Sponsor: Rep Moran, James P. [VA-8] (offered 6/16/2005)
An amendment to prohibit funds in the Act from being used to pay administrative expenses or compensate an officer or employee of the United States in connection with licensing the export of a nonautomatic or semiautomatic rifle capable of firing a center-fire cartridge in 50 caliber, .50 BMG caliber, any other variant of 50 caliber, or any metric equivalent of such calibers, or any nongovernmental agency.
Amendment (A045) offered by Mr. Moran (VA). (consideration: CR H4592-4593, H4603-4604; text: CR H4592)
On agreeing to the Moran (VA) amendment (A045) Failed by recorded vote: 149 - 278 (Roll no. 265).
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AMENDMENT OFFERED BY MR. MORAN OF VIRGINIA
Mr. MORAN of Virginia. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.
The CHAIRMAN. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
The text of the amendment is as follows:
Amendment offered by Mr. Moran of Virginia:
At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the following:
TITLE VIII--ADDITIONAL GENERAL PROVISIONS
LIMITATION ON USE OF FUNDS TO LICENSE EXPORT OF CENTERFIRE 50 CALIBER RIFLES
SEC. 801. None of the funds made available in this Act may be used to pay administrative expenses or compensate an officer or employee of the United States in connection with licensing the export of a nonautomatic or semiautomatic rifle capable of firing a center-fire cartridge in 50 caliber, .50 BMG caliber, any other variant of 50 caliber, or any metric equivalent of such calibers, to any nongovernmental entity.
The CHAIRMAN. Pursuant to the order of the House of June 14, the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Moran) and a Member opposed each will control 5 minutes.
The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Moran).
Mr. MORAN of Virginia. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
I rise today to offer an amendment that would strengthen current State Department policy regarding the export of .50-caliber sniper rifles. Under this amendment only official government entities would be allowed to purchase these weapons through the export process. The language of the amendment would simply prevent export to any nongovernmental entity; in other words, the arms dealers that bought 25 of them for al Qaeda and the representatives of the IRA and the KLA.
The .50-caliber sniper rifle is in a class by itself. A weapon of war, the Army Handbook on Urban Combat states that the .50-caliber was designed to attack both fuel tanks and other impenetrable targets. It is considered able to penetrate all but the heaviest shielding material from up to a mile away.
This high-powered antimateriel weapon has even been touted by its manufacturers in advertisements that it is capable of disabling or destroying a modern jet aircraft. I quote from Barrett Firearms Manufacturing. In their advertisement, they say, ``The cost-effectiveness of the .50-caliber sniper rifle cannot be overemphasized when a round of ammunition purchased for less than 10 U.S. dollars can be used to destroy or disable a modern jet aircraft.''
I should repeat that because it is hard to believe. But despite this unparelleled potential for damage, including the threat posed to railcars carrying hazardous materials and civil aviation, the .50-caliber is easier to obtain than a handgun and no less available than a common shotgun.
Governor Schwarzenegger, who recently signed a law banning the .50-caliber in California, stated that this gun is ``a clear and present danger to the public's safety.''
These guns are sought after by terrorists, warlords, drug smugglers, and other individuals looking to use the .50's exceptional power, accuracy, and distance for terrorist and criminal purposes.
There have been any number of substantiated reports that al Qaeda, the IRA, and the KLA have purchased a number of these guns in recent years. There is an arms race taking place just south of the border in Mexico where drug cartels are employing .50-calibers in a bloody turf war that has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of people caught up in the crossfire.
The ``60 Minutes'' TV show has reported at length on this issue. In their most recent piece, they profile an Albanian American gunrunner named Florin Krasniqi. Mr. Krasniqi details how he has coordinated the export of .50-calibers from the U.S. to arm the Kosovo Liberation Army in their guerilla war to break away from Serbia. The reason the .50-caliber was his weapon of choice, he stated simply, ``You could kill a man from over a mile away. You can dismantle a vehicle from over a mile away.'' And they are so easy to buy.
If we are not going to deal with the danger that .50-calibers pose to the American public, let us at least prevent the export of these weapons of terror to foreign terrorists. Restricting exports of .50-calibers is necessary because, unlike most items controlled under the U.S. Munitions List and comparable international control lists, firearms are frequently licensed for commercial resale, increasing the likelihood that they will end up in the hands of our enemies.
Mr. Chairman, this is a human rights issue, and it is an issue of protecting our national security. We need to pass this amendment.
Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
Mr. KING of Iowa. Mr. Chairman, I rise to claim the time in opposition to the amendment.
The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Iowa (Mr. King) is recognized for 5 minutes.
Mr. KING of Iowa. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
I point out that this Moran amendment has been a moving target, Mr. Chairman. This thing has been moving around the last couple of days, and I have been trying to get ahold of the final draft of the final Moran amendment so I can finally look at the language that is finally going to be presented to this Congress that would set final policy on our export policy with regard to one single caliber of firearms, and not even the whole entire caliber of that particular firearm, but just a very small segment of it. And now this final language that I have in this moving target says that it would ban the utilization of Federal dollars for the regulation for ``the export of a nonautomatic or semiautomatic rifle,'' not rifles, ``capable of firing a center-fire cartridge in 50-caliber,'' or the like, ``to any nongovernmental entity,'' which I commend the gentleman from Virginia for removing the broader language and narrowing it down to a nongovernmental entity. This is an improvement in this particular amendment.
But this amendment says ``nonautomatic or semiautomatic rifle.'' It does not address fully automatic 50-caliber machine guns, but it does target rifles, rifles that I call buffalo guns that go back to the 1800s in this country. The Sharp's 50-caliber is one of the original 50-caliber long-range rifles. It was used to implement buffalo hunting back in those years, and its being a 50-caliber is not the reason why it is among the most accurate long-range rifles, but because they chose that caliber back then for long-range accuracy, and they developed the cartridge for that kind of target shooting. And, in fact, there has been an entire organization that has grown up around target shooting that has to do with the 50-caliber, that venerable buffalo gun, and I believe they are called the 50-caliber Target Shooting Club, and I know that they have been organized for over 20 years. So this amendment would target rifles when there is not a record of their being used for crime. There are allegations, but not a record that I can find.
And I look at some of these quotes: ``Could be used to destroy or disable a modern jet aircraft.'' Are we going to outlaw every caliber and every weapon that could be used to destroy or disable a modern jet aircraft? If that is the case, then we take every deer rifle out of the rack and out of every cabinet of every home in America because they can be used the same way. We can name caliber after caliber that could destroy or disable a modern jet aircraft. In fact, sometimes we are a little concerned about that happening.
The fact that the Governor of California advocates an assault on the 50-caliber target rifle, the buffalo gun, does not convince me in the least, but this would not do anything to prevent a 49-caliber or a 51-caliber or going a little bigger or a little smaller. It would encourage that. But what it would do, Mr. Chairman, is it would
[Page: H4593] GPO's PDFmake the 50-Caliber Shooting Club exclusively a USA club, and it would continue to develop the 50-caliber shooting in the United States, but our foreign friends that are involved in the same thing that we are here, legitimate hunting, legitimate target shooting and development of a venerable weapon, would be prevented from doing so for an illogical reason, if there is a reason at all.
Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
Mr. MORAN of Virginia. Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
Mr. KING of Iowa. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 1/2 minutes to the gentleman from Tennessee (Mr. Gordon).
Mr. GORDON. Mr. Chairman, my friend from Virginia and I, and I think everyone here, share his objective, and that is to keep 50-caliber weapons, and for that matter any weapon, out of the hands of terrorists. I am afraid, though, that his amendment does not accomplish that.
The fact of the matter is that the State Department already has the ability, and uses it, to stop any type of sales of 50-caliber rifles to terrorists or any other type of undesirable groups. If there are any of these anywhere around in the world, and again I am not aware of any incidence where that has taken place, they have been sold illegally. So this amendment is not going to address the illegal sales. It may keep all weapons of 50 caliber here in this country, but they can be made elsewhere all around the world. So it just simply does not accomplish the goal that I know he wants and that we all want.
And since he did mention the Barrett M107, let me point out also that it was selected by the Chief of Staff Office of the U.S. Army as one of the ``top 10 inventions of 2004'' for the fight against the war on terror. Certainly it has been beneficial to our troops. It can be beneficial to our allies around the world.
Again, we do not want to see these weapons or any weapons in the hands of terrorists. We already have a method to stop that in terms of legal sales. This amendment does not get to the illegal sales. So a good objective, but a flawed amendment.
Mr. MORAN of Virginia. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
Just to respond to the points that were made, first of all, I agree that our soldiers like the weapon. I want them to continue to be able to use it. And this, of course, does not restrict their usage. I just do not want it to get into the enemies' hands. And I think that the gentleman does not want terrorists being able to buy these. Al Qaeda has purchased 25 of them.
[Time: 13:30] To respond to the gentleman from Iowa when he said that any number of guns could disable a commercial jet aircraft, to complete the quote, it can disable a modern jet aircraft from over a mile away.
That is the point of it. These are unparalleled weapons. I am not trying to restrict them in the United States. They can have these U.S. clubs for .50 caliber guns. I just do not want them sold by arms dealers. We know that is what is happening, and they are getting into the hands of our enemy.
In a day when we see reports about people being arrested on public property because they were photographing public buildings, on the one hand, and then on the other hand we are allowing these weapons to be sold to terrorists? No. It is okay to sell them to a government, but not to these private individuals who are going to turn around and sell them to the terrorists.
There are certain things that we need to adjust to after 9/11. We are in a war against terrorism. Why would we go along with arming the opposition? So I think much of the argument that has been made supports our contention that we ought to ban the export of these to nongovernmental entities.
Mr. Chairman, I yield to the gentlewoman from New York (Mrs. Maloney) for the purpose of making a unanimous consent request.
(Mrs. MALONEY asked and was given permission to revise and extend her remarks.)
Mrs. MALONEY. Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of the Moran amendment.
The CHAIRMAN. All time has expired. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Moran).
The question was taken; and the Chairman announced that the noes appeared to have it.
Mr. MORAN of Virginia. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
Neither did I.
I don't see the problem. I mean, you can't hunt with them thangs Them guns there are fer killin'...jeeps.
A Democrap, what do you expect?
I know Moron has been on the anti 50 caliber high horse for years but I always thought his crap was never brought up.
"Clear and present danger to public safety" come the fuck on!
An automobile is a "clear and present danger to public safety"
a baseball bat is a "clear and present danger to public safety"
a roman candle is a "clear and present danger to public safety"
Hey, maybe an old leg of a chair could snap while someone sitting and they break their neck? That sounds like a "clear and present danger to public safety"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Someone could use a stock bolt action .223, with no scope even, and still rob a bank or murder someone. Don't you guys see that the gobment is restricting weapons not for public safety but for something bigger? Why outlaw .50's? Because they're a threat against military/law enforcement, not because someone can a rob a bank with one or snipe people at a church, you could do that shit with any kind of gun. You could hold up a school with a fucking realistsic looking beebee gun and slit their throats with a knife. The whole liberal ideal is a joke. ...Sorry... just needed to get that out.
Where the hell you been for the past two years???
Are you on crack???
The anti-gunners have been pushing to ban the almight Fifty-Cal because it can shoot down alien space ships, it can destroy armored vehicles, it can kill terrorists from fifteen miles away - and worse yet... it can kill children!!!!
This is just another bullshit law to make criminals out of law abiding citizens.
I know that I just never knew THIS PARTICULAR AMENDMENT banning the export of 50 caliber centefire rifles was actually brought up and voted on.
I cant read legalese too well, isnt this is reference to export to other countries only?
Someone should put down both the bong & male page & wake up & smell the fucking reality......................
That caught my eye, as well. Maybe they should atleast come up with some believable lies.