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
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.