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Federal Legislative Roundup

Friday, August 13, 2010

Both houses of Congress have adjourned for their “Summer District Work Period,” and there are two issues pending in Congress that require your immediate action to lobby your Senators and Congressman while back in their homestate for the next month.

Be sure to contact your U.S. Senators at (202) 224-3121 and your U.S. Representative at (202) 225-3121, and urge them to cosponsor and support these measures, if they are not already doing so.  Additional contact information can be found using the “Write Your Representatives” feature at www.NRAILA.org.

 

• S. 941/ H.R. 2296, the “Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Reform and Firearms Modernization Act.”

S. 941 and H.R. 2296 would roll back unnecessary restrictions, correct errors, and codify longstanding congressional policies in the firearms arena.  These bipartisan bills are a vital step to modernize and improve BATFE operations.

Of highest importance, S. 941 and H.R. 2296 totally rewrite the system of administrative penalties for licensed dealers, manufacturers and importers of firearms. Currently, for most violations, BATFE can only give a federal firearms license (FFL) holder a warning, or revoke his license.

S. 941 and H.R. 2296 would allow fines or license suspensions for less serious violations, while still allowing license revocation for the kind of serious violations that would block an investigation or put guns in the hands of criminals. This will help prevent the all-too-common situations where BATFE has revoked licenses for insignificant technical violations—such as improper use of abbreviations or filing records in the wrong order.  (For more information about S. 941 and H.R. 2296, please click here (www.nraila.org/Issues/FactSheets/Read.aspx?id=251&issue=28).)

As of this writing, S. 941 has 36 cosponsors, and H.R. 2296 has 240 cosponsors.

Please contact your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representative urging them to cosponsor S. 941 and H.R. 2296 respectively.  Also please immediately contact your Congressman and ask him or her, especially if one of the 240 cosponsors of H.R. 2296, to urge their leadership to bring H.R. 2296 to the House floor for a vote immediately after the August recess.

 

• S. 3265/H.R. 5162, the “Second Amendment Enforcement Act.”

S. 3265 and H.R. 5162 would eliminate several of the Washington, D.C.’s most restrictive gun control laws passed in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark 2008 decision in District of Columbia v. Heller.  Since the mid-1970s, D.C.’s gun control regimen has been similar to laws imposed in countries where—as Second Amendment author James Madison put it in The Federalist—“governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.”

These D.C. gun reform bills will move the District’s gun laws away from their European (and worse) model and closer to the mainstream laws that are in place in most of America. The bills would abolish the District’s deliberately difficult and costly firearm registration requirement, its restrictions on carrying a firearm for protection on private property, its post-Heller ban on hundreds of types of semi-automatic firearms denigrated as “assault weapons,” its ban on standard defensive magazines that hold more than ten rounds, and its California-style “microstamping” law and handgun "roster" system.

Anticipating continuing efforts by the D.C. City Council to suppress gun ownership by preventing gun dealers from conducting business in the District, the bills also provide for D.C. residents to legally buy handguns from FFLs in Maryland and Virginia, and they prescribe reasonable conditions for the lawful transportation of firearms within the District.

Furthermore, because the city’s elected officials have demonstrated hostility toward the Second Amendment—imposing its “microstamping” law, “assault weapon” ban, ban on magazines holding over ten rounds, and “unsafe handgun” ban (which the city modified after the ban was challenged in court)—S. 3265 and H.R. 5162 prohibit the city from enacting new laws designed to thwart the exercise of the right to arms.

As of this writing, S. 3265 has 18 cosponsors, and H.R. 5162 has 155 cosponsors.

Again, please be sure to contact your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representative as soon as possible, and ask them to cosponsor and support S. 3265 and H.R. 5162 respectively!  You can find contact information for your federal lawmakers by using the "Write Your Representatives" tool at www.NRAILA.org, or you can call your U.S. Senators at (202) 224-3121, and your U.S. Representative at (202) 225-3121.

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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.