Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

Senate Judiciary Committee to Hold Hearing on S. 941 - the "Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Reform and Firearms Modernization Act"

Friday, September 10, 2010

This Tuesday, September 14, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on reforming current regulation of commerce in firearms -- especially in the area of dealer licensing and oversight -- by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE).

The hearing will focus on S. 941, the "Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Reform and Firearms Modernization Act" sponsored by Senators Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT).  Congressmen Steve King (R-IA) and Zack Space (D-OH) have introduced a companion bill -- H.R. 2296 -- in the U.S. House and it has 240 cosponsors. The bills 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.

Among its other provisions, S. 941 and H.R. 2296 would:

  • Clarify the standard for "willful" violations -- allowing penalties for intentional, purposeful violations of the law, but not for simple paperwork mistakes.
  • Improve the process for imposing penalties, notably by allowing FFLs to appeal BATFE penalties to a neutral administrative law judge, rather than to an employee of BATFE itself.
  • Allow a licensee a period of time to liquidate inventory when he goes out of business. During this period, all firearms sold would be subject to a background check by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
  • Allow a grace period for people taking over an existing firearms business to correct problems in the business's records -- so if a person inherited a family gun store (for example), the new owner couldn't be punished for the previous owner's recordkeeping violations.
  • Reform the procedures for consideration of federal firearms license applications. Under S. 941, denial of an application would require notification to the applicant, complete with reasons for the denial. Additionally, an applicant would be allowed to provide supplemental information and to have a hearing on the application.
  • Require BATFE to establish clear investigative guidelines.
  • Clarify the licensing requirement for gunsmiths, distinguishing between repair and other gunsmith work and manufacture of a firearm. This would stop BATFE from arguing that minor gunsmithing or refinishing activities require a manufacturers' license.
  • Eliminate a provision of the Youth Handgun Safety Act that requires those under 18 to have written permission to use a handgun for lawful purposes (such as competitive shooting or safety training) -- even when the parent or guardian is present.
  • Permanently ban creation of a centralized electronic index of out of business dealers' records -- a threat to gun owners' privacy that Congress has barred through appropriations riders for more than a decade.
  • Allow importation and transfer of new machineguns by firearm and ammunition manufacturers for use in developing or testing firearms and ammunition, and training customers. In particular, ammunition manufacturers fulfilling government contracts need to ensure that their ammunition works reliably. S. 941 and H.R. 2296 would also provide for the transfer and possession of new machineguns by professional film and theatrical organizations.
  • Repeal the Brady Act's "interim" waiting period provisions, which expired in 1998.
  • Give BATFE sole responsibility for receiving reports of multiple handgun sales. (Currently, dealers also have to report multiple sales to state or local agencies, a requirement that has shown little or no law enforcement value.) State and local agencies could receive these reports upon request to BATFE, but would have to comply strictly with current requirements to destroy these records after 20 days, unless the person buying the guns turns out to be prohibited from receiving firearms.
  • Restore a policy that allowed importation of barrels, frames and receivers for non-importable firearms, when they can be used as repair or replacement parts.

S. 941 represents the first time such BATFE reform legislation has been introduced in the Senate.  However, the House passed similar legislation (H.R. 5092) in the 109th Congress by a 277-131 vote.  A majority of the House--224 congressmen--cosponsored H.R. 4900 in the 110th Congress.

A fact sheet on S. 941/H.R. 2296 can be found here

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

Please be sure to contact your U.S. Senators and Representative, and ask them to cosponsor and support S. 941 and H.R. 2296!  You can call your U.S. Senators at (202) 224-3121, and your U.S. Representative at (202) 225-3121.

TRENDING NOW
NRA Wins Lawsuit in Washington State, Prevents I-1639 From Appearing on Ballot

News  

Friday, August 17, 2018

NRA Wins Lawsuit in Washington State, Prevents I-1639 From Appearing on Ballot

The Thurston County Superior Court today ruled in favor of the National Rifle Association and ordered a writ of mandamus to prevent I-1639 from appearing on the ballot. The judge agreed the signature sheets did ...

No NRA Members Need Apply

News  

Friday, August 17, 2018

No NRA Members Need Apply

Like most people, we understand that educational institutions and staff tend to lean left. The degree and intensity of the bend varies across universities, but a leftward orientation is actually expected today. We’re aware that ...

Canada: Montreal to Endorse Nationwide Handgun Ban, Police Content with Current Laws

News  

Gun Laws  

Friday, August 17, 2018

Canada: Montreal to Endorse Nationwide Handgun Ban, Police Content with Current Laws

Politicians from the largest city in the Canadian gun control stronghold of Quebec plan to put their weight behind a raft of severe gun restrictions next week. According to a report from Radio Canada International, the Montreal City ...

Fake Blues: The Media’s Worst Enemy Isn’t the President, It’s Themselves

News  

Friday, August 17, 2018

Fake Blues: The Media’s Worst Enemy Isn’t the President, It’s Themselves

On Thursday, over 300 media outlets joined in a coordinated effort to push back against President Donald Trump. That will hardly come as a shock to many Americans, as it seems mainstream news organizations have done little ...

Shopify Targets Law-Abiding Firearm Businesses

Gun Laws  

News  

Friday, August 17, 2018

Shopify Targets Law-Abiding Firearm Businesses

This week, Canadian e-commerce host Shopify changed their company’s firearm policy with disastrous effects for law-abiding U.S. gun businesses that use their e-commerce services. Shopify’s abrupt overnight decision to block the sale of specific firearms ...

Outrage of the Week: Shopify Targets America's Guns

News  

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Outrage of the Week: Shopify Targets America's Guns

Hundreds of firearms retailers may have to close soon because a powerful Canadian tech company, Shopify, recently decided it was anti-gun and issued an ultimatum: Do business our way or not at all.

King County Unveils “Common Sense” Action Plan: Ban “Semi-automatic, High Velocity Weapons”

News  

Friday, August 10, 2018

King County Unveils “Common Sense” Action Plan: Ban “Semi-automatic, High Velocity Weapons”

In a July 23rd op-ed, Joe McDermott, the Council Chair of King County, Washington, introduced a multi-prong “King County Gun Safety Action Plan” aimed at reducing gun violence.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

ALERT! Florida Democrats Did an Awesome Election Favor for Republicans

The anti-Second Amendment, Democrat politicians who demanded that the Legislature vote on calling a Special Session to repeal Florida's Stand Your Ground self-defense law either unwittingly or intentionally provided a great service to Republican incumbent ...

Divided Appeals Panel Upholds California Ban on Post-2013 Pistols

News  

Friday, August 10, 2018

Divided Appeals Panel Upholds California Ban on Post-2013 Pistols

Imagine if California, to combat what the legislature considered the serious problem of manmade global warming, required all new vehicles sold by car dealers in the state to run on grass clippings, rather than fossil ...

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.