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
Jan 152015
 

A firearm magazine is an ammunition storage and feeding device within or attached to a repeating firearm. The term “high capacity” magazine is often used to describe magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds. These include the box, drum, rotary and horizontal magazines. Many gun safety advocates claim there is no legitimate reason for these devices since they are rarely needed for hunting or target shooting. They wish to prohibit these devices -which are often used by mass-shooters. They claim the number of bullets these killers can fire before needing to reload can determine the degree of carnage that results from the assault. Opponents are not so sure reducing the size of magazines would reduce causalities. They claim several recent mass-shooters did not use high capacity magazines -they just brought more guns and magazines along with them. They also say that aside from mass shootings, most homicides are committed using far fewer than 10 rounds. For this reason, they claim a high capacity magazine ban would not have a measurable effect on our murder rate.

Pending Legislations:

S.691 – High-Capacity Ammunition Magazine Ban of 2013

H.R.138: Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device Act

I oppose reforming current high capacity magazine policy and wish to defeat S.691 & H.R.138

I support prohibiting the importation, sale, manufacture, transfer, or possession, in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, of a large capacity ammunition feeding device. Defines a “large capacity ammunition feeding device” to: mean a magazine, belt, drum, feed strip, or similar device that has an overall capacity of, or that can be readily changed to accept, more than 10 rounds of ammunition; and exclude an attached tubular device designed to accept, and capable of operating only with, .22 caliber rimfire ammunition, and wish to pass S.691 & H.R.138

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015
 

The transfer of firearms across state lines negates the efforts of officials attempting to keep guns out of their state and cities. Most of these guns have been stolen or straw purchased. Advocates say interstate trafficking flourishes because states regulate firearm sales differently and there is no federal limitation on the number of guns a person may purchase at one time. At least half a million firearms are stolen each year and more than half of these stolen guns are handguns, many of which are then sold illegally. Our ATF found that 1% of federally licensed firearms dealers were responsible for selling nearly 60% of the guns that are found at crime scenes and traced to dealers. Gun safety advocates say that gun traffickers, for their own selfish gain, provide deadly weapons to criminals at the expense of law-abiding citizens. They say this serious crime is largely responsible for the violence in many of our cities.

Pending Legislations:

S.179 & H.R.452 – Gun Trafficking Prevention Act of 2013

I oppose reforming current interstate firearm transportation policy and wish to defeat S.179 & H.R.452

I support prohibiting transferring two or more firearms to, or receiving two or more firearms from, a person in interstate or foreign commerce knowing or with the reasonable belief that such transfer, possession, or receipt of a firearm would violate a federal, state, or local law punishable by a prison term of more than one year; making false statements regarding an actual buyer to a licensed firearm importer, dealer, or manufacturer relating to the purchase, receipt, or acquisition of two or more firearms that have moved in or affected interstate or foreign commerce; directing, promoting, or facilitating such conduct; or conspiring to commit such conduct; authorizes an enhanced penalty for someone who organizes or supervises such conduct, and wish to pass S.179 & H.R.452

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015
 

Gun violence, or crimes committed with the use of a firearm, includes shootings that result in homicide, unintentional injury, or death from the misuse of a firearm. These numbers may also include self-inflicted gunshot wounds, which account for two-thirds of all gun-related deaths. Suicides have risen since 2006, possibly as a result of stress from our Great Recession. Our veterans also have an unacceptable rate of suicide. However, gun murders have been steadily decreasing for several years. Gun violence statistics do not include self-defense and law enforcement shootings, or the misuse of firearms in sport, hunting and target practice. Of our 310 million civilian firearms, 114 million of these are handguns, 110 million are rifles and 86 million are shotguns. In 2010, rifles were used in about 360 murders while handguns were used in about 6,000. Another 2,000 murders were committed with an unreported firearm type. Gun violence statistics show there were about 20,000 firearm-related suicides and 11,000 firearm-related homicides in 2010. Besides statistics, there is little research which details the causes, circumstances, or effects of gun violence in our society.

Pending Legislation:

H.R.2465 – To require the Surgeon General of the Public Health Service to submit to Congress an annual report on the effects of gun violence on public health

I oppose reforming current gun violence policy and wish to defeat H.R.2465

I support that no later than one year after the date of the enactment of this Act, and annually thereafter, the Surgeon General of the Public Health Service shall submit to Congress a report on the effects on public health of gun violence in the United States during the relevant period, and the status of actions taken to address such effects, and wish to pass H.R.2465

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015
 

A straw purchase of a firearm occurs when an individual legally buys a gun and then gives it to another person who is prohibited from owning firearms. This is usually a federal crime. However, if a firearm is purchased as a gift, it is not considered a straw purchase and the buyer is regarded as the end user. A weapon purchased for another person, but not purchased from a gun dealer, is also legal unless the gun is used in a crime with the prior knowledge of the provider of the firearm. Surveys have shown that people attempt to illegally buy guns from dealers at least 35,000 times each year. Some of these illegal buyers convince gun dealers to keep transactions off the books. Some of these buyers also use stand-ins such girlfriends or wives to avoid background checks. Gun control advocates say the primary sources for criminals to get weapons are theft from private homes and straw purchases.

Pending Legislation:

H.R.404 – Straw Purchaser Penalty Enhancement Act

I oppose increasing penalties for firearm straw purchases and wish to defeat H.R.404

I support providing an additional sentence of two years imprisonment for violating the prohibitions against making false statements or misrepresenting identification regarding the acquisition of a firearm or ammunition knowing that the violation will further the transfer of two or more firearms to a person prohibited by law from shipping, transporting, possessing, or receiving a firearm; or with the intent to conceal such person’s identity from the transferor; prohibits the court from placing any person convicted of such violation on probation; prohibits a term of imprisonment imposed under this Act from running concurrently with a term imposed on the person under any other legal provision; directs the Attorney General to issue regulations requiring any form required to be completed by the purchaser of a firearm from a licensed firearms dealer to include a notice of the provisions of this Act, and wish to pass H.R.404

 Posted by at 12:00 am