This week, President Biden signed into law a massive spending bill that funds the government through the end of the year, and, once again, NRA-ILA was successful in working on Capitol Hill to keep anti-gun members of Congress from eliminating pro-gun riders such as the Tiahrt amendment on releasing trace data and the Dickey amendment prohibiting the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) from advocating for gun control. The extensive work covered hearings, bill markups and votes in committee and on the floor to keep these provisions from being stripped. NRA-ILA was also effective in engaging the Senate to restore longstanding pro-gun language that was stripped in the House versions of the appropriations bills. This has been lauded as a huge win in protecting the Second Amendment in a Democrat-controlled Congress.
In addition to protecting riders that strengthen the Second Amendment, NRA-ILA was successful in having extreme gun control measures stripped from the final spending plan. Earlier this term, House Democrats included language in their spending proposal that would have essentially banned so called “ghost guns,” as well as provided funding for nationwide “red flag” laws, gun licensing schemes and taxpayer funded buyback proposals. House Democrats pushed these proposals in an attempt to circumvent regular order and enact back door gun grabs. NRA-ILA worked with pro-gun members of the U.S. Senate to see these provisions struck.
Along with protecting both the Tiahrt and Dickey amendments, the pro-gun riders that were restored included:
- Firearms Parts Export to Canada. Prohibits ATF from requiring an export license for small firearms parts valued at less than $500 for export to Canada. This provision removed an unnecessary and burdensome requirement on U.S. gun manufacturers that was imposed under the Clinton Administration.
- Importation of Curios and Relics. Prevents ATF from arbitrarily denying the importation of qualified curio and relic firearms. This provision ensures that collectible firearms that meet all legal requirements for importation into the United States are not prevented from import by Executive Branch fiat.
- Shotgun Importation Protections. Prohibits the DOJ from requiring imported shotguns to meet a “sporting purposes” test that the ATF has used to prohibit the importation of shotguns with one or more features disliked by the agency, such as adjustable stocks, extended magazine tubes, etc.
- Protecting Lead Ammo and Fishing Tackle from TSCA regulation. Prevents lead ammunition and fishing tackle from being regulated under the Toxic Substance Control Act. This provision was added in 2014 as a safety policy against any attempt the EPA might possibly make to regulate lead ammunition even though TSCA directly states that it is not in the EPA’s jurisdiction.
- Protecting Historic Firearms and Spent Brass Casings from Destruction. Preserves the opportunity for American gun owners to purchase surplus firearms that are no longer of use to the U.S. military. This includes M-1 Carbines, M-1 Garand rifles, M-14 rifles, .22 caliber rifles, .30 caliber rifles and M-1911 pistols. Starting in 1979, different versions of this language have prevented these firearms from being needlessly destroyed. In 2009, Congress amended this language at the urging of NRA-ILA to prevent the destruction of spent brass casings, a boon for gun owners and reloaders concerned about the rising price of ammunition.
- No Tax Dollars to Lobby and Promote Gun Control. Prevents federal funds from being used for lobbying efforts designed to support or defeat the passage of legislation being considered by Congress or any state or local legislative body. Too often, community action groups are utilizing federal money to lobby for increased regulation of firearms including trigger locks, bans on semi-automatic rifles, regulating magazine capacity, etc. This funding subverts the Second Amendment and allows anti-gun Administrations to fund grassroots gun control efforts using taxpayer dollars.
The hard work is not over for those protecting the Second Amendment in Congress, however, as work on next year’s funding bills has already begun. NRA-ILA will keep you apprised as the process moves forward.