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The 13 Republicans Needed To Pass Gun-Control Legislation

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If President Trump endorses gun-control legislation, it will take 13 Senate Republican votes to pass the measure, assuming the entire 47-member caucus of Democrats and Independents backs it. READ MORE

Ted Cruz
Ted Cruz

SOURCE: The Hill, by Alexander Bolton

Conservatives such as Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) say any proposal that goes as far as the 2013 amendment sponsored by Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) will face a backlash from the right, meaning 60 votes will be necessary to break a filibuster.

The Manchin-Toomey proposal, which is basis of current Senate negotiations, would expand back to include all sales over the Internet and at gun shows but exempt sales between family, friends and coworkers.

Here are the 13 Republicans crucial to passing gun-control legislation:

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.)
Toomey is the lead Republican sponsor of Manchin-Toomey, which was first offered after the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

His amendment was negotiated in 2013 in an attempt to win support from the National Rifle Association, which ended up opposing it.

Toomey was one of four Republicans to vote for the measure, along with Sen. Susan Collins (Maine) and Sens. John McCain (Ariz.) and Mark Kirk (Ill.). McCain and Kirk are no longer in the Senate.

Toomey has spoken to Trump several times since the mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, last month gave new urgency to the issue of gun violence.

“It’s time to act. This is the time to do what we can to help make our communities as safe as we can. There is a bipartisan opportunity to expand background checks to cover all commercial sales. And while there have been many ideas that been floated, this is one that I think has the most resonance, the most saliency and the best chance of becoming law,” Toomey told reporters in his office last week.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)
Graham is chairman of the Judiciary Committee, which has primary jurisdiction over gun control, and is a close ally of Trump.

He voted against Manchin-Toomey in 2013 and 2015 and expressed some ambivalence earlier this past week when asked about expanding background checks.

Graham, however, also told reporters that Trump is interested in expanding background checks and will likely endorse whatever proposal the president puts forth.

He is weighing legislation sponsored by Toomey and Sen. Chris Coons (D-Conn.) to require that law enforcement officials are notified if someone who attempts to purchase a firearm fails a background check.

He also is working with Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) on so-called “red flag” legislation that would provide grants to states to empower law enforcement to confiscate firearms from individuals judged to be dangerous to themselves or others.

Graham faces re-election next year and will be cautious about endorsing any proposal that significantly expands background checks, an idea likely to spark controversy in conservative South Carolina.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine)
Collins in one of only two Republicans currently in the Senate who has backed Manchin-Toomey.

Even if Trump doesn’t back a gun-control measure, Collins might support it.

She faces re-election next year in a state won by Hillary Clinton in 2016 and has come under fire from Democrats for confirming Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah)
Romney told reporters last week that all commercial gun sales should be subject to background checks and expressed willingness to support legislation along the lines of Manchin-Toomey.

“It certainly should be applied to commercial sales and finding a more comprehensive way to make sure that people are in the system that ought to be in the system,” Romney told reporters Monday.

Romney told The Hill last Thursday that he is talking with Manchin and Toomey about possible changes to their legislation to make it easier for people in rural areas to comply with background-check requirements when they buy or sell firearms from individuals who are not licensed gun dealers.

“They’re still working on some of the very detailed elements of it and I have spoken with them in some depth. I’m not looking for changes, I’m looking to see where they land. One of the areas of concern of course is how to make sure any kind of background-check technology would contemplate people in rural areas that live a long way from a licensed dealer that might have access to a background check terminal,” Romney said.

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)
Multiple Republican senators say McConnell is involved in the talks to put together a gun-violence package and has signaled interest in passing legislation as long as it has Trump’s support.

“He would like to get something done,” said a Republican senator involved in the talks.

McConnell told WHAS radio in Kentucky last month: “What we can’t do is fail to pass something.”

“The urgency of this is not lost on any of us,” he said.

A GOP poll last month showed that women voters in key suburban districts rate working to prevent gun violence as their top issue and that 72 percent of suburban women say gun laws should be more strict. McConnell in an interview with reporters in April identified suburban voters as the key to keeping Republican control of the Senate in 2020.

McConnell last month asked three chairmen, Graham, and Senate Health Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Commerce Committee Chairman Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) to explore various legislative proposals to respond to recent mass shootings.

Publicly, McConnell has kept his cards close to the vest, declining to tell reporters what policies he would support before Trump weighs in with his own recommendations.

“I’m going to wait and assess the proposal that actually could become law and at that point I’ll be happy to explain my vote one way or the other,” McConnell told reporters Tuesday.

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.)
Gardner, like Collins, faces a difficult reelection race in a state that voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016.

He wasn’t in the Senate when the chamber first voted on Manchin-Toomey in 2013 but he voted against it in a lower-profile vote in December of 2015, which Democrats forced after a mass shooting in San Bernardino, California.

Gardner this past week declined to say whether he would consider voting for Manchin-Toomey and expressed interest in knowing what changes might be made to the legislation.

“Are they talking about changing it? I haven’t looked at the recent changes,” he said.

Gun-control has had a mixed record in Colorado. Two Democratic state senators were removed from their jobs in recall elections in 2013 after the Democratic-controlled statehouse passed several gun control measures.

Sen. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.)
McSally is another top Democratic target up for re-election in 2020.

Her expected Democratic opponent is Mark Kelly, the former astronaut and prominent gun-control advocate whose wife, former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.) was seriously injured in a mass shooting in 2011.

Kelly, the co-founder along with Giffords of Americans for Responsible Solutions, has been at the forefront of the national debate over gun violence and is expected to make it a major issue in next year’s campaign.

McSally could insulate herself from political attacks if she supports legislation to expand background checks, which has garnered strong support in public polls, especially among suburban women.

McSally this past week declined to comment on whether she would support a variation of Manchin-Toomey or any other gun-control legislation.

“Sorry, I got to go vote,” she said as she raced past reporters to the Senate floor last week.

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.)
Alexander is a moderate Republican and close ally of McConnell.

He is retiring at the end of next year and would be free to vote for legislation to expand background checks or address gun violence in other ways without fear of reprisal from the National Rifle Association.

McConnell has tasked Alexander, the chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, with exploring strategies under his jurisdiction to combat gun violence.

GOP senators say Alexander will focus on legislation to address mental health issues and their contribution to gun violence. Any chance of passing such a bill will rely on attaching it to some expansion of background checks that can win Democratic support.

“Our nation cannot ignore these mass shootings,” Alexander declared in a press release last month. “I am ready to do more, especially on background checks, to identify those who shouldn’t have guns.”

Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.)
Tillis faces a competitive election next year in which suburban voters will be crucial to victory.

Tillis hasn’t ruled out voting for a variation of Manchin-Toomey but, like McConnell, says he will wait for a recommendation from Trump before announcing his position.

Tillis says whatever legislation comes to the floor must have “proper due process for law-abiding citizens.

“Hopefully we can find a way to work to the middle and not necessarily pursue a path that just gets us into a political debate with no outcome,” he recently told reporters.

“I’ve spoken to Sen. Toomey,” he added. “I’m open to anything, again, that we can get bipartisan consensus on and also make sure we’re not overreaching and really beginning to threaten the rights of law-abiding citizens, of which the majority of people who own guns are,” he said.

Tillis said Trump’s support for gun-violence legislation, however, is “critical.”

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas)
McConnell has tapped Cornyn along with the chairmen of the Judiciary, Health and Commerce Committees to explore proposals to include in a gun-violence package.

Cornyn was the lead sponsor of the last significant gun-control measure to be enacted into law, the Fix NICS Act of 2017. That bill implemented penalties for federal agencies failing to report relevant information to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). Trump signed the bill into law last year.

Two recent mass shootings took place in Cornyn’s home state, in El Paso and Odessa, giving him a special stake in the Senate debate.

Cornyn is also up for re-election next year in a state that is trending more Democratic and where suburban voters, who tend to favor stricter gun control, will be crucial to victory.

A University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll last year showed that 54 percent of Texas voters strongly support mental and criminal background checks for all gun sales.

Asked about Manchin-Toomey, Cornyn said: “I’m not adverse to that — to considering, to voting on it but there are a lot of other things I think would be in the mix.”

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio)
Portman represents Dayton, Ohio, where ten people were killed by a gunman on Aug. 4 and has a long track record of working on bipartisan deals.

Portman voted against Manchin-Toomey in 2013 and is keeping abreast of discussions on how to modify that proposal to pick up more GOP support.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.)
Rubio’s home state was the site of one of the nation’s most high-profile mass shootings last year, when a gunman killed 17 people and injured 17 others at Marjory Stoneman High School in Parkland, Florida.

Rubio and fellow Florida senator Rick Scott (R) have come under pressure from the parents of students killed in Parkland to support gun-control legislation.

Rubio hasn’t ruled out voting for a version of Manchin-Toomey but he says legislation to empower police to confiscate firearms from individuals deemed to be dangerous would be a more effective way to prevent future tragedies.

“I just think it would be more effective. If we knew who the people were that were a threat and were able to get to them before they took action, that would be far more effective in preventing the tragedies that have brought us to this point. And I also think it’s a bill that can pass,” he said.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska)
Murkowksi along with Collins is a prominent moderate who has shown she’s not afraid to buck leadership on big votes, such as her vote against the 2017 effort to repeal ObamaCare.

She also demonstrated her independence last year by opposing the nomination of Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Murkowski, however, is keeping her distance from the Senate negotiations on expanded background checks and waiting for the dust to settle.

“I know there have been talks going on, that’s as much as I know,” she told The Hill.

Murkowski also declined last week to comment about whether she would support a revamped version of Manchin-Toomey.

She voted against it in 2013.

A Tale of Two Rallies

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California Democratic Rep. Eric Swallwell takes his battle “to the NRA’s doorstep” to press his points about gun control. Here’s what happened. READ MORE

nra rally

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

The 2020 presidential contest is now underway in earnest. Last Tuesday, President Trump officially kicked off his reelection campaign to a packed house at the 20,000 seat Amway Center in Orlando, FL. Earlier that day, one of the two dozen or so contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination tried to have a rally of his own to draw attention to his signature issue of gun control. The difference between the two events speaks volumes about the role the Second Amendment plays in American politics.

At about 1:30 in the afternoon, Eric Swallwell, a little-known U.S. Congressman from California’s 15th District, held an event on the sidewalk across from NRA Headquarters in Fairfax, VA. Swallwell is polling at a pathetic 1% in his party’s primary race and just barely qualified to attend the first Democrat debate.

The location of the “event” (if that’s not too strong a word) was meant to be symbolic. Speaking to The Hill last week, the candidate boasted: “I’m taking the battle to the NRA’s doorstep with a new, broader package of commonsense reforms to end gun violence.” The Hill article noted that “gun control” is the “centerpiece” of this individual’s “long-shot Democratic presidential bid.” Indeed, at his campaign launch in April, he told his audience that “this issue [i.e., gun control] comes first.”

It can only be assumed, then, that this “confrontation” with the NRA was a key moment in his effort to gain some national attention and raise his profile in a crowded field.

Instead, the gathering was an embarrassingly lame example of either extremely poor planning or rank disinterest in anything the individual had to say. With sun breaking through the clouds, accompanied by typical Northern Virginia heat and humidity, the crowd topped out at 18 individuals during the height of the event. This does not include the individual himself or a small contingent of reporters, but it does include his own staff and others who actually accompanied him to the site.

Adding to the humorous nature of the scene was the backdrop of a giant black tour bus that looked as if it could have held many dozens of occupants. Like a reverse clown car, it disgorged a “crowd” completely disproportionate to its size.

There’s nothing funny, however, about what this pretender would do to your Second Amendment rights in the far-fetched event he actually wielded power from the Oval Office.

Swallwell’s plan — which he misleadingly calls “A National Framework to End Gun Violence” — is basically a compendium of the worst thinking on gun control from the last 40 years.

Needless to say, the centerpiece of the “Framework” is a massive gun ban, in this case on what he calls “military-style semiautomatic assault weapons.” This likely refers to magazine-fed semi-automatic rifles like the AR-15, which not incidentally is America’s most popular centerfire rifle platform.

Unlike other recent proposals, his plan calls for forcing those who previously obtained the newly-banned guns lawfully to surrender them to the government for whatever compensation D.C. bureaucrats decided to offer. He calls this the option for the person “who chooses to follow the law.”

Any person “caught defying the law” by refusing to relinquish their lawfully-obtained and constitutionally-protected property, meanwhile, could expect to be criminally prosecuted under the plan.

Of course, the true threats to public peace and order do not “choose[] to follow the law,” and the types of firearms he proposes to ban are actually under-represented in violent crime in the U.S. And even considering the far more infrequent phenomena of mass shootings, semi-automatic rifles are under-represented in those crimes as well.

The rest of his proposed agenda is too lengthy to fully enumerate, but lowlights include:

a mandatory 48-hour waiting period to take possession of a purchased gun (including, apparently, for those who already own guns);
a ban on the private sale of firearms;

federal licensing and mandatory training to obtain a firearm;

a nationwide registry of every firearm, firearm owner, and firearm transaction in America;

rationing of the purchase of handguns and ammunition; and

a cap on the amount of ammunition that individuals may possess at any one time to 200 rounds per caliber or gauge.

The full list is considerably longer, but the obvious intent is to discourage gun ownership by making it as expensive, burdensome, bureaucratic, legally perilous, and socially unacceptable as possible. Indeed, if he accomplished every item he proposes, American citizens would be worse off in terms of access to firearms than residents of many Western European countries that have no pretense of a “right” to arms and instead treat gun ownership as a tightly-restricted privilege.

Yet even as this plan was being unveiled to an audience that could barely fill a spacious utility closet, another, significantly larger audience was massing well ahead of President Trump’s official campaign kick-off later that night. That event packed the 20,000 seats of the arena, with an overflow crowd cheering the President on from outside of the venue as well.

And it wasn’t just the numbers that told the tale. There was an enthusiasm and electricity to the crowd in Orlando that is simply unmatched in American politics today.

For Second Amendment supporters, the president has been a steadfast ally, refusing to bend to the will of anti-gun forces within the Democrat party, the legacy media, and increasingly in a business climate that appears to embrace virtue signaling even over company mission or shareholder value. His years in office have seen some of the harshest, most sustained attacks against the Second Amendment in our nation’s history, and he has held firm to his promise to be friend to the law-abiding gun owner. None of the many gun control bills introduced into Congress have succeeded during his watch.

Not only that, he has appointed two justices to the U.S. Supreme Court committed to the original understanding of the U.S. Constitution. The Second Amendment will again be before the court this year, and thanks to President Trump, it will be given the respectful consideration it deserves. That would not have happened if Hillary Clinton had succeeded in her bid for the White House.

President Trump mentioned the Second Amendment three times in Orlando, and the crowd responded each time with raucous cheering and applause.

Like his would-be opponent from California, the President has situated the Second Amendment squarely at the center of his campaign. President Trump, however, understands the fundamental place the right to keep and bear arms holds in American life. “We will protect our Second Amendment,” he promised once again.

Fortunately, President Trump will almost certainly not be facing the Congressman from California’s 15th District in the race for the White House. And while the president’s eventual opponent is likely to take a more “moderate” stance on firearms in the general election, there’s little doubt the gun control wish list unveiled last Tuesday was as much as anything a roadmap anti-gun forces hope will lead to the eventual destruction of the Second Amendment. Bit by bit, they are hoping to change the terms of the debate and move the window on what is considered possible in infringing your rights.

Two views of the Second Amendment emerged on Tuesday, and it was clear which one was more widely embraced.

But make no mistake, there is still much work to be done to ensure that view also prevails in 2020. The media’s knives were out before the president even finished his speech, spinning familiar tales about the doom that surely await his electoral ambitions.

So we must do all we can to protect our freedoms in the 2020 elections.

 

What “Unsigning” the Arms Trade Treaty Means for American Gun Owners

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Purporting to set the standards for “National Regulation of Civilian Access to Small Arms and Light Weapons,” the ATT walks all over U.S. citizen’s constitutional rights. READ MORE

unsigning att

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

President Trump recently took the historic step of ordering the “unsigning” of the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty during his address to the NRA-ILA’s Leadership Forum. President Trump’s action effectively withdraws the United States from the most comprehensive effort towards international gun control.

Much of the intervening coverage on the ATT has focused on how the treaty did or did not constrain U.S. arms sales abroad, but many average law-abiding gun owners may be questioning how the treaty could or couldn’t have affected them.

NRA’s complaints regarding the treaty have always been based on its potential effect on law-abiding American gun owners. Those complaints have focused on the treaty’s requirements for end use verification, its sometimes-unintelligible vagueness, its ability to be amended without the consensus of all parties, and its proponents repeated refusals to clarify that it has no effect on the possession of small arms by civilians in the United States.

The treaty urges record keeping of end users, directing importing countries to provide information to an exporting country regarding arms transfers, including “end use or end user documentation” for a “minimum of ten years.” Each country is to “take measures, pursuant to its national laws, to regulate brokering taking place under its jurisdiction for conventional arms.” Data kept on the end users of imported firearms is a de-facto registry of law-abiding firearms owners, which is a violation of federal law. Even worse, the ATT could be construed to require such a registry to be made available to foreign governments. NRA’s complaints regarding the treaty have always been based on its potential effect on law-abiding American gun owners. Those complaints have focused on the treaty’s requirements for end use verification, its sometimes-unintelligible vagueness, its ability to be amended without the consensus of all parties, and its proponents repeated refusals to clarify that it has no effect on the possession of small arms by civilians in the United States.

The vagueness of the treaty and its ease of being “amended” is best exemplified by actions that took place at a conference on the treaty last year. At that conference, proponents of the treaty “welcome[ed]” several living documents into the ATT. While seemingly innocuous on its face, this change incorporated the International Small Arms Control Standards (ISACS) into the ATT.

Falsely described as established “international standards” or “international norms” that “provide clear, practical and comprehensive guidance to practitioners and policymakers on fundamental aspects of small arms and light weapons control”, the ISACS are in reality a series of six standards developed by the UN for states to use in implementing their global disarmament agenda. Series 3 — Legislative and Regulatory — and its Module 3.30, “National Regulation of Civilian Access to Small Arms and Light Weapons,” is the most alarming of all the ISACS.

Purporting to set the standards for “National Regulation of Civilian Access to Small Arms and Light Weapons,” Module 3.30 creates a means to almost entirely limit civilian access to small arms under the guise of International Humanitarian Law, International Human Rights Law, and Gender Based Violence. Highlights include, but are not limited to; a ban on civilian possession of “military” style arms — no automatic weapons or magazines with over a 10 round capacity, ballistic recordings, different risk classifications on types of firearms (i.e. calibers over .45 are an intolerable risk to public safety and semi-auto handguns and rifles are high risk), licensing and registration of all firearms, training and storage restrictions, waiting periods, 20-year record retention requirements of sellers, age limits and requiring a demonstrated need to possess a firearm, with self-defense not being one of them. Perhaps the easiest way to understand the future danger the ATT posed to U.S. gun owners is the complete refusal by proponents of the treaty to clarify that it would have no effect on the possession of small arms by law-abiding American gun owners.

While incorporation by reference of the ISACS into the ATT was alarming, it was also not entirely unpredictable. As with every anti-firearm UN initiative, concern must never lie entirely with what is in it now, but with what it will become and how it will be used by a future U.S. administration, especially one seeking international justification for a gun control agenda.

Perhaps the easiest way to understand the future danger the ATT posed to U.S. gun owners is the complete refusal by proponents of the treaty to clarify that it would have no effect on the possession of small arms by law-abiding American gun owners. NRA and other opponents of the treaty repeatedly asked for a carve-out in the treaty, yet those requests were flatly denied. If the treaty’s proponents had no intention of limiting American gun ownership, why resist such a limitation to the text of the treaty?

Instead, the treaty included language in its preamble that treaty parties be “mindful of the legitimate trade and lawful ownership, and use of certain conventional arms for recreational, cultural, historical, and sporting activities, where such trade, ownership and use are permitted or protected by law.” A careful read will show that the use of arms for individual and collective defense is notably missing from this statement, and the statement creates no limitation and is really only an aspirational provision.

Trump Administration’s Proposed Rulemakings a Win-Win for America’s Firearms Industry, National Security

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New propsals seek to “build a taller fence around a smaller yard,” and the upshot will benefit American sportsmen, and the industries that provide for them. READ HOW

trump

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

On Thursday, May 24, the Trump Administration published two rulemakings designed to enhance the competitiveness of American companies in the firearms and ammunition sectors, remove burdens for small businesses, and modernize export controls for the post-Cold War era. The moves will benefit both the domestic firearms industry and improve national security. The publication of the proposals also triggered a 45-day comment period during which members of the public can provide feedback on the plans and share their own experiences with the underlying regulations.

The rulemakings are part of a larger, longstanding project to modernize America’s export regime for military and “dual-use” equipment and technology. Dual-use items are those considered to have both military and civilian applications. The governing philosophy of the project is to “build a taller fence around a smaller yard” by strengthening controls on the most militarily sensitive items while allowing less sensitive material with well-established civilian uses and markets to be subject to a more business-friendly regulatory climate.

They two big players overseeing U.S. exports are the State Department, which administers the International Trafficking in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and the U.S. Commerce Department, which handles the Export Administration Regulations (EAR). The items regulated by the ITAR are on what is known as the U.S. Munitions List (USML), while those subject to the EAR are on the Commerce Control List (CCL).

Whether on the USML or CCL, however, the items are still subject to close government oversight, including the requirement in most cases that any person or entity wishing to export them to any foreign nation get a federally-issued license to do so.

Nevertheless, items on the USML controlled under ITAR are generally treated more strictly, with national and international security considerations trumping all other factors in the granting of licenses. Any business that manufactures an item on the USML, or even just a part or component of such an item, also has to register with the State Department and pay an annual fee, which is currently set at $2,250. This registration is required even if the manufacturer has no intent to ever export the items. Compliance fees, including for licenses, are also generally higher for USML items, given the complexity of the regulations and the more stringent vetting given to license applications.

Manufacturers of items on the CCL, or their parts or components, do not have to pay an annual registration fee to the Commerce Department. Moreover, regulation of these items is more flexible to promote the goal of increasing U.S. manufacturers’ and businesses’ worldwide competitiveness.

By properly apportioning export control between the two lists, the government will be able to apply maximum resources to overseeing the most consequential and sensitive equipment, while giving American businesses who manufacture consumer products a larger footprint in international markets. The result is greater security and a more robust U.S. economy.

Currently, most firearms and ammunition (with the exception of certain sporting shotguns and shotgun shells) are controlled under ITAR and the USML. This has led to a host of problems for gun-related businesses in the U.S. and made it more difficult for U.S. businesses in this sector to be competitive internationally.

First, many American firearm businesses are small operations that do not export their products and never intend to do so but still have to pay annual registration fees to the State Department because what they do is considered “manufacturing.” So if a U.S. company that manufacturers springs wants to branch out into magazine or recoil springs for firearms, for example, it has to pay the State Department’s registration fee, even if those springs are exclusively sold in the U.S.

On the other hand, if a foreign company wanted to use those springs in the firearms it manufactures abroad, it would have pay more for doing so because of all the ITAR red tape the U.S. spring maker would have to go through to export the springs. This makes the U.S. springs a less attractive option.

Two other problems that arose with the ITAR during the Obama administration concern what is considered controlled “technical data” and who is considered a regulated “manufacturer.”

As we reported at the time, part of building the “taller fence” for export control involved an initiative to tighten up rules for the “export” of “technical data.” In practice, this meant that publishers of technical information about firearms and ammunition – including exploded parts diagrams, gunsmithing tutorials, and handloading information – risked being swept up into the ITAR’s regulatory scope, particularly for items posted online.

Obama’s State Department also issued a confusing “guidance” document that expansively defined firearm “manufacturing” to include various common gunsmithing operations performed on existing firearms. This drove many smaller gunsmiths to limit or quit their business activity for fear of triggering the ITAR’s registration requirements or of incurring inadvertent violations that could bring ruinous penalties.

All of these problems would be alleviated if the Trump administration’s rules were enacted as proposed, as most non-automatic firearms of .50 caliber or less, as well as their parts, components, accessories, and magazines of up to 50 rounds capacity, would be moved from the USML to the CCL.

Another Obama-era ITAR change made it much more difficult for private individuals to travel abroad with personally owned firearms for lawful purposes such as hunting or competition because of an added requirement to document the “export” through an official website designed for commercial exporters. That requirement, unfortunately, would persist under the current version of the Commerce Department proposal but might be changed if affected parties explained their concerns during the comment period.

A further basis for comment could include the rules’ treatment of sound suppressors. Although these items are very common among hunters and recreational shooters both in the U.S. and abroad and do not provide the U.S. or its allies with any special military advantage, the published proposals would leave them on the USML.

The easiest way to file comments is through the U.S. government’s online regulatory portal, Regulations.gov. The State Department’s proposed rule and comment form are available at this link. Use this link for the Commerce Department’s proposal.

President Trump promised to be a friend to America’s gun owners, and these proposed rules show him making good on that pledge. Your input will encourage the Commerce and State departments to see these rules through to final enactment and help guide the process in the most positive direction possible. The NRA has long advocated for these changes and is extremely pleased to see progress being made toward that end.

President Trump Reassures Gun Owners: THE SECOND AMENDMENT WILL NEVER BE REPEALED!

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In the wake of outrageous statements by anti-gun radicals like former Justice John Paul Steven, here’s President Trump on the issue. READ MORE

trump 2a tweet

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

In response to statements last week by Former Justice Stevens, President Trump’s tweet read: THE SECOND AMENDMENT WILL NEVER BE REPEALED! As much as Democrats would like to see this happen, and despite the recent words of former Supreme Court Justice Stevens, NO WAY.

Trump also called for the election of more supporters to ensure that the Supreme Court does not lose its pro-Second Amendment majority. Right now the court has 4 members who oppose the right to Keep and Bear arms.

Unsurprisingly, radical media outlets such as Rolling Stone joined the chorus calling for repeal. The Washington Post reported that their polling shows that 20% of the American people also support repeal.

Trump’s strong support for our fundamental rights stands in stark contrast to these calls to repeal the Second Amendment. But this newfound openness is useful information for gun owners. For decades anti-gun leaders have claimed that they only want “common sense” gun regulations. Stevens and others expose the truth that the anti-gun movement really wants to erase our rights and ban all or almost all guns.

NRA appreciates the outspoken support of President Trump for our Second Amendment freedoms. With the strong support of our members and all gun owners, NRA will always stand with the President in opposition to these efforts.

Military Funding Bill Establishes Mandatory Program to Sell Historic Pistols to the Public

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Wonderful news! Finally, 1911 pistols will soon be available to citizens via the Civilian Marksmanship Program. Read all about it!

CMP 1911

On December 12, 2017, President Trump signed into law H.R. 2810, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 (NDAA). Included in the law is a provision long sought by collectors of vintage firearms and militaria that would require military surplus M1911/M1911A1 pistols (1911s) to be made available for sale to the American public. The military currently has some 100,000 excess 1911s sitting in storage at taxpayer expense.

A previous version of the NDAA signed into law by then-President Obama in 2015 authorized, but did not require, the Secretary of Defense to transfer up to 10,000 surplus 1911s per year to the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) for sale to the public. Unsurprisingly, no such transfers were ever made while Obama remained in the White House.

The language in the 2018 NDAA effectively establishes a mandatory pilot program under which at least 8,000 — and as many as 10,000 — 1911s would be transferred to the CMP for public sale in 2018. The Secretary of Defense must then report to Congress on the outcome of the program. Thereafter, the Secretary would be authorized to continue transferring up to 10,000 surplus 1911s a year to the CMP for further such sales.

Despite the typical heated (and inaccurate) rhetoric from gun control advocates, the CMP pistols sales will utilize a variety of safeguards that exceed even the normal procedures the organization has used for years to distribute surplus military M1 Garands, M1 carbines, and .22 rimfire trainers.

For example, the pistol sales may only occur through a federally licensed firearms dealer (FFL) in the purchaser’s state of residence, who of course will be obligated to obey all state and local laws of the point of sale. Sales records allowing for the tracing of the firearms — should they later be found at a crime scene — will be kept both by the CMP and by the transferring FFL. Furthermore, the buyer must receive the pistol from the FFL in a face-to-face transaction at the FFL’s business premises. Pistols will not be provided directly to the buyers by the CMP.

The CMP has further indicated two background checks will be conducted in connection with each sale, one by the CMP prior to shipping the pistol to the specified FFL and another by the FFL before releasing the pistol to the customer at the FFL’s place of business. And while federal law allows an FFL to transfer a firearm three days after a “delay” response by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), the CMP will only transfer the firearm to the FFL if NICS provides a “proceed” response to the first background check.

Those wishing to acquire one of the surplus 1911s must be U.S. citizens, eligible to receive firearms under federal law and the laws of their places of residence, members of a CMP-affiliated club, and able to provide proof of participation in a marksmanship activity. Only one 1911 will be available to each customer per calendar year.

Once 10,000 orders are received, the CMP will assign a random number to each customer. These customers will be contacted in sequence with the grading and pricing options that are then available.

No timeline for release or pricing information is currently available.

Nevertheless, this is another major victory for gun owners under the Trump administrations. The NRA in particular would like to thank Sen. Luther Strange (R-AL) and Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL) for their leadership in this historic effort.

Stayed tuned for further updates on the implementation of this program.

Visit CMP HERE