Tag Archives: TRUMP ADMINISTRATION

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

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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

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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.

2017: Another Year Millions of Americans Bought Firearms

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Good news: Looks like we all worried too much. Here’s the truth about guns sales last year… MORE

2017 gun sales

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

We, like many of our NRA members, watched the NICS (National Instant Criminal Background Check System) numbers all year. We read — and fact-checked — all of the claims about the “Trump Slump” and the imminent collapse of the entire firearms industry. Month after month, the narrative around the NICS data framed gun sales as waning because a new record wasn’t set. Bloomberg headlined its latest entry, “Gun Sales in America Drop.” The Chicago Tribune reported that “Holiday gun sales dip after record Black Friday.”

The FBI released the final NICS numbers for 2017. There were 25,235,215 total NICS checks in 2017 — making last year the second busiest year ever for the NICS office. Across all states, territories, and the District of Columbia, there were 7.2 million NICS checks related to handguns (not including private sales, rentals, returned, pre-pawn, or pawn redemption checks); 5.2 million for long guns; just under 400,000 for “other” firearms; and 236,167 checks for multiple purchases. More than 9.9 million Americans initiated a NICS check for a permit last year.

In terms of individual categories of NICS checks, 2017 ranks third for handgun-related NICS checks and second for “other” checks. In terms of total sales-related checks (handgun, long gun, other, and multiple), 2017 was the fourth-busiest year ever. It was also the second busiest year for permit checks.

Interest in defense and the shooting sports clearly remains strong; sure, NICS doesn’t provide a 1:1 proxy for gun sales but the FBI saw more than 13 million sales-related checks and almost 10 million permit checks. That equates to more than 27,000 permit checks and nearly 36,000 sales-related checks every single day of the year.

Hopefully, we can put the claims of “Trump Slump,” and of the demise of the firearms industry to rest along with the year 2017. The continued strong NICS numbers all year indicate that Americans’ interest in defending themselves and their families, and their interest in the shooting sports, is not dependent on the White House occupant. We fully expect the firearms industry to continue to support the passions shared by millions of law-abiding Americans throughout 2018.

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

NRA Statement on Trump Administration’s Aggressive Enforcement of Federal Firearm Laws

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NRA applauds Trump administration and its loyal Pro-Second-Amendment record to help American citizens take a stand in the face of rising crime. Read more…

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Source: NRA-ILA

Fairfax, Va. — Three months after President Donald Trump signed an executive order to crack down on illegal firearm possession, prosecutions of these crimes have risen by 23 percent. Violent criminals are now facing consequences for their illegal actions. At the same time, the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners are being respected under the Trump administration.

“The National Rifle Association applauds President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions for understanding that prosecuting violent criminals and protecting the rights of law-abiding gun owners are not mutually exclusive ideas,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director, National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action. “The Department of Justice report released today shows the administration’s commitment to getting violent criminals and gang members off our streets. After suffering an all-time low during the Obama administration, federal prosecutions of illegal firearm possession are now being taken seriously.”
The facts:
Charges of unlawful possession of a gun — mostly by convicted felons — are up 23 percent in the second quarter of 2017 from the same time period in 2016.

The number of defendants charged with the crime of using a firearm in a crime of violence or drug trafficking has increased by 10 percent.

The DOJ is on pace to prosecute the highest number of federal firearms cases since 2005.
During the Obama administration, federal prosecutions against individuals attempting to illegally buy a firearm dropped 40 percent.

During the Obama administration, prosecutions of unlawful possession of a firearm by a person subject to a court order dropped a whopping 66 percent.

“This report demonstrates that President Trump and Attorney General Sessions are making America safe again,” Cox concluded. “This is a complete reversal from the eight long years of the Obama administration, which ignored violent criminals while trying to destroy the rights of law-abiding gun owners.”

Established in 1871, the National Rifle Association is America’s oldest civil rights and sportsmen’s group. More than five million members strong, NRA continues to uphold the Second Amendment and advocates enforcement of existing laws against violent offenders to reduce crime. The Association remains the nation’s leader in firearm education and training for law-abiding gun owners, law enforcement and the armed services. Be sure to follow the NRA on Facebook at NRA on Facebook and Twitter @NRA.