January 2000

          Things are not looking too good for our gun rights for this year.  Our gun rights will be under attack like never before.  The debate will not be about removing stupid laws or enforcing laws already on the books, only about taking our rights away.  The worst thing is that with the draconian measures that are being proposed, a compromise that looks moderate will take away more of our rights than have ever been taken away or would have ever been proposed just a few years ago.  To quote Charlton Heston, "... their strategy revolves around wearing opponents down.  So they'll float ever-more radical proposals to make last year's radical proposals seem reasonable by comparison."  On both state and national level  new gun laws, restrictions and bans are going to be a major topic of election year debate.  Even pro-gun and moderate elected officials are going to get trapped and will support new anti-gun legislation.  It will be hard for even our best pro-gun supporters to stand up for us when Gov. Pataki, Rudy Giuliani and others are on the other side.  As in the past, we will have to endure all of the name calling and false accusations and promises.  We should support those who have supported us in the past.  We need to "walk the walk" as well as "talk the talk".  If you do not spend some money, write some letters and spend some time helping the candidates of your choice you are part of the problem, not part of the solution no matter how many times you talk about the 2nd Amendment to other gun owners.  If you are not a member of the NRA or GOA or one or more of one of the other pro-gun groups then you are not doing your fair share.  Locally we must do everything that we can to elect another pro-gun judge to serve in the Family Court in Orange County. Good luck to all of us in this new year.


  • Dutch Volk is reported to have had a stroke.
  • Gov. Pataki's State of the State Speech.
  • Gore and Bradley debate.
  • New report from the MEDIA RESEARCH CENTER: Outgunned: How The Network News Media Are Spinning the Gun Control Debate
  • Congress to come back on Jan. 27th.
  • Citizens Of America starts national pro-gun campain.
  • Group sues Cities that sue the Gun Makers.
  • National Shooting Sports Foundation forms PAC.
  • Swiss Gun Maker SIG Plans to Sell Handgun Unit, Leaving U.S. Market.
  • Gun makers halt settlement talks with cities.




    1/19/00    Dutch Volk is reported to have had a stroke.

        It has been reported to me that Dutch Volk has had a stroke resulting in paralysis of his left side.  For those of you who do not know, Dutch Volk has been one of the main leaders in the fight to keep our rights.  Please take the time to send him a card.

        Dutch is in hospital in Johnson City.
    You may write/call/fax/email Marion and Dutch, as follows:

        600 Oakdale Road, Johnson City, NY 13790-4702
        Home:       607-797-6828
        FAX:        607-797-0953
        Email:      73232,1303@compuserve.com


        VETO MESSAGE - NO. 66

        The following is the reason that Gov. Pataki gave for his veto.  I have left out the first section that describes the law and only included his reason why he vetoed the bill..

        I wholeheartedly endorse the legislative goal to promote firearm accident prevention.  I also commend the many educators and local police agencies for their continuing hard work in teaching gun safety to adults and children alike.  Through these programs, and others yet to be developed, it is my hope that we will eliminate the senseless and tragic accidents that injure or take the lives of our children and loved ones.
        However, this bill is fundamentally flawed because it would assign to DEC the responsibility to develop and implement the new program.  While DEC has an excellent hunting and rapping safety program for adults and young adults, DEC's existing program is taught by volunteer hunters and trappers.  Neither DEC nor its volunteers are currently trained or equipped to provide gun safety or gun avoidance education to children.  DEC is not the appropriate agency to implement a gun safety program for elementary school children.  It is for this reason that DEC and the Division of the Budget recommend disapproval of the bill.  Manifestly, the responsibility that would be imposed upon DEC by the bill should should instead be imposed upon the Education Department.  Furthermore, the bill fails to provide the resources necessary for the agency to develop a new program, and also for the agency to respond to the requests for assistance from any pre-kindergarten, elementary school, youth program, summer camp or day-care center, as required in the bill.
        Moreover, the bill is not necessary to effect gun safety education in our schools, Education Law section 809-a already authorizes school officials to include in the curriculum instruction in firearm safety.  Because of this existing authority, and the strong commitment on the  part of our schools and law enforcement agencies, local police officers currently are teaching personal safety and gun safety in schools throughout this state.
        The bill is disapproved.                                 (signed) GEORGE E. PATAKI

    Gov. Pataki's State of the State Speech.
        Gov. Pataki included some measures to combat crime.  Among them DNA samples from all felons, after a third misdemeanor offense, you can be prosecuted as a felon, and ending parole for all felons. Note that the word "gun" and "firearm" never was used in his speech.


    Gore and Bradley debate.
        In the debates it is becoming evident that the arguments are going to be that one gun control scam is better than another and "I can pass harsher anti-gun laws than you can."

    (NOTE: Please let me know if these links do not work.  They can be changed at any time and I would have no way of knowing.)
    CLICK HERE TO SEE WHAT GORE WANTS TO DO. (skip down to #3)

    Outgunned: How The Network News Media
    Are Spinning the Gun Control Debate
        1/5/00  A new report form the Media Research Center shows the numbers when it comes to proving that the media is bias when it comes to reporting on gun control.  Please click on the link to the AP story on the report to see a fine example of media bias by quoting from the anti-gun side and allowing name calling by the anti-gunners.

    Congress to come back on Jan. 27th.
        Congress will not meet until the end of the month to take away any of our rights.   The main bill that is left is the Juvenile Justice bill that is still in conference and will be worked on.  The House bill did not contain anti-gun sections while the Senate bill did have gun control parts.  CALL CONGRESS 1-800-839-5276   It is up to you to call and let your voice carry the message.  It is a free number.  Make sure that you tell who ever that you talk to that you are using the American Federation of Teachers 800 number.

    Citizens Of America
    Citizens Of America is the ONLY organization running a NATIONAL pro-gun rights media campaign directed at ordinary Americans.  COA is just four months old but it's off to a great start-our hard-hitting radio ads have run in 41 states so far.  You can read a copy of the radio ad at:        homepage: http://www.citizensofamerica.org

    Group sues Cities that sue the Gun Makers
        I am pleased to announce that the former Texas Senator who was author of the Texas CHL bill that passed in 1995, the Honorable Jerry Patterson, has joined forces with the "Civil Liberties Defense Foundation" lawsuit, and will be a plaintiff with Texas Rep. Suzanna Hupp and Texas Rep. Rick Green. This lawsuit is further explained at:
        We are also pleased to announce the NEW "Civil Liberties Defense Foundation" website! Our hats are off to Executive Director, Trey Blocker, for his outstanding dedication and work on this website that is found at:

    Gun Producers, Under Assault, Turn to Politics
    The New York Times, January 19, 2000

    AS VEGAS, Jan. 18 -- Feeling pressure from a succession of lawsuits against gun makers, the trade organization that represents them is collecting millions of dollars from its members for legal defense and this week announced plans to support candidates and to lobby at all levels of government to fight greater gun restrictions.

    Until recently, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, representing companies that make all manner of outdoor products as well as firearms, had steered clear of political entanglements over gun laws and elections, leaving the fight to the National Rifle Association, an organization of gun owners that has long taken the lead on such matters.

    At the foundation's 22nd annual trade show here, Robert T. Delfay, the foundation president, said on Monday that his group would join the rifle association in opposing forces that favor more laws and regulations as a way to curb violent crime.

    "Historically, we have not been politically active as an industry," Mr. Delfay said in a state-of-the industry address on Monday night. "That must change and will change. This upcoming election will impact our industry, and we must have an impact on this election."
    (This is a long article so highlight the text, copy and paste it to another text program and change the font size.)

    More than symbolic, Mr. Delfay's remarks reflected a major shift in strategy for the 39-year-old foundation, which represents more than 1,700 manufactures and distributors of things like camouflage outfits, telescopic sites and the most elaborate of handguns and rifles.

    To this point, the foundation has concerned itself almost exclusively with issues focusing on how its members do business, like regulations governing sales, marketing and distribution. By comparison, the major thrust of the rifle association has always been the rights of gun ownership, most recently supporting the enforcement of existing gun laws rather than the passage of new ones.

    While the two organizations have many interests in common, they diverge on some issues, with the manufacturers backing help to the federal government in tracking guns and exploring new technologies like so-called smart guns.

    And now, recent lawsuits filed by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and more than two dozen municipalities, the first major assault on gun makers, have forced the foundation to assert its own political agenda rather than to rely on the rifle group.

    As part of an initiative, many members are contributing 1 percent of their gross sales to help the gun makers defend themselves in the lawsuits, which are trying to force the companies to make safer guns. The money has been coming in since the program was announced at last year's trade show, and in an interview, Mr. Delfay predicted that the donations could reach as much as $10 million a year.

    The recent threat of a federal lawsuit by the Department of Housing and Urban Development to force the companies into an omnibus settlement with the N.A.A.C.P. and municipalities has spurred further action by the industry group.

    For the first time, Mr. Delfay said, the foundation has formed a political action committee to influence elections in November. He said efforts were under way to gather the names of customers from member companies to establish an initial list of 500,000 people who would be encouraged to support gun-friendly candidates for Congress and president, including any Republican who opposed Vice President Al Gore or the former Senator Bill Bradley.

    In delivering the keynote address on Monday, former Senator Alan K. Simpson of Wyoming, an avid gun enthusiast, encouraged industry officials to get involved in the political process. He was especially critical of the housing department lawsuit and said: "You can do something about HUD. Get yourself a new president, and you get yourself a new HUD."

    He slipped in words of support for two candidates, saying that nothing would be heard about gun control from George Bush and Senator John McCain, "so remember that when you waddle off to the polls."

    It was an easy sell to gun makers in the audience, for whom the gun wars have become a growing concern since New Orleans became the first city to sue in October 1998.

    Since then, 27 more jurisdictions have sued the gun makers, but some have combined efforts, leaving 19 actual lawsuits.

    Of the four that have come before judges, three -- in Cincinnati, Miami and Bridgeport, Conn. -- have been dismissed. In a fourth, by Atlanta, the product liability claim was dismissed but a negligence claim was allowed to proceed. The other suits are still pending.

    "My advice is stay the course," Douglas Kliever, the foundation's general counsel, told members, whose resources are far less than those of tobacco companies, which faced similar legal action from states.  "Above all, do not panic in the face of this litigation."

    >From the rifle association's perspective, the new efforts by the shooting group to exert political pressure can only enhance the power and influence of gun-rights proponents in months ahead.

    "Any time an organization with the potential of the firearms industry can participate in elections, it is a great assist to everybody who believes in less gun control and more crime control," said James Jay Baker, the association's chief lobbyist.

    He conceded that the two groups might disagree on some objectives, but he said the lawsuits "have certainly activated, invigorated and expanded the industry to look at the political and legislative landscape."

    Besides threatening their business operations, gun makers here said the lawsuits have also made them a growing target of public disdain. Many blamed organizations like Handgun Control Inc., a nonprofit organization that fights for tighter gun-control laws, for orchestrating a campaign against them and distorting messages that stress gun safety and crime prevention.

    "'We're a security company for cities, states and homes," said Ed Shultz, president of Smith & Wesson, one of the country's largest gun makers. "But we've been demonized."

    As the lawsuits have been filed in recent months, individual gun makers have taken some steps like telling distributors not to sell guns at gun shows, as Sturm, Ruger & Company did this year, or abandoning the retail gun business, as the Colt Manufacturing Company has done.

    Still, Mr. Shultz and executives at other gun companies said business had never been better. They said their opponents' efforts to pass new laws and file lawsuits had rallied their customers to buy more guns to show support.

    "It's fair to say people are apprehensive about the future of our industry," said Jeffrey K. Reh, general counsel to Beretta U.S.A. "Having said that, many times in the past when the firearms industry has come under attack, we have not only survived but flourished."

    Just how and when an agreement might arise between the litigants is unclear. Many company executives here said they did not even know what a settlement might include. Mr. Delfay and other foundation officials have already held informal meetings with officials from the housing department and cities that are suing to discuss a possible resolution.

    In time, some companies might grow more anxious to settle than others -- at least that was the impression conveyed by Housing Secretary Andrew M. Cuomo, who has monitored the meetings.

    "Keep in mind," Mr. Cuomo said in an interview from Iowa, "there is no one group. There is a spectrum. Some are more responsible than others. Some are more political than others. All we want is for them to design and distribute safer guns. Nobody wants to outlaw guns. That is not the question."

    Swiss Gun Maker SIG Plans to Sell Handgun Unit, Leaving U.S. Market
    Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
    LAS VEGAS -- Another well-known firearms manufacturer said it hopes to leave the U.S. handgun market.

    Switzerland's SIG Swiss Industrial Co. Holding Ltd. said at the industry's annual trade show here that as part of a larger restructuring, it will seek to sell its firearms businesses in Europe and the U.S.

    Asked if the costs and risks related to pending municipal litigation against the gun industry in the U.S. played a role in the decision to exit from the American firearms market, SIG executive Dieter Strich said "a lot of factors" were considered. SIG's American unit has been named as a defendant in some of the municipal lawsuits.

    Gun executives at the trade show said if the Swiss company can find a buyer, it would probably be another firearms company and the sale would add momentum to the consolidation of the U.S. handgun market. SIG, which says it has an 11% share of the U.S. commercial pistol market, declined to discuss potential buyers.

    In a separate development, gun manufacturer H&R 1871 Inc. said it would cease to produce handguns because of the litigation-driven increases in the cost of product-liability insurance and shipping. H&R, Gardner, Mass., had made a relatively small number of handguns and is primarily known for shotguns and rifles.

    Gun makers halt settlement talks with cities
    Published 1/20/00

         Settlement talks between gun makers and municipalities that are suing them have broken off because the gun makers objected to White House intervention in negotiations that had been scheduled for tomorrow in Las Vegas.
         Gun manufacturers are blaming White House meddling for the cancellation of tomorrow's talks, saying President Clinton injected politics into the negotiations.