BATFE

ATF Seeking Public Comments on Bump Stock Regulations

Consumers, Retailers, and Manufacturers Asked to Weigh in on Machine Gun Classification

ATF-BumpStock-RFCPresumably prompted almost exclusively by (or, at least, jumping at the “convenient” excuse of) their use in the October 1, 2017 attack on Route 91 Harvest Festival concert in Las Vegas, the BATFE is now seeking comments from the public regarding new regulations, potentially including reclassification as machine guns, on firearm accessories known as bump stocks.

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In the wake of the attack, which has since spawned no shortage of conspiracy theories thanks to the dearth of officially released details, there was a brief initial outcry calling for increased regulation before quickly fading from the news. Some of those calls even came from unexpected sources, such as the National Rifle Association (NRA) and businesses who make their money by renting fully automatic firearms to tourists.

Now, the Department of Justice is contemplating a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that would interpret the statutory definition of “machinegun” in the National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA) and Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA) to clarify whether bump stocks, fall within that definition. Before issuing such an NPRM, the Department and ATF are soliciting comments from the public and industry regarding the nature and scope of the market for these devices, giving citizens the opportunity to weigh in on the topic.

The request for comments was published in the Federal Register, and can be seen here (excerpts are below).  Comments can be left via the regulation’s page on the Regulations.gov website or left directly here. Gun Owners of America have produced a summary of their two main points: that 1) Bump Sstocks do not fall within the definition of “machine gun” under the NFA and 2) ATF has no Constitutional or legal authority to ban or regulate bump stocks.

Share your Comments with the ATF Now

 Below are excerpts from the Request for Comments in the Federal Register:   Continue reading

U.S. Attorney Announces New Grant to Expand Efforts to Combat Gun Violence

Additional Resources to Share Gun Intelligence and get Trigger Pullers Off the Streets

BATFEU.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes announced today the expansion of the Project Safe Neighborhood program in the Puget Sound region, with additional focus on crime gun intelligence in South King and Pierce Counties. The U.S. Department of Justice awarded $500,000 to the program which will enhance intelligence sharing between law enforcement agencies so that guns used in crimes can be linked, helping law enforcement build cases for prosecution.

“Forensic tools from ATF, and intelligence sharing between law enforcement agencies have been key to identifying felons with guns who need to be off the street,” said U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes. “In three of the cases we are highlighting today, the guns recovered have been tied to multiple shootings – in one case as many as 9 shots fired incidents in a short period of time. Combating gun violence is a top priority of the Justice Department and my office.”

The Project Safe Neighborhood grant provides funding for a Special Assistant United States Attorney to review every firearms case in King County to see if it is appropriate for federal prosecution. Grant money in 2017-2018 will provide for additional personnel to leverage the Gun Crime Intelligence Center to make connections between shooting incidents in south King and Pierce Counties. This information helps law enforcement identify, arrest and prosecute high-impact offenders.

“ATF is proud to partner with local law enforcement and the U.S. Attorney’s Office to bring the most advanced forensic science to the battle against gun crime,” said Darek Pleasants, Special Agent in Charge, ATF Seattle. “The National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN) is the only national network that allows for the capture and comparison of ballistic evidence to aid in solving and preventing violent crimes involving firearms. Since the program’s inception in 1999 through 2016, NIBIN partners have captured approximately 2.8 million images of ballistic evidence and confirmed more than 74,000 NIBIN hits.”

Unveiled in May 2001, Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is a comprehensive and strategic approach to gun law enforcement. PSN is a nationwide commitment to reduce gun crime in America by networking both new and existing local programs that target gun crime and then providing them with the resources and tools they need to succeed. Implementation at the local level has fostered close partnerships between federal, state and local prosecutors and law enforcement.

Giving a Firearm as a Gift? Some Reminders From NSSF

GunLink_GiftThe holidays are just around the corner. As hunters, shooters, collectors or just plain plinkers, it’s a natural instinct to want to share our enjoyment of firearms with others. What better way to do that than to make a gift of a firearm to a family member, close friend or relative?

The first thing to remember if you’re thinking about giving someone a gun is that . . . it’s a gun! You already know that ownership of a firearm brings with it some serious legal and ethical obligations that other consumer products don’t. So let’s look at some questions you may have about giving a firearm as a gift.

The first question you have to ask is whether the intended recipient can legally own the firearm where he or she lives. With more than 20,000 different gun laws on the books, even the kinds of firearms that law-abiding citizens can own vary from place to place; for example, juveniles (under age 18), generally speaking, are precluded by law from possessing a handgun. Check out the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) website for an overview of local laws and, whatever you do, don’t forget that you can never under any circumstances transfer a firearm to someone you know — or have reasonable cause to believe — legally can’t own one. That’s a federal felony, so be careful.   Continue reading

Chicago Campaign Targets Illegal Gun Purchases

NSSF, ATF, U.S. Attorney, Area Law Enforcement Emphasize ‘Don’t Lie for the Other Guy’

DontLieAs part of an ongoing national effort to help prevent illegal “straw” purchases of firearms, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) are reminding the public in the Chicago Chicagoland area that stiff penalties are in place for individuals convicted of such purchases.

Billboard advertisements for the Don’t Lie for the Other Guy program have been purchased by NSSF in key locations throughout the region with the message: “Buy a gun for someone who can’t and buy yourself 10 years in jail. Don’t Lie for the Other Guy.”

The month-long public awareness campaign was officially launched today with a short program at the Bass Pro Shops, 709 Janes Ave, Bolingbrook, Ill. Present at the event were representatives of the ATF Chicago Field Division, the Bolingbrook Police Department, Will County Sheriff’s Office, DuPage County Sheriff’s Office and NSSF.

More than 55 million impressions will be delivered via billboards and in-transit displays, as well as 3.5 million digital and social media impressions around Chicago along with more than 2.4 million impressions through 30-second radio spots airing on local stations. Chicagoland was chosen for this special campaign by ATF. No taxpayer dollars are used. The program is funded in full by the firearms industry.   Continue reading

NRA Backed SHARE Act Passes Committee

NRA16_7442The National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) commends the House Committee on Natural Resources for markup and passage of H.R. 3668, the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act. Under the successful leadership of Committee Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) and Subcommittee Chairman Tom McClintock (R-CA), the SHARE Act now moves to the full U.S. House of Representatives.

“Today marks an important step in protecting the Second Amendment freedoms of America’s hunters and sportsmen and strengthening our outdoor heritage,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director, NRA-ILA. “The SHARE Act will cut burdensome red tape that restricts millions of hunters and sportsmen.”

The bill secures access to Federal public lands for hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting and includes the Hearing Protection Act (HPA). The HPA is an important safety-oriented aspect of the bill that will help protect the hearing of America’s hunters by eliminating expensive and excessive regulations on suppressors. Other key provisions include:

  • Securing the future of hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting by increasing access to federal public lands.
  • Reforming of the Firearm Owners’ Protection Act (FOPA), which protects the lawful, legal transport of unloaded firearms.
  • Strengthening protections for carrying firearms on land managed by the Army Corps of Engineers.
  • Removing the undefined and antiquated “sporting purposes test”, which opens the door to arbitrary ammunition bans.
  • Returning wildlife management of the gray wolf back to states adversely affected by rising populations.

“I would like to thank Chairman Rob Bishop and Subcommittee Chairman Tom McClintock for their leadership and critical roles in ensuring committee passage of the SHARE Act. Thanks to their efforts, we are one step closer to the day that all Americans will have better access to our outdoor heritage and the tools that ensure the safety of hunters and sportsmen alike,” concluded Cox.

NRA Applauds Introduction of Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act

The National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) applauds the introduction of H.R. 3668, the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act. Introduced by Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC), the bill will reduce burdensome regulations on America’s sportsmen, enhance access to public lands and simplify the purchasing process for firearm suppressors.

“The SHARE Act is critical legislation that will protect America’s hunters and recreational shooters and help preserve our outdoor heritage,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director, NRA-ILA. “This bill contains many important reforms to federal law that will remove unnecessary restrictions on our Second Amendment freedoms and hunting heritage.”

A key aspect of the bill is the Hearing Protection Act (HPA), which would eliminate burdensome and expensive regulations on suppressors. In addition, the bill would ensure greater protections for carrying lawfully-possessed firearms on land managed by the Army Corps of Engineers; require public lands management plans to facilitate hunting, fishing and recreational shooting; reform the outdated “sporting purposes test” that currently muddies federal gun control law regarding the importation of rifles and shotguns; and make critical reforms to the interstate transportation provisions of the Firearm Owner’s Protection Act (FOPA).

“On behalf of America’s gun owners and sportsmen, I would like to thank Rep. Duncan for introducing this important legislation. All Americans deserve access to our rich outdoor heritage and the tools that help making hunting and shooting safer,” concluded Cox.

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