Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Common Sense BATFE Reform Gathers Steam

Monday, June 7, 2010

As part of his business, Virginia firearm dealer Allan Broughman often customized rifles for customers. But in 2006, an inspector from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) observed Broughman "assembling a barrel, a receiver and a stock for a customer." Since federal law specifically allows dealers to engage in "making or fitting special barrels, stocks or trigger mechanisms to firearms," Broughman was surprised when the BATFE accused him of "manufacturing" a firearm without a manufacturer`s license. Now, Broughman is fighting the agency in court with the help of NRA-ILA.

Broughman`s difficulties stem from just one of the BATFE`s many odd legal interpretations. In another example that affects many gunsmiths, the agency says that bluing, parkerizing or Teflon-coating a firearm amounts to "manufacturing," while camouflaging a firearm by painting or dipping does not. To say the least, navigating rulings like this can quickly become confusing.

Fortunately, a large number of members of Congress have been inspired to act on this issue. Reps. Steve King, R-Iowa, and Zack Space, D-Ohio, and Sens. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, and Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., have introduced H.R. 2296 and S. 941, the "Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Reform and Firearms Modernization Act," co-sponsored by 217 members of the House and 24 members of the Senate. The bills are based upon several previous reform bills discussed in the April 2008 ILA "Political Report."

Making clear that dealers can do routine gunsmithing work without being "manufacturers" is just one of the problems H.R. 2296 and S. 941 would correct. Another is the BATFE`s misinterpretation of what constitutes a "willful" violation of federal gun laws. The Firearms Owners` Protection Act of 1986--passed in response to a previous wave of troublesome actions by the agency--allows the BATFE to revoke a dealer`s license only if the dealer`s violations are "willful." But over the years, the BATFE has interpreted "willful" violations to include minor clerical errors. H.R. 2296 and S. 941 would require that a dealer "knew of a legal duty, and engaged in the conduct knowingly and in intentional disregard of the duty" before his license could be revoked.

In addition to protecting gun dealers from overreach, H.R. 2296 and S. 941 would protect gun owners from unknowingly ending up in a gun registration system. The bills would permanently codify longstanding appropriations amendments that prohibit the BATFE from creating an electronic database of gun owners based on records turned in by dealers who have gone out of business or who have had their licenses revoked.

The bills would also clean up a host of lesser problems. For example, it would correct a drafting error in the federal law that currently requires a person under the age of 18 to have written permission from a parent or guardian to use a handgun for a variety of lawful purposes--;even when the parent or guardian is directly supervising the use of the handgun. (Fortunately, that provision of the law has rarely, if ever, been enforced.) And the bills would give a person taking over a firearm business (such as a family gun store) a grace period to fix problems in the business`s records, rather than punishing him for the previous owner`s mistakes.

Another provision heavily attacked by anti-gun groups, such as the Brady Campaign and Violence Policy Center, would create a 60-day grace period for ex-dealers to liquidate their inventories. Anti-gun groups denounce this as a "fire sale loophole," even though all sales would still be subject to the usual background check and record keeping requirements. And, of course, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg`s group, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, has sent a letter to Congress opposing the new bills.

This just proves that the gun control crowd wants the number of dealers reduced in order to reduce the number of guns sold in America. Longtime NRA members will remember that burdensome regulations imposed during the Clinton administration cut the number of licensed gun dealers (mostly small businesses) by more than half.

With wide bipartisan support in both houses of Congress, H.R. 2296 and S. 941 could be historic victories for gun owners in the tradition of the Firearms Owners` Protection Act of 1986. But in the coming days we`ll need the support of NRA members to achieve this goal. If your U.S. senators or representative haven`t already co-sponsored this bill, call or write them urging their support; if they`re already on board, be sure to thank them.

For more information on this issue, go to www.nraila.org/batfe.

If you are a Federal Firearms Licensee and are having issues with the BATFE, please contact NRA-ILA`s Office of Legislative Counsel at the above website, or call (703) 267-1160.

TRENDING NOW
Now With More Banning! Dianne Feinstein Introduces “Updated” Federal “Assault Weapons” Ban

News  

Friday, January 11, 2019

Now With More Banning! Dianne Feinstein Introduces “Updated” Federal “Assault Weapons” Ban

On Wednesday, longtime gun control extremist Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) introduced the latest version of her perennial bid to rid America of its most popular types of rifles, as well as the standard capacity magazines that ...

Monster Mistake, Take Two?

News  

Hunting  

Friday, January 11, 2019

Monster Mistake, Take Two?

Capitulating to radical, anti-gun extremism has become acceptable to some within the business community in recent years, especially for companies that seem to care little about our rights protected by the U.S. Constitution.  We’ve seen banks ...

Background Checks: No Impact on Criminals

News  

Friday, January 11, 2019

Background Checks: No Impact on Criminals

We have seen a generation of gun-grabbers rise and fall. The new generation of gun-grabbers are pushing for the same tired and baseless policies that won’t so much as inconvenience criminals. We understand the emotional ...

Canada’s Gun Control Advocates Boast Handgun Ban is “Within Reach”

News  

Friday, January 11, 2019

Canada’s Gun Control Advocates Boast Handgun Ban is “Within Reach”

On August 28, 2018, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau instructed Bill Blair, his minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction, to examine the feasibility of “a full ban on handguns and assault weapons in ...

Wisconsin: Governor Evers Starts Session with Gun Control Push

Monday, January 14, 2019

Wisconsin: Governor Evers Starts Session with Gun Control Push

With the 2019 Wisconsin Legislative Session convened, Governor Tony Evers and Attorney General Josh Kaul are already working with legislators to pass sweeping gun control.

Tell Your Members of Congress to Oppose “Universal” Background Check Bills

Take Action  

News  

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Tell Your Members of Congress to Oppose “Universal” Background Check Bills

This week two bills were introduced in Congress to impose so-called “universal” background checks. The bills, H.R. 8 and S. 42, are being misleadingly described as simply requiring background checks on all sales of firearms, but this is ...

Oregon: Anti-Gun Bills Pre-Filed, Legislature to Convene Monday

Friday, January 11, 2019

Oregon: Anti-Gun Bills Pre-Filed, Legislature to Convene Monday

The 2019 Oregon Legislative Session will convene on Monday, January 14th, and anti-gun legislators have already pre-filed numerous bills to infringe upon your rights and more bills are expected in the coming weeks.

Illinois: Firearm Registration & Dealer Licensing Bill May Reach New Governor’s Desk

Friday, January 11, 2019

Illinois: Firearm Registration & Dealer Licensing Bill May Reach New Governor’s Desk

On January 10th, Illinois state Senate President John Cullerton removed a hold on a bill potentially to make the unprecedented move of attempting to send a bill passed by the previous legislature to a newly ...

Media Contagion Effect and Mass Shootings

News  

Friday, January 11, 2019

Media Contagion Effect and Mass Shootings

Writing for Editor & Publisher, freelance journalist Angela Morris asked recently, “Do Journalists Deserve Some Blame for America’s Mass Shootings?” A review of the evidence summarized by Morris should serve as a stark warning for journalists who cover ...

Washington: 2019 Session Convened, Committee Hearings Scheduled

Monday, January 14, 2019

Washington: 2019 Session Convened, Committee Hearings Scheduled

The 2019 Washington Legislative Session convened today, January 14th, and anti-gun legislators have already pre-filed and scheduled hearings for bills that will infringe upon your Second Amendment rights.

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

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.