For the past two weeks, we have investigated bills that please gun control advocates and frustrate gun owners. This week, we outline four little-known bills in the House of Representatives that gun rights activists will appreciate.
H.R. 126: Fairness in Firearm Testing Act
Sponsor: Rep. John Phillip “Phil” Gingrey (R.-Ga), co-sponsored by 22 others, including presidential candidates Rep. Michele M. Bachmann (R.-Minn.) and Rep. Ronald E. Paul (R.-Texas)
Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security on Jan. 24.
This bill requires the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to videotape every firearm or ammunitions test. The information must then be released to the owner of the firearm or the defendant in any related court case.
If the BATFE fails to videotape any test, that test cannot be presented as evidence in a court case. The bureau may not edit or erase any part of the video tape.
H.R. 645: To restore Second Amendment rights in the District of Columbia.
Sponsor: Rep. Michael D. “Mike” Ross (D.-Ark.), co-sponsored by 162 others
Status: Referred to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on Feb. 10.
This bill repeals the DC gun ban, authorizes ammunition sales and authorizes citizens to own and carry handguns and semiautomatics on any private property for any recreational, educational, training, or any other lawful purposes.
Under this legislation, the federal government could only prevent DC gun owners from carrying sawed-off shotguns, machine guns, and shortened rifles. In public areas, gun owners could only transport their guns unloaded, or in a closed container.
H.R. 615: Collectible Firearms Protection Act
Sponsor: Rep. Cynthia M. Lummis (R.-Wyo.), co-sponsored by 124 others
Status: Referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Committee on Ways and Means, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned, on Feb. 10.
Licensed importers could bring into the United States any firearms considered collectibles, curios, or relics, were this bill to become law, without the permission of the Department of Defense.
Lummis said that Congress has the power to enact this bill to amend the Arms Control Act based on Clause 2, Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution: the power to borrow money on behalf of the United States. The last co-sponsor to join this bill, Rep. Christopher “Chris” P. Gibson (R.-N.Y.), joined Oct. 4.
H.R. 1443: Outdoor Sports Protection Act
Sponsor: Rep. Paul Braun (R.-Ga.), co-sponsored by 10 others
Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Conservation, Energy, and Forestry on May 11,
Geared more towards sportsmen than strictly second amendment proponents, this bill would protect the use of traditional hunting and fishing implements and prevent unnecessary and unwarranted restrictions on the implements used by the hunting and fishing communities, according to the bill’s language.
According to the preamble of the bill:”Millions of Americans of all ages enjoy recreational fishing, sport shooting, and hunting.”
Additionally, the sponsors said they wish to build on fact that gun owners and other sportsmen provide primary funding for conservation.
This bill would stop Environmental Protection Agency from restricting firearms or other sports equipment sales based on material content. If the EPA would like to regulate equipment, it must report its scientific findings to Congress proving conclusively that the equipment in question harms the environment.
Notably, Ross sponsored or co-sponsored nearly all of these bills, as did Rep. Donald E. “Don” Yong (R.-Alaska), and Braun additionally sponsored the Vermont-friendly version of the reciprocity bill. The non-Vermont-friendly version of the reciprocity bill has already begun subcommittee hearings.
These bills must all pass their respective subcommittees, then full committee, before making it to the floor and becoming law.