Bill Introduced to Limit ATF Regulatory Power to Ban Ammo, Firearms via ‘Reclassification’

Congressman Rob Bishop (R-UT). (Photo: NRA)

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.

{ 24 comments… add one }
  • Auggie Will June 12, 2017, 11:06 pm

    I can remember about 20 years ago we had one floor at one of our hospitals where people who had problems be it real or otherwise could go.
    Some were treated as outpatients and some had to stay until such time the Doctors felt they were safe to leave.
    There are very few hospitals today due to budget cuts ect.
    It’s this problem that hurts us more than anything.
    Each time one of these people who get their hands on a weapon and use it for bad we get blamed for it along with bad people who use them as well.
    We can send all this tax money overseas so those people can get help but not our own people.
    There is a lot of work to be done by all of us if we are to keep our arms!

  • Patrick McWilliams June 2, 2017, 4:56 pm

    According to “The Gun That Made The Twenties Roar”, Colt manufactured 15,000 Thompson Submachine Guns in 1921. Auto-Ordnance still had 7500 (half of them) in its warehouse at the start of WWII. Of the 7500 in circulation, the first 500 went to the Irish Republican Army. Which leaves 7000. A certain number were exported to other countries in addition to Ireland. The US Marine Corps obtained some for guarding the US Mail and for fighting insurrections in Nicaragua. Every small town visited by the Dillinger or Barrow gangs bought at least one. This leaves a mere handful for “home protection”. Despite the sensational looking ad showing a cowboy mowing down a gang of cattle rustlers from the porch of his hacienda, the Thompson was actually a rather scarce weapon in the Roaring Twenties, with publicity far out of proportion to its numbers. Because of the negative publicity, heightened by Hollywood, Auto-Ordnance did make some efforts to restrict the purchase of these weapons to law enforcement and other legitimate users. I don’t think they were ever commonly available on the racks at hardware stores or the Sears, Roebuck Catalog.

  • A.D. Roberts June 2, 2017, 12:50 pm

    Just eliminate the BATFE. They are abusing their power They really are not doing anything that LEOs cannot do. And they seem to be more focused on preventing the Second amendment than anything else.

    • Michael Tuck June 3, 2017, 6:27 am

      Amen Brother. IMO Eliminate the ATF,DHS and empower More Local County Sheriffs. THEY know a Lot more of whats going on . Meld better communication with the FBI and all will be better cheaper.

  • Rick o June 2, 2017, 11:29 am

    Glad to see someone finally steped up to the plate. Its not the legit people with guns you have to worrie about. Its the illegal immigrants and felons that get all there stuff off black market. My kid is been shooting since age 5. He 9 now and has a grasp on this. All the uneducated people buying big guns that shouldnt even own a b.b gun are the ones giving us avid shooters a bad name that cause the bureaucrats to impose bills to abolish the Second Amendment. Right to bare arms meens just that. Not to own this fill out application send us $200.00 7 months later now its yours. In the 1920’s you could go to a hardwear store and buy a full auto thompson .45 for home protection. This is 2017……COME ON read the constitution bureaucrats let us Americans live life Land of the Free

  • GRA June 2, 2017, 10:41 am

    While we still have a long. long way to go at least we may have a little light at the end of the tunnel. While not as good as it could be and/or should be, at least somebody is doing something.

  • kent and brenda jardine June 2, 2017, 10:39 am

    We both totally agree.

  • Larry June 2, 2017, 10:31 am

    It’s a shame that the ATF has become such an enemy of the US Constitution &, therefore, freedom!

    • Jason Blankovich June 2, 2017, 12:10 pm

      Bureaucracies are always looking to extend their authority in any way that makes them look more critical or needed. The bureaucracy doesn’t care about things like overriding laws/frameworks like our Constitution and they don’t care what the little people of America think either. The BATF and all other agencies of the US Federal government are fiefdoms whose power and authority are all that matters.

  • Russ June 2, 2017, 10:14 am

    Thank you Sir.

  • joe June 2, 2017, 8:35 am

    Unfortunately, this is a watered-down version of Ron Paul’s Second Amendment Protection Act. It’s a step in the right direction, but doesn’t go nearly far enough.

  • Chris June 2, 2017, 7:08 am

    Hear, hear!

  • Blaine Clipperton June 2, 2017, 6:57 am

    One good thing rob bishop has done….lol

  • Altoid June 2, 2017, 6:52 am

    We need to work to re-elect congress people such as this.

    • Mike June 2, 2017, 7:27 am

      Amen to that!
      I live in CT, and I can’t wait to repeal and replace Gov Malloy. He has messed up this state. Look at all our legacy gun companies that once prospered here, most have picked up and moved or gone into bankruptcy.
      CT is in financial trouble….

      • Larry June 2, 2017, 10:33 am

        The election of leftist, anti Constitutionalists, always has the same result which is economic disaster & less freedom for the citizens. Elections have consequences. Elect Constitutional Conservatives for freedom & prosperity.

    • michael woosley June 2, 2017, 7:41 am

      the demonrats would have everyone believing every gun was a full auto weapon shooting 1000’s of rounds a minute. common sense is what is needed in DC not the left moron’s that know absolutely nothing about firearms, only that there black and evil looking. i love teaching my grandchildren gun safety and training them on the use and cleaning of the many different firearms that i own. each one has a specific gun they like so when i no longer am around it is in my trust that each will inherit several of my collection of firearms along with ammo. This is my right to do this and their right as my family to inherit my lifelong collection of firearms of which there are many mostly rifles and shotguns but several revolvers that i have owned for many years. one gun in particular is a pearl handle .32 cal COLT that my grandfather carried as a backup while serving as a US Marshall in the 1920’s and 30’s along with his badge. they will draw to see who gets this once in a lifetime gift. i may just give it to my oldest grandson instead because of his love and knowledge about his great comes with a shoulder holster and about 100 rounds of original ammo, that will never be fired or even tested. my grandfather also carried a 1911 colt .45 that i remember as a kid. I’m 70 and have no idea what ever happened to this particular pistol. it may have been Gov, issued and has iven back when my grandfater died in 1960

  • Jesse james June 2, 2017, 6:34 am

    At last someone in congress gets it well done sir and america thanks you

  • Gunslinger78 June 2, 2017, 6:29 am

    Hate to say that additional gun legislation is needed, but this is just want the gun owners of MA needed last summer. when the AG “reclassified” sporting rifles she overnight changed a 20 year old law. Can’t buy ARs anymore. Even in post ban configuration.

  • Dave June 2, 2017, 5:42 am

    Agencies, including many that didn’t even exist all that long ago, have taken it upon themselves to act as legislators and judges, becoming a shadow government of sorts, acting at the behest of whichever politician they choose to follow at the time. High time to defang them and strictly limit their roles or get rid of them altogether. There are too many law-enforcement agencies tripping over and competing with each other already.

  • Franks62 June 2, 2017, 4:46 am

    Bill seeks to restrict the power of a leaderless, rudderless, bloated, redundant, Byzantine-esque, bureaucratic waste of an agency. Bill is D.O.A just like the hearing protection amd national carry bills. I hope that no one applauds this pointless showboating but given how brainless most of the gun press is I’m sure there’s a standing ovation about to happen soon.

    • Dr Motown June 2, 2017, 8:03 am

      WOW! Nothing like acrimony towards your fellow gun brothers. The “brainless gun press” needs to report on a wide variety of topics of interest to gun owners, including legislation. If we don’t know what’s being proposed, we can’t undertake the necessary evils, like lobbying, phone calls, letter writing campaigns, etc. You’re not the only one smart enough to understand that the “standing ovation” doesn’t happen until the President’s ink is dry. Yes, BATFE may be a “bureaucratic waste,” but it’s unlikely to go away soon, so we try to defang as much of it as possible. Would you prefer an armed insurrection and civil war instead?

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