the currently limited options for administrative penalties applied to licensed dealers, manufacturers and importers of firearms. Todatm for most violations, BATFE has only two options: issue FFL holders a warning, or revoke the license. 5092’s “modernization” would allow a series of clearly-stated fines and/or license suspensions for less serious violations; limiting license revocation to serious criminal violations that could potentially block criminal investigations or put guns in the hands of criminals.
Equally significant is 5092’s apparent intention to clarify the standard for violations. The proposed legislation allowing penalties for “intentional, purposeful violations of the law” but not for simple paperwork mistakes. The bill also improves the due process under which BATFE imposes these penalties; allowing for appeal of BATFE penalties to a neutral administrative law judge - rather than to an employee of BATFE itself. A frequent criticism from observers is that BATFE is incapable - or unwilling - to hear appeals in an unbiased manner.
In 1986, Congress passed the Firearms Owners’ Protection Act, believing these problems were corrected with that passage. Instead, the government has ignored the FOPA, even arguing in court the changes were “without practical significance.”
H.R. 5092 also speaks to one of the continual criticisms of the BATFE by gunsmiths: the Bureau spends too-much time and effort investigating gunsmiths instead of investigating “real” criminals.
H.R. 5092 would focus BATFE’s enforcement efforts on violations of firearms, explosives, arson, alcohol and tobacco laws, rather than non-jurisdictional areas.
Simply put it would clarify BATFE’s purpose by directing efforts toward criminals, removing the firearms industry from what they now characterize as their status “low-hanging fruit” for ATF enforcement efforts.
Overhaul? Not good enough.
ETA call me a cop basher for that I dont care.
H. R. 5092
To modernize and reform the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
April 5, 2006
Mr. COBLE (for himself and Mr. SCOTT of Virginia) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary
To modernize and reform the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the `Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE) Modernization and Reform Act of 2006'.
SEC. 2. GRADUATED PENALTIES FOR CIVIL VIOLATIONS BY FEDERAL FIREARMS LICENSEES.
(a) In General- Section 923 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by striking subsections (e) and (f) and inserting the following:
`(e)(1)(A) If the Attorney General determines that a licensee under this section has willfully violated any provision of this chapter or any regulation prescribed under this chapter, or has failed to have secure gun sotrage or safety devices available at any place in which firearms are sold under the license to persons who are not licensees (except because of theft, casualty loss, consumer sales, backorders from a manufacturer, or any other similar reason beyond the control of the licensee), the Attorney General may--
`(i) if the violation is not of a serious nature--
`(I) impose on the licensee a civil money penalty of not more than $1,000 for each such violation, except that the total amount of penalties imposed on a licensee under this subclause for violations arising from a single inspection or examination shall not exceed $5,000; or
`(II) suspend the license for not more than 30 days, and specify the circumstances under which the suspension is to be terminated, if, in the period for which the license is in effect, there have been at least 2 prior occasions on which the licensee has been determined to have violated this chapter; or
`(ii) if the violation is of a serious nature--
`(I) impose on the licensee a civil money penalty of not more than $2,500 for each such violation, except that the total amount of penalties imposed on a licensee under this subclause for a violations arising from a single inspection or examination shall not exceed $15,000;
`(II) suspend the license for not more than 90 days, and specify the circumstances under which the suspension is to be terminated;
`(III) revoke the license; or
`(IV) take the actions described in subclauses (I) and (II), or subclauses (I) and (III).
`(B)(i) In determining the amount of a civil money penalty to impose under subparagraph (A) on a licensee, the nature and severity of the violation involved, the size of the firearms business operated by the licensee, and the prior record of the licensee shall be considered.
`(ii) For purposes of subparagraph (A), violation of a provision of this chapter with respect to 2 or more firearms during a single transaction shall be considered a single violation of the provision.
`(C) For purposes of subparagraph (A), a violation of this chapter shall be considered to be of a serious nature if the violation--
`(i) results in or could have resulted in the transfer of a firearm or ammunition to a person prohibited from possessing or receiving the firearm or ammunition under this chapter;
`(ii) obstructs or could have obstructedabona fide civil or criminal investigation or prosecution; or
`(iii) prevents or could have prevented a licensee from complying with subsection (g)(7).
`(D) The Attorney General may not commence an enforcement action under subparagraph (A) with respect to a violation after the 5-year period that begins with--
`(i) the date of the violation; or
`(ii) if the licensee involved intentionally obstructed discovery of the violation, the date of discovery of the violation.
`(2)(A) Not less than 30 days before the effective date of any penalty imposed on a licensee by reason of a determination made under paragraph (1), the Attorney General shall send the licensee a written notice of--
`(i) the determination, and the grounds on which the determination was made;
`(ii) the nature of the penalty; and
`(iii) how, and by when, the licensee may request a hearing to review the determination.
`(B) A hearing to review a determination made under paragraph (1) with respect to a licensee shall not be held unless the licensee requests such a hearing within 30 days after receiving the notice of the determination sent pursuant to subparagraph (A).
`(C) On timely receipt from the licensee of a request for such a review, the Attorney General shall stay the imposition under paragraph (1) of any penalty involved, pending resolution of the review.
`(3)(A) Within 90 days after timely receipt from a licensee of a request to review a determination made under paragraph (1) (or at such later time as is agreed to by the Attorney General and the licensee), an administrative law judge shall hold a hearing, at a location convenient to the licensee, to review the determination.
`(B) Not less than 30 days before the hearing, the Attorney General shall deliver to the licensee a copy of each document which will be introduced as evidence at the hearing, and copies of all documents on which the determination is based.
`(C) Within 90 days after the hearing, the administrative law judge shall issue a written decision setting forth findings of fact and conclusions of law, and a decision as to whether to affirm, modify, or reverse the determination.
`(D) On request of the licensee, the Attorney General shall stay the effective date of any penalty, suspension, or revocation until there has been a final, nonreviewable judgment with respect to the determination involved.
`(E) The action of an administrative law judge under this subsection shall be considered final agency action for all purposes, and may be reviewed only as provided in subsection (f).
`(4) This subsection shall not be interpreted to affect the authority of the Attorney General under section 922(t)(5).
`(f)(1) Within 60 days after a party receives a notice issued under subsection (d)(3) of a decision to deny a license, or a notice issued under subsection (e)(3)(C) of a determination to impose a civil money penalty or to suspend or revoke a license, the party may file a petition with the United States district court for the district in which the party resides or has a principal place of business for a de novo review of the decision or determination.
`(2) In a proceeding conducted under this paragraph, the court shall, on application of a party, consider any evidence submitted by the parties to the proceeding whether or not the evidence was considered at the hearing held under subsection (d)(3) or (e)(3).
`(3) If the court decides that the decision or determination was not authorized, the court shall order the Attorney General to take such action as may be necessary to comply with the judgment of the court.
`(4) If criminal proceedings are instituted against a licensee alleging any violation of this chapter or of a regulation prescribed under this chapter, and the licensee is acquitted of the charges, or the proceedings are terminated, other than upon motion of the Government before trial on the charges, the Attorney General shall be absolutely barred from denying a license under this chapter, suspending or revoking a license granted under this chapter, or imposing a civil money penalty under subsection (e), if the action would be based in whole or in part on the facts which form the basis of the criminal charges.
`(5) The Attorney General may not institute a proceeding to suspend or revoke a license granted under this chapter, or to impose a civil money penalty under subsection (e), more than 1 year after the filing of the indictment or information.'.
(b) Conforming Amendment- Section 923(d) of such title is amended by adding at the end the following:
`(3) If the Attorney General denies an application for a license, an administrative law judge of the Department of Justice shall, on request by the aggrieved party, promptly hold a hearing to review the denial, at a location convenient to the aggrieved party. If, after the hearing, the administrative law judge decides not to reverse the denial, the administrative law judge shall give notice of the final denial decision to the aggrieved party.'.
SEC. 3. CONSIDERATION OF FEDERAL FIREARMS LICENSE APPLICATIONS.
(a) In General- Section 923(d) of title 18, United States Code, as amended by section 2(b) of this Act, is amended by redesignating paragraphs (2) and (3) as paragraphs (3) and (4) and inserting after paragraph (1) the following:
`(2) The Attorney General shall make a preliminary determination as to whether to approve or deny an application submitted under subsection (a) or (b). If the preliminary determination is to deny the application, the Attorney General shall notify the applicant in writing of the preliminary determination and the reasons for the preliminary determination, and shall afford the applicant an opportunity to supplement the application with additional information and to request a hearing on the application. If the applicant, in a timely manner, requests such a hearing, the Attorney General shall hold the hearing at a location convenient to the applicant, and shall notify the applicant in writing of the time and place of the hearing.'.
(b) Conforming Amendment- Section 923(f)(1) of such title, as amended by section 2(a) of this Act, is amended by striking `(d)(3)' each place it appears and inserting `(d)(4)'.
SEC. 4. DEFINITION OF WILLFULLY.
Section 921(a) of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:
`(36) The term `willfully' means intentionally, purposely, and with the intent to act in violation of a known legal duty.'.
SEC. 5. ESTABLISHMENT OF FORMAL INVESTIGATIVE GUIDELINES.
The Attorney General shall establish guidelines for how the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives is to conduct investigations of possible violations of chapter 44 of title 18, United States Code.
SEC. 6. REVIEW BY THE INSPECTOR GENERAL OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE OF THE GUN SHOW ENFORCEMENT PROGRAM; REPORT.
(a) Review- The Inspector General of the Department of Justice shall conduct a review of the operations of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, for the purpose of assessing the manner in which the Bureau conducts the gun show enforcement program and blanket residency checks of prospective and actual firearms purchasers.
(b) Report- Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Inspector General of the Department of Justice shall submit to the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives and the Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate a written report that contains the findings of the review required by subsection (a), and includes such recommendations as may be appropriate.
SEC. 7. LIMITATIONS ON USE OF FIREARMS PURCHASER INFORMATION.
Section 923(g)(1)(D) of title 18, United States Code, is amended in the last sentence by inserting `, except that information about the conduct of a named individual with respect to a firearm or ammunition may not be so made available or so provided unless the agency involved has certified that the agency will not disclose the information to any entity other than a court, Federal, State, or local law enforcement agency, or prosecutor' before the period.
SEC. 8. CLARIFICATION OF RESPONSIBILITIES.
Section 1111(b) of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (6 U.S.C. 531(b)) is amended--
(1) by adding `and' at the end of paragraph (1);
(2) by striking `; and' at the end of paragraph (2) and inserting a period; and
(3) by striking paragraph (3).
SEC. 9. LIQUIDATION OF INVENTORY IN FEDERAL FIREARMS LICENSE EXPIRATION, SURRENDER, OR REVOCATION CASES.
Section 923 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:
`(m) A person whose license issued under this chapter is expired, surrendered, or revoked shall be afforded 60 days from the effective date of the expiration, surrender, or revocation to liquidate the firearms inventory of the person, which time may be extended upon a showing of reasonable cause.'.
SEC. 10. OPPORTUNITY TO CURE VIOLATIONS AFTER ACQUISITION OF FIREARMS BUSINESS.
Section 923 of title 18, United States Code, is further amended by adding at the end the following:
`(n) If the Attorney General is made aware that a person licensed under this chapter has transferred to another person an entire firearms business subject to license under this chapter and, before the transfer, the transferor was found to be operating the business in violation of this chapter, the Attorney General--
`(1) shall notify the transferee of the violation by the transferor;
`(2) shall not presume that the transferee is committing the violation; and
`(3) if the Attorney General finds that the transferee is committing the violation--
`(A) shall notify the transferee of the violation;
`(B) shall afford the transferee a reasonable amount of time after receipt of the notice to cure the violation; and
`(C) shall not impose a sanction on the transferee with respect to the violation, unless the transferee has not cured the violation with the reasonable amount of time referred to in subparagraph (B).'.
SEC. 11. STANDARDS FOR CRIMINAL VIOLATIONS OF RECORDKEEPING REQUIREMENTS.
Section 922(m) of title 18, United States Code, is amended--
(1) by striking `any false entry' and inserting `a materially false entry';
(2) by striking `appropriate entry' and inserting `a materially significant entry'; and
(3) by striking `properly maintain' and inserting `retain custody of'.
SEC. 12. EFFECTIVE DATE.
This Act and the amendments made by this Act shall take effect at the end of the 180-day period that begins with the date of the enactment of this Act.
Agreed! Shitcan the whole agency
Should just do away with it, but hey this is better than nothing.
I have no idea what this specifically does.
Any FFLs here can tell us?
It looks like he is going to break that guys neck.
Big fucking deal! The guy on the ground probably had some muffler tube and washers in his garage. They should have just shot him on sight! Damned gun nut criminals!
that's ok. he's with the government...
so what makes anyone think they'll take notice of this law if it passes?
...and he's there to help.
Wonder who the victim is gonna be for them to show that gun nuts are to dangerouse for the ATF to reform. FFL's better hide their dogs
I hope they move on this quick. Call your senators right away. The dems are certain to be against this and we need to make sure this becomes law by November.
The next congress might never pass it, especially with Dems in charge.