Up To Date Firearms News From NSSF:
• FIREARMS INDUSTRY PROTECTION BILL INTRODUCED IN KANSAS . . . State Rep. Travis Couture-Lovelady last week introduced HB 2311, the Kansas Firearms Industry Nondiscrimination (FIND) Act. Kansas is the first state to see NSSF-supported legislation introduced to protect the lawful commerce in firearms, ammunition or related products by making it a discriminatory business practice to refuse provision of services. As previously reported, Operation Choke Point (OCP), the federally orchestrated initiative in which financial services providers were pressured to end relationships with firearms licensees, is just the tip of the iceberg for discriminatory practices against industry members. FIND Act advocacy is a new NSSF initiative. We encourage industry members to tell us of instances of discrimination solely because of your involvement in any firearms related business by emailing Elizabeth Karasmeighan, firstname.lastname@example.org.
• URGE YOUR SENATORS TO SUPPORT THE BIPARTISAN SPORTSMEN'S ACT . . .The Bipartisan Sportsmen's Act (S.405), NSSF's top legislative priority, has been introduced in the United States Senate by Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.). For hunters and sport shooters this is the most significant piece of sportsmen's legislation in a generation. It protects the use of traditional ammunition, allows more flexibility of federal funds to be used to build and maintain ranges on public lands and ensures access to federal lands for hunting, shooting and other outdoor activities. NSSF makes it easy for you to contact your two U.S. Senators with your customizable message to support S. 405. Take action here.
• CALIF. FISH & GAME COMMISSION DISCUSSES TRADITIONAL AMMO BAN . . . The California Fish and Game Commission met last week to discuss implementation of AB 711, the law banning traditional ammunition for hunting in California. An NSSF representative gave testimony on the topic and explained concerns involved with the phasing out of traditional ammunition, urging the commission to delay the implementation. The commission will meet again in April to adopt the proposed regulations. The phasing-in of non-lead ammunition will begin on July 1 with the final phase of the process concluding by July 2019, meaning the use of traditional ammunition for hunting purposes in California will be banned by mid-2019. See the proposed regulations here.
• NSSF STANDS READY AFTER SANDY HOOK PANEL REPORT . . . It is uncertain if recommendations in the just-released final report of the Sandy Hook School Commission will make their way into legislation and whether any additional restrictions on firearms would be passed by the Connecticut General Assembly since the state arguably already has the toughest gun laws in the nation. Legislators and the governor are struggling to fill an ever-growing budget and long-term obligations shortfall. The firearms industry is always willing to engage with policy makers and legislators to focus on measures that truly enhance public safety. Unfortunately, what we most often hear are proposals that do nothing to advance public safety while only affecting law-abiding citizens. Additional restrictions suggested are impractical and ineffective, costly to taxpayers in some cases and would further negatively affect the economics of an industry that still employs thousands in the state.
For more Government Relations news, read NSSF's latest Government Relations Update.
• JUDGE STRIKES DOWN INTERSTATE HANDGUN TRANSFER BAN . . . A federal judge in Texas has struck down the 1968 Gun Control Act's interstate handgun transfer ban as unconstitutional under both the Second Amendment and the Fifth Amendment. This law applies only to handguns and prohibits a resident of one state from purchasing a handgun in another state without first transferring the firearm to an FFL in the person's state of residence to complete the sale. Plaintiffs filed suit after a D.C. couple sought to purchase two handguns while in Texas but would have been forced to pay the only D.C-based FFL a $125 transfer fee. In addressing plaintiffs' Second Amendment challenge, the judge applied strict scrutiny to find that there was no "founding-era thinking" that would support a residency-based firearm restriction. The court also found the ban violates the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment. NSSF expects the Department of Justice to seek a stay of the court's order while it appeals the ruling so we caution all retailers not to transfer handguns to out of state residents based on this ruling. NSSF will seek to file an amicus brief on behalf of all retailers in support of this ruling and will keep you apprised of any updates.
• ATF SEEKS PUBLIC COMMENT ON 5.56 M855 AMMO BAN . . . The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has announced it is seeking to ban widely held 5.56 M855 ball ammunition as "armor piercing ammunition." ATF is seeking public comment on the proposal, so all industry employees, target shooters and gun owners should contact ATF to oppose this unnecessary ban, which is truly a solution in search of a problem and that raises serious questions about executive agency attitude and overreach. See The NSSF Action Alert and email or write ATF today.
• ATF PROVIDES UPDATED MANUFACTURER'S REPORT . . . The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has released the final version of the Annual Firearms Manufacturers and Export Report (AFMER) for 2013 and it shows the number of pistols manufactured that year totaled 4.4 million, compared to 3.4 million in 2012. The number of rifles manufactured also increased, with 3.9 million produced in 2013 compared to 3.1 million in 2012. Total number of exported firearms also grew from more than 287,000 in 2012 to more than 393,000 in 2013. View the 2015 Annual Firearms Manufacturers and Export Report on the ATF website.
• NFA BUSINESS INCREASING RAPIDLY . . . The number of dealers getting into the National Firearms Act (NFA) firearms business is continuing to increase rapidly and the number of NFA applications filed with the NFA Branch at ATF continues to rise. With a greatly increased staff of 25 Legal Instrument Examiners, many of them new and getting to full efficiency, the backlog of NFA forms has been whittled down from more than 80,000 to about 36,000. Given the increasing applications, however, the question is how low will the number of pending applications go before they start to increase again? Much of the intense increase in interest in NFA firearms is focused on silencers. According to ATF's 2011 Commerce in Firearms Report, as of December 2010 there were 284,087 lawfully registered silencers in the United States. As of March 2014, there were 571,750.