Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

Rep. Steve Scalise Introduces Bill to Relax Restrictions on Interstate Firearm Sales

Friday, May 22, 2015

Rep. Steve Scalise Introduces Bill to Relax Restrictions on Interstate Firearm Sales

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) has introduced a bill to modernize certain aspects of interstate firearms commerce. The Firearms Interstate Commerce Reform Act, H.R. 2246, would yield increased convenience and choice for consumers, while continuing to allow states to set their own policy regarding transfer and possession of firearms within their borders.

In 1968, when the federal Gun Control Act (GCA) was enacted, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) and today’s sophisticated computer technology did not exist, and what background checks were run on gun sales occurred at the state or local level. Recognizing that state approaches to gun laws varied, Congress enacted a nationwide system of licensing for those engaged in the business of firearm commerce and generally prohibited licensed dealers from selling guns to out of state residents or shipping guns directly to unlicensed buyers.

The 1968 law contained limited exceptions for interstate sale of rifles or shotguns. Specifically, the buyer`s state had to have a law allowing such transactions. Second, the transaction had to comply with the state law in both the buyer`s and seller`s states. Third, the dealer had to notify the chief law enforcement officer in the buyer`s state, and wait for evidence that the officer had received the notification. Finally, the dealer had to wait seven days after receiving the notice before completing the transfer. These requirements were intended to keep buyers from leaving their home states to evade whatever sort of background check might be required under state law.

In the 1980s, the Congress revisited these restrictions during the debate over the Firearms Owners` Protection Act (FOPA). As the Senate Judiciary Committee`s report on FOPA put it, the 1968 interstate sales provisions were "so cumbersome that they [were] rarely used." When the Congress passed FOPA in 1986, it did away with the state authorization, notification and waiting period requirements. Federal law now allows dealers to make interstate rifle and shotgun sales, as long as: (a) the buyer meets in person with the dealer, and (b) the transaction complies with the laws of both the buyer`s and the seller`s states.

Since 1998, however, all people buying firearms from licensed dealers anywhere in the U.S. have been subject to computerized background checks under the FBI`s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), either by the dealer contacting NICS (directly or through a state "point of contact" agency) or by the buyer presenting a state firearms permit issued after a NICS check. NICS, moreover, is a national system that collects records from every state and makes those records available to every other state. Thus, even if a person leaves a state where some disabling conviction, commitment, or order was entered, any records reported to the databases encompassed by the NICS system will show up through a NICS check in any other state.

This means that even if a person buys a firearm from an FFL out of state, that FFL’s NICS check will also be able to screen for disqualifying records from the person’s home state. This makes a limitation on buying only from FFL’s in one’s own state unnecessary.

Under H.R. 2246, FFLs could sell both handguns and long guns to unlicensed residents from other states, but the transfer would still have to occur in a face-to-face transaction (in other words, no mail order sales to non-licensees), and it would still have to comply with the laws of the state of the buyer’s residence. Thus, a buyer could not go out of a state to buy a firearm banned in the buyer’s state of residence, and any prohibited person provisions, waiting periods, or other requirements specific to the buyer’s state of residence would still apply.

The bill would also allow FFLs to sell firearms at gun shows in other states, so long as they complied with the laws both of the state of transfer and of the buyer’s state of residence.

All other rules governing retail sales by FFLs – including the paperwork, identification, and NICS requirements – would continue to apply.

Finally, the bill would recognize the realities that military members face in having to make frequent moves to duty stations throughout the U.S. and abroad. It would clarify that service members and their spouses are residents, for purposes of the GCA, of their state of legal residence, of the state in which the member’s permanent duty station is located, and of the state in which the member maintains a place of abode from which the member commutes each day to the permanent duty station. Civilian employees of federal agencies such as the State Department who are stationed overseas for long periods would also benefit, as the bill would effectively allow them to buy firearms in the U.S. during trips back home to their U.S. state of residence.

The NRA thanks Rep. Scalise for his leadership in this important effort. It’s high time Congress recognizes that today’s systems of interstate commerce and information sharing are far more advanced and well-developed than in the late 1960s, and federal regulation of firearms sales (products that are legal and constitutionally-protected in every state) should keep pace with these developments.

TRENDING NOW
Texas Professor Trades Geography for Drama to Protest Campus Carry in the Lone Star State

News  

Friday, August 11, 2017

Texas Professor Trades Geography for Drama to Protest Campus Carry in the Lone Star State

According to a recent poll by the Pew Research Center, more than 1 in 3 Americans believe that colleges and universities exert a negative effect on the country. When respondents are grouped by political party, ...

Guns Trickle in to Australia Turn-in

News  

Friday, August 11, 2017

Guns Trickle in to Australia Turn-in

U.S. policymakers, NRA-ILA, and even some of the most ardent anti-gun researchers, have long understood that gun turn-in programs do not hinder criminal violence. Despite the overwhelming evidence, the Land Down Under is currently in ...

Stossel Report Reinforces Urgent Need for Congressional Action

Second Amendment  

Gun Laws  

News  

Friday, August 11, 2017

Stossel Report Reinforces Urgent Need for Congressional Action

Award-winning journalist John Stossel published a report this week that provides a timely reminder that – nearly a decade after the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller – law abiding gun ...

Czechs File Suit Challenging EU Gun Controls

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, August 11, 2017

Czechs File Suit Challenging EU Gun Controls

This week, the Czech Republic made good on their promise to pursue a legal challenge to the European Union’s (EU) onerous new changes to the European Firearms Directive.

Brits Vs. Guns

News  

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Brits Vs. Guns

Will a society that has long turned its back on armed self-defense ever be able to find its way back?

Repudiated at the Polls, National Democrats Continue to Push Gun Control

Gun Laws  

Second Amendment  

News  

Friday, August 11, 2017

Repudiated at the Polls, National Democrats Continue to Push Gun Control

Recent weeks have seen a heated debate involving national Democratic Party figures over how to approach the issue of abortion in a manner that would allow the party to be more competitive in portions of ...

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.

Flying with Firearms - Get the Facts

News  

Hunting  

Gun Laws  

Monday, July 31, 2017

Flying with Firearms - Get the Facts

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has established specific requirements for transporting firearms and ammunition in checked baggage on commercial aircraft, including the following: All firearms or ammunition must be checked with the air carrier as ...

California: Archived “Assault Weapon” Webinar and Quick Reference Guide Now Available on California Stand and Fight Website

Thursday, August 10, 2017

California: Archived “Assault Weapon” Webinar and Quick Reference Guide Now Available on California Stand and Fight Website

On August 8, the NRA and California Rifle and Pistol Association (CRPA) hosted a free informational webinar on the recently approved Department of Justice (DOJ) “bullet-button assault weapon" regulations.  This webinar is now available to ...

The High-Level Hypocrisy of Mayors for Gun Control

News  

Friday, August 4, 2017

The High-Level Hypocrisy of Mayors for Gun Control

Leona Helmsley, the “Queen of Mean” convicted of income tax evasion and other crimes, is famously said to have said “We don’t pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes.” The same sense of entitled grandeur ...

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.