Sunday, August 10, 2003

I received the following in the mail from Gunner, a frequent reader & commenter here. In fact he rounds out my steady readership to 4 (including the cats & myself).

The Following is the e-mail he received from the NRA in response to his questions about the NRA lawsuit against GRNC that I posted about previously.

"You've got a bigger beef with GRNC than you have with NRA. You just can't
understand what they are doing. I, too, have been bothered by the recent claims
of GRNC. Consequently, the NRA has put together a few things that I can share
which might shed a little more light on what the situation is, and how it has
evolved to this point. Hopefully this issue will fall by the wayside and we can
all expend our energies jointly defending the Second Amendment and regaining
lost ground from the past.

Best regards,

Jim Nicholson, Dallas, TX
NRA Director

“NRA has not filed suit against Grassroots North Carolina, however, an NRA
employee, Jennifer Palmer, has filed suit against Paul Valone, President of
Grassroots North Carolina and Grassroots North Carolina as an organization for
defamation of character.

Mr. Valone sent an email to numerous people falsely claiming that Mrs. Palmer
was committing adultery. This false statement clearly defamed Mrs. Palmer’s
moral character and integrity. Despite several opportunities to do so, Mr.
Valone refused to apologize for making the false statement and refused to
retract the false statement. As a result, Mrs. Palmer filed suit against Mr.

Mrs. Palmer’s lawsuit has nothing to do with legislative or political
activities. It is solely based on Mr. Valone’s defamation of Mrs. Palmer’s
moral character.

As the issue is currently in litigation, no further comment would be appropriate
at this time.”

Summary of SB 919 -- North Carolina

SB 919, introduced by Senator Tony Rand (D-19), sought to require anyone subject
to an ex parte or emergency order of protection in a case involving domestic
violence to surrender any firearms he possessed. As originally introduced, the
legislation sought to give the courts broad discretion when determining whether
firearms would need to be surrendered. NRA worked with the bill sponsor, Sen.
Tony Rand (D-19), to have the discretionary language removed—ensuring that only
specified courses of violent conduct by the defendant could result in the
seizing of his firearms—and to clean up other areas. These other areas included
ensuring specific instructions be given the defendant on how he could retrieve
seized firearms when he was no longer subject to the order, as well as included
provisions to ensure a third party could retrieve any seized firearms that
should not be subject to seizure. NRA took no official position on this
legislation, which was sent to Gov. Easley on 7/11/03. At this time, it is
unclear if the bill was signed into law.

As for the complaints by Grass Roots North Carolina regarding NRA’s efforts with
respect to SB 919, they are without merit. GRNC was given an opportunity to
testify about any problems it had with the legislation when the bill was heard
in House Judiciary Committee IV. After Ms. Henri McClees, speaking for NRA,
testified that the primary problem with the legislation was the discretion
language, GRNC representative Jeff Rau was told he could testify. Instead of
explaining the problems GRNC now claims it has with “registration” and storage
fees for seized firearms, he merely stated that he did not wish to take up the
committee’s time because Henri McClees had already explained the primary concern
GRNC had with the bill. After the committee hearing, several GRNC members
approached Henri to thank her for testifying so well, and they seemed
exceptionally happy to see NRA and GRNC shared the same concerns with SB 919.
At no point was there ever any mention of “registration” or storage fees.

Regarding the issue of “registration,” this is simply a red herring. It would
seem that anyone who has had his property seized would want that documented, so
as to facilitate its proper return in a timely and accurate way. There is
nothing that specifically mandates the recording of firearms that are not
subject to seizure.

Turning to the issue of storage fees, it is unlikely sheriffs will charge fees
for the temporary storage of a small number of firearms, even though the
legislation does allow for a “reasonable fee.” In cases where someone subject
to a protection order has a large collection that sheriffs may not have the
facilities to properly store, they will likely need to seek the services of
someone in the private sector, and in those circumstances, fees will likely be

It'll be interesting to see how this all turns out.

However I will point out that I am not satisfied with the NRA's explanation of the circumstances surrounding the North Carolina SB 919. It sounds quite typical of them to downplay any & all negative effects of a bill they did not actively oppose. But it is not just GRNC that is not happy about the bill. I offer this link to the Gun Owners of America alert on SB 919.

& if that doesn't convince you I invite you to read SB 919 for yourself via the magic of the internet.

I think a proper fisking of SB 919 requires a post of its own. So thanks again to Gunner who took the time to write the NRA & took further time to send me their response.

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