55 Firearms and Ammunition Execs Meet With Congress

National Shooting Sports Foundation Logo

Lobbyists can do a wonderful job representing our Second Amendment rights, but on occasion, industry leaders need to meet with our elected officials for face-to-face meetings. Recently, the NSSF brought together 55 firearms and ammunition industry executives with members of Congress, the effort is already starting to show positive results. National Shooting Sports Foundation Logo The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) held its’ annual Congressional Fly-In April 10-11, holding meetings with more than 70 lawmakers in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives from both political parties. Those industry leaders represented manufacturers, distributors, range owners, retailers, and publishers from 25 states. The goal was to remind lawmakers of the economic contributions the industry makes to their states and Congressional districts and highlight barriers they face in growing their businesses.

Industry’s Legislative Priorities

NSSF presented several pieces of pending legislation and regulations, including Export Control ReformThe Federal Firearms Licensee Protection Act, the Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act, the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, and Age-Based Gun Bans being proposed in several states and in Congress.

One week later, three of those issues are already seeing significant progress.

Export Control Reform

The same day industry leaders were discussing Export Control Reform, The White House cleared the parallel proposed rules from the State Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) and the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) to transfer commercial firearms and related ammunition from U.S. Munitions List (USML) Categories I, II, and III (firearms and ammunition) to Commerce Control List.

Now that the rules have cleared, we expect to see the publication within two to six weeks. There are several more hurdles to overcome, but this development is a crucial milestone to allowing U.S. manufacturers to compete on a more even playing field with international manufacturers. It will also eliminate fees for hobbyist gunsmiths who only repair firearms, but does not make them for sale or export.

Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act

In less than a week, H.R. 788, the Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act was passed out of the U.S. House of Representatives Natural Resources Committee with a bipartisan unanimous vote. House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah) said in a press statement, the legislation is a “win-win for hunters, sportsmen and wildlife restoration.” The legislation will allow states more flexibility in using Pittman-Robertson excise tax funds to develop and maintain public shooting ranges. The excise tax is paid by firearms and ammunition manufacturers, which is supported by the gun owners who buy the products. Increased funding for public ranges will increase access and allow more people to participate in the shooting sports, which will perpetuate Pittman-Robertson funds for future projects and wildlife conservation. The bill will next head to the House floor for a vote by the full body.

Federal Firearms Licensee Protection Act

H.R. 3790, the Federal Firearms Licensee Protection Act, picked up five additional cosponsors. Along with the Senate companion, S. 1854, the legislation would strengthen criminal penalties for the theft of firearms from firearms retailers and impose mandatory minimum sentences.

Concealed Carry Reciprocity

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) spoke to industry leaders after he was presented with the NSSF 2017 Legislator of the Year Award. He noted that while there was a milestone in passing the Fix NICS Act, he remained committed to pursuing Senate passage of S. 446, the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, which he sponsored. It currently has 39 cosponsors. Similar legislation, H.R. 38, passed the House last December.

Economic Impact

Industry leaders had good news for members of Congress who appreciate the economic contribution of the industry explaining it has grown 169 percent since 2008, contributing $51.4 billion in economic activity, supporting 311,000 jobs, and paying more than $6.7 billion in Federal and state taxes and another $717 million in excise taxes last year alone. Congress is responding by taking the industry’s concerns and turning that into legislative action.

None of this is possible without an engaged and committed industry that comes together to meet with its elected leaders. The work isn’t done. The NSSF staff remains on Capitol Hill working to further the industry’s priorities. You can still do you part by taking your elected leaders to work.

Together, we have demonstrated the strength of our industry and what can happen when we work together to advance our agenda.

What proposed legislation would you most like to see passed first? Which legislation is not on the NSSF’s list that should be? Share your answers in the comment section.

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Comments (9)

  1. I’d like to know who the legislators were that attended and tie them back to cosponsors and bill writing, so we know who to support and who not to.

    1. @ Doug.

      Depends on how the Vote was cast? Both the US.Hse.of Rep and the US Senate have Four Different Systems of Voting: 1. Voice Vote, 2. Roll-Call Vote, 3. Ballot Vote and 4. Electronic Vote. In the case of a “Roll-Call” vote a Name is called and replied by either a “Yeah” or “No” vote. The Latter is Done Electronically by Computer by a simple touch of a Button at the Representatives/Senators assigned desk. Both Voice Vote and Ballot Vote, No Names are Recorded and are only done on Controversial Bills (i.e. the “ACA”). The “S.H.A.R.E.” Act is a Controversial Bill…

  2. How about a 10 or so year maximum on weapons disability for non-violent felony offenders with a clean record for those years. Let me clarify, 10 or so years AFTER all obligations, and release from incarceration.

  3. I’d like to see BATFE capability enhanced to handle it’s stated regularity for gun dealer checks (once a year). At present, they seem to have only enough funding to inspect once every ~5 years. I’d guess it’s a matter of funding, and I wouldn’t be surprised if us gun lobbyers had something to do with that, but I don’t know for sure.

    While gun dealers and gun owners (like me) don’t want or need more regulations, hear me out on this before you call me a snowflake. Illinois and other states are mounting efforts to set up state authorized gun dealer licensing laws. Quite a few have passed already, though not yet in IL. Parkland has certainly given impetus to gun control forces gaining power in a way not seen before – maybe sustained this time.

    Imagine having to deal with 50 different sets of state laws, and for gun owners and dealers, the additional cost burden to fund those additional regulatory systems, installed on a basis that the feds aren’t doing the inspection their charter calls for them to do. And imagine the myriad opportunities for tighter control and increasing costs, once those state systems get into place.

    Heck, NSSF and gun dealers should get together nationally and nip this thing in the bud asap! For Illinois, they’re talking video cameras everywhere in every dealer, and while they can’t fund the program from the license fees to get it passed, rest assured those fees would be increasing before the ink on the legal document is dry.

  4. I can only hope this is positive news. 20/17- 18 have not been good for us patriotic citizens. I’m an N.R.A and G.O.A. member.I try to do my part.I hope all of you do to.Thanks

    1. @ joefoam.

      US Hse.of Rep. Bill H.R. 367: The “Hearing and Protection Act” of 9 January 2017, got Buried in H.R. 3668: The “Sportsman’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act” of 1 September 2017. It’s a “Hot Potato Bill” with a Plutonium-235 Aftertaste, that Nobody in the US Congress is actively trying to pass. It’s STILL sitting in the “House Floors” as of 18 September 2017, and most likely going to STAY there with NO Shining Light lighting the way forward…

    2. The Republicans care more about what liberals say than they do about the hearing of law abiding gun owners. The only reason the HPA is a “hot potato “ is due to the spineless weasels who won’t stand up to the liberals and the mainstream media.

    3. @ June J.

      A “Simple Majority Vote” in the US.Hse.of Rep. is ~261 Votes. There are only 236 Republican in the US.Hse.of Rep. 25 Short of a Simple Majority Vote. The Last Vote on the “SHARE Act” in 18 September 2017 was 115 Fore and 314 Against. Of which 121 Republicans “DIDN’T” Vote for the “SHARE Act”…

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