Firearms FAQ: Interactive Sites: Government
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Interactive Sites: Government

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Cyberspace Today's Government Information

A pretty comprehensive listing of email addresses, web sites and other contact info for elected folks.

Yahoo's Government Page

Government sites from the big list of URLs.

Federal Government

Sites with federal government info, for example with Supreme Court cases or about Congress, including sites not run by the government.

Legislature (Congress)

Library of Congress

Thomas (Library of Congress' Legislation Page)

Thomas is the Library of Congress WWW Legislation page. Named in honor of Thomas Jefferson, the page features legislation, the Congressional Record, an article about

Library of Congress Information Service (LOCIS)

Has federal legislation on about a 1 day delay, card catalogs, some journals online. Limited hours.

Marvel -- first steps towards an electronic Library of Congress
gopher:// gives access to legislation by telnetting to LOCIS. MARVEL offers other Library of Congress resources online, but if you're looking for legislation you can also telnet directly to LOCIS. Note that LOC pages include pointers to House of Reps gopher described below. See also THOMAS, the Library of Congress Federal Legislation WWW page.

U.S. House of Representatives

U.S. House of Representatives Home Page

"The U.S. House of Representatives' World Wide Web service provides public access to legislative information as well as information about Members, Committees, and Organizations of the House and to other U.S. government information resources." [Most of the rapidly changing information actually comes from the House gopher service.]

U.S. House of Representatives Legislation WAIS

Writes Terry Nugent (HIS@HR.HOUSE.GOV-nospam): "[T]ext of legislation introduced in the U.S. House Representatives is now available on a W.A.I.S server located at the House Information Systems data center. The server may be accessed from the directory at [wais:// for House, wais:// for Senate -- Jeff C.] or using the following information:

Server: diamond
Port: 210
Database Name: USHOUSE_house_bill_text_103rd

[ WWW URL = wais://]

The database contains the text of House bills beginning October 1993 and is updated daily. H.I.S. is happy to provide this information to the Internet community. P.S. Be advised that some documents are quite large."

U.S. House of Representatives Gopher service

"The U.S. House of Representatives' Gopher service provides access to information about Members and Committees of the House and to other U.S. government information resources."

The full text of current House legislation can be found in: Information/Legislative Resources. Updated daily, the folder was started October 1993. It also contains listings of major Floor and Committee actions taken in the House and Senate, as well as Joint Committees, for the last three legislative days. It is updated only when the House is in session.

U.S. Code (Federal statute) online

The full text of the U.S. Code (in other words all current Federal statute) is available online now via House Information Systems. See Title 10, Sections 311 and 312 for some laws defining the militia. Remember that federal law also consists of case law determined in the courts. See the Cornell Law page for indexed Supreme Court decisions.

U.S. Senate

U.S. Senate ftp site

Currently contains press releases and limited information put out by a few Senators and some Senate Committees.

Non-government Congressional resources

Congressional Quarterly

Congressional Quarterly is a commercial publication that includes tallies and descriptions of votes in Congress, news, analysis, gossip, etc. The CQ vote numbers, descriptions, and tallies are very widely referred to by Congress watchers. Remember that CQ vote descriptions are copyrighted material.

Project Vote Smart

Project Vote Smart is an independent source of Congressional voting records, campaign funding information, ratings by a variety of interest groups and other useful political information.

C-SPAN schedules, logs, etc.

C-SPAN (Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network) broadcasts stuff going on in the U.S. Congress. It should be available over your cable-TV network. Schedules are updated daily. C-SPAN is entirely privately funded by the cable companies.

Note that audio of C-SPAN 1 and 2 is now available live on the Internet at AudioNet.

Apparently C-SPAN is organizing an educational tour tracing the steps and exploring the history of Alexis de Tocqueville's trip to America.

CapWeb: The Internet Guide to the United States Congress

'CapWeb is an "unauthorized" hypertext guide to the U.S. Congress on the World Wide Web.... [It includes contact info for Members of Congress...] CapWeb will also collect and maintain other links to related information...

CapWeb is a part of Policy.Net, a service of Issue Dynamics, Inc., Washington DC... CapWeb is not affiliated in any way with the U.S. Congress, or any other government agency.'


Cornell Law School's Legal Information Institute (Indexed U.S. Supreme Court texts)

Cornell's Legal Information Institute Web site lets you search Supreme Court decisions from 1990 forward by subject, keywords, dates, parties, etc. The LII site includes a hypertext version of the US Constitution. Note that the Cornell index actually points to texts at the Court's Hermes project (next).

U.S. Supreme Court texts online

U.S. Supreme Court texts have been published on the Internet since 1990 at Case Western Reserve University as part of the Court's Hermes Project.

United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit

Search opinions by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals at this site provided by the University of Texas at Austin Tarlton Law Library.


Government Printing Office (GPO)

"Search the full text of the Federal Register, Congressional Record, Congressional Bills and other Federal government information."

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)
gopher:// (uses gopher site for Federal Register)

The National Archives has many government documents on the net, including the Federal Register, which "acts as the Government's central publication point for laws, Presidential documents, proposed and final Executive Branch regulations, and other legal notices."

Web Search the Federal Register

InterSoft Corporation offers its search engine as a front end to the Federal Register. This a very convenient way to look up published laws, etc.

U.S. Department of Justice

Attorney General Janet Reno states in the 1997 DOJ strategic plan that the Department:

[brings] together under the authority of the Attorney General the activities of United States Attorneys, United States Marshals and others. Today our myriad responsibilities touch the lives of nearly all Americans. We investigate and prosecute Federal crimes; we represent the United States of America in court; we manage the Federal prisons; and we enforce the Nation's immigration laws. We work with our partners at home and abroad in enforcing the law and improving the system of justice for all Americans. (Emphasis added.)
(Janet, that's a bug, not a feature. "Touching the lives of nearly all Americans" is the definition of a totalitarian police state, not a free state. Apparently Ms. Reno doesn't think much of Thomas Jefferson's notion: That government is best which governs the least. The government's role should be to not "touch the lives of nearly all Americans", but to leave the honest, hard-working men and women of America alone! Touch the lives only of criminals who do obvious harm to others. Do not treat all Americans as criminals!)

Bureau of Justice Statistics

DOJ's Bureau of Justice Statistics collects, analyzes and publishes statistical information about crime and justice. Note that the BJS Firearms and Crime Statistics page has some useful crime statistics, but also contains a number of flawed assumptions and some politically-motivated research. Use with caution.

One valid piece of BJS reasearch found through large scale surveys of incarcerated felons that virtually no criminals acquire guns at flea markets or gun shows, and almost none use so-called "assault weapons". The November 2001 edition of the "Firearm Use by Offenders" survey is consistent with similar results from earlier years.

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms

The official ATF web page has an overview of federal firearms laws, a pretty thorough FAQ, info about Curios & Relics, Brady Law implementation in wake of the June 27, 1997 Printz v. U. S. Supreme Court Ruling, etc.

BATF Abuses Page

For balance, there is a collection of BATF abuses of citizens. This was in response to a claim by Congressman Charles Schumer that we could not produce examples of abuse. Yeah, right Chuck.


A really cool new site that consolidates statistical information from dozens of government agencies into a searchable form. Includes data from the Statistical Abstract of the United States, and links to the White House Statistics Briefing Rooms.

FedStats appears to be administered by the Census Bureau:

U.S. Census Bureau

which is in turn part of the Department of Commerce.

The White House

Find out what Bill and Hillary have in mind for you. Naturally the site does not include the content of Executive Orders, those pesky, often secret documents which Presidents use to change operational policies for the United States government bureaucracies, usually without any input from Congress. Despotic? Yep.

State and Local Governments

California Legislative Information site

In addition to bill texts, calendars and other ongoing legislative action, this site also contains the full text of California Codes, Statutes, and the state Constitution.

California State Senate

Includes CA Senate-specific info and a link to Legislative Data Center for CA legislation online, etc.

California Secretary of State

California's ballot pamphlet is available online at the Secretary of State's office.

California Department of Justice
Firearms Division
Register Assault Weapons Now

Includes a link to Senate Bill 23 Assault Weapon Characteristics.

Pennsylvania Senate

The Senate of Pennsylvania WWW Server contains contact info & may include legislative info later.

State of Pennsylvania

Includes a link to the Senate site above plus some other general info about the state and state government.

Texas legislative gopher server
New York State Assembly
New York State Senate

William H. Jack ( noticed January 1995: 'According to the list released from "boombox" at U. of Minn. Three new legislative gophers went on line in the last two weeks.... The Texas gopher also connects to the U.S. Senate gopher ( The New York gophers have all bills and meetings posted.'

The current NY assembly site is actually a telnet site (telnet:// Use a VT-100 telnet client and login as "guest" with a password of "pw".

NRA-ILA Research & Information - State Laws

The NRA ILA site includes summaries of state firearms laws.

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Copyright (c) 1997 Jeff Chan