Jan 152015
 

Gun buyback programs purchase privately-owned firearms to make homes safe from gun accidents and reduce the chance these weapons could be stolen in burglaries or otherwise lost. These programs are operated by both police and private parties. Recent studies show our nation has by far the largest number of legally owned firearms in the world. At 310 million guns, we are very near the point where there is one gun for every American. At least 100 people including 10 children are killed with firearms each day. Guns are used to kill more than 90% of all police officers murdered in the line of duty. Over $4 billion is spent each year on gun-related medical costs. Supporters claim gun buyback programs are successful in reducing the number of these tragedies. However, recent studies have questioned whether gun buyback programs are effective in lowering the number of guns in the communities they serve. Some studies have found there are just too many weapons in circulation for a difference to be made by removing a few. Undeterred, gun buyback supporters say that a life could be spared with “each gun, each bullet” that is removed from circulation.

Pending Legislation:

H.R.227 – Buyback Our Safety Act

I oppose reforming current gun buyback programs policy and wish to defeat H.R.227

I support making grants to assist in funding gun buyback programs carried out by state, local, and Indian tribal law enforcement agencies which will adequately advertise the program to the public, such program will be administered by law enforcement personnel, all guns received will remain in the possession of law enforcement personnel, adequate safeguards will be established and followed to prevent fraud, the agency will have in place a process to test on site a gun purchased before payment is provided, and an adequate process will be in place to destroy all guns received; directs the Assistant Attorney General to enter into an arrangement with the National Academy of Sciences to: develop standards for identifying guns that are the most likely to be used in violent crimes; and establishing a pricing scale for purchasing such guns through gun buyback programs; authorizes the Assistant Attorney General to waive all or part of the matching funds requirement for a program that provides for obtaining only such guns, and wish to pass H.R.227

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015
 

The Undetectable Firearms Act of 1988 makes it illegal to manufacture, import, sell, ship, deliver, possess, transfer or receive any firearm that is not detectable by walk-through metal detectors or airport x-ray machines. At the time this law was passed, concern was focused on the damage hijackers could do should they smuggle a ceramic weapon onboard an aircraft. However, with the advent of 3-dimensional printing technology, nearly undetectable plastic weapons can be constructed at home. The absence of a serial number or sales record makes these home-made firearms practically untraceable. Although not yet reliable, these guns could still pose a danger to air travel. Metal 3D printing, using aluminum and titanium powder rather than plastic, is the next goal in developing this new manufacturing technology. Advocates say that 3D printing has the potential to render many gun laws obsolete, not to mention many gun manufacturers.

Pending Legislation:

S.1149 – Undetectable Firearms Modernization Act

I oppose reforming current undetectable firearms policy and wish to defeat S.1149

I support prohibiting the manufacture, importation, sale, shipment, delivery, possession, transfer, or receipt of any receiver for a rifle or handgun, or of any ammunition magazine, that is manufactured by a person who is not a licensed manufacturer; is not as detectable by walk-through metal detectors; or does not generate an image that accurately depicts the shape of a receiver or an ammunition magazine when subjected to inspection by airport x-ray machines, and wish to pass S.1149

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015
 

A gun show is a temporary exhibition where firearms, accessories, ammunition, knives and literature are displayed, bought, sold, traded and discussed. Most gun shows are sponsored by hunting or sporting organizations. Except in a few states, background checks and sales transaction records are not required for guns purchased at these events. This situation is often referred to as the “gun show loophole.” In some years there are as many as 5,000 gun shows, flea markets and other organized events occurring around our country. Large shows may accommodate 1,000 dealers and draw up to 15,000 visitors. However, nearly half the time these gun shows are investigated, felons are associated with buying or selling guns. Juveniles purchase at least 10% of the guns they use in crimes at gun shows or flea markets. Studies have shown that representatives of the Irish Republican Army and Hezbollah terrorist organizations have shipped guns purchased at our gun shows to their native countries. Critics claim these events give felons, domestic abusers, the mentally ill and others easy access to firearms. These buyers would not be able to purchase firearms if they had to pass background checks.

Pending Legislation:

S.22 – Gun Show Background Check Act of 2013

I oppose reforming current gun show policy and wish to defeat S.22

I support providing that if any part of a firearm transaction takes place at a gun show, each licensed importer, manufacturer, and dealer who transfers one or more firearms to a person who is not licensed shall, within 10 days after the transfer, submit a report of the transfer to the Attorney General; requiring registration of gun show promoters and to set forth the responsibilities of promoters, licensees, and other transferors; grants the Attorney General authority to enter the place of business of any gun show promoter and any place where a gun show is held, during business hours and without a showing of reasonable cause or a warrant, for purposes of examining records and the inventory of licensees conducting business to determine compliance with this Act; increases penalties for serious record-keeping violations by licensees, and violations of criminal background check requirements, and wish to pass S.22

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015
 

The Undetectable Firearms Act of 1988 makes it illegal to manufacture, import, sell, ship, deliver, possess, transfer or receive any firearm that is not detectable by walk-through metal detectors or airport x-ray machines. At the time this law was passed, concern was focused on the damage hijackers could do should they smuggle a ceramic weapon onboard an aircraft. However, with the advent of 3-dimensional printing technology, nearly undetectable plastic weapons can be constructed at home. The absence of a serial number or sales record makes these home-made firearms practically untraceable. Although not yet reliable, these guns could still pose a danger to air travel. Metal 3D printing, using aluminum and titanium powder rather than plastic, is the next goal in developing this new manufacturing technology. Advocates say that 3D printing has the potential to render many gun laws obsolete, not to mention many gun manufacturers.

Pending Legislation:

S.1149 – Undetectable Firearms Modernization Act

I oppose reforming current undetectable firearms policy and wish to defeat S.1149

I support prohibiting the manufacture, importation, sale, shipment, delivery, possession, transfer, or receipt of any receiver for a rifle or handgun, or of any ammunition magazine, that is manufactured by a person who is not a licensed manufacturer; is not as detectable by walk-through metal detectors; or does not generate an image that accurately depicts the shape of a receiver or an ammunition magazine when subjected to inspection by airport x-ray machines, and wish to pass S.1149

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015
 

Many people believe the number of tragic youth shootings and suicides in our nation could be significantly reduced by making guns less accessible to children. Each year, about 1,500 American children under 18 are killed and thousands more injured in accidental shootings. About a third of all families with children now keep a gun in the house. Gun safety advocates warn us that guns should be kept unloaded and stored in safes or securely locked away at home. Many parents believe their children are unaware of where they keep their guns. However, studies have shown that most children over 11 know where their parents store their guns and ammunition. We often hear of small children tragically shooting themselves or their siblings with family-owned guns. In Kansas, a seven-year-old boy fatally shot himself in the head with his father’s handgun during a shooting trip. A six-year-old Florida girl was critically wounded after being shot by her 13-year-old brother while they were home alone. A three-year-old toddler in Arizona fatally shot himself in the face with a gun he had found in his grandmother’s handbag. Safety advocates say gun manufacturers should provide storage and lock devices when selling a firearm. Technology has now made available personalized firearm locks to prevent unauthorized use. These locks, built into the weapon, include push-button combination locks and locks that identify fingerprints, voice or a bracelet worn by the weapon’s owner. One manufacturer offers guns equipped with this type of lock but when a dealer attempted to market it, second amendment supporters quickly convinced him not to.

Pending Legislation:

H.R.65 – Child Gun Safety and Gun Access Prevention Act of 2013

I oppose reforming current child access to guns policy and wish to defeat H.R.65

I support raising the handgun eligibility age to 21 and prohibiting those under 21 from possessing semiautomatic assault weapons or large capacity ammunition feeding devices; increasing penalties for a second violation by a juvenile for an act that, if committed by an adult, would be a serious violent felony; prohibits any licensed importer, manufacturer, or dealer from transferring a firearm to any consumer unless the transferee is provided with a secure gun storage or safety device; prohibits keeping a loaded firearm or an unloaded firearm and ammunition within any premises knowing or recklessly disregarding the risk that a child is capable of gaining access to it, and wish to pass H.R.65

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015
 

The ATF’s National Trace Center (NTC) is our nation’s only firearms tracing facility. It provides gun ownership and trafficking information to law enforcement agencies and tracks the intrastate and international movement of firearms. The 2004 “Tiahrt Amendments” is a law that drastically limits the ability of ATF and other law-enforcement agencies to use and disseminate trace data. Trace data is used to link guns found at crime scenes to manufacturers, dealers that originally sold the weapon and the identity of the weapon’s owner. Tiahrt barred ATF from disclosing any trace data to the public, shielded trace data from subpoena in civil actions and prohibited this data from being admissible as evidence in legal proceedings. Gun safety advocates say this information is basic to analyzing gun crime data and trends. They say it could help police departments track down sellers of illegal guns and reduce crime. Gun group advocates say that repealing the Tiahrt Amendment would lead to a rash of lawsuits against gun dealers.

Pending Legislation:

H.R.431 – Gun Transparency and Accountability (Gun TRAC) Act of 2013

I oppose reforming current firearms reporting policy and wish to defeat H.R.431

I support declaring that the contents of the Firearms Trace System database maintained by the National Trace Center shall not be immune from legal process, shall be subject to subpoena or other discovery, shall be admissible as evidence, and may be used, relied on, or disclosed on the same basis as other information in a civil action in any state or federal court or in an administrative proceeding; amending the federal criminal code to prohibit national instant criminal background check system records from being destroyed until after 90 days after the system assigns and provides a firearms licensee with a unique identification number for the transfer, set forth penalties for the willful violation of an inventory reporting order by a firearms licensee, and prohibiting, and wish to pass H.R.431

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015
 

Most people think it’s a good idea to keep guns and ammunition out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill. The National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) is a point-of-sale system for determining eligibility to purchase a firearm. Licensed gun dealers are required to use the NICS to determine if a buyer can legally purchase a gun. Federal law prohibits convicted felons, the mentally ill and dangerous persons from possessing both guns and ammunition. However, this law is not enforced for ammunition sales and these purchasers are not asked to pass background checks. Sellers of ammunition are unlicensed and are not required to keep sales records -as is required of gun dealers. Similarly, ammunition purchased online can be shipped directly to the purchaser. Safety advocates say we need to screen ammunition purchases for the same reasons we do for gun purchases. Gun advocates oppose any kind of background check that leads to a registration database which they claim could lead to gun confiscation.

Pending Legislation:

S.174 – Ammunition Background Check Act of 2013

I oppose reforming current ammunition background check policy and wish to defeat S.174

I support prohibiting a licensed firearms dealer from transferring ammunition to any other person who is not licensed unless: the licensee contacts the national instant criminal background check system, the system has provided the licensee with a unique identification number or three business days have elapsed and the system has not notified the licensee that receipt of a firearm by such person is prohibited, and the licensee has verified the transferee’s identity by examining a valid identification document containing a photograph of the transferee, and wish to pass S.174

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015
 

By law, all manufacturers must make their products as safe as possible. This is especially true if their products are likely to come into contact with children. However, our gun industry may be the only exception to this rule. In 2005, we passed the ‘Protection of Lawful commerce In Arms Act’ which gave our gun industry immunity from negligence and product liability claims. Critics say we need to hold gun makers to the same standards as other industries, making them responsible for bad practices and negligence. This negligence includes repeated customer complaints about a popular pump-action shotgun which has been accused for many years of inadvertently discharging -despite having the safety on. This condition has been responsible for injuring and killing several people. While publicly blaming these “accidents” on the operators, this manufacturer reportedly duplicated the problem in its own tests and identified a simple solution to correct it years ago -but still has not implemented this solution. Advocates say this delay would not have occurred if the manufacturer had been held responsible for allowing such a dangerous situation to continue. Gun industry critics say that for many years these companies have made their firearms more powerful, able to shoot faster, carry more ammunition and easier to conceal. They say gun makers should also have been improving their product’s safety and limiting those who have access to them. They claim gun manufacturers have the ability to make guns safer but having amnesty from lawsuits gives them little motivation to do so. Critics also accuse the gun industry of deliberately distributing firearms in a way that gives criminals and juveniles easy access to guns. They claim the treat of lawsuits is the only way to compel this industry into behaving more responsibly.

Pending Legislation:

H.R.332: Equal Access to Justice for Victims of Gun Violence Act

I oppose reforming current gun manufacturer liability policy and wish to defeat H.R.332

I support prohibiting a court from dismissing an action against a manufacturer, seller, or trade association for damages or relief resulting from an alleged defect or negligence with respect to a product, or conduct that would be actionable under state common or statutory law in the absence of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, on the basis that the action is for damages or relief from the criminal, unlawful, or volitional use of a qualified product, and wish to pass H.R.332

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015
 

Federal law defines armor-piercing (AP) ammunition as any handgun ammunition that is capable of penetrating soft body armor. It has been illegal to manufacture, import or sell this type of ammunition for use by ordinary citizens for many years. This law has mostly been applied to small-caliber AP ammunition made specifically for handguns. However, nearly all rifle ammunition is also capable of penetrating soft body armor even if it is not technically classified as armor piercing. Weapons manufacturers are now making handguns that use rifle ammunition. The .223 caliber, used in many of our “assault” style weapons such as the M-16 is an example of this type of dual-use ammunition. Police departments are worried these handguns will endanger the lives of their officers. They say that defeating body armor is the primary purpose of these weapons since handguns are incapable of accurately shooting the distance of a rifle. They also say that it has been 27 years since Congress passed a bill to protect our men in blue from “cop-killer” ammunition. Others say that since body armor is readily available to all, civilians need these weapons for self defense. Some are also concerned that prohibiting handguns that use rifle ammunition could lead to restrictions on rifle ammunition itself.

Pending Legislation:

H.R.2566 – To modify the definition of armor piercing ammunition to better capture its capabilities

I oppose reforming current armor piercing ammunition policy and wish to defeat H.R.2566

I support expanding the definition of armor piercing ammunition to include rifle ammunition used in handguns, and wish to pass H.R.2566

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015
 

A Federal Firearms License (FFL) allows a person or company to manufacture, import and sell firearms. These gun dealers are required to keep records of all firearm sales and transfers for the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco & Firearms (ATF). The ATF is allowed to inspect or request a copy of these records during the course of a criminal investigation. Gun dealers must also report the sale of two or more handguns to a person within five business days. It is known that a substantial number of these FFLs dealers engage in illegal gun sales or allow their guns to be stolen. Between 2008 and 2010 our ATF found that over 62,000 firearms were missing from licensee inventories with no record of sale. Between 2009 and 2011, it also identified over 16,000 firearms that had disappeared from the inventories of gun manufacturers without explanation. Licensed gun dealers are the original providers of all guns used in crime -with the exception of stolen guns or those straw purchased. In the mid 1990’s, ATF gun dealer reforms reduced the number of unethical weapons dealers in business. This coincided with a dramatic reduction in gun crime. Gun dealers who went out of business because of these federal reforms were found to have supplied about one-third of guns confiscated and traced by law enforcement agencies. This suggests that “leakage” from FFL gun stores significantly contributes to our crime rate.

Pending Legislation:

H.R.236 – Crackdown on Deadbeat Gun Dealers Act of 2013

I oppose reforming current gun dealers policy and wish to defeat H.R.236

I support authorizing the Attorney General to inspect or examine the inventory and records of a licensed importer, manufacturer, or dealer of firearms to ensure compliance with recordkeeping requirements not more that three times a year (currently, not more than once a year) without reasonable cause and a warrant; authorizes the ATF to hire at least 50 additional personnel to carry out the additional inspections; increases to 5 years the term of imprisonment for knowingly making a false statement or representation in required firearms records; authorizes up to 10 years imprisonment for providing false statements or identification related to the sale or other disposition of a firearm or ammunition, or selling or otherwise disposing of any firearm or ammunition to any person knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that such person is prohibited from possessing a firearm, and wish to pass H.R.236

 Posted by at 12:00 am