SHARE Act Update

What’s going on with the Hearing Protection Act???

Good question. Well, we got news this week from the American Suppressor Association that key components of the HPA were being rolled into a larger piece of legislation known as the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act.

The SHARE Act was scheduled to go before the Federal Lands Subcommittee Wednesday — that was until there was a shooting at a GOP congressional baseball practice that left five people wounded, including Congressman Steve Scalise (R-LA), the Majority Whip in the U.S. House of Representatives.

House Natural Resources Federal Lands Subcommittee spokeswoman Molly Block told CNN that the hearing on the SHARE Act will be canceled until further notice.

That stinks, but is understandable.

However, moving forward, when the SHARE Act does go before the subcommittee, it will include under Title XVII, all of the following provisions:

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Lawmaker Wants Concealed Carry For Lawmakers In DC

One Republican lawmaker believes that concealed carry reciprocity for members of Congress should be considered as part of possible security upgrades after House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., was shot at practice for the congressional charity baseball game early Wednesday morning.

Under Rep. Barry Loudermilk’s proposal, members who are allowed to conceal carry a weapon in their home state would be able to in Washington. Loudermilk, R-Ga., said the problem is that the nation’s capital does not recognize concealed carry licenses from other states.

“There are several things to look at,” Loudermilk said. “First of all, if this had happened in Georgia, he wouldn’t have gotten too far. I had a staff member who was in his car, maybe 20 yards behind the shooter… who back in Georgia carries a nine millimeter in his car. I carry a weapon. He had a clear shot at him. But here, we’re not allowed to carry any weapons here… Most of us are here in D.C., so how are you supposed to have it here?”

My real point of contention is the following statement:

“I think we need to look at some kind of reciprocity for members here,” Loudermilk said. “But also we need to look at security detail. If Scalise hadn’t been on our team, it would have been really bad.”

Why allow members access to a right and continue to deny the right to citizens? I am all for allowing concealed carry in DC — but it needs to be available to all, not just a special class of citizenry.

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Bill Advanced To Ease Suppressor Purchases

Suppressors get more than their fair share of negative attention, thanks in no small part to their association with Hollywood blockbuster snipers. They are much more than the cliche go-to of the cinematic assassin, though, and the GOP has taken up the defense of suppressors as one of its more quiet ambitions.

The Hearing Protection Act seeks to remove suppressors from the National Firearms Act. The current regulations require the purchase of a $200 tax stamp along with a complex application process. Even those qualified to own suppressors aren’t guaranteed that they can get approved in some locations. The Hearing Protection Act seeks to change that.

The House Committee on Natural Resources is set to hold a hearing tomorrow and the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreation Enhancement Act is on the agenda. This new measure includes almost all of the meat of the Hearing Protection Act.

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Time For A UK 2A?

British activists are advocating for looser gun laws in response to the Saturday night ISIS terror attack that killed eight people and wounded nearly fifty others in central London.

“These tragedies may have been the eye opener to just how ineffective our laws are,” Dave Ewing, a representative from the gun ownership advocacy group, Firearms-UK, told Vocativ.

Firearms-UK, along with other advocacy groups like Arm UK Citizens, Legalise Guns in the UK, and England Wants Its Guns Back, have flocked to social media to slam the British government for maintaining harsh restrictions on gun ownership in response to the attack at London Bridge, which was the third terror attack on British soil in as many months.

They accuse the government of leaving its citizens exposed to violent terrorists and criminals, while politicians enjoy “24 hour armed bodyguards protecting them while they continue to sell the lie that firearms are not suitable for personal protection,” said a Firearms-UK Facebook post published in the wake of the London Bridge attack.

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Busting the Internet Gun Sale and Gun Show Loophole Myths

Speaking at Benedict College in March of 2015, Barack Obama claimed that it was easier to buy a handgun and clips than it was to buy fresh groceries. Even the gun control-friendly Washington Post recognized that this was wild hyperbole with no statistical basis. The myth of so-called gun-buying loopholes has been greatly exaggerated by politicians who sell fear of firearms to push their gun-grabbing agenda. The fact is that if you’re buying guns through legitimate channels, it’s not that easy to avoid background check regulations. Here’s a look at how gun sales really work and why the so-called gun-show loophole is a myth.

Buying Firearms Over the Internet from Gun Owners

Let’s say you want to buy a Browning firearm online from one of the nation’s estimated 130,000 federal firearms license holders. Federal regulations require that you go through a background check. If you pass the check, and if your order is in compliance with the regulations applicable in your state of residence, a retailer will ship your purchase to the location closest to you for pickup. This goes for any online order from a federal firearms license holder. There’s no loophole in this process.

Buying Firearms Over the Internet from Out-of-state Dealers

Now what if you want to buy a gun online from an out-of-state seller who is not a federal firearms license holder? The same restrictions apply. The Gun Control Act of 1968, provides for strict regulation of any direct mail sale of firearms across state lines. The seller must ship the gun to a federally-licensed gun dealer. The buyer must then submit to a background check by the dealer before they can pick up their order. Once again, there is no loophole in the process. The same procedures that regulate online sales from federal firearms license holders apply here as well.

Buying In-person After Seeing Online Ads

Another possibility is to see an online ad and then arrange to pick up the gun in person from a seller in the same state. This would be a private sale that would fall outside the jurisdiction of federal background check requirements, though some individual states still have background check laws. Some gun control advocates say this type of private sale is the biggest loophole in existing gun laws.

But it’s not as easy as gun control proponents make it sound. Popular classified ad sites such as Craigslist and eBay don’t allow firearm or ammunition listings to be posted. And many states already have laws requiring background checks on in-state firearm sales.

Furthermore, experts admit that regulations on in-state gun sales are notoriously hard to enforce. If a private party wants to sell a gun to someone without doing a background check, it’s hard for authorities to stop them. Such regulations are mainly useful for prosecutions after a sale has already been made, but they have minimal preventive effect.

Ineffective Proposals and Hidden Agendas

Obama claimed that 40 percent of gun purchases were made without a background check. But it turns out that 29 percent of these cases involved guns being exchanged between family members or friends and acquaintances. Only 3 percent of these purchases were made through the mail, while 4 percent were made at gun shows. And mail order gun sales as well as sales at gun shows are already subject to federal laws requiring background checks.

So it is questionable whether the gun control measures some politicians want would even have a practical effect on gun sales if passed. This premeditated ineffectualness makes one suspect that the true purpose for wanting more background checks on gun owners has more to do with keeping the political opposition under control than keeping guns under control.