Folks, this one is huge, much bigger than the following press release from the NRA-ILA can really convey:

The National Rifle Association today announced support for H.R. 2710, federal legislation aimed at limiting the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) from using executive overreach to undermine the Second Amendment. H.R. 2710 was introduced by United States Representative Rob Bishop (UT-1).

“This important legislation would prevent arbitrary ammunition bans like the one attempted earlier this year by the Obama Administration,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action. “With the support of America’s law-abiding gun owners, the NRA was able to beat back Obama’s attempt to ban ammunition used by millions of law-abiding Americans every day for target shooting, hunting, and self-defense. This legislation would fix the law to protect us from similar government overreach in the future.”

H.R. 2710, which is commonly referred to as the “Lawful Purpose in Self Defense Act,” would:

  • eliminate ATF’s authority to reclassify popular rifle ammunition as “armor piercing ammunition”;
  • provide for the lawful importation of any non-National Firearms Act firearm or ammunition that may otherwise be lawfully possessed and sold within the United States;
  • protect shotguns, shotgun shells, and larger caliber rifles from arbitrary classification as “destructive devices” which under federal law subjects them to onerous registration and taxation provisions 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.”

“On behalf of the NRA’s five-million members, I want to thank Representative Bishop for his leadership in protecting our Second Amendment rights,” added Cox. “Rob Bishop understands this is about freedom and protecting us from government overreach and intrusion.”

H.R. 2710 “The Lawful Purpose In Self Defense Act,” (PDF) will strip the ATF’s ability to arbitrarily classify reclassify rifle ammunition as “armor-piercing,” bringing federal regulations back in line with intention of the Law Enforcement Officers Protection Act (LEOPA), which never meant to give the ATF the power to threaten rifle ammo. This would seem to remove bans on importing/producing:

  • 7.62×39 M43 steel core ammunition made/stockpiled worldwide, including Chinese ammunition that has been banned by the ATF for years (ironically M43, while a great plinking round for target shooters, is too stable for military use and “ice-picked” through with minimal wounding capability).
  • 5.45×39 7NS ammunition (more modern 5.45×39 military surplus).
  • M855/SS109 ammunition so popular with American target shooters and plinkers (also incredibly stable, with lowered wound-causing potential compared to almost any other kind of 5.56 ammunition).
  • Protects novelty shotshells, such as Dragon’s Breath.
  • Shotguns arbitrarily classified “destructive devices” such as the Striker 12, USAS-12, and some AK-based shotgun configurations.
  • large caliber rifles, such as obsolete but still very collectible anti-tank rifles of World War I and World War II.

This bill should gain rapid support in the House, and I’ll be very surprised if a companion Senate bill isn’t just around the corner.

The most immediate and wide-ranging impact of H.R. 2710 is that it will re-open and protect the foreign military surplus ammunition market that anti-gun Democrats have been attempting to choke off for the past 30 years.

Probably the next most significant impact is that it will allow manufacturers of shotguns to import tactical shotguns in a “ready to go” format, instead of with absurd cosmetic limitation on magazine tube sizes, stock shapes, etc that are quickly converted by end users once these firearms arrive in the United States. No more adding aftermarket”+2″ or “+3” magazine tube extensions, folks! Unless, of course, you really want to…

The market for truly large caliber (beyond .50 BMG) rifles is relatively small, but there is significant collector interest, and a small market of shooters who really like luanching massive bullets such as the 14.5×114 mm or the 20mm Vulcan.

This bill gets rid of the absurd “sporting purposes” language that has plagued American gun owners for two generations, and recognizes that the true purpose of the Second Amendment is armed self-defense, not plinking at can or hunting.

We applaud Representative Rob Bishop (UT-1) for sponsoring this important bill and hope that you encourage your congressional representatives to sign on as well.