Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

Hearings Put Spotlight On Need For BATFE Reform

Friday, March 31, 2006

At back-to-back hearings on Tuesday, March 28, the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security, continued to focus on enforcement abuses at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE), and also aired opinions about a new bill to correct several issues in federal firearms law.

First, the subcommittee heard testimony from people with first-hand experience dealing with BATFE.  Virginia lawyer Richard Gardiner, who has represented many gun owners and dealers, focused on the way BATFE handles cases against federally licensed firearms dealers (FFLs)--often seeking to revoke FFLs for “trivial, immaterial violations” based on “undefined legal standards.”  Gardiner described one case where a dealer lost his license even though BATFE itself agreed his records were 99.96% accurate, and the few errors posed no threat to public safety. 

Next, Lt. Michael Lara of the Tucson Police Department recounted his personal horror story at the hands of BATFE.  After buying a gun as a gift for a friend, Lt. Lara found himself facing federal felony charges as a “straw purchaser.”  Lt. Lara lost his job, and didn’t get it back before a three-month legal nightmare cost him more than $200,000 in legal fees, lost pay and other costs.  BATFE never even interviewed him during its investigation, and the jury acquitted him in less than an hour.

At the second hearing, the subcommittee focused on H.R. 5005, Rep. Lamar Smith’s (R-TX) bill to make various technical changes and corrections in federal firearms law.  Anti-gun advocates have gone through the roof over one provision of H.R. 5005: a section that prohibits disclosure of firearms trace data outside of law enforcement investigations.  That language simply makes permanent a policy that Congress has enacted through annual appropriations riders for the past several years.  Yet at this hearing, anti-gun New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (R) hysterically denounced it as a “God-awful” bill that would “facilitate the shooting deaths of thousands of innocent Americans every year.”  Of course, Bloomberg’s real goal--besides publicity in the Big Apple media--is to use this confidential law enforcement information in the city’s suit against the firearms industry.  Attorney Gardiner took the opportunity to point out that “what the Mayor is saying about this bill simply is not true,” because the trace system is designed to help solve crimes, not to do statistical research.

Subcommittee Chairman Howard Coble (R-NC) and ranking member Bobby Scott (D-VA) agreed on the need to focus BATFE’s efforts on enforcing current laws against serious criminals, while not pursuing petty violations or undermining civil liberties.  To that end, the “Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Modernization and Reform Act of 2006” will soon be introduced.  This bipartisan bill will update the legal standards for disciplining violations by FFLs.  It also calls for a review of BATFE’s enforcement practices, and clarifies BATFE’s responsibilities to keep the Bureau focused on its core mission.

TRENDING NOW
Justice Department Terminates and Repudiates Operation Chokepoint

News  

Friday, August 18, 2017

Justice Department Terminates and Repudiates Operation Chokepoint

Current Justice Department leadership and Boyd should be commended for their forceful statement on this matter. This unequivocal repudiation of Operation Chokepoint should make a return to such political persecution unpalatable for all but the ...

Oregon: Governor Signs Anti-Gun Bill into Law

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Oregon: Governor Signs Anti-Gun Bill into Law

Yesterday, Governor Kate Brown signed Senate Bill 719A.  Based on a California law enacted in 2014, SB 719A will create a so-called “Extreme Risk Protection Order” (ERPO) that could be obtained by a law enforcement ...

Washington: Department of Labor & Industries Targeting Shooting Ranges

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Washington: Department of Labor & Industries Targeting Shooting Ranges

At the request of Public Health, Seattle & King County, the Washington Department of Labor and Industries has released a “first draft” of a new statewide regulatory scheme targeting lead and lead exposure in the workplace. ...

American Bar Association Continues to Attack Gun Owners, Due Process

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, August 18, 2017

American Bar Association Continues to Attack Gun Owners, Due Process

The 2016 compilation of legislative policies of the ABA includes a raft of gun control proposals. In it, the ABA advocates for outmoded gun control measures, such as limits on the sale and possession of ...

California: Ruling in NRA/CRPA Lawsuit Reigns in DOJ’s Misuse of DROS Fees

Friday, August 18, 2017

California: Ruling in NRA/CRPA Lawsuit Reigns in DOJ’s Misuse of DROS Fees

A California state court issued an important ruling in the NRA and CRPA supported case of Gentry v. Becerra, holding DOJ accountable for its historical mismanagement and misuse of DROS (dealer record of sale) account funds.

Elizabeth Warren Urges Democrats to Champion Gun Control, Shut Down Debate

News  

Friday, August 18, 2017

Elizabeth Warren Urges Democrats to Champion Gun Control, Shut Down Debate

Just as many in the Democratic Party are seeking to moderate their message in order to once again compete as a national political party, some high-profile Democrats are urging the party to lurch further left ...

First, Carry No Gun: Police Chief Gets Inhospitable Reception at Texas Medical Clinic

News  

Friday, August 18, 2017

First, Carry No Gun: Police Chief Gets Inhospitable Reception at Texas Medical Clinic

We recently reported on claims that “gun safety advocates” in the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services have given a U.S. Marine Corps. veteran an untenable choice: custody of his grandson or his constitutional ...

Arizona Supreme Court Rebuffs Tucson’s Illegal Destruction of Firearms

News  

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Arizona Supreme Court Rebuffs Tucson’s Illegal Destruction of Firearms

On Thursday, the Arizona Supreme Court unanimously held that the state was within its authority to prohibit cities and counties from routinely destroying firearms obtained through forfeiture or as unclaimed property. State law holds that ...

California: 2017 Legislative Session Reconvenes on Monday

Thursday, August 17, 2017

California: 2017 Legislative Session Reconvenes on Monday

On Monday, August 21, the California Legislature will reconvene from Summer recess.  Below is the status on the firearm-related bills still moving through the legislative process.  Please send an email to your state legislators respectfully urging ...

Stossel Report Reinforces Urgent Need for Congressional Action

Second Amendment  

Gun Laws  

News  

Friday, August 11, 2017

Stossel Report Reinforces Urgent Need for Congressional Action

Award-winning journalist John Stossel published a report this week that provides a timely reminder that – nearly a decade after the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller – law abiding gun ...

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.