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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Senator Webb's U.S. Senate Contact Form

I just completed contacting Senators Warner and Webb, urging them to co-sponsor S.941 - The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Reform and Firearms Modernization Act of 2009, introduced by Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.). I urge each of you to do the same. This bill strikes a fair balance between providing ATF with additional regulatory powers while at the same time affording licensees more rights and due process in the regulatory process. The bill would allow ATF new powers to issue fines and suspend licenses of firearms retailers (as opposed to current regulations which only allow for license revocation). The legislation would also define what a "willful" violation is and provide for revocation hearings before an administrative law judge, rather than an ATF official.

As is the case in this electronic age, when you send an email using their web site contact form, there is a drop down box to choose a subject for your email. These tend to be populated with the subjects they most frequently hear from constituents. Senator Warner had a subject for "Second Amendment Rights." My congressman's subject drop down box has "Gun Rights."

What I found interesting, there was no option for either Second Amendment, or Gun Rights on Senator Webb's contact form. This is a guy who has a concealed handgun permit, says he is an NRA member, and made a big deal out of the NRA-PVF endorsing George Allen and giving Webb a ? on the original Political Preference Form (PPF) in 2006, and he has no firearm related subject on his Senate web sited email contact form? Does this mean he does not want to hear from constituents on this topic?

I decided to use "Crime/Law Enforcement" as the subject heading. Maybe if he hears from enough of us, the good senator will add an option for the Second Amendment related contact.

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