MCSM Warns Congress About Smith Amendment Attacks

By Bob Culver

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

Robert Culver is co-chair of Montgomery Citizens For A Safer Maryland

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