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Legislation to Improve and Modernize BATFE is Introduced

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Two bills considered in the last session of Congress as H.R. 5005 and H.R. 5092 have been combined, improved, and re-introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives as H.R. 4900 — the “Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Reform and Firearms Modernization Act.”  H.R. 4900 is cosponsored by Congressmen Steve King (R-Iowa) and Zack Space (D-Ohio) who sent out a "Dear Colleague" letter on February 27. 

The combining of these two bills into the improved H.R. 4900 represents the NRA’s latest efforts to pass legislation that will make it easier for lawful gun owners and dealers to comply with federal law and regulations, while ensuring that those who break the law are punished accordingly.  This bipartisan bill also serves as a vital step toward modernizing and improving BATFE’s overall operations.  The bill would roll back unnecessary restrictions, correct errors, and codify longstanding congressional policies in the firearms arena, and is a vital step to modernize and improve BATFE operations.

Of highest importance, H.R. 4900 totally rewrites the system of administrative penalties for licensed dealers, manufacturers, and importers of firearms. Today, for most violations, BATFE can only give a federal firearms license (FFL) holder a warning, or totally revoke his license.

As a result of BATFE abuses and its raid on a Richmond gun show in August of 2005, the House Crime Subcommittee held oversight hearings and congressional investigations in the spring of 2006 which led to the introduction of BATFE Reform legislation in the 109th Congress by then subcommittee chairman Howard Coble (R-NC) and ranking member Bobby Scott (D-VA).

H.R. 5092, cosponsored by 152 congressmen, was passed on suspension in the U.S. House of Representatives by an overwhelming bipartisan majority of 277-131, but time ran out before it could be considered by the Senate. 

Please be sure to contact your U.S. Representative at (202) 225-3121, and urge him or her to cosponsor and support H.R. 4900, the “Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Reform and Firearms Modernization Act.” 

To see if your Congressman is cosponsoring H.R. 4900, please click here.

For more detailed information on H.R. 4900, please click here

To read NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox’s letter to BATFE Acting Director Michael Sullivan, please click here.

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