Last week, Congressman Rob Bishop (R-UT) introduced legislation that would effectively keep the ATF from rolling out backdoor gun or ammo bans.
Known as the Lawful Purpose and Self Defense Act, H.R.2620, the bill would do all of the following:
- Eliminate ATF’s authority to reclassify popular rifle ammunition as “armor piercing ammunition.” The federal law governing armor piercing ammunition was passed by Congress to target handgun projectiles, but ATF has used the law to ban common rifle ammunition.
- Provide for the lawful importation of any non-NFA firearm or ammunition that may otherwise be lawfully possessed and sold within the United States. ATF has used the current discretionary “sporting purposes” standard to deny the importation of firearms that would be perfectly legal to manufacture, sell, and possess in the United States.
- Protect shotguns, shotgun shells, and larger caliber rifles from arbitrary classification as “destructive devices.” Classification as a destructive device subjects a firearm to the registration and taxation provision of the National Firearms Act (NFA) and creates a ban on possession of the firearm in some states.
- Broaden the temporary interstate transfer provision to allow temporary transfers for all lawful purposes rather than just for “sporting purposes.”
“The Founding Fathers were clear when they drafted the Bill of Rights. The 2nd Amendment is about security and self-defense,” said Bishop in a statement obtained by GunsAmerica.
“Vagaries in today’s legal code pose a real threat to the right to keep and bear arms. The Obama Administration exploited this ambiguity to forward its agenda of restriction,” Bishop continued. “It’s time to ensure no future Administration tramples on these freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution.”
Bishop is, of course, referring to the ATF’s attempt to “reclassify” (aka ban) M855 rounds, also known as “green tip” ammo, back in 2015. The agency backed off after it received over 80,000 comments from concerned gun owners.
“Although ATF endeavored to create a proposal that reflected a good faith interpretation of the law and balanced the interests of law enforcement, industry, and sportsmen, the vast majority of the comments received to date are critical of the framework, and include issues that deserve further study,” said the ATF in a March 10, 2015, statement.
“Accordingly, ATF will not at this time seek to issue a final framework,” it went on to say.
The Lawful Purpose and Self-Defense Act has the full support of the National Rifle Association.
“On behalf of the NRA’s 5-million members, I would like to thank Chairman Rob Bishop for introducing this critical legislation,” said Chris W. Cox, Executive Director of the NRA Institute for Legislative Action.
“It sends a clear message that Congress will no longer allow federal bureaucrats to infringe on our Second Amendment right to self-protection,” Cox added.
Like with the Hearing Protection Act and National Concealed Carry Reciprocity, this is a measure that is high on every gun owner’s wishlist. We’ll have to wait and see what becomes of it. Fingers crossed.