Politic

House Dems propose bills to stop online ammo sales, ban mags

House | News | Politic

House Democrats have introduced a number of new gun control measures in the wake of a deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas.

Among the proposals are HR.3962 to ban online ammunition sales, H.R. 4025 requiring gun dealers to report the sale of two or more rifles to the same person in a five-day period, and HR. 4052, which would ban magazines able to hold greater than 10 rounds.

“Several of my colleagues and I have introduced commonsense legislation that, if enacted, would reduce gun violence and the tragic impact it has on our communities,” said U.S. Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, the New Jersey Democrat sponsoring the Stop Online Ammunition Sales Act.

Coleman’s proposal is much like a state law approved last year by voters in California in the respect that it would require federally licensed ammo dealers to directly confirm the identity of those buying ammo over the Internet by verifying a photo I.D. in-person. Also, the measure would require the vendor to report any individual sales of more than 1,000 rounds in a five-day period to the U.S. Attorney General. Garnering 29 co-sponsors, all Democrat, the measure has been referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary.

Gun reporting

The Multiple Firearm Sales Reporting Modernization Act, sponsored by U.S. Rep. Norma Torres, D-Calf., would require FFLs to report the sale of two or more long guns to the same buyer within a five-day period to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

Currently, dealers must report multiple handgun sales while a 2011 rule that requires only dealers in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas report multiple rifle sales. Under the new proposal, it would be the law of the land.

“This bill is a long-overdue update,” said Torres. “Our law enforcement agencies need to know if anyone is stocking up on AR-15s and AK-47s.”

The measure, referred to the Judiciary Committee, has three co-sponsors including Nevada Democrat Dina Titus, whose district includes Las Vegas.

Magazine restrictions

Billed as the Keep Americans Safe Act, Connecticut’s Elizabeth Etsy would ban detachable magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds. Backed by several gun control groups including the Brady Campaign and the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, Esty contends it is needed for public safety.

“There is simply no good reason why sportsmen and women need more than 10 rounds in a magazine,” said Esty in a statement. “No sportsman or woman needs 30 rounds to kill a deer. It’s shameful that we protect our deer better than we protect our people.”

Referred to the Judiciary committee, Esty’s bill has 85 partisan supporters including virtually Nevada’s entire delegation to the House apart from U.S. Rep. Mark Amodei, a Republican whose district hails from the more conservative Northern part of the state including Reno and Carson City.

The bills join measures to ban bump stocks and other devices that can accelerate a gun’s rate of fire, mandates for smart gun use, expanded background check proposals and efforts to increase federal funding for gun crime research, all introduced in the past two weeks.

4th Green Beret missing after Niger ambush has been found dead

House | News | Politic

 

US officials say an American soldier missing for nearly two days in Niger has been found dead. He was one of four US troops killed in a deadly ambush.

His body was found and identified Friday after an extensive search. Four Niger security forces were also killed.

The Department of Defense on Friday also identified the first three Green Berets killed as Staff Sgt. Bryan C. Black, 35, of Washington; Staff Sgt. Jeremiah W. Johnson, 39, of Ohio; and Staff Sgt. Dustin M. Wright, 29, of Georgia.

The name of the fourth Green Beret killed has yet to be released.

US officials say they believe extremists linked to ISIS were responsible for the attack about 200 kilometers north of Niger’s capital of Niamey.

The joint patrol of US and Niger forces were leaving a meeting with tribal leaders and were in trucks. They were ambushed by 40-50 militants in vehicles and on motorcycles.

Eight Niger soldiers and two US troops were wounded. The officials weren’t authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Gun stocks surge amid administration plans to ease export rules

News | Politic

 

Stocks for major gun makers surged Tuesday after a report surfaced claiming the Trump administration will ease export restrictions on small arms effective next year.

Four senior U.S. officials told Reuters the rule change would shift oversight of commercial arms sales from the State Department to the Commerce Department — giving American manufacturers more leeway to sell guns internationally, creating more jobs stateside and adhering to the president’s “Buy American” policy platform.

“Commerce wants more exports to help reduce the trade deficit. Amd State wants to stop things because it sees (arms) proliferation as inherently bad,” one of the officials, who spoke on a condition of anonymity, told Reuters. “We want to make a decision that prioritizes what’s more important. This will allow us to get in the (small arms sales) game for the first time ever.”

Sturm, Ruger and Co. and American Outdoor Brands — Smith & Wesson’s holding company — closed with double digit increases Tuesday. Vista Outdoor stock likewise gained more than 3 percent. The sudden boost follows a “difficult” summer for gun makers and retailers still standing in the shadow of last year’s record-breaking sales. Since the November election, stocks for Smith & Wesson and Ruger fell 50 percent and 26 percent, respectively. Both companies blame weak demand, with Smith & Wesson’s CEO predicting as much as a 17 percent decline in annual profits through 2018. Ruger’s second quarter net sales dropped 22 percent and its quarterly earnings fell by almost half compared to 2016.

The prospect of eased restrictions, however, could cure the industry’s malaise. Lawrence Keane, senior vice president for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, told Reuters the rule change would boost annual sales by as much as 20 percent.

The details of the new regulations could become public this fall before full implementation in 2018, according to the report.

Governor sidelined Nevada expanded background check law

House | News | Politic

 

Nevada’s Republican governor, Brian Sandoval, has asked for further legal guidance on implementation of a voter-approved universal background check law that never took effect.

The measure won by a thin margin at the polls last November but was suspended by Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt over concerns on how it would be applied. Now, Sandoval has asked Laxalt’s office to take another look at the law, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

Laxalt pumped the brakes on the measure after receiving a letter from the Federal Bureau of Investigation explaining the state’s private party background checks are in the purview of Nevada’s own resources as one of the 13 “point of contact” states that conduct their own checks through a central repository. With the federal government declining to process the expanded checks directly, and the Nevada Department of Public Safety neither authorized nor funded by the ballot measure’s language to run the checks, Laxalt contends the law is unenforceable.

With backers of the measure threatening a lawsuit, Sandoval has asked Laxalt to explore the bifurcated approach that would let the FBI handle person-to-person checks and the state others, The Nevada Independent reported. This “partial point-of-contact” concept would split responsibility for background checks between the Nevada and the feds.

Everytown President John Feinblatt argues Sandoval should direct state officials to immediately work with the FBI to implement the law, pointing out that nine other states already operate as partial point-of-contact states

“It is unconscionable that, after months of refusing to enforce the will of the people, the Governor is now passing the buck,” Feinblatt said in a statement. “He doesn’t need another opinion from the attorney general—particularly not the same attorney general who starred in the NRA’s ads opposing this law.”

The referendum backed by gun control advocates, Question 1, failed in 16 of the state’s 17 counties with only voters in Clark County approving the measure, in the end passing by around 10,000 votes. The initiative was funded by a $19.7 million campaign fueled in large part by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

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