We’ve got a wide-ranging and beefy conversation with the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s senior vice president and general counsel Larry Keane on today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co, covering everything from the Biden administration’s new sanctions on Russian arms and ammo to the next steps in the AFT’s attempt to redefine common gun parts and even the word “firearm” itself, at least as it’s defined by the Gun Control Act of 1968.
I’d encourage you to check out the entire interview with Keane in the video window above, but here are a few bullet points (no pun intended) from today’s discussion.
- The administration’s new sanctions on imported firearms and ammunition from Russia isn’t expected to have an immediate impact on gun owners here in the United States. Keane says that the industry had been hearing rumors that some sort of sanctions might be imposed on importations, so many of ammo distributors had already been moving to have permits (which are generally good for two years) approved before the official announcement was released by the State Department on Friday.
- The sanctions only apply to new permits or those not approved by the time the sanctions go into effect on September 7th of this year, so existing contracts and ammunition imports should continue without interruption.
- Keane believes that these new sanctions, while aimed at Russia and Vladimir Putin, are another way for the Biden administration to poke at the firearms industry, which, as Keane reminded me, Biden himself called “the enemy” while on the campaign trail in 2019.
- Now that the public comment period has closed for the ATF’s proposed rule on frames and receivers, the agency is going to have to go through the nearly 300,000 comments that were received before it can begin the process of finalizing the rule.
- Keane says it will be “many months” before he anticipates the ATF moving forward with any attempt to implement the rule change, given the large number of comments received.
- There were many substantive arguments raised against the new rule by the firearms industry, including NSSF and the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Institute as well as individual firearms manufacturers and 2A organizations. Many of those objections point out that not only are the proposed rules so vague and arbitrary that they offer no clarity at all, but that the scope of the ATF’s proposal violates federal statutes like the Administrative Procedures Act.
Keane and I also spoke about the latest round of lawsuits filed against the firearms industry seeking to hold them accountable for violent criminal activity, including Mexico’s litigation filed in federal court just a couple of weeks ago. As Keane pointed out, the same day that Mexico filed suit accusing the gun industry of intentionally fueling cartel violence by turning a blind eye to firearms trafficking, the industry was meeting with the State Department to talk about export agreements, which included plenty of discussion about the steps that the industry takes to prevent things like straw purchases. Mexico’s lawsuit makes it seem like the U.S. firearms industry operates with little to no oversight or restrictions, when that’s simply not the case at all.
The entire conversation also includes Keane’s thoughts on New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s departure and the nomination of gun control activist David Chipman as permanent director of the ATF, so do check out the video above when you have 30 minutes or so to spare.