Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Gun Owners Score Wins in Spending Bill

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

If you pay any attention at all to policy debates in Washington, you’ve probably noticed that Congress and the president aren’t reaching agreement on much. Bills that pass in the House of Representatives aren’t coming up in the Senate. Bills that carry the president’s agenda in the Senate aren’t passing in the House. Part of that log jam is due to the difference in positions between the parties, and part of it is due to differences in how the two chambers structure debate. Some commentators condemn the resulting stalemate, while others argue that the Founders designed our system to produce exactly this result when the nation is so closely divided. 

The one thing you can’t argue about is the end result. Major legislation simply is not passing through the Congress. The only bills it seems this Congress can pass are spending bills to keep the federal government functioning, and even those don’t usually pass until a deadline is looming.

Since the only bills that seem to move through the entire legislative process are spending bills, NRA-ILA puts a great deal of effort into protecting gun owners by urging the Congress to pass “riders” on those bills that help accomplish our agenda. It’s the legislative version of catching a ride on the only train out of town. 

Thanks to these efforts, the most recent spending bill to pass the Congress and be signed by the president contained a dozen policy victories for gun owners. These fall into a few different groups.

First, there is the category of riders that are renewed every year. Some of these go back decades, but are still needed to plug loopholes in federal law that bureaucrats might manipulate to limit our rights. For example, the bill prohibits any change in the definition of “curio and relic” firearms, to protect the status of collectible firearms for future generations of collectors. It also prohibits arbitrary denials of curio and relic importation.

Several of the annual riders are needed to correct oversteps in regulatory authority. This category includes a prohibition on revoking or denying a federal firearms license due to the licensee’s low business volume, meaning that small dealers can’t be closed down simply because they don’t have the same sales volume as “big box” stores. The bill also prohibits any regulation mandating annual physical inventories by ffls, a laborious and time-consuming process that’s generally unnecessary because of the detailed acquisition and disposition records that dealers must maintain. Another provision eliminates the need for an export permit to Canada to ship small firearms parts valued at less than $500, a pointless requirement imposed by the Clinton administration. 

Another provision requires that any release of trace data by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) must include a disclaimer stating that the data can’t be used to draw broad conclusions about firearm-related crime, and another prohibits the transfer of any current BATFE authority to any other agency or department. This provision blocked an effort by the Clinton administration to transfer firearm enforcement to the FBI or Secret Service, and also keeps any administration from dodging the will of Congress by letting another agency implement policies that Congress has prohibited BATFE from implementing.

Yet another category of riders addresses newer problems. One prevents BATFE from blocking imports of shotguns with features the agency considers “non-sporting,” like adjustable stocks and extended magazine tubes. And another prohibits government agents from allowing the transfer of firearms to members of drug cartels. You’d think this should be unnecessary, but congressional investigations into the “Fast and Furious” scandal have proven otherwise. 

As you can imagine, it’s a lot of work getting the Congress to pass these riders every year. So this year, we worked to change some of the traditional annual riders into permanent law, so they won’t need to be passed again. Most important is a prohibition on creating or maintaining a database of gun owners or guns. This rider blocks any centralized federal gun registry and dates back to 1979. A related provision now permanently prohibits the creation of a gun registry from gun dealer records that are surrendered to the government when a dealer goes out of business. While that may sound unnecessary to some, this provision has been needed since 1997, when anti-gun Clinton administration bureaucrats were trying to monitor gun owners through any means they could think of using. In a related vein, the final permanent rider prohibits retaining any information about the successful clearance of a background check for a gun purchase for more than 24 hours. 

That’s a big list of accomplishments for a spending bill. And it goes to show that no matter how Congress chooses to do its business, your NRA-ILA will make sure that our Second Amendment rights are protected.

TRENDING NOW
California: DOJ Issues “Notice of Modification” to Proposed Ammunition Background Check Regulations

Thursday, April 18, 2019

California: DOJ Issues “Notice of Modification” to Proposed Ammunition Background Check Regulations

Today, the California Department of Justice issued a “Notice of Modification” to their proposed regulations regarding the soon to be implemented ammunition background check procedures. As a result of these changes, a second 15-day public ...

Heeee’s Baaack: Bill Clinton Peddles Gun Control on a Wish and a Lie

News  

Friday, April 19, 2019

Heeee’s Baaack: Bill Clinton Peddles Gun Control on a Wish and a Lie

Proving there is no statute of limitations on political opportunism, this week former President Bill Clinton used the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the tragic school shooting in Littleton, Colo. to pen an op-ed pushing ...

Maine: Firearm Seizure Bill Heads To Judiciary Committee

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Maine: Firearm Seizure Bill Heads To Judiciary Committee

On April 22nd, the Maine Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on Legislative Document 1312, which would allow for firearms to be seized and Second Amendment rights to be suspended without due process. 

Texas: House Passes Evacuation Carry Bill

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Texas: House Passes Evacuation Carry Bill

On Thursday, the Texas House gave final approval to House Bill 1177 by a vote of 102-29.

Media Continues to Cause Distorted Fear of School Violence

News  

Friday, April 19, 2019

Media Continues to Cause Distorted Fear of School Violence

When it comes to the wellbeing of today’s youth, one would think that all could agree that provoking unnecessary fear should be avoided. That apparently is not the case, however, when it comes to pushing ...

Pittsburgh Residents Seek Preliminary Injunction Against Ban on Standard Capacity Magazines

News  

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Pittsburgh Residents Seek Preliminary Injunction Against Ban on Standard Capacity Magazines

With support from the NRA, gun owners challenging Pittsburgh’s ban on publicly carrying loaded magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds filed a motion today seeking a preliminary injunction. If the motion is granted, ...

NRA Statement on New York City's Desperate Attempt to Avoid Supreme Court Review

News  

Friday, April 12, 2019

NRA Statement on New York City's Desperate Attempt to Avoid Supreme Court Review

NRA reacts to New York City's attempt to avoid having the NRA-supported Supreme Court case N.Y. State Rifle & Pistol Association, et al. v. City of N.Y., et al heard in DC. 

New York Times Admits Privately-Funded “Gun Violence” Research is a Thing

News  

Friday, April 19, 2019

New York Times Admits Privately-Funded “Gun Violence” Research is a Thing

The New York Times – the “paper of record” – reports that “Gun Research is Suddenly Hot.” While we’re happy to see the Times has finally acknowledged that “gun research” can survive federal restrictions on taxpayer funded gun control ...

Idaho: Governor Signs Important Self-Defense Legislation into Law

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Idaho: Governor Signs Important Self-Defense Legislation into Law

Yesterday, Governor Brad Little signed important self-defense legislation, House Bill 206, into law.

President Donald J. Trump will  Address NRA Members at the 148th NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits in Indianapolis, Indiana

News  

Friday, April 5, 2019

President Donald J. Trump will Address NRA Members at the 148th NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits in Indianapolis, Indiana

FAIRFAX, Va.— President Donald Trump will address NRA members at the NRA Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) Leadership Forum on Friday, April 26, 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana. This is the third consecutive year that President Trump will deliver the keynote address at the NRA-ILA ...

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.