June 5, 2015 legislative roundup

Gun-banning US Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), who was elected on an anti-gun platform, has introduced the Firearm Risk Protection Act, which would require gun buyers to have liability insurance coverage before being allowed to purchase a weapon, and would impose a fine of $10,000 if an owner is found not to have it. Service members and law enforcement officers (the Only Ones) of course would be exempt from the requirement, presumably because they aren’t held responsible for their actions. This bill has no legs, but for those who say it can’t happen, have you heard of ObamaCare?

The US House has approved an amendment to the annual spending bill for the Justice Department to ensure that people who are prohibited from buying guns can apply for a restoration status. Current law allows rehabilitated people who cannot legally buy guns (prohibited persons) to petition their local US district court to restore their rights. But legislative riders in place since 1992 prevent the Justice Department from processing the applications.

On May 15, the US House passed the Defense Authorization Act (DOD’s budget bill), H.R. 3979. Included in this bill was an amendment by Rep. Mike Rogers to allow qualified applicants to purchase surplus M1911 45 caliber handguns. Additional amendments included keeping lead ammunition from being regulated under the Toxic Substance Control Act. The Senate is working on a companion bill at this time.

Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) introduced H.R. 2611, the Collectible Firearms Protection Act of 2015, which would amend the Arms Export Control Act to allow selected US made firearms listed as curios or relics to be brought into the country by a licensed importer without having to first garner the blessing of the Departments of State or Defense. The weapons in question are antique M1 Carbines and Garands to be shipped back home from Korea.

The FY16 CJS Appropriations bill was marked up in the House Commerce, Justice and Science Subcommittee. Current language in this bill includes a prohibition on forcing FFLs to report to ATF the sale of multiple long guns to one person, the government banning the importation of shotguns as a non-sporting firearm, and using taxpayer money to implement the UN Arms Treaty.

Rep. Perry Scott (R-PA) introduced H.R. 2019, to prevent ATF from reclassifying ammunition as armor piercing.

H.R. 1365, the Ammunition and Firearms Protection Act, would prevent ATF from banning rifle bullets.

Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) and 17 other representatives introduced H.R. 1454, a bill to ban so-called armor piercing ammunition (the same ammo that ATF was trying to ban by regulation).

S. 874 and H.R. 1701, to restore Second Amendment rights in the District of Columbia, to remove the authority of the DC Council to enact persecutory gun control, were introduced in March.

S. 670 and H.R. 1316, the Veterans Heritage Firearms Act of 2015, would allow for a 180-day amnesty period for veterans or family members to register National Firearms Act firearms that were acquired before October 31, 1968.

H.R. 1413, and S. 477, the Firearms Manufacturers and Dealers Protection Act of 2015, were introduced by Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL). This bill would “terminate Operation Choke Point and any similar program that attempts to infringe upon the Second Amendment or eradicate the manufacture and sale of firearms and ammunition,” in an effort to entirely defund any activities associated with Operation Choke Point and prevent the Attorney General from reinstituting the program under a different name.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) introduced the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2015, S. 498, on Feb. 12. This legislation would ensure that states honor permits from other states similarly to drivers’ licenses. On the same day two similar house bills, H.R. 764 and H.R. 923, were also introduced.

On Feb. 5 Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM), with 5 other original co-sponsors, introduced the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2015, S. 405.

H.R. 697, to conserve elephants and regulate ivory, was introduced by Rep. Young (R-AK).

S. 263 and H.R. 578, protecting the rights of gunowners on lands managed by US Army Corps of Engineers has been introduced.

H.R. 131, introduced by Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA) would allow gunowners to legally transport firearms between two interstate locations as long as the firearm was encased and not readily accessible. Supposedly an improvement to the similar provisions in the Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986.

H.R. 1217, Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act of 2015, a “universal” background check and registry bill, was introduced on Mar. 3.

Rep. Robin Kelly (D-IL), has introduced H.R. 224, requiring the surgeon general to submit a report to Congress annually on “the effects of gun violence on public health.” No requirement to report on the positive effects of firearms use.

Sens. Edward Markey (D-MA), and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), and several co-sponsors have introduced the “Handgun Trigger Safety Act” which would require that any gun sold in the US MUST include a “smart gun” trigger lock that would only allow “authorized users” to fire the gun, and a “Gun Research Safety Bill” that would funnel money to the CDC to provide studies to support more gun control. Since no such guns exist, if the first bill goes into effect (5 years after passage), it would immediately outlaw the sale of any handgun in the US.

Texas lawmakers approved the licensed open carry of handguns last week. Gov. Greg Abbott has made clear his intention to sign it. This is part of a push for so-called “constitutional carry,” that is, the right to bear arms without prior government permission. Texas has also passed legislation requiring the state’s public universities to allow handguns in dorms, classrooms and campus buildings. That bill is also headed to Gov. Abbot for his expected signature.
Mark my words, blood will run in the streets! Or not.

Texas has also addressed the too-common occurrence of commercial air passengers accidentally attempting to carry forgotten guns through secure areas of airports in their bags. Normally instances such as this would result in felony charges (it is illegal to bring a concealed handgun into the secured area of an airport), but a new Texas law, HB554, was passed and is awaiting Gov. Abbot’s expected signature. The bill applies to people with a concealed carry license who accidentally enter the security screening process, and shields them from prosecution and even arrest if they immediately exit the screening area and ditch their gun outside.


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