Originally Posted By 95thFoot:
S. 397 Update
Monday, August 08, 2005
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. Then why the study?? NIJ already does study ammo and it's effect on body armor, the AG can also determine what is AP, see 18 U.S.C Sec 921(a)(17)(c)
Now imagine that we get another president like Billyboy, and another AG like Reno. Gee she''s looking at a study that says a 150gr failsafe in a 308 at XXXXFPS will penetrate body armor as worn by plice officers. Well gee the AG could just decide, well this round could kill a cop so it's not a spoting round. Yah it may seem like a far fetched tin foil hat idea, but shit like that got us the AWB, the sporting purposes clause and other related BS anti-gun laws. They should pull the amendment, there is already a law that defines AP ammo let it be, there was nothing wrong with it for the last 12 years so why change anything?
(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.
* 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
(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.)
So, are we getting a poison pill? A bad bill of goods dressed as a savior? Again, 'splain it to me. I don' get it. Anytime Teddy the Hutt attaches something to a pro-gun bill, it's very bad for gunowners. Volkmer-McClure Act with its "no more new Class III guns" sound familiar?