Bills to Legalize Suppressors Advance to
Governors in Minnesota, Vermont
RESIDENTS URGED TO CONTACT GOVERNORS IN SUPPORT . . . Minnesota and Vermont could soon become the 40th and 41st states to legalize the ownership of firearm suppressors. On Sunday evening, the Minnesota Legislature, with bipartisan support, approved an omnibus package (SF 878), which among other things would legalize the ownership of suppressors and their use for hunting. Additionally, late last week, the Vermont Senate added an amendment to a hunting package (H. 5) to legalize the ownership and possession of suppressors. If you are a resident of either of these states, please contact your governor in support of these bills. Suppressors are currently legal to use and possess in 39 states, while 35 states currently allow suppressor use for hunting.
- NSSF PURSUING UPS POLICY CHANGE ON SUPPRESSORS . . . NSSF last week learned that UPS has begun to enforce a longstanding policy regarding the shipment of suppressors. UPS says it will no longer ship suppressors, even between licensees. NSSF, in coordination with NRA and the American Suppressor Association, is working with UPS executives to address their compliance concerns underlying this unwarranted policy. We are unaware of any thefts or losses that would explain the shipping company's sudden decision to enforce a prohibition against shipment. NSSF will keep you apprised of developments. Separately, NSSF is also working with ASA to urge the U.S. State Department to change its policy to allow the commercial export of suppressors.
2015 Industry Summit
- INDUSTRY SUMMIT AT CAPACITY . . . The 2015 NSSF Industry Summit, June 1-3 in Savannah, Georgia, has reached capacity. Registration to the event is now closed. More than 200 industry members and representatives of groups involved with the entire spectrum of our industry will be in attendance for what has become the premier forum for leaders of the shooting sports industry. The Summit will feature dynamic speakers, thought-provoking discussions and groundbreaking research as we work to chart the way forward for our industry and our sports.
Setting the Record Straight
'SMART GUN' MANDATE IS UNACCEPTABLE . . . Gun control activists have long advocated for the incorporation of authorized-user technology in firearms. For the record, the firearms industry does not oppose the development or marketing of such firearms. New Jersey is the only state to have enacted a law that would mandate all new handguns sold in that state be so-called "smart guns," should a proven technology become available in the marketplace. That state's attorney general has ruled that no such proven technology is available. Belatedly, even gun control advocates have come to realize that smart gun legal mandates were a bad idea. "Even if there were a perfectly reliable smart gun, the mandate is unacceptable," Larry Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel, told Bloomberg Business. "We don't want the government forcing this down on consumers."
- MARYLAND GOV. HOGAN SIGNS BALLISTICS IMAGING REPEAL . . . Gov. Larry Hogan last week signed SB 736, repealing Maryland's ballistics imaging program that had required firearms manufacturers and retailers to submit bullet casings for all handguns sold in the state. The signing of the bill is a victory for the industry as it brings to an end a 15-year-long, previously defunded experiment in crime lab technology that never worked, but that was embraced by gun control advocates. Under the direction of Jake McGuigan, Director, Government Relations-State Affairs, NSSF has worked diligently to repeal this legislation. The effort was capped by a final push in the waning days of the legislative session. NSSF would like to thank all the legislators who actively played a part, specifically, Sen. Ed Reilly, Del. Seth Howard and the leadership in both the House and Senate, whose support was paramount. Read the Guns.com account of the end to this ineffective and costly program.
- HOUSE SUBCOMMITTEE ADVANCES KEY APPROPRIATIONS BILL . . . The U.S. House Commerce Justice and Science (CJS) Subcommittee last week passed the FY16 CJS Appropriations bill. The measure contains additional funding for the Bureau of Industry & Security (BIS) included as the result of NSSF's request to Chairman John Culberson (R-Texas) in order to help the Export Control Reform (ECR) initiative move forward for Categories I – III. We anticipate progress to begin on ECR shortly after Memorial Day. Additionally, the bill makes the $500 Canadian exemption permanent law, rather than just for one year at a time. Also included in the bill is language prohibiting any funds from being used to force FFLs to report to ATF the sale of multiple long guns to the same person, and the legislation makes permanent the provision that ATF cannot ban the import of a shotgun on the basis that it isn't particularly suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes unless a similar model was already rejected for import prior to 2011. Finally, the bill bars the use of taxpayer money to implement the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty.
- OREGON GOVERNOR SIGNS UNIVERSAL BACKGROUND CHECK BILL . . . As expected, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown signed legislation to require background checks for private firearm sales. SB 94, which extends background checks for many private firearms transfers, passed the house two weeks ago by a 32-28 vote. The bill exempts background checks for the transfer of firearms by a law enforcement agency, private security, members of the military, between spouses, domestic partners or other immediate relatives, or resulting from a death. Retailers will be allowed to charge the service fee they deem necessary for completing a criminal history record check and the required ATF recordkeeping entries. The bill also grants retailers immunity from potential civil liability resulting from conducting the background check.
- FAMILIES AFIELD BILLS SIGNED INTO LAW IN MONT., TENN. . . . Gov. Steve Bullock signed into law HB 140, making Montana the 37th state to enact Families Afield legislation since 2006. The new law will allow hunters between the ages of 10 and 18 to hunt under the supervision of a licensed adult prior to taking a hunter education course. Meanwhile, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam signed into law SB 1237, which will expand Tennessee's current Families Afield program. The new law will allow an individual to purchase an apprentice hunting permit for up to three years, an increase from the current one year apprentice permit option.
For more of the latest Government Relations news, see last week's Government Relations Update.
- SUPREME COURT RULES FELONS MAY TRANSFER FIREARMS . . . The U.S. Supreme Court today ruled unanimously that while a convicted felon is prohibited from possessing firearms, the individual retains the right to sell or otherwise dispose of them. The case involves a former U.S. Border patrol officer, Tony Henderson, who was convicted of a felony in 2006 and sought to sell his gun collection that included a personal firearm and antique guns. The high court ruled that once an individual is convicted of a felony, his or her lawfully owned firearms can be transferred from government custody to a third party if a court is satisfied that the recipient would not give the felon control over the firearms.
- RHODE ISLAND SUPREME COURT CLARIFIES 'MAY ISSUE' STANDARD . . . The Rhode Island Supreme Court has made it easier for state residents to obtain concealed carry licenses by clarifying the standard that must be applied in that "may issue" state. Last month the court ruled that a former East Providence police chief's decision to deny a concealed carry license must be reviewed and any decision to deny the license must be based on a factual reason pursuant to statute. The original letter denying the license stated only that the petitioner "failed to show good reason to fear an injury to [himself] or property" and was therefore disqualified. The conclusions reached by the former chief were insufficient for the court and failed to follow the proper analysis, which does not require a showing of need to obtain a CCW license. The new chief of police has 90 days in which to review the petition and any supplemental information and must follow the proper analysis in making the decision to grant or deny the license application.
- TRIAL DATE SET IN NSSF SUIT AGAINST CALIFORNIA CITY . . . Trial is set to begin Dec. 4 in NSSF's suit against the City of Pleasant Hill, California. NSSF and City Arms East, an NSSF Premium Retailer Member, sued the municipality after the city council approved a zoning ordinance that restricts the location of firearms retailers within city limits and imposes additional burdensome requirements on these lawfully operating businesses. The city's restrictive ordinance already has contributed to the closing of one of the city's few FFLs, announced earlier this month. NSSF's suit has as a goal to help ensure no other FFLs are similarly impacted.
- IMPORT/EXPORT CONFERENCE REGISTRATION OPENS . . . The annual NSSF-FAIR Trade Import/Export Conference will be held Aug. 4-5 in Washington, D.C. Due to very positive feedback, this year will once again feature roundtable sessions with ATF, including eForms and Compliance and Imports, National Firearms Act, Firearms Technology, and Firearms Industry Programs Branches, as well as with invited officials from the Commerce Department, BIS Munitions Control Licensing Division, State Department DDTC, Customs and Border Protection, Treasury's Tax and Trade Bureau, and Census Bureau's Automated Export System. The conference will also feature topics related to Export Control Reform, presentations from ATF, an update on the Census Bureau's Automated Export System (AES) and State Department speakers. Register now for early-bird pricing.
- SHOT SHOW EXHIBITOR ACADEMY COMING JUNE 16-18 . . . Whether this is your first SHOT Show or your 38th, the 2015 SHOT Show Exhibitor Academy will deliver the education you need to succeed at SHOT and beyond. It's two and a half days of learning how to improve your SHOT Show experience, increase your ROI and get the most out of your exhibit—and it's free! To learn more, visit shotshow.org.
- USITC FIREARMS AND AMMUNITION DATA FOR MARCH, FIRST-QUARTER 2015 . . . NSSF tracks and reports monthly U.S. import units for several sporting arms, ammunition and optics categories from the U.S. International Trade Commission. See a complete breakdown for March 2015 compared to March 2014, with additional 2015 first-quarter (January-March) data. NSSF members may access additional historical import and export data by logging in and clicking NSSF Industry Research.
- DID YOU KNOW? . . . NSSF has dozens of industry and consumer reports to choose from containing crucial industry insight that can help your business grow. Many of the research reports are free to our members, while others are provided at a substantial discount over the non-member price. Voting members have access to all NSSF research papers at no charge. Read more.
- PREVENT CRIME WITH PROPER TRASH DISPOSAL . . . How many times a day do you crumple up a piece of paper and toss it into the trash? That's the end of that piece of paper, right? Not quite. Believe it or not, there are criminals hoping to find trashed merchandise or information in your dumpster that can lead to big losses for your business. Learn about the methods criminals use, what types of trash they are looking for and how you can protect your business in NSSF's latest retailer blog post.
- ATF Q&A . . . Every week many great questions come in on our NSSF member compliance hotline. This hotline is free to our members and available 24/7. Log into your account to get the details. The first question asks what an FFL should do when it finds it has lost a completed Form 4473. The second question asks what information should be entered into the A&D records in regards to the heading "Type" under "Description of Firearm." Click on the links to find answers to these and many more great questions from our members.
- OLD FORT GUN CLUB TO HOST 2015 RIMFIRE CHALLENGE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP . . . For the second year in a row, Old Fort Gun Club, in Fort Smith, Arkansas, has partnered with NSSF as the hosting range for the 2015 NSSF Rimfire Challenge World Championship, to be held October 9-11. With extensive experience hosting many types of competitive shooting events, Old Fort Gun Club has the experienced staff and the facilities to support large matches. Read more.
- REGISTRATION NOW OPEN FOR 2015 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP . . . Online competitor registration is available now for the NSSF Rimfire Challenge World Championship. Shooter participation is limited to 200, so competitors are urged to sign up now. Visit nssf.org/rimfire/championship to register online and to learn more about the World Championship. There are still sponsorship opportunities available for the World Championship, and NSSF is encouraging all members of the firearms industry to join us in supporting this important competition through prize table donations.
News of Note
- NEARLY 200 ATTEND INUSTRY COMPLIANCE CONFERENCE . . . The 2015 Firearms Compliance Conference, co-hosted by Orchid Advisors and NSSF, was held in Orlando, Florida, last week. In attendance were nearly 200 industry representatives as well as impressive representation from ATF Headquarters and field offices. Platinum and Silver sponsors were Epicor and Smith & Wesson. For three days, attendees involved in manufacturing, import/export, distribution and retail learned about a variety of compliance topics. Feedback concerning the conference was overwhelmingly positive and a number of attendees have already registered for the 2016 event to be held in Atlanta, Georgia. Additional information about registration can be found at orchidadvisors.com.
- NHF DAY SALUTES NSSF . . . National Hunting and Fishing Day recognized NSSF as a longtime supporter and an organization dedicated to promoting, protecting and preserving hunting, target shooting and conservation in a recent newsletter feature "NSSF: Continued Commitment to Conservation." An excerpt: "For more than 50 years, NSSF has fulfilled its mission by educating and funding many projects that help sportsmen and women enjoy the great outdoors. Without their support, our conservation success story might read much differently."
- DETROIT GUN WORKS WINS MICHIGAN 50 COMPANIES TO WATCH AWARD . . . NSSF member Detroit Gun Works has been selected as one of the 2015 'Michigan 50 Companies to Watch' by the Michigan Celebrates Small Business organization. The award honors growth-oriented small businesses based on market expansion, job creation, technological innovation and community impact.
- MCPHAIL WINS GOLD FOR USA SHOOTING . . . Michael McPhail, of Darlington, Wisconsin, won a gold medal, an Olympic quota and nearly broke a world record for men's prone rifle at the International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) World Cup for Rifle and Pistol. A member of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit, McPhail finished just four-tenths of a point away from tying the world record. Fellow USA Shooting Team member Matt Emmons, of Browns Mills, New Jersey, finished second. Emmons had won gold and an Olympic quota at the most recent ISSF Rifle/Pistol World Cup in Changwon, South Korea, in April. Amy Sowash, of Richmond, Kentucky, also earned an Olympic quota spot in women's three-position rifle.
- NYSOWA PRESENTS COMMUNICATOR AWARDS . . . The New York State Outdoor Writers Association presented the winners of its annual writing and photography recognition program with carved duck decoy first-place awards and second- and third-place cash awards at the annual banquet of the organization, sponsored by NSSF at the 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel on May 9. See the winning stories and photographs.
- NSSF IN THE NEWS . . . Las Vegas Review-Journal, CNYCentral (New York news affiliates NBC 3, CBS 5, CW 6), Bloomberg Business, Guns.com, Sporting Classics and many other news outlets across the country included NSSF in their coverage last week. Popular topics included women and the shooting sports, New Jersey's smart gun law, wildfire prevention and more. View a full wrap-up of NSSF in the News.
- FIREARMS INDUSTRY JOBS . . . Visit nssf.org/jobs for current employment opportunities in the shooting, hunting and outdoor industry. Employers: Log in to post a job opening.
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