NSSF Leads Opposition to Ammo Ban Plan Attempt

The National Shooting Sports Foundation led the chorusof opposition to a last-minute traditional lead-component ammunition ban attempt by outgoing U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Director Dan Ashe.  Director’s Order 219 was published on the last full day of President Obama’s administration, without industry input and without scientific reasoning.

Larry Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel, has called on the next director to immediately roll back the order.  The directive calls for the banning of traditional ammunition on federal lands upon the introduction of any information that suggests wildlife is harmed by its use.  It also bans the use of lead shot for dove and upland bird hunting.

On Thursday, U.S. Reps. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and Blake Farenthold (R-Texas), Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Interior, Energy and the Environment, sent a letter to the USFWS Acting Director asking for all documents related to the issuance of Director’s Order 219 by Feb. 13.

President’s High Court Pick to be Named Next Week

President Trump told Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Thursday night that he has decided on a U.S. Supreme Court nominee that he will announce on Thursday, Feb. 2. Fox News previously reported that the President had narrowed his short list to Judges Neil Gorsuch of Colorado, Thomas Hardiman of Pennsylvania and William Pryor of Alabama.  There is no question that the choice of a pro-Second Amendment Supreme Court Justice to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia was a leading concern for gun owners in the 2016 election.  You will remember that the make-up of the Supreme Court was the top voter education issue for NSSF’s #GUNVOTE initiative.

Attorney General Confirmation Stalled

The U.S. Senate is temporarily stalled on the confirmation of Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) as the next U.S. Attorney General.  Sessions was expected to be confirmed by the Senate Judiciary Committee, but that vote was held up by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) after protest marches mostly over immigration policy issues.  Sessions provided 190 pages of written answers to questions submitted by the Senate committee and Feinstein insisted more time was needed to review those answers.

Sessions is on the record as a strident supporter of the Second Amendment, calling it a “personal right,” during his confirmation hearings.  He also voiced concern about universal background checks, pledged to end practices such as “Operation Choke Point” and vowed to be tough on criminals for the misuse of firearms instead of targeting industry.  NSSF signed a letter supporting his quick confirmation which was entered into the Congressional record.

NSSF-Endorsed Interior Secretary Pick Vote Delayed

Congressman Ryan Zinke’s (R-Mont.) nomination to be the next Secretary of the Interior was delayed one week by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.  The vote was expected this week in order to advance the nomination to the full Senate.  Instead, it is now slated for Tuesday, Jan. 31.

Zinke, a former Navy SEAL, is a lifelong hunter and outdoorsman.  NSSF’s endorsement of Zinke was entered into the record during his confirmation hearing.  In his testimony, he told the committee he was “an unapologetic fan of Teddy Roosevelt.” He voiced concerned about the limitation of public lands for hunting, worrying that it would soon become a sport of an elite few.  Zinke also said a new spirit of understanding must come from Washington with regard to state and local concerns when crafting policy.  This need for more input was highlighted by the Obama Administration’s parting shot to ban traditional ammunition in just five years without dialogue with industry, the scientific community or hunting and conservation groups.

Hearing Protection Act Needs Your Help

Advancing the Hearing Protection Act (HPA) introduced earlier this month by U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Congressman Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) and John Carter (R-Texas).  The Hearing Protection Act is and strongly supported by NSSF will require the active grassroots support of Americans who understand the benefit to gun owners of reducing the long wait time and burdensome paperwork now required for a law-abiding citizen to acquire a suppressor. The long road to eventual passage in the Senate will likely take several months, perhaps years, and is not assured.  For that reason, it is not too early to contact your Senators and Congressman to ask them to support the Hearing Protection Act (S.59 in the Senate / H.R.367 in the House). Become informed.  See the NSSF factsheet on suppressors. Email your Senators or Congressman today. NSSF will keep you informed of all developments, but contacting your Senators and Congressman early in the legislative process will help establish that there is a large and growing base for the Hearing Protection Act,

Sound of Gunfire Now a Safety Feature?

In their loud opposition to the Hearing Protection Act, gun control advocates are now claiming that the sound of gunfire actually is a safety feature. Instead of learning how suppressors work, their effect on hearing retention and ignoring the fact they are legal in 42 states for recreational shooting and in 40 states for hunting, they now argue that guns should make as much noise as possible. The NSSF’s Larry Keane shares observations on the opposition to the HPA.

Governors, Officials at SHOT Show Looking for Companies

As the firearms industry continues to grow, its companies become more and more sought after by many states’ economic development departments and elected officials due to their positive economic and employment impact. Numerous states already exhibit at the SHOT Show, but we also had a number of statewide elected officials personally visit the 2017 Show.  This year, the NSSF had the pleasure of hosting Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead, Idaho Gov. Butch Otter, Florida Lt. Gov. Carlos López-Cantera, and Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes.

Washington State to Consider Bill for ‘Assault Weapon’ & ‘Large-Capacity’ Magazine Registration

On Thursday, Feb. 2, at 1:30 p.m., the Washington House Judiciary Committee will consider House Bill 1387, an extremely convoluted bill requiring registration and licensing for all “assault weapons” and “large capacity” magazines in the state. The 28-page bill, introduced at the behest of Attorney General Bob Ferguson, is eerily similar to the California licensing and registration schemes of the past. California originally grandfathered “large-capacity” magazines, but last year required confiscation of all magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds. Additionally, the licensing of such legally-owned items would be left up to the chief local law enforcement officer and would require proof of a safety training program. See the full text of the proposed legislation.

Update on Lawsuit against Mass. AG’s Action

NSSF and plaintiff firearms retailers are continuing the legal battle against Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey’s July 2016 enforcement notice that banned several semi-automatic rifles that have been sold in the state for nearly two decades.  NSSF believes that the notice and “interpretation” are illegal, unconstitutionally vague, invalid and unenforceable.  In September, NSSF and firearms retailers filed our complaint in district court.  The Attorney General in November filed a motion to dismiss the complaint and oral arguments are scheduled to be heard April 7.  NSSF will continue to provide updates as the case moves forward in the coming months.

The National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action on Wednesday announced it would provide financial and legal support of Massachusetts Gun Owners’ Action League (GOAL) lawsuit against Healey’s action.  “Banning firearms because of the way they look or operate is unconstitutional and undermines the fundamental, individual right to self-protection,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action.

Indiana Looks to Reform Armor-Piercing Ammo Law 

Indiana State Rep. Woody Burton (R-58) recently introduced legislation that would reform the definition of “armor piercing ammunition” to conform to federal law. The state’s current statute strictly prohibits the sale or possession of any “plastic coated” ammunition. House Bill 1095 will allow target shooters to use the same ammunition already allowed in the 49 other states. NSSF supports this bill as it will allow for technological advances in ammunition, while allowing Hoosiers to use such rounds for recreational shooting.

Minn. Sees Traditional Ammo Protection Bill

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in 2015 proposed a ban on the use of lead shot for all hunting in the Farmland zone. This rule was proposed will no scientific evidence to support such a ban. Now the legislature will intervene and multiple bills have been introduced to prohibit the Commissioner of Natural Resources from further restricting the use of lead shot. NSSF will work to ensure the passage of SF 263 and HF 256 to protect your ability to use traditional ammunition when hunting and will keep you informed of developments.

Has Your Tenn. Business Been Discriminated Against?

Has your firearms business been refused credit or other financial services solely because you’re involved in the firearms industry? The NSSF is currently working with Tennessee legislators to put a stop to this practice. If you have experienced such discrimination, please reach out to us and tell us your story. Contact Trevor Santos at tsantos@nssf.org or 202-220-1340 ext. 205, and let him know about your experience.

Illinois Suppressor Hearing Postponed 

This past Wednesday the Illinois Senate Criminal Law Committee hearing dealing with Senate Bill 50, which would legalize the possession and use of suppressors in Illinois, was canceled.  At the present time we are unaware of any future hearing dates but will update you as soon as one is scheduled.

N.M. Senate Hearing on Expanded Background Checks

The New Mexico Senate Public Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on Tuesday, Jan. 31 on Senate Bill 48, which would require background checks on all private firearms sales and transfers.  This legislation is another attempt by anti-gun group Everytown for Gun Safety, funded by ex-New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, to impose his ideas of gun control across the country.  Senate Bill 48 would require that all private party transfers be conducted through a licensed retailer, absent an exemption, and could mandate the fee the FFL can charge. Dealers will be forced to take time away from their customers and be saddled with additional record-keeping and potential liability.  SB 48 would also restrict temporary firearm transfers or loans.  NSSF is urging state residents to contact their state senator and urge them to oppose SB 48 when it comes up for a vote.

Montana AG Nixes Missoula City Ordinance

Montana Attorney General Tim Fox this week determined that the ordinance passed by City of Missoula’s city council requiring background checks on virtually all private firearms transfers is prohibited by the state’s preemption law. The nine-page opinion followed Montana House Speaker Austin Knudsen’s request that Fox look into the matter.  “… the Montana Legislature has prohibited all forms of local government from exercising any regulatory power over the purchase, sale or transfer of firearms,” Fox wrote.

Mark Your Calendars: 2017 NSSF Congressional Fly-In

The 2017 NSSF Congressional Fly-In will take place Tuesday, April 4 and Wednesday, April 5. It is critical that our legislators remain abreast of the issues facing our industry, and this premier event, which is limited to voting members and invited guests, affords participants the opportunity to meet directly with Members of Congress and educate them on our legislative priorities and other issues of importance to our industry. Stay tuned for additional details.

Invite Your Elected Officials to Visit Your Facility

The better your representatives in Washington and in your state capital understand your business and challenges, the more responsive they can be to issues that concern you. Both federal and state office holders are eager to meet constituents (and voters), and are interested in learning about your companies, employment and economic impact. Invite your Members of Congress or state legislators to visit your facility with this easy-to-use “Take Your Elected Official to Work” guide.

Signing Up for NSSF PAC Easy for Member Companies

The NSSF PAC works to support pro-firearms industry, pro-Second Amendment and pro-sportsmen candidates for federal office. Federal law requires a trade association PAC to obtain prior approval from its corporate members before it may send important PAC news, including current political news, election information and exclusive invitations to PAC events and updates, to corporate member executives. Now, signing up for NSSF PAC has never been easier. Just click the link below, fill out the form, add contacts (or email us a list of names) and hit submit! What are you waiting for? Help ensure our industry is heard. Sign up today! Online PAC Prior Consent Form.