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
Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Ignores Heller: No Protection for Guns It Deems “Dangerous”

News  

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Ignores Heller: No Protection for Guns It Deems “Dangerous”

Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court’s opinions in Heller and McDonald, many of the lower U.S. courts have been making up their own rules when it comes to the Second Amendment. Tuesday’s outrageous opinion by ...

Hawaii: Anti-Gun Legislation Passes Committee

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Hawaii: Anti-Gun Legislation Passes Committee

SB 898, sponsored by state Senator Ronald Kouchi (D-8), would permanently strip an individual of their Second Amendment rights, not based on a criminal conviction or mental adjudication, but based on a quasi-criminal proceeding.  The ...

Kentucky: Senate Constitutional/Permitless Carry Legislation Amended

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Kentucky: Senate Constitutional/Permitless Carry Legislation Amended

Today, Senator Robin Webb (D-18) offered a strike and insert amendment to constitutional/permitless carry legislation, Senate Bill 7.

New Hampshire Governor Signs Constitutional Carry Into Law

News  

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

New Hampshire Governor Signs Constitutional Carry Into Law

Measure Effective Immediately. Today was a great victory for gun owners in New Hampshire when Gov. Chris Sununu signed Senate Bill 12 into law, allowing law-abiding New Hampshirites to carry their firearms in the manner that ...

Washington: Anti-Gun Legislation Could be Heard on the Floor Next Week

Friday, February 24, 2017

Washington: Anti-Gun Legislation Could be Heard on the Floor Next Week

As early as next week, the Washington House of Representatives could hear and vote on House Bill 1122 and House Bill 1483.

West Virginia: Pro-Carry Legislation Introduced

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

West Virginia: Pro-Carry Legislation Introduced

Multiple pro-gun bills were introduced this week in the West Virginia Legislature that seek to provide protections to West Virginians who choose to carry a firearm for self-defense. 

Amicus Briefs Filed in Support of Petition for Supreme Court Review in Peruta Right-to-Carry Case

Friday, February 24, 2017

Amicus Briefs Filed in Support of Petition for Supreme Court Review in Peruta Right-to-Carry Case

In January, California Rifle & Pistol Association attorneys filed a petitionwith the United States Supreme Court asking the Court to review the NRA-supported case of Peruta v. California, which seeks to confirm that the Second ...

South Dakota: Bill Attempting to Silence NRA Passed by House Committee

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

South Dakota: Bill Attempting to Silence NRA Passed by House Committee

Today, the House Judiciary Committee heard and passed House Bill 1200 by a 9-3 vote. 

Iowa: Pro-Gun Bill Passes Subcommittee

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Iowa: Pro-Gun Bill Passes Subcommittee

Today, House Study Bill 133, the omnibus bill which would make many pro-gun reforms for Iowa gun owners, passed its subcommittee hearing.  HSB 133 will now go to the full House Judiciary Committee for further consideration.  ...

Taxachusetts: Bay State Politician Wants to Soak Gun Owners

News  

Friday, February 24, 2017

Taxachusetts: Bay State Politician Wants to Soak Gun Owners

In an attempt to further punish Massachusetts’s beleaguered gun owners, on January 20, Massachusetts State Senator Cynthia S. Creem filed SD.1884. The legislation includes a raft of gun control measures, not the least of which ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -
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.