Lawsuit protection act may backfire big big time!!!!!!
August 4, 2005
Is S. 397 a Trojan Horse?
You may have heard a lot of praise for S. 397, which last week passed the U.S. Senate. This bill is supposedly intended to protect firearms manufacturers against nuisance lawsuits.
There's been minor grumbling about the "safety lock" provisions in the proposed legislation, but otherwise S. 397 has had overwhelming support.
Just about the time we were wondering why even some usually gun-unfriendly senators like Herb Kohl (D-WI) were in favor of this bill, an alert Congresswatcher contacted us with a warning.
"The only thing I see that's good about the bill," this sharp-eyed observer wrote, "is that it hasn't become law."
After taking a closer look, we agree.
As our correspondent pointed out, the real problem lies in Sec. 6 "Armor Piercing Ammunition."
THIS SECTION COULD ALLOW ALL CENTERFIRE RIFLE AMMO TO BE BANNED
Part One of Sec. 6 makes it illegal to make, import, sell or deliver any "armor-piercing" ammunition EXCEPT:
1) For the use of state and federal government departments or agencies.
2) For export
3) For Attorney General-approved testing.
Part Two "enhances" criminal sentences for anyone who possesses "armor-piercing" ammunition during the commission of a crime.
Part Three is where the trap is really sprung. Because this part instructs the U.S. Attorney General to "conduct a study to determine whether a uniform standard for the testing of projectiles against Body Armor is feasible."
NOTE WELL: The tests to determine whether or not ammo is "armor piercing" are NOT to be conducted against armor plate, such as that used on military combat vehicles. The tests are to be conducted against body armor. And as anyone knowledgeable about firearms knows, VIRTUALLY ALL RIFLE AMMO WILL PENETRATE BODY ARMOR. So will some pistol ammo.
We asked firearms maker Len Savage if the warning we received was well-taken or whether this was simply a misinterpretation of the proposed law. Here's Len's reply:
"Yes. This gives the A.G. the power to say what is and is not "armor piercing." There is no language for what type of test is to be conducted (other than ballistic vests). If the test were on 1 inch "rolled homogeneous armor plate" then there would be no problem. If the test is a level I "vest" material, then EVERYTHING including .22 longs, are going to be illegal ammo.
"The bill would effectively give the power to decide to ONE person. NO vote, NO appeal, NO rights. (Just like the current mess with [the sloppy, no-standards testing practices of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms].)
"I figured it was a matter of time before they got around to figuring out: Control the ammo and you control the guns. Of course there would be born a "black market" for ammo, very close to the black market for marijuana, in size, scope, and risks. Next will be the sentencing recommendations for possession, and distributing (dealing). Components will be viewed as constructive intent of illegal manufacturing of "terrorist material."
"This is a dangerous path for America. I am forced to ask myself: Why the continued attack and obvious methodical disarming of American Citizens? There is only one answer: control and power."
Just as "Saturday-Night specials," "military-style assault weapons," "cop-killer bullets," and "sporting purposes" have all been used as deceptive, emotionally loaded key words to justify regulations and outright bans, it now appears that the designation "armor-piercing ammunition" is likely to be mis-applied in an attempt to deprive Americans of their rights.
We should all be asking some serious questions about the real impact S. 397 will have on our freedoms if it becomes law. One important question is: Why are our "leaders" so desperate that they would attempt to slip such a potentially draconian provision into a supposedly pro-gun bill?
The Liberty Crew
S. 397, Sec. 6 http://tinyurl.com/9u8mt (click on [S.397.ES], then on the link for Section 6)
A reality check on the U.S. government's sloppy firearms testing procedures: http://www.jpfo.org/alert20050701a.htm
Those sneaky batsturds.
Nobody on any of the boards made any mention of Kenedy getting his armor peircing ammo ammednment?? Anybody that does'nt think this is serious.. IT IS
I just looked at the NRA website and I don't get it. They say it didn't get put in there.
The U.S. Senate rejected a slew of anti-gun amendments to S. 397 including:
Special "carve out" amendments by Sens. Corzine (D-N.J.) and Lautenberg (D-N.J.) that would have permitted reckless lawsuits by law enforcement and juveniles to continue unabated. Both were soundly defeated;
A ban on "armor piercing" ammunition (Kennedy-D-Mass.) (by a vote of 31-64) that would have banned virtually all hunting ammunition. Similar efforts have been continuously defeated by Congress, and Sen. Kennedy's most recent attempt was nothing more than anti-gun political posturing. (The Senate did adopt an amendment by Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) calling for increased penalties if "armor piercing" handgun ammunition is used in the commission of a crime.), and;
A "gutting" amendment by Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) that sought to continue to allow the very types of suits S. 397 prohibits (by a vote of 33-63).
so whats the truth then?
I highly doubt that was put into law as it would ban everything except BB's.
That's what I don't get either?? But it's right there on the bills web page under the child lock ammendment..
Look at: Section 6 Armor Piercing Ammunition
The scary part is that this ammendment gives Gonzales the power to say what is AP...
I'm not that up to date but here is what others have said already.
1st GD post about it
and the 2nd
I posted the site that will help you track and know what these pending bills are about...
Here it is again for those concerned:
Legislation look up
It lists them alphabetically by subject. Click on the letter bar on top to look up.
Have at it, and see what they are up to.
The only site to trust on what is in the bill is the official site for the US Senate.
It is in there:
The one that passed was amendment 1645 introduced by ID Repub Senator Craig.
He is also the one who introduced S397. I have no idea what this idiot is doing.
ok. well, its in there then.
so what exactly does that lay out as their ability to do and how so? also, how likely is it that they will use this power?
I guess this means everybody here just got really rich because like others.......I have 9,000 rounds of just .223 and thousand or so in each caliber for pistols ranging from 22lr to 45 acp. this is going to be something like "them" trying to charge for every e-mail sent, like 0.32, like a real stamp. I dont see me or anybody else becoming a bullet-dealer anytime soon............. hopefully............... but sometimes my own words backfires on me.............
The main text that talks about making armor piercing ammo illegal is already in 18 USC 922(a) but what bothers me is that it leaves it up to the Attorney General to do testing to determine what constitutes armor piercing ammo. If they just fire a gun at a kelvar vest we now cannot buy new ammo of any kind because from what I understand all ammo will pierce a vest when fired from a rifle..
doesn't this still have to be considered by the house then some compromise arrived at???
It all depends on what vest you are using. The vests the army uses can wistand multiple hits from a rifle from what I know... To me this more BS against the second.
Edit: stupid typos
it sounds to me like a perfect bi-partisan bill, the republicans allow it to pass with the amendment in there and then later the dems can do something to start enacting that amendment. let the attorney general start declaring certain calibers armor peircing...it keeps the people thinking the repubs are pro-gun and that the dems are against it. the day i believe our government wants us to be armed is the day we are our government- and that day, is a long way comming.
pro gun america? bah.
Actually, if you read the text of the amendment, it does not give the a.g. the power to define a.p. ammo, only commissions him to do a study on it and report back in two years. It does not expand the definition of a.p., only restrictions on what is already defined as a.p. and the penalties for using it. This amendment was passed to undermine the Kennedy A.P. amendment. And this is at least the third time someone has brought this amendment up as if it were the end of the world.
ETA: in other words, use the search function
OK, I'm a bit confused...
This is what is already law, prior to S.397, under 18 USC 922(a):
This is how the new version would read:
A little bit of verbiage change - I do notice that on (7)(A), the new version doesn't say "the manufacture or importation is for...", which could potentially be used to stop import of said ammunition.
However, again, even under current law, it's still technically illegal to import AP ammunition for anyone other than government/LE/etc.
Stopping said ammunition from import doesn't really appear to affect us, if it's not allowed to be sold to us in the first place.
Am I missing anything else?
The problem I have is not the legality of armor piercing ammo and I don't think that is the thing JPFO has a problem with. The problem is that it gives the AG the ability to say what "Armor Piercing" is. And, if you do not have a problem with that definition coming from the AG then you should not have a problem with the defition of "assault rifle" coming from a future Democrap's AG. The definition of what is illegal should be in the statute period. If it isn't in the statute then you need to wonder why they don't want to put it in there. The reason is that they want to be able to change it later. I don't like criminal laws that are open to change on the whim of whoever is in the AG's office.
This is precisely the problem we are having with AK parts kits right now. There was no new law passed saying that barrels can't be imported. It was the lovely people at the ATF that decided on their own that barrels are now banned from importation.
I don't think these people should be left with this kind of power. You may not mind the current AG having this power but what about a future AG under say Hilary or Kerry?
This section does not give the AG the power to declare certain ammunition "armor piercing" and people who say that are wrong. The definition of armor piercing ammuntion (which basically bans bullets made with certain materials) remains the same.
This section enhances penalties for using AP ammo, as defined by the previous laws, in crimes. This section also tells the AG to "conduct a study to determine whether a uniform standard for the testing of projectiles against body armor is feasible." He has report back to Congress the results within two years. If the study is honest it will be good, if it is politicized it will join the trash heap of similar studies done in the past. The section gives no power to the AG to do anything with the study other than give it to Congress. As Kythri points out it also appears to have slightly re-worded the statute in a way that doesn't change anything.
This section was put in the bill as an amendment by Larry Craig, a pro-gun Senator from Idaho, IIRC, to stop Kennedy's obnoxious AP amendment in its tracks. I suppose in a perfect world he wouldn't need to have done this but he felt it was the best way to stop Kennedy's amendment.
I have an honest question. If the study shows that .308 rifle ammo will pierce all soft body armor are we not to expect a push to ban this type of ammo by the unelected ATF rulers under the existing armor piercing laws? I think it is highly likely that .308, .223 and 7.62x39 will all pierce soft body armor. I am also expecting that when such is shown that there are at least a few Democraps in the ATF, either now or in the future, that will be saying that this ammo is already illegal and will no longer be allowed to be imported or manufactured. All without any vote or legislation what-so-ever. I hope I'm wrong but I don't think I am.
As far as the study goes, read the exact wording:
The Attorney General shall conduct a study to determine whether a uniform standard for the testing of projectiles against Body Armor is feasible.
That's the goal of the study - to determine if a uniform standard for testing is feasible.
Per section two, it's going to examine some crap about barrel length and some crap about powder levels, but that doesn't matter.
The goal of the study is about the feasibilty of testing standards.
Regardless of the outcome of the study, it doesn't have any clauses requiring enactment of any reccomendations found in the study.
Basically, they want to know if it's feasible or not for projectile testing against body armor. Wheee.
I saw mention on another forum about 18 USC 921 which does give the definition of "armor piercing".
(A) The term “ammunition” means ammunition or cartridge cases, primers, bullets, or propellent powder designed for use in any firearm.
(B) The term “armor piercing ammunition” means—
(i) a projectile or projectile core which may be used in a handgun and which is constructed entirely (excluding the presence of traces of other substances) from one or a combination of tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium copper, or depleted uranium; or
(ii) a full jacketed projectile larger than .22 caliber designed and intended for use in a handgun and whose jacket has a weight of more than 25 percent of the total weight of the projectile.
(C) The term “armor piercing ammunition” does not include shotgun shot required by Federal or State environmental or game regulations for hunting purposes, a frangible projectile designed for target shooting, a projectile which the Attorney General finds is primarily intended to be used for sporting purposes, or any other projectile or projectile core which the Attorney General finds is intended to be used for industrial purposes, including a charge used in an oil and gas well perforating device. "
For one point it only applies to handgun ammunition. It does now appear that the fear of an ammo ban based on S397 is incorrect. My biggest worry was about rifle ammo more than pistol ammo. It seemed much more likely that rifle ammo would defeat soft armor than pistol ammo.
I guess I got caught up is reacting too fast to this myself.
I watched the whole thing on C-SPAN2 and the Kennedy amendment got voted down.
The amendments I saw passed were the gunlock one and the "harsher penalties for AP ammo used in crimes" one.
All of the other amendments that were anti-gun were voted down (one Democrat even knew that his amendment was going to be voted down. He said so in his speach).
I just got this update from the NRA. It appears that they have been watching all of the internet activity over this subject. I was previously in the camp of worrying about an ammo ban. However, if you take a real look at this explaination you will see that it is not a problem.
NRA-ILA Grassroots Alert Vol. 12, No. 31 8/5/05
S. 397 UPDATE
As we reported last week, thanks to your great efforts, the U.S. Senate passed S. 397--the "Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act"--by a strong bipartisan vote of 65-31! This action represents a MAJOR first step toward ending the anti-gun lobby's extreme and immoderate attempts to bankrupt the firearm industry through reckless, predatory lawsuits, and was a ground breaking step forward for law-abiding firearm manufacturers, retailers and owners in this country.
There has been some discussion this week concerning two amendments to S. 397. The first, by Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wisc.), requires federally licensed dealers to provide a "secure gun storage or safety device" with the sale/transfer of every handgun (it does not apply to long guns). The measure, which passed by a vote of 70-30, does not require gun owners to use the device, does not apply to private transfers, and does not create any new civil liability for gun owners who choose not to use these storage devices. Virtually all new handguns today are sold with some type of secure storage or safety device. The amendment has no significant impact on current law.
The other amendment, by Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho), passed by a margin of 87-11, and was offered this year (as it was in 2004) in a successful attempt to defeat Sen. Edward Kennedy's "armor piercing" ammunition amendment that would have banned all centerfire rifle ammunition. By providing an alternative to Sen. Kennedy's amendment, pro-gun senators were able to marshal the votes to defeat the Kennedy amendment.
Here's what this amendment does:
* The amendment (section 6 of the bill) restates the existing prohibition (in 18 USC Sec. 922(a)) on manufacture, or on sale by manufacturers, of "armor piercing ammunition," except for government use, for export, or for use in testing or experimentation authorized by the Attorney General. This law has been in effect for nearly two decades.
* It increases the mandatory minimum sentence for the use of "armor piercing ammunition" in a crime of violence or drug trafficking crime. Use of armor piercing ammunition in a crime of violence or drug trafficking crime is already a federal offense punishable by 5 years in prison; the amendment increases the penalty to 15 years, and authorizes the death penalty if the ammunition is used in a murder.
* It directs the Attorney General to conduct a study "to determine whether a uniform standard for the testing of projectiles against Body Armor is feasible." In fact, we know such a standard is "feasible" because the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) has been testing projectiles against body armor since the early 1970s, and has regularly written and updated the standards for testing projectiles against armor. NIJ's research has saved lives by improving the design and manufacture of body armor. (NIJ standards and background information are available online at http://www.justnet.org/testing/bodyarmor.html.)
Here's what this amendment does not do:
* The amendment does not give the Attorney General (or anyone else) any new authority to ban ammunition.
* The amendment does not change the definition of "armor piercing ammunition." Under current law (18 USC Sec. 921(a)(17)(B)), ammunition is only "armor piercing" if it has a bullet that "may be used in a handgun" and that is made entirely from certain hard metals such as tungsten, steel, bronze or depleted uranium; or if the bullet is "designed and intended for use in a handgun" and has a jacket that weighs more than 25% of the weight of the projectile. The current definition has been in place for more than 12 years.
* The amendment does not create any kind of new ammunition ban. The only ammunition that is banned as "armor piercing" is ammunition that fits the current definition, and neither the amendment nor the study would change the definition.
As you know, the fight now moves to the U.S. House of Representatives, so it is critical that you once again contact your U.S. Representative and urge him/her to pass S. 397!
Members should also express their gratitude to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), Senator Minority Leader Harry Reid, Senate Majority Whip Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), and bill sponsors Sens. Larry Craig and Max Baucus (D-Mont.) for their leadership and stewardship on S. 397.
(For a list of roll call votes on these amendments and final passage of S. 397, please go to www.NRAILA.org. Take note of how your Senators voted, and please thank those who voted in support of gun owners and let those who voted against our rights know that you will keep their votes in mind when they are up for re-election. BE SURE TO ALSO ATTEND ANY OF YOUR U.S. REPRESENTATIVE'S TOWN HALL MEETINGS DURING THE "SUMMER DISTRICT WORK PERIOD" [Aug. 1-Sept. 5] and encourage him/her to bring up and pass S. 397 as soon as possible.)
The amendment does not change the definition in 18 USC 921. It also does not allow the AG to modify it.
FYI I've seen on other gun forums that people are claiming that JPFO and GOA are really antigun organizations. The JPFO and GOA are not antigun organizations. However, in this instance they are simply incorrect in their conclusion that this amendment will ban ammo.