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
NRA Opposes David Chipman for ATF Director

News  

Friday, April 9, 2021

NRA Opposes David Chipman for ATF Director

During a press conference on Thursday, President Biden announced that he would once again be targeting law-abiding gun owners by ordering ATF to develop two new restrictive regulations. Aiming to accessorize the Department of Justice’s ...

In New Executive Gun Control Push, Biden Seems to Throw Obama, and Himself, Under the Bus

News  

Monday, April 12, 2021

In New Executive Gun Control Push, Biden Seems to Throw Obama, and Himself, Under the Bus

At Biden's recent Rose Garden ceremony, where he announced his latest assault on the Second Amendment, he lied a number of times, and garbled the name of the federal agency tasked with enforcing federal gun ...

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

A Radical Idea: It’s Not the Gun, it’s the Criminal

News  

Monday, April 12, 2021

A Radical Idea: It’s Not the Gun, it’s the Criminal

Rahm Emanuel, recently the mayor of Chicago and who has previously served as a member of the Clinton Administration and as President Obama’s White House chief of staff, proposed a few curious gun control ideas ...

New Jersey: Gov. Murphy Announces Drastic Gun Control Agenda

Thursday, April 15, 2021

New Jersey: Gov. Murphy Announces Drastic Gun Control Agenda

Thursday morning, Gov. Phil Murphy held a press conference to unveil yet another gun control package in the Garden State.  

Texas: Urge Your Lawmakers to Pass Permitless Carry this Session

Monday, April 12, 2021

Texas: Urge Your Lawmakers to Pass Permitless Carry this Session

House Bill 1911, by Rep. James White (R-Woodville), and House Bill 1927, by Rep. Matt Schaefer (R-Tyler), NRA-backed permitless carry proposals that would allow law-abiding citizens to carry a handgun without a state-issued License To Carry (LTC), have been reported ...

Hunter Biden Incident Shows that Gun Laws are for the Little People

News  

Monday, April 5, 2021

Hunter Biden Incident Shows that Gun Laws are for the Little People

There is a central hypocrisy at the heart of the gun control effort.

South Carolina House Passes Constitutional Carry

Friday, April 9, 2021

South Carolina House Passes Constitutional Carry

Yesterday, the House voted to pass House Bill 3096 on third reading. It has been sent to the Senate for further consideration.

Texas House Approves NRA-Backed Permitless Carry Bill

Friday, April 16, 2021

Texas House Approves NRA-Backed Permitless Carry Bill

Early Thursday evening, on a 84-56 vote, the Texas House gave initial approval to House Bill 1927, by Rep. Matt Schaefer (R-Tyler), an NRA-backed permitless carry proposal that would allow law-abiding citizens to carry a handgun without a state-issued License To ...

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Monday, June 30, 2014

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

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.