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Old January 28, 2013, 06:04 PM   #26
Isk
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No support from Vermont? That's unfortunate for a state that allows constitutional carry.
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Old January 28, 2013, 06:21 PM   #27
MLeake
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Vermont at the state level and Vermont at the federal level (Leahy, Dean, and others since) often seem disconnected.

Dean was a glaring example, pro-gun at the state, party liner at DNC.
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Old January 29, 2013, 11:51 AM   #28
Mike Irwin
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Virginia Senator Warner weighs in. Not good, but not as bad as some others:

"Thank you for contacting me to share your thoughts on the tragic events in Newtown, Connecticut and your views on gun control.

On December 14, 2012, 20 innocent children and six adults lost their lives in one of the worst, most tragic shootings to ever occur in the United States. As a parent of three daughters, this was the ultimate nightmare. Like the Virginia Tech and Columbine shootings, this tragedy unfolded in what was once regarded as a safe haven free of crime and violence: a school.

I am a strong supporter of the Second Amendment constitutional right of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms. I own firearms and I have an "A" rating from the National Rifle Association. However, I also recognize that, like with many of our constitutional rights, our Second Amendment rights are not without limits. It is unfortunate that a tragedy of this magnitude is what is needed to prompt action, but we need to have a serious discussion on how to best avoid these kinds of mass shootings in the future. The status quo is not acceptable.

I believe our discussion should cover many issues. We can start by taking action on issues that enjoy widespread support, such as broadening background checks for gun purchases, ensuring all appropriate records are submitted into the background check database, and making improvements to our mental health system so we can provide help to those with dangerous mental illnesses before it is too late. In addition, I have received many comments from across the Commonwealth regarding the White House task force's recommendations to curb gun violence. I am actively reviewing these recommendations and will carefully consider related legislation as it is developed and introduced in the Senate. As I formulate my position, I urge you to continue to express your views.

Again, thank you for contacting me. For further information or to sign up for my newsletter please visit my website at http://warner.senate.gov .
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Old January 29, 2013, 02:09 PM   #29
swk314
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Reply for Sen. Warner And Congressman Forbes

Thank you for contacting me to share your thoughts on the tragic events in Newtown, Connecticut and your views on gun control.



On December 14, 2012, 20 innocent children and six adults lost their lives in one of the worst, most tragic shootings to ever occur in the United States. As a parent of three daughters, this was the ultimate nightmare. Like the Virginia Tech and Columbine shootings, this tragedy unfolded in what was once regarded as a safe haven free of crime and violence: a school.



I am a strong supporter of the Second Amendment constitutional right of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms. I own firearms and I have an "A" rating from the National Rifle Association. However, I also recognize that, like with many of our constitutional rights, our Second Amendment rights are not without limits. It is unfortunate that a tragedy of this magnitude is what is needed to prompt action, but we need to have a serious discussion on how to best avoid these kinds of mass shootings in the future. The status quo is not acceptable.



I believe our discussion should cover many issues. We can start by taking action on issues that enjoy widespread support, such as broadening background checks for gun purchases, ensuring all appropriate records are submitted into the background check database, and making improvements to our mental health system so we can provide help to those with dangerous mental illnesses before it is too late. In addition, I have received many comments from across the Commonwealth regarding the White House task force's recommendations to curb gun violence. I am actively reviewing these recommendations and will carefully consider related legislation as it is developed and introduced in the Senate. As I formulate my position, I urge you to continue to express your views.



Again, thank you for contacting me. For further information or to sign up for my newsletter please visit my website at http://warner.senate.gov .




Sincerely,
MARK R. WARNER
United States Senator

As 2012 came to a close, America suffered some of her deepest grief. Hours after the news of the Sandy Hook shooting, I penned my first reaction to the news, linked here if you have not yet read it. Now, in the weeks and months that follow, Americans continue to have heavy hearts many questions.

Following the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, concerns have been raised regarding limitations being placed on the right to bear arms under the Second Amendment, including new legislation and federal regulations that seek to restrict legal access to certain weapons. In this debate, lawmakers will examine how we pursue the shared goal of keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill, while preserving the rights of law-abiding citizens.

Additionally, the President’s White House commission, led by Vice President Biden, made their recommendations to the President after reviewing current gun control laws. On Wednesday, January 16, President Obama took 23 executive actions with the stated purpose to curb gun violence in the United States, and called on Congress to take action legislatively to pass his additional proposals. His proposal focused on restrictions on certain firearms, background checks, increased safety in schools, and addressing mental health. Many of the initiatives discussed cannot be initiated without legislative action by Congress.

While no one condones the purchase and use of guns by felons or other high-risk individuals to perpetrate any crime, we must not improperly hamper the right of law-abiding citizens to bear or purchase arms, or infringe upon rights guaranteed under the Constitution.

Finally, as a nation, we must work to improve our plans and priorities to keep our children safe at school, and determine whether we have the appropriate processes and resources in place to handle serious mental health issues. In my online survey following the tragedy at Sandy Hook, most (4820 out of 6557) responded that the shooting demonstrates the need to improve mental health screening and support.

Addressing these issues will be a comprehensive process and I believe it should be one marked by open dialogue, sincere listening, and the absence of political posturing. I believe America will be stronger if we work together - despite our differences - to pursue policies to prevent such a tragedy from happening again. As we move from a state of grieving into a stage of introspection and examination, I look forward to your continued voice in this discussion.

Yours truly,



J. RANDY FORBES
Member of Congress
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Old January 29, 2013, 02:32 PM   #30
RockSmoot
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Arkansas Senators John Boozman and Mark Pryor have both responded. Boozman seems solidly in our camp, including no to AWB and UBC. Pryor is wishywahy, following the party line on being a hunting fan but reasonable measures are on the table.

In the house, Steve Womack is solid on the side of the 2A as well

But anything can happen if the incentives are right, IMHO. I'm continuing to write in an effort to get these wriggly eels to plainly state where they stand. These slimy responses are beginning to make me ill to the point where I think it's time to dust off the term limits amendment effort again.
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Old January 29, 2013, 05:02 PM   #31
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Just heard back from Senator Carl Levin's office. I wasn't surprised by the answer.

Quote:
Thank you for contacting me about gun safety issues. I appreciate you sharing your views with me.

I support sensible gun safety laws and strict enforcement of those laws to help prevent crimes, suicides and violence committed with firearms. I support the steps President Obama outlined recently to curb the gun violence that plagues our nation, and I believe Congress can and should work to enact legislation to prevent gun violence without infringing on the rights of law-abiding citizens.

I was an original cosponsor of the Brady Law (P.L.103-159). This law requires prospective handgun purchasers to undergo criminal background checks before purchasing a firearm from a licensed dealer. The background check system is able to make 92 percent of background check determinations on the spot, and since 1994, has prevented more than 1.5 million firearm purchases. Additionally, according to Centers for Disease Control statistics, since the Brady Law went into effect, the number of gun deaths in the United States dropped 22 percent, from 39,595 in 1993 to 30,769 in 2007. The number of gun homicides dropped by more than 29 percent, from 17,024 in 1993 to 12,129 in 2007.

While the Brady Law has been successful in reducing gun violence, I believe more has to be done. For example, only 60 percent of all gun sales in the United States take place at licensed federal dealers, where background checks are mandatory. The remaining 40 percent of gun sales are conducted by unlicensed individual sellers, often at gun shows, and a background check is not required. This means that across our nation, any dangerous individual can go to a gun show and purchase a deadly weapon without any form of background check. To close this ‘gun show loophole,’ I am a cosponsor of the Gun Show Background Check Act. This bill would enact the common sense principle that anyone who wants to purchase a firearm at a gun show should be able to pass a simple background check. Ten national police organizations support closing this loophole.

Additionally, I am a cosponsor of the Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act, a bill that seeks to reduce gun violence by keeping firearms out of the hands of terrorists and criminals. Although hard to believe, nothing in current law prohibits individuals on terrorist watch lists from purchasing firearms, unless they fall into another disqualifying category. This “terror gap” in federal law must be closed, and this bill would do just that. This legislation would deny the transfer of a firearm when a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) background check reveals that the prospective purchaser is a known or suspected terrorist and the Attorney General has a reasonable belief that the purchaser may use the firearm in connection with terrorism. Keeping guns out of the hands of terrorists is just common sense.

I also have always supported the rights of sportsmen and hunters. Hunting is a way of life for millions of Americans and plays an integral role in modern wildlife management. But military style assault weapons have no sporting purpose. Because of these weapons, our nation’s citizens are in greater danger and police officers across the country are encountering criminals armed with highly lethal military style weapons.

To support our law enforcement community and to save lives, I am a cosponsor of the Assault Weapons Ban of 2013. This legislation would prevent the future possession, manufacture, sale and importation of assault-type weapons while grandfathering weapons lawfully possessed at the date of the bill’s enactment. It would ban firearms with detachable magazines and military style features, such as grenade launchers, protruding pistol grips, and barrel shrouds. It would support law enforcement officers across our nation, who should not be forced to confront lawbreakers toting military arms. And it would protect the rights of hunters by specifically naming thousands of firearms with legitimate sporting, sentimental or other value that would remain legal to possess.

This bill also would ban high capacity ammunition magazines. Studies have shown that high capacity ammunition magazines are used in 31 to 41 percent of fatal police shootings in cities across our nation. They also have been used by the perpetrators of numerous mass shootings, including at Columbine High School, Virginia Tech, the Tucson shooting of Representative Gabrielle Giffords and 19 others, the attack on a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, and the horrifying shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. The Newtown shooting alone left twenty six people dead, twenty of them children.

We must not wait until more places are added to this heartbreaking list. We can and should act swiftly to protect our families and loved ones from mass shootings. These measures have the overwhelming support of law enforcement communities around our nation, who have implored us to make changes to stop the flood of these types of weapons into the hands of those who would use them for harm. I will continue to work for common-sense gun safety measures.

Thank you again for contacting me.

Sincerely,
Carl Levin
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Old January 29, 2013, 05:23 PM   #32
Sparks1957
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Just got this reply from Pat Leahy, senior senator from Vermont. Similar tone to responses I received from Congressman Welch and Governor Shumlin, they are trying to walk a fine line.

***************
Dear Mr. Lagrow:

Thank you for contacting me about the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, and gun control in the United States. I appreciate hearing from you on this very important issue.

The tragedy in Newtown left me shocked and horrified. As a father and grandfather, I cannot begin to imagine the pain and grief that the families of the victims are experiencing. Many constituents, like you, have written in to me in the past few weeks to express their support for meaningful changes to federal firearms policy. I have heard from parents, grandparents, veterans, teachers, hunters, and children, all expressing their belief that our laws need to be improved, and urging Congress to act. I have also heard from Vermonters, like you, who are concerned that new legislation could interfere with our Second Amendment rights.

I grew up hunting in Vermont and am still an avid target shooter. I value our Second Amendment rights, and the Supreme Court has said definitively that Americans are guaranteed its protections. But like all of the rights guaranteed by our Constitution, it is not absolute. I agreed with Justice Scalia when he wrote in the Supreme Court's District of Columbia v. Heller decision that the Second Amendment does not prohibit reasonable regulations. The factors underlying the terrible tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, are complex, and involve a host of issues relating to mental health treatment, firearms policy, and school safety. It is my hope that as this conversation continues, the Senate will hear from many Americans, including experts from law enforcement, from the mental health community, and from leaders in our educational system.

One thing that I am especially concerned about is the role that mental health records play in the purchasing of firearms. The National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS, is an FBI database that is intended to provide licensed sellers with a quick and easy way to determine if, among other things, a buyer has a history of mental illness. Unfortunately, the majority—some estimates say as many as 91 percent—of mental health records are not in NICS, due to a lack of reporting and legitimate competing values involving privacy. But in order to be effective, the records that make up our background check system must be as complete as possible, and I support efforts to improve the inclusion of these records. In 2007, I worked with a bi partisan group of senators and r epresentatives to pass the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007. This bill, which was unanimously passed by both the House and Senate, helped to improve the collection o f records for inclusion in the f ederal background check system. The bill, which was unfortunately prompted by the tragic events at Virginia Tech in April of 2007, helped to improve the information sharing of criminal and mental he alth records between s tate and f ederal law enforcement agencies. I have supported strong funding for this law and will continue to do so and encourage state and local officials to play their important role in making the NICS database as complete as possible.

In the past weeks, many, including the President, have called for sensible changes to our federal gun laws. While this has traditionally been a difficult topic to broach in Congress. I am very hopeful that we will be able to work together and make meaningful changes to our national firearms policy, while still preserving the Second Amendment r ights that Vermonters cherish. I look forward to starting this conversation early this Congress, and I plan to hold a Judiciary Committee hearing on January 30 th at 10 a.m. on our national gun control policies. I encourage you to watch a live webcast of the hearing by click on the "Hearings" tab on the Committee website at www.judiciary.senate.gov and locating the hearing titled, "What Should America Do About Gun Violence?" on January 30 . If there are practical, sensible, workable answers to prevent such unspeakable tragedy, we should make the effort to move them forward.

Thank you for contacting me. Please keep in touch.

Sincerely,

PATRICK LEAHY
United States Senator
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Old January 29, 2013, 09:09 PM   #33
amathis
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It looks as if Pat Leahy is changing his tone. In his email to me it seemed he was in total support of the AWB especially the mag restrictions.
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Old January 29, 2013, 10:11 PM   #34
JimPage
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Schumer and his protege Gilenbrand are my Senators. Useless to even tell them my thoughts again. My Representative listens but I don't know how he will vote (((
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Old January 29, 2013, 10:34 PM   #35
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Yeah, with Chuck and protege, you might as well be writing to Beria and Malenkov.
Probably a better shot with B & M.
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Old January 30, 2013, 04:50 AM   #36
Sparks1957
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Quote:
It looks as if Pat Leahy is changing his tone
I think you may be right about that, and I hope it's due to his constituents talking to him like we have. As chair of Judiciary, he is an influential senator.
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Old January 30, 2013, 05:34 AM   #37
Sparks1957
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As a follow-up on VT's legislative response to all this, here's a story published in today's Burlington Free Press.

I know Linda Simpson quite well, and will be contacting her about this (though she won't hear me very well ) Seems she thinks allowing suppressors is enough of a carrot for us.

**
MONTPELIER — A new gun bill was introduced Tuesday in the House that would ban high-capacity magazines, require background checks for all gun purchases and require a firearms safety course for those who carry concealed weapons, but would not seek a ban on semi-automatic assault weapons, as a short-lived Senate bill had sought to do.

This bill, H.124, has 12 co-sponsors in the House: 11 Democrats and one independent.

The lead sponsor is Rep. Linda Waite-Simpson, D-Essex Junction, who has tried unsuccessfully to pass some gun restrictions in the past in response to the death of a teenage constituent who used a gun from a friend’s house. This time, Waite-Simpson said, she is hoping to garner a broader coalition of support.

The latest effort follows a December massacre at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.

In a concession to gun advocates, the bill would repeal a state law prohibiting silencers on guns.

The bill would also require the state to report those with mental health conditions to a federal database that could be used to halt gun sales. The bill also would make it against state law for felons to possess guns, as it is against federal law.

Whether the bill will gain traction in the Legislature remains to be seen, as Vermont lawmakers traditionally have been reluctant to pass any gun-control measures, and those who try face considerable protest from gun owners.

Sen. Philip Baruth, D-Chittenden, last week withdrew a bill he had proposed that would have banned semi-automatic assault weapons, among other measures. He said the bill had quickly become a distraction.
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Old January 30, 2013, 06:11 AM   #38
Ben Towe
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Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) and Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker (both R-TN) replied to my emails indicating they were against any gun control measures. Black and Alexander strongly emphasized their sentiments. While Corker's reply was less strongly worded, I believe he is on board. Being labeled anti-gun is tantamount to political suicide in TN.

I believe Tennessee will stand.
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Old January 30, 2013, 11:09 PM   #39
amathis
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If this bill in VT gets anywhere we won't have constitutional carry anymore. . . . .

If anyone wants an email list for all the Reps in VT, PM me.
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Old January 31, 2013, 07:43 PM   #40
JimDandy
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Finally got a reply from Adam Smith (WA-9) So not a good answer. He's quoting CDC stats to me that are off by about 3000. Actually I think he's quoting me CDC 2009 stats as 2011 stats.
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