Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

Clarification Of S. 397 Amendments

Friday, September 23, 2005

Recently, there has been a new wave of erroneous overstatements concerning two amendments to S. 397--The "Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act."  While we have provided detailed information as to the nature of  these measures in past editions of the Grassroots Alert, factual information regarding their impact bears repeating.

The first measure, by Senator Herb Kohl (D-Wisc.), requires federally licensed dealers to provide a "secure gun storage or safety device" with the sale/transfer of every handgun (it does not apply to long guns).  The measure, which passed by a vote of 70-30, does not require gun owners to use the device, does not apply to private transfers, and does not create any new civil liability for gun owners who choose not to use these storage devices. Virtually all new handguns today are sold with some type of secure storage or safety device.  The amendment has no significant impact on current law.

The second measure--an amendment by Senator Larry Craig (R-Idaho)--passed by a margin of 87-11, and was offered this year (as it was in 2004) in a successful attempt to defeat Senator Edward Kennedy's "armor piercing" ammunition amendment that would have banned all centerfire rifle ammunition.  By providing an alternative to Senator Kennedy's amendment, pro-gun senators were able to marshal the votes to defeat the Kennedy amendment.

The amendment restates the existing prohibition on manufacture, or sale by manufacturers, of "armor piercing ammunition," except for government use, for export, or for use in testing or experimentation authorized by the Attorney General.  This law has been in effect for nearly two decades.  It increases the mandatory minimum sentence for the use of "armor piercing ammunition" in a crime of violence or drug trafficking crime.  Use of armor piercing ammunition in a crime of violence or drug trafficking crime is already a federal offense punishable by five years in prison.  The amendment increases the penalty to 15 years, and authorizes the death penalty if the ammunition is used in a murder.  It also directs the Attorney General to conduct a study "to determine whether a uniform standard for the testing of projectiles against Body Armor is feasible."  In fact, we know such a standard is "feasible" because the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) has been testing projectiles against body armor since the early 1970s, and has regularly written and updated the standards for testing projectiles against body armor.  NIJ's research has saved lives by improving the design and manufacture of body armor.

The amendment does not give the Attorney General (or anyone else) any new authority to ban ammunition, nor does it change the definition of "armor piercing ammunition."  Under current law, ammunition is only "armor piercing" if it has a bullet that "may be used in a handgun" and that is made entirely from certain hard metals such as tungsten, steel, bronze or depleted uranium; or if the bullet is "designed and intended for use in a handgun" and has a jacket that weighs more than 25% of the weight of the projectile.  The current definition has been in place for more than 12 years.

And finally, the amendment does not create any kind of new ammunition ban.  The only ammunition that is banned as "armor piercing" is ammunition that fits the current definition, and neither the amendment nor the study would change the definition.

S. 397, as passed by the Senate, represents our best opportunity to finally enact into law a prohibition on these reckless lawsuits.  It is critical that you once again contact your U.S. Representative's Capitol Hill office in Washington, D.C., and urge him/her to pass S. 397 as passed by the Senate!

You can find contact information for your elected officials by using the "Write Your Representatives" tool at www.NRAILA.org.  Or you can call your U.S. Representative at (202) 225-3121.

We can and will achieve our mutual goal of finally enacting this common sense law, but only with your continued assistance.  Please help us finish the job once and for all by contacting your U.S. Representative in Washington and urging him/her to support the  "Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act" as passed by the Senate.

TRENDING NOW
Outback Steakhouse: No Rights, Just Rules

News  

Friday, February 9, 2018

Outback Steakhouse: No Rights, Just Rules

The word “Outback” used to conjure images of Australia’s tenacious frontier spirit; of hunters, ranchers, and other adventurers who carved out a harsh existence from an unforgiving land.

Monday, June 23, 2014

ALERT: Governor Rick Scott Makes History Signing 5 Pro-gun Bills

On, Friday, June 20, 2014, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed 5 pro-gun bills into law.  A strong supporter of the Second Amendment, Governor Rick Scott has now signed more pro-gun bills into law -- in ...

A Promise Kept: Trump Signs Repeal of Obama-Era Social Security Gun Prohibition Rule

News  

Friday, March 3, 2017

A Promise Kept: Trump Signs Repeal of Obama-Era Social Security Gun Prohibition Rule

On Tuesday, President Donald J. Trump signed the repeal of an Obama-era Social Security Administration (SSA) rule that would have resulted in some 75,000 law-abiding beneficiaries losing their Second Amendment rights each year. 

What the Media Doesn’t Want You to Know: Enactment of National Reciprocity is Closer than Ever!

News  

Friday, February 2, 2018

What the Media Doesn’t Want You to Know: Enactment of National Reciprocity is Closer than Ever!

Anybody who is exposed to the so-called news media these days faces a barrage of bewildering and often outlandish claims. “Breaking news” cycles through the public eye with such frequency and speed that knowing what’s ...

NRA Endorses Screnock for State Supreme Court

Second Amendment  

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

NRA Endorses Screnock for State Supreme Court

The National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF) is proud to endorse Judge Michael Screnock for the Wisconsin Supreme Court. 

Washington: Gun Bills to Be Heard Next Week

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Washington: Gun Bills to Be Heard Next Week

On February 9th, the Washington state Senate passed Senate Bill 6298 to expand the category of persons stripped of their Second Amendment rights and it is now scheduled for a hearing in the House Judiciary ...

Oregon: Anti-Gun Bills Scheduled For Vote

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Oregon: Anti-Gun Bills Scheduled For Vote

On February 15th, the Oregon state House of Representatives will hold a vote on House Bill 4145, which would significantly expand the class of persons who could be stripped of their Second Amendment rights. In ...

Gun Laws  

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Citizen's Guide To Federal Firearms Laws - Summary

A Citizen`s Guide to Federal Firearms Laws A summary of federal restrictions on the purchase, sale, possession, and transportation of firearms and ammunition. Caution: Firearm laws are subject to frequent change and court interpretation.

News  

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Mental Health and Firearms

Since 1966, the National Rifle Association has urged the federal government to address the problem of mental illness and violence. As we noted then, “the time is at hand to seek means by which society ...

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -
NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.