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ATF Appropriations Language

Here’s what I get for being behind.   I got the same e-mail that SayUncle and Joe Huffman got, but I was busy all weekend and didn’t get a chance to post it:

Based on concerns raised by NRA, the House Appropriations Committee report on the Commerce/Justice/Science appropriations bill (H.R. 3093) includes the following language: 

“The committee has heard reports that [the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives] has pursued license revocations and denials against firearms dealers based on violations that consist largely of recordkeeping errors of various types that are unlikely to impede tracing investigations or prosecution of individuals who use firearms in crime.  The Committee encourages ATF to consider lesser gradation of sanctions for recordkeeping errors.”

This is a continuation of NRA’s longstanding efforts to reform the BATFE, and to ensure that any penalties administered by BATFE against FFLs appropriately fit the transgression and that BATFE does not abuse its authority.  Last spring, NRA-ILA secured passage in the U.S. House of H.R. 5092 (http://www.nraila.org//News/Read/NewsReleases.aspx?ID=8224), a bill that included many reforms to the process by which BATFE punishes violations of federal law and regulations (more information on bill here: http://www.nraila.org//Issues/FactSheets/Read.aspx?ID=205). These reforms would have provided a fairer process for FFLs accused of violations.  Passage of the bill followed on the heels of House hearings (also prompted by NRA’s efforts) on BATFE abuses with respect to FFL enforcement and gun show operations. Unfortunately, the Senate failed to consider the bill before adjourning for the year. 

Others in the pro-gun grassroots community have reported on this issue, including Ryan Horsley of Red’s Trading Post, and numerous other bloggers.  Working together, it is our hope that we can continue our mutual efforts to reform BATFE once and for all to reduce and eliminate unjust harassment of legitimate gun dealers.

It’s a good start.  It’ll be very very difficult to get any meaningful reform out of this Congress.  While they might be scared into inaction by the NRA, the anti-gun leaders in Congress aren’t going to bend over backwards to kiss our asses either.  At the very least, the ATF bureaucracy knows that Congress may be less than happy with some of their activities.  But they also know they probably don’t have much to fear from the people running Congress.  While I am not at all happy with the Republican Party being a bunch of corrupt and incompetent boobs, I’ll take incompetence over Hillary and Pelosi any day of the week.

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