Gun industry sounds off on House gun ban, ATF chief, and more

It’s a busy time for the firearms industry at the moment, and I’m pleased that National Shooting Sports Foundation senior vice president and general counsel Larry Keane could spend a some quality time with Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co today to hit on a number of different topics ranging from the House Democrats’ push for an “assault weapons” ban to the new installation of anti-gun politician and former U.S. Attorney Steve Dettelbach as director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

I’ll encourage you right up front to check out the entire conversation with Keane and myself in the video window above, but here are some Axios-style bullet points from today’s discussion.

  • On the Democrats’ proposed ban on “assault weapons” (and magazines holding more than 15 rounds) approved by the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday – “We’ll see next week if they have the votes to move forward. I think it will be very, very close one way or the other. There are a very large number of Democrats sponsoring this bill, but whether they’ll continue to sponsor it or support it if it moves to the floor… we’ll see. There are a couple of Democrats on the bubble, and there are several Democrats in very competitive races who are reported to be very upset with Speaker Pelosi for pushing this issue when they’re in competitive races and they’re concerned that it will hurt their chances at re-election.”
  • On Steve Dettelbach taking over as ATF director – “When you have the president who calls the industry the ‘enemy’, when you have this ‘zero tolerance policy’ and you have (FFL license) revocations up 500% and the basis for those revocations have nothing to do with any risk to public safety, when you have closed inspections being re-opened after being closed for six months and then seeking to revoke six months later after saying [the violations] didn’t rise to that level, it’s very very troubling. So we’re really considered about this approach by the administration; instead of going after trigger-pullers and the bad people (and there are a lot of people who need to be locked up) going after law-abiding citizens and showing up unannounced at their doorstep and trying to coerce them into letting them into their house with no warrant, that’s troubling.
  • On the gun control lobby’s attempt to sue gun makers based on claims of deceptive marketing, including California’s new law banning marketing materials supposedly aimed at minors – “Look, this law in California is obviously unconstitutional. It obviously violates the First Amendment right to speech, the right to freedom of association, and it violates the Due Process clause because it says you know, ‘what’s attractive to a minor’; a vague and subjective standard. I feel like I’ve gone back in Mr. Peabody’s Wayback Machine to the 1990s because we’re hearing all the same arguments from the same gun control groups trying to file lawsuits against the industry. You know, the House Judiciary Committee also last night passed a bill to repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act and to repeal the Tiahrt Amendment that prevents the disclosure of law enforcement-sensitive trace information outside of law enforcement because it puts law enforcement at risk…. they’re filing these complaints with the Federal Trade Commission… they have disdain for the Second Amendment, and they’re entitled to their opinion, but they’re not entitled to suppress the First Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens, law-abiding companies to be able to advertise their products.”

There’s plenty more discussion in the video window above, including Keane’s explanation as to why the NSSF and many individual firearms manufacturers are opposed to the RETURN our Constitutional Rights Act sponsored by Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-GA), which would eliminate the 11% excise tax on firearms and ammunition that helps fund wildlife restoration, hunter safety, and public ranges. Be sure to check out the entire conversation with Larry Keane and stay tuned, because the NSSF is going to be quite active in the months ahead taking on the gun control lobby’s attempt to legislate, regulate, and litigate it out of existence.

Aug 18, 2022 5:30 PM ET