October 12, 1998
Rep. Newt Gingrich - House Speaker
Sen. J. Gregg (NH) - Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman
Rep. H. Rogers (Ky.) - Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman
It has come to my attention that the Smith Amendment, passed in July,
is coming under attack. That amendment was passed by an
overwhelming, veto proof, majority of both Republican and Democratic
Senators. Now House and Senate conferees who are working on HR 4276
are attempting to alter the Smith language to once again permit
abusive actions on law abiding citizens.
The "user fee"; no the TAX, may be allowed on NCIS background checks.
The instant check program that was to replace the Brady waiting
period was previously funded, our president told us so, about the $
Millions budgeted! If this is truely a "safety" measure, for the
good of the general population, then it will be financed by the
general fund, not a disguised TAX to restrict the Constitutionally
affirmed rights of individuals.
The creation of a permanent record of law abiding firearm purchase
requests will be enabled by the retention of records of the NCIS
background check. Even keeping this record for a short time opens
the way to build a database if COMPUTER BACKUPS are made and stored
while the check records exist. It is just too much of a chance that
"files" on honest citizens will be created by submitting an inquiry
to the NCIS for any reason. Records must not be kept and the
operation of NCIS must be designed to not provide information
suitable for creating a usable file.
Finally, it appears that the conferees seek to remove even the meager
avenue for redress of grievances in the Smith Amendment, the ability
to initiate a private cause of action. It is vital that citizens are
able to inquire and force response and compensation for damages in
the event of illegal or negligent actions by an agency.
Please do not let liberty be trampled on by those seeking to re-write
legislation, the law and even the Constitution itself by fraudulent
last minute emergency budget demands. Do not allow extortion by
threat of a Government shut down if a budget without pet items is not
passed. The "Omnibus budgets" of past years have carried many such
parasitic items and they are draining the freedom of this country.
Robert Culver, Maryland