrasa, Director
of Columbia’s recently formed U. N.
Human Rights Office, said July 18 that the
decree should be revoked. She alluded
to frequent charges that the militias are
tied to rightist groups fighting a dirty war
against leftist rebels and their suspected