The Republicans have retained control of the U.S. House of Representatives, albeit by a slim margin. Control of the Senate control is evenly split, with deciding votes being made by the Vice President of the United States, in his role as President of the Senate.

Continuing communication with our congressional representatives is critical if we are to protect our right to keep and bear arms. Two “gun show loophole” initiatives passed in western states, Oregon and Colorado. This issue certainly will be raised again early in the 107th Congress, which will take office the first week of January, 2001.

Congresspersons usually have one staff member assigned to address gun control issues. Call your Representative and your Senators through the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask to speak to the staffer in each office handling the gun issue. Introduce yourself and ask that you be kept informed of new legislation (bills) related to gun control or gun rights.

As new gun control bills are introduced, call the congressional staffers and tell them your position on the bill. If it is a major one, consider writing a short, polite letter to your Representative and your Senators, outlining your support for, or objections to, the bill. One-page letters are far more likely to be read than long, multi-page tomes, no matter how many good points they raise.

Frequent contact with your Representative and Senators, or their gun issues staff members, is the best way to influence congressional votes on specific legislation.