For nearly a century, the federal government has held that firearms and ammunition could be banned by executive fiat if they weren’t “for sporting purposes.” Perhaps that and other rules will be changing in the coming months.
In June of 2015, Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT) sought to correct the “sporting purposes” interpretation by the feds by introducing the Lawful Purpose and Self-Defense Act, (H.R.2710), which would permit firearms and ammunition designed for self-defense, and not just for hunting, to be imported into the United States.
Now, these “non-hunting” items are often banned from importation. President Obama threatened to veto the legislation if it ever came across his desk, so the bill is still in the House Judiciary’s Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations, awaiting a more favorable Congress, which is in session, and President, who will soon be sworn in.
Another issue that may be addressed is the repeal of The Hughes Amendment to the Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986 (FOPA). Added as an amendment by Democrats in an effort to derail the pro-gun legislation, the bill was passed with the amendment attached, which meant that no private citizen could own a machine gun manufactured after the bill went into a law in 1986, though they could continue to possess, buy, sell, and trade any machine gun manufactured before that time as long as they complied with the stringent controls put in place by the National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA).
And revisions to the National Firearms Act of 1934 may get some consideration as well. The NFA can be confusing, as anyone who has ventured into the minutia of the bill can attest.
For example, under the NFA a rifle with a barrel of 16″ or longer is “good” and has few restrictions. That exact same rifle with a barrel of 15.99″ or shorter is considered a “short barreled rifle” and is highly restricted. That same firearm with the stock removed is then a pistol, and is “good” again, but if you put a vertical grip on that pistol, it is then classified as “any other weapon,” and is “bad again, as the linked image illustrates.
These are just some of the myriad of gun laws that may be addressed in the coming months. –by Michael Wisdom, Senior Contributing Editor, Texas & U.S. Law Shield Blog