September 8th, 2010

NSSF Supports ATF Modernization Legislation

ATF logo FirearmsThe National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) is supporting the passage of new legislation, Senate Bill 941, that would expand “due process” rights for Federal Firearms License holders. The proposed law, titled “The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Reform and Firearms Modernization Act of 2009″, provides the ATF with additional “non-doomsday” regulatory options (short of revocation) while at the same time affording licensees more rights and due process in the regulatory scheme.

The bi-partisan bill was introduced by Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.). It would allow ATF new powers to issue fines and suspend licenses of federal firearms licensees (as opposed to current regulations which only allow for license revocation). The legislation would also allow ATF to distinguish between more serious violations and “benign/administrative” violations. Furthermore, the legislation would create an appeals process, whereby FFLs would have cases heard before a neutral administrative law judge, rather than an ATF official.

NSSF supports S. 941 because it helps protect the rights of FFLs while giving ATF more tools (beyond license revocation) to ensure licensee compliance. Companion legislation in the House was introduced by Rep. Steve King (R- Iowa) and Zack Space (D-Ohio).

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