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HCI attacks industry, battles to stop preemption bill. (Industry Watch).

The folks at Handgun Control Inc. (HCI) changed their name to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence a while back, but their goal remains the same: banning all guns, beginning with handguns.

The organization is particularly vicious these days as it battles to prevent the passage of any federal legislation to protect the industry from frivolous lawsuits.

"Any member of Congress who supports legislation to give the gun industry legal immunity should have to explain to victims of gun violence why their rights are being taken away," Sarah Brady said.

Brady and crew, as always, are big on rights, except the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. They are urging their followers to contact their Congressmen to protest H.R. 1036. The bill, Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, was introduced February 27 by Representatives Cliff John (D-La.), Melissa Hart (R-Pa.) and Rick Boucher (D-Va.). The bill, with 244 cosponsors, has more than the majority of votes needed for passage.

The bipartisan support for the bill is particularly smarting to HCI. They also are reeling from the dismissal in early March of a lawsuit filed by 12 California municipalities against the industry. The anti-gun movement had counted on success in the case, especially after a continuous string of defeats in similar cases across the country.

The failure of the California case came after more than two years of intense pretrial preparation by the plaintiffs. Even with all that, and the "smoking-gun" affidavit by Robert Ricker, former head of the American Shooting Sports Council, Judge Vincent DiFiglia dismissed the case before it even got started.

That hurt HCI/Brady. Like in so many such cases, Brady isn't just a cheerleader, urging cities, groups and individuals to sue the industry. Brady actually filed the lawsuit on behalf of the 12 California plaintiffs. Now, they are desperate to stop the federal preemption bill.

While the industry has prevailed in the lawsuits thus far, the battle is incredibly expensive -- in dollars and manpower. And unless common sense -- or a law -- enters the picture, the suits will continue infinitum. Within days of the dismissal in the California case, a New Jersey court ruled that a similar suit against the industry could proceed. Of course, Brady/HCI is cheering.

Action Time

Everyone in the industry, listen up. Contact your Congressman today. Not tomorrow. Tell him you support H.R. 1036 and urge him to vote in favor of this important legislation.
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Author:Thurman, Russ
Publication:Shooting Industry
Date:Apr 1, 2003
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