House floor debates

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[99th Congress, 2d Session. April 9, 1986.]

FEDERAL FIREARMS LAW REFORM ACT OF 1986

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 403 and rule XXIII, the Chair declares the House in the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union for the consideration of the bill, H.R. 4332.

IN THE COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE

Accordingly the House resolved itself into the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union for the consideration of the bill (H.R. 4332) to amend chapter 44 (relating to firearms) of title 18, United States Code, and for other purposes, with Mr. RANGEL in the chair.

The Clerk read the title of the bill.

The CHAIRMAN. Pursuant to the rule, the first reading of the bill is dispensed with. Under the rule, the gentleman from New Jersey <Mr. HUGHES> will be recognized for 1 hour and the gentleman from Florida <Mr. MCCOLLUM> will be recognized for 1 hour.

The Chair recognizes the gentleman from New Jersey <Mr. HUGHES>.

Mr. HUGHES. Mr. Chairman, I yield such time as he may consume to the gentleman from New Jersey <Mr. RODINO>, the distinguished chairman of the full Judiciary Committee.

(Mr. RODINO asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

Mr. RODINO. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for yielding me this time.

Mr. Chairman, let me say that today we are going to debate and then finally, ultimately, vote on a very important measure that in effect deals with life and death. I know that many of us have pondered and pondered long over this issue. The committee bill that is before us today is a measure that is reasonable, that is sensible and that is going to accommodate the concerns of law-abiding gun owners, sportsmen, and hunters. The most important question we will answer today is whether or not we are also going to assure that we protect the lives of innocent individuals, innocent citizens, and those who are on the firing line every day protecting our lives-the police-the law-enforcement individuals.

Mr. Chairman, I think we have a very balanced bill that the Judiciary Committee is presenting, after careful and long deliberation, with a recorded vote of 35 to nothing. If I had to consider whether or not I was going to accommodate sportsmen and whether or not we had made it entirely convenient for everyone, as against the possibility of losing more lives, more individuals killed, check the records. We find that in the last decade there have been over 200,000 killings as the result of handguns. Some 700 policemen have been killed in the last decade protecting our lives, killed in the line of duty because of handguns getting into the wrong hands, into the hands of mental incompetents, criminals and addicts.

Let me say, Mr. Chairman, this bill has been debated for a long period of time, and I must say that the bill that the Judiciary Committee has reported with a recorded vote of 35 to 0-a unanimous vote-is not a bill that I am entirely pleased with. Frankly, we discouraged the offering of an amendment which would provide for what I consider to be essential-a waiting period in order to check the backgrounds of individuals who seek  to get a handgun. The Attorney General's Task Force on Violent Crime of this Administration recommended a waiting period. I introduced a proposal dating way back in 1985, with bipartisan support, calling for a waiting period. As I said, I would have preferred a waiting period. But I know that the gentleman from New Jersey <Mr. HUGHES>, the chairman of the Subcommittee on Crime, felt that it was necessary to have a bill that would not immediately alienate some people who might support reasonable legislation. As a result, we, in the committee, after careful deliberation-and that committee is composed of individuals who are liberal, not so liberal, conservative, not so conservative, Republican and Democrat- unanimously reported the bill that is before us today, 35 to 0. The sub-

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committee of the gentleman from New Jersey <Mr. HUGHES> unanimously reported the bill, 10 to nothing. The committee heard the plea and the appeal made by Sarah Brady, a conservative, a Republican, who unfortunately is able to tell us a tale that is not a happy one. It is one of her husband's having been shot when the attempted assassination of the President took place, and how Jim Brady lives a very painful life, a life that he is not able to enjoy even his children. And Sarah Brady appeared before our committee as a great crusader and said the bill passed by the other body and sent here, and the Volkmer bill now being presented, does not provide any safeguards, weakens the present law and makes it easier for criminals, for the wrong people, to get their hands on a handgun.

So I am opposed to the Volkmer substitute. Sarah Brady said she wanted to see a bill that will protect people from experiencing the same tragedy that she experienced, that Jim Brady experienced, that made it possible for John Hinckley, who went into a shop in Texas, never asked a question, and picked up a gun; and then went on a spree to attempt to assassinate the President of the United States. All of this was before the committee, a very compelling argument. The police officers came before the committee, and the police officers were the first to oppose and described S.49 as a "cop-killing, citizen-killing" bill. Those are not my words; those are the words of law enforcement people; every major law enforcement organization and all of its officers with the exception of very few, despite the fact that the National Rifle Association said that the law enforcement people had supported its proposal. The law enforcement people instead, testifying before our committee, said they had never had a chance to be heard and were opposed to S. 49 and any measure that weakened the present law. As a result, that was the reason why, Mr. Chairman, we, in the Committee on the Judiciary, wanting to do a responsible job, recognizing that there are accommodations to be made, recognizing the fact that there are sportsmen and there are hunters who are law-abiding people who do not want to be inconvenienced, we reported a bill that was unanimously adopted. It is a bill that I am sure when the details are presented, will, I am sure, convince you that it does just that; it accommodates sportsmen; it protects law-abiding citizens, it protects the police officers who are on the firing line every day because it has a provision to ensure that these handguns are not transported in interstate traffic.

The bill that we have presented to this House is a reasonable, responsible measure. It is a measure that is concerned with the safety and the lives of many people. It is a bill that will protect law-abiding gun owners. It is a bill, Mr. Chairman, that this House should adopt. The measure which is being proposed instead by the gentleman from Missouri < Mr. VOLKMER>, well-intentioned as it might be, creates more loopholes and, I must say to you, if you talk to any police officer-and there are many around today-they are here because they recognize that there were 700 or so killed in the last decade, and they wonder whether or not they might be next.

They are concerned, and so are the citizens of America, when we consider that over 200,000 killings have taken place in the past decade. Mr. Chairman, we can do no less-and let me say I mention the name of Sarah Brady, and I said that Sarah Brady is a Republican, a conservative and proud of it. She firmly believes in the right of law-abiding citizens to own and carry guns, but she also favors stronger handgun laws. She favors a consensus bill, and she opposes both the proposed substitute amendment and S. 49.

Sarah Brady feels in a deeply personal way the agony we all feel from an assassination attempt and the damage it has done her life and the life of her husband. She feels the way thousands of other grieving Americans feel who have lost loved ones to a handgun, and she wants something done about it.

That is why she has been crusading, and as a lone crusader, you might say, but a voice that has been heard now over the length and breadth of this Nation against the Volkmer bill and for the committee bill. For the sake of Sarah Brady, for the sake of countless Americans, for the sake of our Nation's law enforcement people, for the sake of our law-abiding gun owners and sportsmen, let us pass H.R. 4332, so that we may be able to accommodate the hunters, and they will hunt with fewer restrictions, but the American people can live with less fear.

Mr. MCCOLLUM. Mr. Chairman, I yield such time as he may consume to the distinguished gentleman from New York <Mr. FISH>, the ranking Republican on the Committee on the Judiciary.

(Mr. FISH asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

Mr. FISH. Mr. Chairman, this obviously is a highly emotional issue, and, I expect that this will be a highly emotional debate. But, while there have been charges and countercharges from both ends of the spectrum on this issue, what may be lost is a recognition that two seemingly irreconcilable sides are now largely in agreement that major modifications in the Gun Control Act of 1968 are, in fact, warranted. While still differing in important respects, H.R. 4332 and the Volkmer substitute both make needed and overdue remedial changes in existing Federal firearms law.

Before we even reach the amendment stage, legitimate sportsmen and law- abiding, licensed firearms dealers have already prevailed. Both groups will receive considerable relief through the legislation we ultimately will pass.

 Individuals who once expressed horror at the prospect of the enactment of the Volkmer-McClure bill, now support significant changes in the 1968 act. The Judiciary Committee bill-H.R. 4332-contains numerous provisions that are either similar or identical to provisions contained in the S. 49, the Senate-passed version of the Volkmer-McClure legislation.

Provisions of the 1968 law that are without question onerous, unnecessary or unfair will be repealed or modified. Likewise, both the committee bill and the Volkmer substitute accommodate a number of the concerns expressed by law enforcement. Today, we will have the opportunity to consider additional concerns.

Allow me to cite some of the major areas where both sides are already in substantial agreement. First, both H.R. 4332 and the Volkmer substitute permit interstate sale of rifles and shotguns-not currently allowed under Federal law. Both versions assure the right of individuals to travel in and between States with an unloaded and not readily accessible rifle or shotgun. Both approaches would reduce recordkeeping requirements for ammunition sales-although in varying degrees. Furthermore, firearms forefeiture in minor recordkeeping violation situations would no longer be possible. In addition, both the bill reported by the Judiciary Committee and the Volkmer substitute allow licensed dealers to "do business" on a temporary basis at gun shows. Importantly, recordkeeping offenses are reduced to misdemeanors, rather than felonies. Finally, both approaches would limit compliance inspections to a specified maximum rather than the current open-ended situation.

Again, all of the above-mentioned provisions were either contained in the original Volkmer-McClure legislation in their entirety or in modified form. These changes in existing law will go a long way toward eliminating many of the unjust burdens now faced by hunters and firearms dealers throughout this Nation. The fact that these revisions in the 1968 Gun Control Act are no longer an element of this debate, confirm that the law's original scope was too broad and that its enforcement was often misdirected.

Admittedly, there are major issues of disagreement that remain to be re-

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solved. Most notably, these include: First, interstate sale and transportation of firearms other than rifles and shotguns; second, the breadth of the "engaged in business" language currently in the 1968 law; and third, whether or not there should be a waiting period applied to the sale of handguns. Mr. Chairman, I believe it is important that this debate not be couched solely in polarization terminology. The Judiciary Committee bill, while certainly not perfect, does implicitly recognize that major reforms in the 1968 Gun Control Act were called for and are justified. The differences between the two sides and the remaining focus of this debate have been significantly narrowed. The Members of this House should not lose sight of that fact.

Mr. HUGHES. Mr. Chairman, I yield 20 minutes to the gentleman from Missouri <Mr. VOLKMER>.

Mr. VOLKMER. Mr. Chairman, it has been a long time in coming, but today this body is finally discussing what will truly return constitutional rights to the citizens of this country. We are here today to discuss and debate reform in this Nation's firearms legislation. And, again, I say it has been a long time in coming.

This legislation represents this second most important step in the history of American gun owners. The first was the second amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The Volkmer legislation is the result of more than 6 years of effort to guarantee the liberties of those who enjoy the right to own firearms for sport, recreation, and protection. The legislation will make the provisions of the 1968 Gun Control Act reflect the values and heritage of this country by directing enforcement toward those who illegally traffic in firearms, toward those who criminally use firearms and away from regulation of the law-abiding citizen. This bill will assure that the civil rights of our 200,000 licensed firearms dealers and 80 million firearms owners and collectors will not be abused. The time is now for us to assure David Moorhead of New Hampshire, H.W. Phillips of Virginia, R.C. Lindsey of Florida, Paul Hayes of New Mexico, Patrick Mulcahey of South Carolina, and other law-abiding citizens who have suffered under current legislation, that civil rights do apply to gun owners as well as all other Americans.

The 1968 Gun Control Act was hastily drafted during a time of tumult in this country. One of its stated purposes was to provide support to Federal, State, and local law enforcement in their fight against crime and violence. Along the way, this act required persons engaging in the business of dealing in firearms to obtain a license, required those dealers to maintain records of sales, and imposed felony penalties, forefeiture of firearms and other penalties on unintentional violators. But somehow the issue of civil rights was pushed to the wayside. Enforcement agencies, like most organizations, seek to grow. Over the dozen years following enactment of the Gun Control Act, the firearms enforcement unit grew from an IRS, subunit with 214 agents to a full Treasury bureau-alcohol, tobacco, and firearms-with more than 1,200 agents on firearm-related duties. Such explosive growth required impressive results, and the Gun Control Act provided the open door to make easy cases against unsuspecting persons. With the strict liability provided by the act, even the most trivial and unintentional misstep would do. As a result, many of these trivial cases began to be brought to my attention in which the purpose of the original act had clearly been ignored. This potential for abuses continues today. Another stated intent of the act, not to place undue or unnecessary Federal restriction or burdens on law-abiding citizens with respect to the aquisition, possession, or use of firearms was clearly violated by the technical enforcement practices being utilized. Citizens such as a disabled veteran and Boy Scout leader, a policeman in Maryland, and an elderly couple in New Mexico, were just examples of those law-abiding individuals caught up in the web of bureaucratic technical enforcement. This is why I first introduced the Firearms Owners' Protection Act in September 1979. But earlier, in fact in October 1978, I first began legislative attempts to remedy some of the unduly restrictive portions of the law. I introduced legislation in September 1979. At the time, I was member of the Judiciary Committee and a member of the Subcommittee on Crime, having jurisdiction over firearms legislation. Despite a broad base of support for my legislation, no hearings were held, even after repeated requests of the chairman. The legislation and the 180 Members of this House, including a majority of the Crime Subcommittee, who were cosponsors of my legislation, were ignored. I reintroduced the legislation the following session and each session thereafter. And in each session, my legislation received the same response from the Judiciary Committee-it was ignored.

But at least there was some activity on the Hill concerning such legislation. During the 97th Congress, 3 days of hearings were held in the other body. During this same Congress, a series of meetings among officials of BATF, the White House, and myself resulted in a number of modifications which met Federal law enforcement concerns, and were agreed to. Ultimately, the Senate Judiciary Committee reported a modified version of the bill but, unfortunately, the Congress adjourned sine die before the full Senate could act.

In the 98th Congress, the other body held 2 additional days of hearings on the merits of the legislation and following another series of meetings with Treasury and White House officials, further refined the bill to ensure no adverse law enforcement effects. This brings us up to the current Congress.

As we all know, on July 9, the other body passed a companion version of my legislation overwhelmingly. But the day after this passage, my colleague, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said the legislation was dead on arrival in this House. The will of this body, supported by the 180 Members who have consistently cosponsored my legislation, was being ignored once again. We had no choice but to use the discharge petition. A majority of this body signed that petition. But the delaying tactics still have not ended. March 20, this body was scheduled to take up this legislation on this floor. Moments before the debate was to begin, the legislation was pulled, over my objections. Once again, we were blocked. Today is a new beginning; today we are discussing gun legislation reform-finally.

There is a need for this legislation. For reasons known to us all, other than the hurriedly called hearings of late, there have been no real hearings in this House on the civil liberties abuses which inspired my legislation. I stress that the need for the substitute is not based upon hypotheticals, but upon civil rights abuses perpetrated against real people. These abuses were documented in 6 years of hearings before two different committees, and deserve our attention.

Let's talk about David Moorhead, a decorated and disabled Vietnam veteran. Moorhead's gun shop, located in a small New Hampshire town, was visited by an undercover agent who asked if Moorhead would make an illegal sale. Moorhead instead noted his auto license plate and called BATF to report the man. But the informant saw in Moorhead's shop an M-14, which Moorhead had bought from a Boy Scout leader and kept as a memento of his service. Although the gun was semiautomatic, BATF's experts felt it was originally designed to work, if fitted with extra parts, as a machinegun. BATF sent a team of agents to raid the shop and take Moorhead into custody on felony charges. Following their policy of involving local officials in a search party, the agents had taken the county sheriff with them. But the sheriff immediately agreed to become a character witness for Moorhead.

At the trial, the prosecution argued that good faith was no defense. Moorhead should be subject to 10 years' imprisonment for an honest act. Judge Bownes,

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since elevated to the circuit, had the courage to dismiss the case. From the bench, he asked Moorhead to stand. The judge apologized to him on behalf of the United States, calling the case a travesty. Moorhead, who at this point was indigent, was still being sued by BATF for license revocation and forfeiture of the rifle. Under these pressures, he finally gave up his gun shop.

Another dealer, H.W. Phillips of Virginia, had a related experience. He was approached by an undercover agent who had proper personal identification and was legally entitled to purchase a firearm. The agent later claimed he had made a statement about wanting to transfer the firearm to his girlfriend who resided in another State. Phillips was charged with aiding an interstate sale. The case fell apart so completely that the judge directed a verdict of acquittal. The agency had seized some 44 firearms from Phillips' shop. It took two court orders to get them returned. The Bureau also withheld Phillips' license for more than 1 year after his acquittal. Although ultimately vindicated, the experience left Phillips out of pocket some $7,000 in legal fees.

A third witness documented a different abuse, R.C. Lindsey of Florida, like many collectors, held a dealer's license in order to purchase collectible firearms for himself and friends. BATF sought to revoke it, not upon the grounds that he had ever done wrong, but on the grounds that he was not selling enough guns to merit the license. He had sold three, at a time when the Bureau was prosecuting unlicensed persons selling three or four guns for dealing without a license. The agent inspecting his rather limited books told him to resign the license; upon his refusing, the agent said he would see to it that Lindsey had to hire a lawyer to keep it. He kept that promise. It cost Lindsey some $4,000 in legal fees. The Bureau granted Lindsey the revocation hearing required by law, and appointed J.E. McDevitt as the hearing officer

Mr. MARLENEE. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?

Mr. VOLKMER. I yield to the gentleman from Montana.

Mr. MARLENEE. I thank the gentleman for yielding. Who paid for the defense of the these people even though they were found innocent of these charges and harassments?

Mr. VOLKMER. It came out of their own pockets.

Mr. MARLENEE. It came out of their own pockets?

Mr. VOLKMER. Yes. Some of them became indigent and destitute as a result of it.

Mr. MARLENEE. It seems to me that this is exactly what we are arguing about with the substitute of the gentleman from Missouri.

Mr. VOLKMER. Yes. We have a provision in our bill which the gentleman from New Jersey now in his amendment attempts to strike which would authorize the payment of attorneys' fees to those people who had to sue to get back their own weapons and are vindicated, because of vexatious and unwarranted suits by BATF.

Mr. MARLENEE. One other question: The people who perpetrated this harassment, Are these the same people who would develop the regulation for the computation and investigation of backgrounds and backdoor registration and compilation of reports?

Mr. VOLKMER. These were BATF people back in the early years, back in the seventies.

Mr. MARLENEE. These are the same people who would develop the regulations.

Mr. VOLKMER. Yes.

Mr. MARLENEE. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

Mr. VOLKMER. If I may return to my statement, not surprisingly, McDevitt, the hearing officer, ruled against Lindsey. Lindsey's breakthrough came after he made a freedom of information request. Although the Administrative Procedure Act requires hearing officers to be unbiased and prohibits appointing one who has had anything to do with the case, Lindsey discovered a memorandum from McDevitt, dated only a few months before the hearing, in which McDevitt took a part in pressing the case against him and indicated how his superiors in the Bureau should handle it, together with his suggestion as to why the license should be revoked. Upon being confronted with the document, the Bureau promptly reversed its position and issued the license.

These three cases are only a sample of documented abuses. There are others

Paul and Billi Hayes of New Mexico testified to a raid on their gunshop in which agents claimed they had sold firearms to an undercover agent who, while claiming to be a resident of New Mexico, had mentioned in passing that he would give the guns to a resident of Texas. Although neither New Mexico nor Texas had any gun laws that would have been violated even if the charge was true, both husband and wife were arrested on felony charges, their shop was raided, and their inventory confiscated. The firearms were largely hunting rifles, new from the manufacturer in their protective boxes. In an apparent effort to damage them, the agents unboxed the rifles, then pitched them into large boxes which were then hauled away by a pickup. The jury took 7 minutes to acquit both the Hayes. Yet the agency then moved to revoke their license. The hearing officer concluded that the Hayes' actions were honest-they proved that in the midst of one transaction they had called BATF to make sure that what they were doing was legal-and reissued their license. Yet the agency still proceeded with a forfeiture suit. The motive became clear when it offered to return all their guns if they would agree to waive the right to sue the agents for false arrest, abuse of process and civil liberties violations. The Hayes refused and eventually, some years and tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees later, the guns were returned.

And there is a gun collector, Patrick Mulcahey of South Carolina, who had been arrested on charges of dealing without a license after he sold three firearms from his personal collection over the period of 1 year. The collection, which included gifts from his late father, was also confiscated. Mulcahey also won acquittal by jury, and the Bureau also followed this with a suit to forfeit every firearm he owned. At the hearing, the BATF brought in his collection piled into 55-gallon drums. Mulcahey added that he was only one of about a dozen collectors raided at the same time.

Once again, these cases are but a sampling of those documented during the hearings. Another collector, Herbert Van Buren of Arizona, wrote that he had been convicted of engaging in the business for five sales at gun shows, to legitimate purchasers. At his trial, the prosecution's own tapes showed he had told the purchasing informant to make sure than he never had anything to do with anyone who might use a firearm illegally, that such persons, though few, brought disrepute upon honest gun owners everywhere. He also told the informant that he kept good records on every gun he owned and swapped or sold, so that if the day when police needed to trace one he could know exactly where it had gone. But the court ruled that honest intent was no defense. Van Buren became a felon.

Later that same year similar hearings were held. This time collectors were the prime focus. I won't go into detail on the dozens of cases documented by testimony or written submissions. One case alone might be mentioned. William Smith, a 62-year-old veteran from South Carolina, was set up on charges of sale to a nonresident. He had sold to a resident. But the resident, an undercover agent, mentioned that he would transfer to a nonresident. Smith was unlucky, as he wrote, "Now I have no rights, I am a felon." Apart from all else, he could never own a gun again, for under the Gun Control Act a person convicted under the act itself cannot apply for relief from disability to own a gun. No matter how good his record, no matter how unintentional

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his violation, he is forever barred. Nor was Smith's case an isolated one; 31 other small businessmen had been set up in the same series of cases.

These are the abuses at which my legislation is aimed. The Hughes bill will do nothing about any of these. It will not protect David Moorhead, it will not protect Paul and Billi Hayes, it will not protect Willie Smith. It will do nothing for any of the real problems at which my legislation is directed. The Hughes bill is, to put it simply, an attempt to trample upon the civil rights of our tens of millions of legitimate gun owners. It has no definition of engaging in business. It does not restrict prosecution of inadvertent violations. It allows confiscations and revocations despite acquittal. It does not require an agency to bring judicial actions within 120 days, or any other limit, of a seizure. It makes no provision to reimbuse attorneys' fees upon proof of vindictive or vexacious proceedings.

As for my legislation. There has been a great deal of misinformation about what my bill does and doesn't do. This legislation will not undercut State handgun laws requiring registration, licenses to carry, waiting periods and criminal background checks. Purchase must still be made from a federally licensed firearms dealer. This will ensure that proper records are kept for tracing purposes. The sale must take place over the counter, face to face. This is to ensure that the current prohibition on mail order sales is continued. All interstate sales of firearms, including handguns, must comply with the laws and local ordinances of both the buyer's and seller's States and communities. The licensed dealer is legally responsible for knowing those laws which are printed in the Treasury Department manual distributed to all dealers. The dealer can be charged with a felony if he is wrong. Under these strict requirements it would be extremely difficult for a felon to purchase a firearm.

My legislation provides for one unannounced inspection for recordkeeping every year; my legislation addresses the question of multiple handgun sales; my legislation includes armor-piercing ammunition for recordkeeping purposes; my legislation includes stiff mandatory sentences for the use of firearms, including machineguns and silencers, in relation to violent or drug trafficking crimes; my legislation bars the importation of Saturday-night special barrels. My legislation is not simply progun; it is not antilaw enforcement. My legislation is procivil rights for gun owners. My legislation will assure that every gun owner in this country is guaranteed his and her rights provided by the Constitution. Mr. Speaker, I urge passage of my legislation in the hopes that constitutional rights are returned to our American citizens, including those who own guns.

Mr. ROBINSON. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?

Mr. VOLKMER. I yield to the gentleman from Arkansas.

Mr. ROBINSON. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for yielding to me. Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of the Volkmer substitute. I would like to share for a few moments with my colleagues some facts that I think ought to be addressed.

Recently the U.S. Department of Justice commissioned a survey of incarcerated felons incarcerated in penitentiaries throughout the United States, and I would like to reveal what that study found. Sixty-nine percent did not carry firearms in the commission of a crime, but carried knives, razors, brass knuckles, et cetera. Eighty-eight percent of the criminals questioned felt the 1968 Gun Control Act only applied to law-abiding citizens. Eighty-three percent of the criminals surveyed stated that if they could not obtain a handgun, they would simply get a rifle or a shotgun.

Fifty percent of the criminals expected to unlawfully purchase a gun through unregulated channels; 25 percent would borrow a gun; 12 percent would steal a gun. In other words, criminals are thieves. They do not go down to the local sporting goods store and buy a firearm. But furthermore, from 1952 to 1968 in this country, the rate of homicides increased by 28 percent, and the rate of robberies increased by 154 percent

Post-Gun Control Act, after the 1968 Gun Control Act, from 1968 to 1980, the rate of homicides increased by 50 percent, and the rate of robberies increased by 85 percent.

Clearly, the Gun Control Act of 1968 did not deter crime. In addition, I have witnessed over the past several weeks and months the flow of police officers into the District of Columbia to lobby Members of Congress against the Volkmer-McClure bill.

Just to show you how ridiculous the gun control laws are in this country, every police officer that brought his firearm to the District of Columbia violated the gun control laws of this District, because a police officer only in the performance of his official duties can carry a firearm in the District of Columbia. That is just one example of how stupid the gun control laws are.

In fact, in this District, if this District really wanted to do something to combat crime, they would give one a pistol when they crossed the 14th Street Bridge, because they have one of the highest crime rates of any city in the United States of America. Mr. Chairman, in closing, I would like to remind my colleagues how we got on the floor today in this situation we are in. We are here today because after the Senate passed S. 49 on July 9, 1985, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee stated publicly that this bill was dead on arrival.

The CHAIRMAN. The Chair would like to remind Members to refrain from mentioning specific votes by the other body.

Mr. ROBINSON. I am talking about the chairman of the Judiciary Committee.in this body. But I stand corrected on mentioning the votes in the other body.

The CHAIRMAN. There had been an earlier reference by another Member. The gentleman may proceed.

Mr. ROBINSON. The Chairman stated that this was a cop-killing, citizen-killing bill. If this bill is so bad, why did the Judiciary Committee incorporate 60 percent of our bill into their bill? It must not be a cop- killing or citizen-killing bill or they would not have incorporated that.

Mr. MCCOLLUM. Mr. Chairman, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from Idaho < Mr. CRAIG>.

Mr. EMERSON. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?

Mr. CRAIG. I yield to the gentleman from Missouri.

(Mr. EMERSON asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

Mr. EMERSON. Mr. Chairman, I congratulate the gentleman from Idaho and my colleague from Missouri. I am a cosponsor of their bill, and I commend them for their leadership in this issue.

Mr. CRAIG. Mr. Chairman, I thank my colleague from Florida for yielding me this time.

Mr. Chairman, this is a very significant debate on a truly important national issue. It is not a question of who is killing who; it is a question of the American public's civil liberties under the Constitution. It is really a very basic and simple argument. In 1968 this body and the other body rushed to judgment, and that judgment over the course of time has been proven irresponsible. It did not curb the crime that it was supposed to curb. We know that. We have heard testimony here today, debate by our colleagues, giving facts and figures that are now in the RECORD, that so clearly say to us here and to the American people at large that this law begs reform. Yet, it was not until 218 Members of this House responding to an outcry of unconsitutional acts by this Government from the citizens of this country forced this issue to this floor.

So today, ladies and gentlemen, we are not talking about a bill that belongs to the police of this country. We are talking about a bill that belongs to the citizens of this country. I will tell you

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that, although there are police organizations that oppose the legislation that I support, and that is the Volkmer substitute, there are a multitude of police organizations in this country that do support us.

There is the International Union of Police Associations of the AFL-CIO, my letter from them supporting this action. The international union, the U.S. Secret Service Uniformed Division of Officers Association, a broad cross- section of law enforcement officials endorse because they recognize, as the citizens of this country recognize, and as is stated here, that criminals do not acquire their guns through legal methods. Ninety percent in that Justice Department survey found that the felons who used guns in the commission of a crime had stolen them or acquired them in the black market, and the legislation before us today does not stop that process. But it clearly limits the ability of the private, the free and the innocent citizens in pursuit of his or her civil liberties, under the second amendment to the Constitution, to have that right and to have that freedom.

Members of this body, do not forget that point today. It is fundamental in our debate, and it is fundamental in this body's pursuit of justice by changing through the Volkmer substitute the 1968 gun law to rectify those violations that have come down upon the free and the innocent of our country.

Mr. HUGHES. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from Colorado <Mrs. SCHROEDER>.

Mrs. SCHROEDER. I thank the gentleman for yielding time to me. Mr. Chairman, I want to applaud Mr. HUGHES and Mr. RODINO for their work on H.R. 4332. It's a compromise that law enforcement and constitutents in my district say they can live with.

Each day, 50 Americans-at least one a child under 14-are killed by handguns. That's nearly 20,000 citizens a year who die accidentally, by suicide, or who are murdered with handguns.

I have heard from the Police Departments in Denver and Colorado how the McClure-Volkmer bill was a "cop killer." I'm sure that many of my colleagues have heard similar comments from law enforcement officials from their districts.

Each year, 70 cops are killed with handguns, 708 in the last 10 years. In the first 9 months of 1985, 62 cops were killed by firearms, 45 of those were with handguns. Police are beginning to say "enough is enough" to this indiscriminate killing of cops and citizens by handguns

I would also like to address another aspect of this issue: the kid killer aspect. I'm speaking of the number of suicides and accidental deaths of children resulting from handguns.

Teenage suicides in this country have reached epidemic proportions. And what is behind these escalating numbers? The availability of handguns. A recent report by Dr. Pamela Cantor of Boston revealed that almost two-thirds of the 5,200 American teens who kill themselves every year use guns that are kept at home. The teen suicide rate has almost tripled over the last 30 years.

Let's look at some of the statistics

In 1983, 174 children 14 and younger were the victims of firearm murders-131 were victims of handguns.

In 1983, 260 children under 14 died in firearms accidents-163 died by handguns.

In 1977, gun accidents were the fifth-ranking cause of accidental death among children under 15.

From 1960 to 1974, handgun sales in this country quadrupled to more than 6 million a year. In this same period, the homicide rate for young people aged 15-24 jumped from 5.9 per 100,000 to 14.2.

There is one teenage suicide every 2 hours-more than 6,000 in 1983-and an attempt every minute. Nearly two-thirds of teens who kill themselves use guns, and four-fifths of them use handguns, according to experts. Police officials in Houston report that childern playing with pistols are being killed or injured at an unprecedented rate. Twelve children have been shot in unrelated incidents. Of those shot, six have died. The shooting victims have ranged from teenagers to a 3-year-old, the police said. The police say they cannot offer any reason for the rash of shootings other than the easy availability and lax handling of pistols. These are not just numbers. Behind every number is the life of a child that has been cut short. These are kids. These are real cases. These are the horror stories that we would rather not hear about when we discuss the handgun control issues.

We don't want to hear about the child in Cleveland, a 7-year-old who was killed by his 10-year-old cousin with a gun he found in a vacant lot. We don't want to hear about the problem of guns in our schools. For example, in Boston, four teenagers were arrested for illegal possession of handguns on school property within one 2-week period. Two guns were loaded. In Miami, a student was shot twice and critically injured by another teenager who was trying to settle a quarrel in a lunchroom across from a high school. The school reports an almost 50-percent increase last year, from 62 to 91, in instances where a gun was found on or near school property.

Casey Simpson of the Denver Police Department wrote me that if the same language that passed the Senate passes the House, it would endanger the lives of the street cop. I'm glad the legislation has been improved by the Judiciary Committee, not only for the lives of the street cops, but also for the lives of our children.

I think H.R. 4332 establishes the balance that we have been seeking by providing necessary compromises between those in favor of stronger gun control and those opposed.

Mr. Chairman, with your approval I would like to drop into the RECORD these letters I received from police chiefs in Colorado expressing their dissatisfaction with the McClure-Volkmer legislation:

 

GRAND JUNCTION, CO,

April 4, 1986.

Representative PATRICIA SCHROEDER,

House of Representatives,

Washington, DC.

I am the chief of police in Grand Junction, CO, as well as the representative of all of the Colorado police chiefs on national legislative issues. I urge you to stand with law enforcement and support the Hughes law enforcement amendment. This amendment makes the McClure/Volkmer bill acceptable to the law enforcement community. I have been in touch with my counterparts in 15 Western States, and they are united in their opposition to the McClure/Volkmer bill in its present form but would accept it with the Hughes law enforcement amendment.

Sincerely,

GARY LEONARD,

Chief of Police.

 

----

 

DENVER POLICE DEPARTMENT,

Denver, CO, March 3, 1986.

Hon. PATRICIA SCHROEDER,

House of Representatives,

Washington, DC.

 

MY DEAR MRS. SCHROEDER: From time to time it becomes apparent that legislation which would prove harmful to the citizenry of our country becomes a positive consideration by our elected legislators and therefore becomes a real concern to that citizenry who are most aware of the widespread negative affects the enactment of such legislation would produce.

 

It would appear that enactment of the McClure/Volkmer Bill or S. 49/HR, is of this particular nature and certainly the legislators who are considering passage of such a law should be made aware of the intense opposition of a great number of citizens as well as the opposition of numerous organizations the least one not being the Law Enforcement Steering Committee Against S. 49 representing each of the federal, international and national police associations with a total combined membership of some 280,000 law enforcement officers and officials. Please consider this communication as an added expression of total and complete opposition to the passage of any such legislation which is embodied in the provisions of this measure by the members of the Denver Police Department, Denver, Colorado.

 

The ratification of the enactment of such legislation would be a vote against law enforcement's efforts to control crime.

 

How could legislators in all sense of sincerity enact legislation which would allow for the interstate sale of handguns which in

[Begin 132 Cong. Rec. p. 6845]

turn would make it possible for criminals of all types to bypass state and local handgun laws? A law which would weaken federal laws which now impose a five-to-ten year mandatory prison term for use or possession of a firearm in the commission of a violent felony. A law which would undermine the ability of law enforcement to trace thousands of weapons used in violent crime every year. A law which would prevent the identification and prosecution of unscrupulous gun dealers by requiring advance notice of every annual regulatory inspection.

 

If for no other reason, it would appear that the endangerment of the lives of the street cop as well as added limitations to their ability to function effectively as a law enforcement officer would cause our legislators to give an in-depth study of the ramifications the passage of such legislation would undoubtedly pose.

 

We of the Denver Police Department, in conjunction with the other 280,000 officers, join in seeking your assistance in the defeat of the McClure/Volkmer bill or S. 49/HR as we attempt to continue future performance as law enforcement officers for the protection of the members of our communities whom we have pledged to serve, to protect and to support rather than to pave the way for a more lucrative way of life for the criminal element of our society. In the name of sanity, we are soliciting your support for the defeat of this unwarranted and prejudicial legislation.

 

Respectfully submitted,

CASEY J. SIMPSON,

Division Chief, Juvenile and

Community Services Division.

 

----

 

CITY OF LOVELAND, POLICE DEPARTMENT,

Loveland, CO, March 26, 1986.

Hon. PATRICIA SCHROEDER,

Longworth House Office Building,

Washington, DC.

 

DEAR MRS. SCHROEDER: I would like to express my opposition to the McClure/Volkmer Bill as it is currently written. This bill would weaken existing laws designed to keep guns away from criminals and would increase the danger for police officers and the citizens they are sworn

to protect.

 

Among the serious flaws in this bill:

 

It would allow for the interstate face-to-face sale of handguns and, thus, make it easier for criminals to bypass state and local handgun laws.

 

It would weaken current federal laws which impose a five to ten year mandatory prison term for use or possession of a firearm in the commission of a violent felony.

 

It would undermine the ability of law enforcement to trace thousands of weapons used in violent crime every year.

 

It would prevent the identification and prosecution of unscrupulous gun dealers by requiring advance notice of every annual regulatory inspection. It would preclude the prosecution of a licensed gun dealer for violations of law uncovered during the annual regulatory inspection other than willful recordkeeping violations and illegal gun sales to felons and other prohibited persons.

 

I urge you not to sign the discharge petition for this legislation or to remove your name if you have already signed. This bill must not be passed without careful consideration and amendment which will only occur through the normal legislative process. Please help to defeat this anti-law enforcement bill.

 

Sincerely,

LAWRENCE J. SEIB,

Chief of Police.

----

 

CITY OF FORT COLLINS,

Fort Collins, CO, March 5, 1986.

Representative PAT SCHROEDER,

Rayburn House Office Building,

Washington, DC.

 

DEAR REPRESENTATIVE SCHROEDER

 

As a law enforcement executive and member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, Police Executive Research Forum, Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police and Colorado Major Cities Chiefs of Police, I would like to express my opposition to the McClure/Volkmer Bill as it is currently written. This bill would weaken existing laws designed to keep guns away from criminals and would increase the danger for police officers and the citizens they are sworn to protect.

 

The main problems with this bill are that in its current state it will:

 

1. Allow the interstate face-to-face sale of handguns, thus making it easier for criminals to bypass current state and local handgun laws and purchase these weapons.

 

2. Weaken current Federal laws which impose a five to ten year mandatory prison term for use or possession of a firearm in the commission of a violent Federal felony. It would require the prosecution to prove the weapon was carried "in furtherance" of the crime. It would also allow a criminal to escape the mandatory penalties if he used the gun to protect himself or another from a "perceived immediate danger."

 

3. Relax current recordkeeping requirements that would undermine the ability of law enforcement officers to trace thousands of weapons used in violent crimes each year.

 

4. Prevent the identification and prosecution of unscrupulous gun dealers by requiring advance notice of every annual regulatory inspection.

 

5. Preclude the prosecution of a licensed gun dealer for violations of law uncovered during the annual regulatory inspection other than willful recordkeeping violations and illegal gun sales to felons and other prohibited persons

As I am sure you are well aware, ten major law enforcement organizations in the United States have united in opposition to the bill and to the discharge petition. All of these organizations, including those that I have mentioned above, have concerns about the effect the McClure/Volkmer bill would have on crime control and law enforcement capabilities. We also strongly feel that the use of the discharge petition is an unwarranted means of bypassing the legislative process. The legislative procedure enables Congress and the American people to sift through legislation and determine its strengths and weaknesses, permitting us to eliminate or improve upon the weak points. In the case of the McClure/Volkmer Bill, this is especially important because there are constructive provisions in the bill which could meet the needs of law abiding gun owners without endangering the lives of our law enforcement officers and, above all, our citizens.

 

I urge you not to sign the discharge petition for this legislation or to remove your name if you have already signed. This bill must not be passed without careful consideration and amendment which will only occur through the normal legislative process.

 

If I or any members of the associations to which I belong can assist you with additional information, please do not hesitate to contact my office.

 

Sincerely,

BRUCE D. GLASSCOCK,

Chief of Police.

 

----

 

Lafayette, CO, February 28, 1986.

Hon. PATRICIA SCHROEDER,

House of Representatives,

Washington, DC.

 

DEAR REPRESENTATIVE SCHROEDER:

 

I would like to express my opposition to the McClure/Volkmer bill as it is currently written. This bill would weaken existing laws designed to keep guns away from criminals and would increase the danger for police officers and the citizens they are sworn to protect.

 

Among the serious flaws in this bill:

 

It would allow for the interstate face-to-face sale of handguns, thus, make it easier for criminals to bypass state and local handgun laws. It would weaken current federal laws which impose a 5- to 10-year mandatory prison term for use or possession of a firearm in the commission of a violent felony.

 

It would undermine the ability of law enforcement to trace thousands of weapons used in violent crimes every year.

 

It would prevent identification and prosecution of unscrupulous gun dealers by requiring advance notice of every annual regulatory inspection.

 

It would preclude the prosecution of a licensed gun dealer for violations of law uncovered during the annual regulatory inspection other than willful recordkeeping violations and illegal gun sales to felons and other prohibited persons.

 

I urge you not to sign the discharge petition for this legislation or to remove your name if you have already signed. This bill must not be passed without careful consideration and amendment which will only occur through the normal legislative process. Please help to defeat this anti-law-enforcement bill.

 

Sincerely,

Chief LARRY S. STALLCUP,

Lafayette Police Department.

 

[Remainder of letters omitted here]

 [End 132 Cong. Record p. 6845]

 [Begin 132 Cong. Rec. p. 6846]

Mr. MCCOLLUM. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from New

York <Mr. SOLOMON.>

Mr. SOLOMON. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

Mr. Chairman, as a long-time member of the National Rifle Association myself and a life-long hunter and fisherman in the Adirondack Mountains in northern New York, I rise in the strongest possible support for the McClure/Volkmer position throughout this debate.

I represent a district in northern New York that consists of thousands and thousands of square miles of desolate, rural area, whose geography is such that, more often than not, there is not a police officer within 40 or 50 miles of many rural residents and the only protection that those families have, whether it be a mother or a wife or a daughter, or an aged couple, is the fact that they have a family firearm in their home. That is the only protection they have. We do not need stiffer gun laws. What we need throughout this country is a death penalty which will impose capital punishment on anyone who commits a murder with a firearm. What we need are laws that mandate minimum sentences for anyone convicted of committing a crime with a firearm. McClure-Volkmer does just that. I support it 100 percent.

Mr. HUGHES. Mr. Chairman, I yield 6 minutes to the gentleman from Florida < Mr. SMITH>.

(Mr. SMITH of Florida asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

Mr. SMITH of Florida. Mr. Chairman, I rise in strong support of the Judiciary Committee's bill, on which I serve, and I want to take this opportunity to thank both the gentleman from New Jersey <Mr. HUGHES> and the gentleman from New Jersey <Mr. RODINO>, the chairman of the subcommittee and the full committee, for the phenomenal work they have done on this bill, and to set the record straight right now. This bill did not reach the floor based upon the discharge petition. This bill had hearings for months all around this country, where every group, every individual citizen could come and speak their minds about this bill, and the bill that we are debating today passed the full committee 35 to 0 well before the 218 signatures came on that discharge petition. And this bill motivated by the desire to do what is right for everyone and not because some people want to circumvent the proper way to bring legislation to the floor. This bill is fair, this bill is balanced, and if it were not, I doubt that the Judiciary Committee would have voted it out 35 to 0.

For years this issue has generated more heat than light. Today we have the opportunity to eliminate that veil of ignorance and prejudice that has shrouded the issue of gun control and gun ownership. We often hear that perception is more important than reality. To my colleagues who have indicated their support of the original Volkmer bill, H.R. 945, and the substitute, I say read the committee bill, H.R. 4332. You may be pleasantly surprised at the committee's conscientious effort to correct real and, even, in some cases, only perceived inequities in the 1968 law. We never hid the fact that there were inequities, that it could be corrected in certain areas, and we have done it.

For the legitimate sportsman who may need or want to purchase a shotgun or rifle in another State for legal purposes, we have a provision. For the legitimate sportsman who wants to transport without violating State laws an unloaded rifle or shotgun from his home State, for hunting or legitimate sporting events, we have a provision. For the legitimate enthusiast, such as one of my colleagues who may want to purchase a rifle or shotgun at a gun show, we have a provision. For the licensed gun dealer who feels unwarranted intrusion by Federal officials or who objects to unnecessary paperwork, we have a provision. For the legitimate dealer and owner, we have provided administrative flexibility for license-related matters, including the right to petition for relief on the penalties of the law, which they do not have now.

In addition to these sections, H.R. 4332 also addresses the legitimate and, in my view, paramount concerns of our law-enforcement community. For the majority of Americans and the law-enforcement community, and the vast majority of the law-enforcement community in this country, 99 percent of the law- enforcement community in this country, not only the heads but the rank and file, we have provided relief for their concerns. We do not permit the interstate sale of handguns, which they oppose bitterly, which most right- thinking Americans oppose bitterly and which I oppose bitterly.

For the majority of Americans and the law-enforcement community, we do not permit the interstate transportation of handguns, which we all oppose. For all of us interested in crime and preventing it, we make it illegal for anybody to knowingly sell or transfer a firearm to a disqualified person. For all of us, we make the use of firearms in the commission of certain crimes subject to heavy extended mandatory sentences. For all of us we prohibit the transfer and possession of silencers not otherwise lawfully possessed. Silencers have absolutely no legitimate sporting purpose. We have also prohibited parts that could be used to convert firearms into automatic weapons.

As you know, the law already provides a prohibition on conversion kits. For the majority of Americans we have a record check, to see, however belatedly, whether the purchaser of a firearm is legally entitled to that firearm. And what about this argument criminals do not go into gun shops and buy handguns? John Hinkley bought a handgun in a gun shop in this country and then attempted to assassinate the President of the United States.

Mr. Chairman, we hear a lot about keeping guns out of the hands of the criminal element. The Subcommittee on Crime heard testimony from many people complaining criminals do not purchase those handguns, but I just gave you an example of where they do.

And, by the way, the cop-killing, citizen-killing statement about the Volkmer bill and the McClure bill came from testimony from police before the full committee. That is who made that statement.

If anybody doubts that the committee bill is the anticrime bill before us, I urge that person to read the recommendations of the Attorney General's Task Force on Violent Crime. It calls for mandatory sentences for the use of the firearm in the commission of a felony. The committee bill improves existing law. It talks about the importation of parts for Saturday-night specials. The committee bill deals with this. This is a balanced bill. It meets the legitimate needs of American hunters and law-abiding gun owners. But it also addresses the concerns of the majority of American people and the law- enforcement community. A moment on the substitute: The Volkmer substitute is allowed under the rule. It is not S. 49 nor is it the original Volkmer bill. What the proponents of the substitute bill have done is to change one or two provisions of the original bill, after hearing the hue and cry that arose from the entire law- enforcement community and from average Americans who were opposed to it. However, the changes are cosmetic. In fact, in some of the provisions, the NRA, which clearly wrote the substitute, went further in gutting the 1968 Gun Control Act. Law enforcement and right-thinking Americans still oppose the substitute. It is a large wolf in sheep's clothing.

Mr. Chairman, today is the day for political courage. Say "no" to the NRA. Say "yes" to the police and "yes" to the American citizens of this country.

The CHAIRMAN. The Chair observes that the gentleman from Florida <Mr. MCCOLLUM> has 53 minutes remaining and that the gentleman from New Jersey <Mr. HUGHES> has 20 minutes remaining.

Mr. HUGHES. Mr. Chairman, does the gentleman from Florida <Mr. MCCOLLUM> intend to yield to me 10 minutes?

Mr. MCCOLLUM. Mr. Chairman, I do intend to do that. Under whatever the appropriate procedure is to do that, I intend to yield to the gentleman, since he has given the full 20 minutes to the gentleman from Missouri

<Mr. VOLKMER>. By a previous agreement with the gentleman from New Jersey <Mr. HUGHES>, I certainly want to yield that time to him.

Mr. HUGHES. Mr. Chairman, that would give the gentleman from New Jersey 30 minutes total.

The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from New Jersey <Mr. HUGHES> would have 30 minutes and the gentleman from Florida <Mr. MCCOLLUM> would have 43 minutes remaining.

Mr. MCCOLLUM. Mr. Chairman, I now yield 2 minutes of my remaining time to the gentleman from Montana <Mr. MARLENEE>.

(Mr. MARLENEE asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

Mr. MARLENEE. I thank the gentleman from Florida for yielding. Mr. Chairman, I think we need to ask the question: Why does a police officer wear a revolver? As a deterrent to assault and a control of crime.

And that is exactly why many, many Americans own and possess a revolver, including myself. And I defy those who would stop me from traveling across State lines with that revolver, if I have it unloaded and inaccessible. I carry one, and I intend to continue carrying one until you lock me up in some pokey in Daisy Breath, IL, or perhaps New Jersey, if I should happen to get up there, but I will try to avoid it.

Now, I think, Mr. Chairman, that we need to address two recent full-page newspaper ads that speak volumes about those who would oppose the Volkmer substitute. What do they really want?

[Begin 132 Cong. Rec. p. 6848]

The first ad was run against our colleagues HAROLD VOLKMER and STAN PARRIS. I have a copy of the Parris ad run by Handgun Control, Inc. Not only is it full of misrepresentations, they could not even find a real policeman for their ad. He is an actor.

The Handgun Control, Inc., ad implies that all law enforcement officers oppose the Volkmer substitute. That isn't true. In fact, a recent survey of police chiefs and sheriffs conducted by the National Association of Chiefs of Police found that the overwhelming majority support the Volkmer-McClure approach to this legislation.

The second ad, again run by Handgun Control, Inc., shows a series of pictures, right here for those who cannot see well, of revolvers, followed by a picture of the same phony policeman. Both of these ads make it clear that their objective is to control, register, and eventually ban and eliminate, the ownership of handguns. If this were not their objective, why would they be running these kinds of ads which portray a revolver as inherently evil in itself

Mr. Chairman, if you support the constitutional right to keep and bear arms, if you want to support the rights of your sportsmen and gun owners, then vote for the Volkmer substitute as is. If you oppose these rights, you'll support the committee bill.

I would like to key in on one of the many failures of the committee bill, and the need for the Volkmer substitute.

One provision that sportsmen are very interested in deals with the interstate transportation of firearms. I am particularly interested in this section because the substitute more closely mirrors my own bill on this subject, H.R. 2565.

The Volkmer substitute allows interstate travel with a firearm as long as it is unloaded and not readily accessible. Thirty-seven States have handgun hunting seasons, and all too often hunters and competitive shooters have been harassed as they passed through one jurisdiction to another on their way to a hunt or shooting competition.

A good example is that of a Mr. Brown from North Carolina. Mr. Brown was traveling to Maine with his dogs to go bear hunting and, in accordance with North Carolina law, he had his guns unloaded and unconcealed. Mr. Brown was arrested in New Jersey and prosecuted for transporting his hunting weapons through the State. While he was in custody, his dogs were confined in a hot garage, and one of them died-all because this law-abiding gun owner was transporting his guns according to the laws of his home State.  The problem is even worse in New York because you are required to have a license in that State, but section 400.00 of the New York penal code prohibits issuing licenses to nonresidents.

The substitute takes care of this problem while H.R. 4332, the committee bill, limits interstate transportation to rifles and shotguns only, on the erroneous assumption that handguns need to be restricted. Yet, in actual interviews with convicted felons, a study done by the University of Massachusetts found that fully three-quarters of these criminals obtained their guns in-state. The point is, stopping interstate travel with firearms only harasses law-abiding citizens-it isn't going to stop hardened criminals.

Mr. Chairman, I haven't tried to cover all of the bill's shortcomings, some of my colleagues have already done that. But the bottom line is that the committee bill is not good legislation for America's hunters and sportsmen. Support the Volkmer substitute.

Mr. MCCOLLUM. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume. Mr. Chairman, I believe that the two bills that are before us today, the products of the work in our committee, H.R. 4332, and the substitute proposal by the gentleman from Missouri <Mr. VOLKMER>, are both a delicate balance between the interests of sportsmen and the needs of the law-enforcement community in our country. I want to take a moment to especially commend the gentleman from New Jersey for all of the hard work he has put in, as the chairman of the Subcommittee on Crime, in crafting a balanced bill to put out here today. It has not been without a lot of work and personal time and sacrifice on his part, and I think he is to be commended for it.

On the other hand, I think though, there is a great deal of difference of opinion about issues between various parties here today, the gentleman who has drafted the substitute to be presented today, the gentleman from Missouri <Mr. VOLKMER>, is also to be commended, because he has crafted something that is really a compromise today, and we are about to try to come up with the best bill possible, from all of the amendments that are to be offered later today. 

From the annual duck/goose hunting seasons on the Chesapeake Bay to the wild, wild West, the firearm has been playing a role in American history and in the development of our country.

In 1968, the Congress reacted to the tragedies of the assassinations of both Robert F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., by adopting the Gun Control Act of 1968. Unfortunately, the implementation of this act resulted in frustration, confusion, and unnecessary restrictions for lawful gun owners. As a member of the Subcommittee on Crime, I have heard numerous testimonies which point to sections of the Gun Control Act that place unfair burdens on sportsmen without significant contributions to law enforcement. I, therefore, support this effort to reform the Gun Control Act to favor the sportsmen and the interests that they represent to the best extent that we can, while still protecting the interests of our law-enforcement officials.

While neither bill is perfect, the debate today enables us to achieve these changes while respecting the law enforcement interests which have been shared with us by law enforcement officials from around the Nation. Throughout the amendment process, this body will work its will and develop a balance between the basic American right to bear arms and the freedom of sportsmen on the one hand and adequate law enforcement on the other. I sincerely hope that we can establish a firearms law that is directed at the criminal elements in society, rather than law-abiding citizens.

To this end, I plan to offer one amendment to the substitute introduced

by the gentleman from Missouri <Mr. VOLKMER>. My amendment responds to six technical or otherwise noncontroversial requests from the Department of the Treasury.

This amendment is supported by the administration and has the approval of the sponsor of the substitute. I am unaware of any opposition to this proposal. I look forward to the opportunity to offer this amendment and thereby contribute to the development of good firearms legislation today and I look forward to being able to support a number of amendments being offered by other Members today that will perfect both the bill, H.R. 4332, and the substitute, so we can get to a vote on the final product. When all the smoke is cleared today, I think we are going to find that we will be able to reaffirm the words of the great Republican sportsman, Abraham Lincoln, who said, "The ballot is stronger than the bullet." I think we will produce a good product and I commend everybody who has participated in this.

Mr. SMITH of Florida. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 1/2 minutes to the gentleman from New York <Mr. BIAGGI>.

Mr. BIAGGI. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for yielding. Mr. Chairman, it is not my intention to go into extensive debate on this issue at this point. I am only allowed 1 minute but I do intend to speak later under the 5-minute rule; however, there is something I would like to clear up. I think we should know exactly who the participants are. It is law enforcement against the NRA, pure, simple, and unadulterated. There is one issue I would like to clear up and eliminate the confusion, because you will hear that the police community is divided. I have heard it before. I heard it again just a few moments ago and I'm certain we will hear it again.

The law enforcement community supports the bill as reported by the Judiciary Committee. I know about the union of the police, AFL-CIO related. I know the history of it.

Begin 132 Cong. Rec. p. 6849]

I know its terrible internal difficulties. I know its financial problemsI know it is lock, stock and barrel owned by the NRA.

Let me give you the names of those national groups that support the legislation:

The Federal Law Enforcement Association.

The Fraternal Order of Police.

The International Association of Chiefs of Police.

The International Brotherhood of Police Officers.

Major Cities' Chiefs.

The National Association of Police Organizations.

The National Organization of Black Enforcement Executives.

The National Sheriffs' Association.

The National Troopers' Coalition.

The Police Executive Research Forum.

The Police Foundation.

I hope this puts this myth to rest and deals with this smokescreen once and for all. The police of this Nation support the Hughes legislation vigorously and unequivocally.

Mr. MCCOLLUM. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from Pennsylvania <Mr. CLINGER>.

Mr. CLINGER. Mr. Chairman, I represent a district in Pennsylvania which issues more hunting licenses than any other district in my State and I suspect one of the major hunting areas in the country. I have just spent 2 weeks talking to literally hundreds of my constituents who are sportsmen, who have told me that the McClure bill is a much needed reform of the 1968 Gun Control Act.

Today and over the last months we have heard differing philosophies about the right of American citizens to own, obtain, and use a firearm for lawful activity.

I would urge my colleagues to preserve this right for our law abiding citizens.

The McClure bill corrects a wide range of problems faced by law abiding hunters and sportsmen from Pennsylvania and around the country. The bill defines exactly who will need a firearms license, eliminates useless ammunition recordkeeping requirements, provides mandatory prison sentences for Federal crimes committed with a gun, which is where the focus should be, and codifies existing regulations for conducting firearms tracing to aid law enforcement.

Mr. Chairman, I would urge passage of the McClure substitute and I would like to commend the gentleman from Missouri <Mr. VOLKMER> for working so hard to bring this vitally needed bill to the floor and to effect these reforms which my constituents and hundreds of sportsmen have told me are vitally necessary.

Mr. HUGHES. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from Arkansas < Mr. ALEXANDER>.

(Mr. ALEXANDER asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

Mr. ALEXANDER. Mr. Chairman, I rise today in support of the amendment to be offered by my friend from Missouri, Mr. VOLKMER. I also rise today on behalf of the thousands of citizens of my State who are lawful gun owners, and dedicated sportsmen and women, who support the Volkmer amendment because it restores an appropriate balance between the right of Americans to bear arms and the needs of law enforcement officials to police the criminal elements in our society.

The Volkmer legislation would allow citizens to transport firearms across State lines-if the firearm is unloaded and inaccessible. For states like Arkansas, which are known for their hunting and competitive shooting, this measure will enhance the prospect of more visitors to our communities and greater economic grain for our citizens.

Further, this legislation would allows a citizen of another State to purchase a firearm from a licensed dealer if the laws of both the State of sale and the State of the purchaser's residence are followed and the purchaser conducts the transaction in person. This would permit hunters and gun collectors to purchase firearms when and if they needed them while visiting in another State.

The Volkmer legislation also addresses the issue of criminal intent. All too frequently, law-abiding citizens have been prosecuted for simple unintentional errors in obtaining a firearm. The Volkmer bill protects gun owners by requiring that Federal agents prove criminal intent in the prosecution of such cases.

Mr. Chairman, I support the Volkmer amendment to restore balance. The key word in this debate is "balance." The purpose of this legislation is to balance the rights of law-abiding citizens to bear arms against the very real needs of law enforcement officials to fight crime. Mr. Volkmer's bill achieves this appropriate balance, and I congratulate him on his efforts to bring this to the floor today.

Mr. MCCOLLUM. Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Louisiana <Mr. MOORE>.

(Mr. MOORE asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

Mr. MOORE. Mr. Chairman, I rise in strong support of the Volkmer substitute.

Concerns are being expressed that interests of private gun owners and law enforcement officers are set on a collision course today, but both can be reconciled.

I was a military policeman and my only brother is a career police officer.

So, I can see the concerns of law enforcement in preventing crimes and the misuse of guns, but also of the importance for legitimate gun owners, which include our country's citizens, to have the opportunity to buy, own, and transport firearms for sporting purposes or for self-defense.

Allowing gun owners to transport an unloaded, not readily accessible, firearm does not lessen our crime-fighting efforts, and without this provision, our law-abiding citizens are punished. The Volkmer substitute protects gun owners' rights by allowing the transport of not only long guns which the committee allows but also handguns. Many law- abiding citizens have been arrested, jailed, and fined because of innocently carrying firearms through States and communities with laws prohibiting unlicensed possession of such firearms. Gun owners whether they are sportsmen or even law enforcement officers who carry their handguns through States when they travel on vacation or to sporting events or even to move their households interstate now under current law could face criminal charges. The transportation provisions in the Volkmer substitute are vitally needed to protect legitimate gunowners and the transportation provision in the committee bill and in the Hughes amendment does not go far enough in protecting these rights.

In addition to the transportation provision, I support the Volkmer substitute on the whole which is largely based on H.R. 945, the Firearm Owners Protection Act, which Representative VOLKMER introduced and I cosponsored. I oppose the Hughes amendment to it.

I want to commend the Judiciary Committee for finally bringing gun legislation to the floor, and I am particularly pleased that the discharge petition which I signed early was successful in providing the motivation for the committee to move legislation after 6 years to give the full House this important opportunity to debate gun legislation. The Volkmer substitute, in my opinion, does three key things: First, it will protect the rights of law-abiding gun owners, dealers, and sportsmen;

Second, it will help law enforcement implement Federal gun laws and fight crime which I believe all Members want to see reduced. My brother is a career police officer and I was a military policeman. I am a strong supporter of law enforcement so I know full well law enforcement concerns and the dangers they face; and

Third, it will appropriately target our efforts where they should be-at the criminal, not the weekend hunter or the concerned citizen or legitimate gun dealer who has been treated like a criminal because of unintentional, minor violations, with no criminal intent. Addressing these enforcement abuses along with criminal deterrents should be our goals in drafting consensus changes in gun laws.

Begin 132 Cong. Rec. p. 6850]

In my home State of Louisiana, my constituents feel strongly about our second amendment rights to keep and bear arms. They want us to protect those rights. Even the preamble of the Gun Control Act states that it is not intended "to place any undue or unnecessary Federal restrictions or burdens on law-abiding citizens" in their purchase, possession, or use of firearms.

We have heard numerous abuses of our citizens in the enforcement of the gun laws and in the interpretation of their vague and undefined provisions.

The Volkmer substitute is intended to be a fairer, more comprehensive measure, striking a balance between law enforcement and sportsmen concerns.

For gun owners and dealers-the Volkmer substitute: First, it allows the interstate sale of firearms if the sale is face-to-face and complies with laws of both buyers' and sellers' States; Second, it allows interstate transport of unloaded and not readily accessible firearms;

Third, it clarifies the term "engaged in the business" to end confusion of who needs a license for firearm sales, so unsuspecting, law-abiding gun owners and hunters do not find themselves guilty of a felony for sales without a license such as an exchange of firearms from their personal collection;

Fourth, it repeals ammunition recordkeeping requirements (except armor- piercing bullets) which BATF and Treasury says have no substantial law enforcement value; and

Fifth, it reduces minor and technical recordkeeping offenses to a misdemeanor since now violations are felonies.

On the other side of the scale, the Volkmer substitute strikes at criminals by strengthening criminal penalties as it:

First, provides a 5-year mandatory prison term for drug traffickers who use or carry a firearm in a drug trafficking crime;

Second, provides a mandatory 10-year prison term for using or carrying a machinegun or silencer in the commission of a violent crime or drug trafficking offense and a 20-year mandatory term for a subsequent offense; and

Third, provides a mandatory penalty for using armor-piercing ammunition in a drug trafficking felony.

I support these penalties as throughout my tenure in Congress, I have authored and sponsored mandatory penalties legislation as a deterrent for crimes committed with firearms as a far more effective way of deterring the use of guns in the commission of crimes.

In contrast, the Volkmer substitute is better than the Hughes amendment which does not address some of the abuses which have burdened legitimate gunowners and gun dealers. The Hughes amendment does not address the definitional problem of who is considered a dealer nor the problems arising from minor technical violations which were not intentionally committed. It does not allow the interstate sale or transportation of all firearms.

Again, I feel the Volkmer substitute is a good compromise, bringing a balance to law enforcement and sportsmen concerns. It gives law enforcement the tools with which to prosecute and punish criminals, and it protects the rights of gunowners, sportsmen, and dealers. I do not think it makes it easier for criminals to get guns.

I urge my colleagues to support the Volkmer substitute.

Mr. HUGHES. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 1/2 minutes to the gentleman from Ohio < Mr. TRAFICANT>.

Mr. TRAFICANT. Mr. Chairman, as a former sheriff, I would like to say that it is very easy to turn the clock back. It is pretty tough to do what is responsible and there is a cloud that is hanging over the House today. It is a cloud that may divide two very great bodies, one known as the NRA and one known as the police.

The NRA basically consists of honorable, law-abiding citizens. However, I do not believe there are five people, if any in this House who want to take guns away from people.

However, Mr. Chairman, we are dealing with a complex issue. During the 7 major years of the Vietnam war, there were more Americans killed with handguns in this country than soliders killed in Vietnam. We have let this problem go unabated for too long.

We have a tremendous problem in this country where the psychological edge rests with people who take a casual approach to a handgun or a weapon, and God forbid, the results are evident.

In 1981, we had 11,522 Americans killed with a handgun. The figure was 77 in the next leading democratic type of society in Japan, with 120 million people, half our population, crammed into a country the size of California.

Today we can make a decision, give the psychological edge to all police officers and send a message across the country that guns are not to be handled just casually, like other pieces of apparatus purchased at any particular store.

I think the Hughes bill, the committee bill, represents a better picture for this country, even though neither of them in my opinion would serve the country as well as they should. I do commend the gentleman from Missouri <Mr. VOLKMER> who has made a valiant effort to perfect parts of this bill which have been tempered in the last several weeks.

Mr. MCCOLLUM. Mr. Chairman, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from Pennsylvania <Mr. GEKAS>, a distinguished member of the subcommittee. (Mr. GEKAS asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

Mr. GEKAS. Mr. Chairman, there is no question about it, the whole issue has resolved itself down to a tremendous legislative duel between two titans, one being the police officer and the other the sportsman of our country, both fellow citizens, both worthy of our support, both eager to gain our support in their roles in life; but I believe that the sportsman can already proclaim a victory. The sportsmen have gained beyond what they might have imagined just a few years ago, full relief on what they considered to be burdensome restrictions on their ability to transport long guns across State lines, on the ability to transact the sales that are so important to them, and no matter which version applies here today, it grants that relief.

Therefore, I believe that I, as a politician who tries to respond to the wishes of my constituents, have done to this moment yeoman service to the sportsmen and outdoorsmen and hunters and sportsmen's federation in my district.

I have not yet, however, come to the point where I am ready to accept the Volkmer bill in its entirety because of the unresolved handgun issue. To me it is still unresolved.

It remains for this debate, as the gentleman from Florida has determined and so eloquently proposed, for the full debate of this House to finally paint the picture which will evolve for the final vote; but I do believe that I can forever, no matter what the outcome is politically for me the remainder of my incumbency. I can forever feel proud that I have done my duty as I saw it to the sportsman, to the hunter, to the outdoorsman, and to those who feel that the long gun does not require the kind of restriction that has been placed upon it so long.

Mr. MCCOLLUM. Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Ohio < Mr. KINDNESS>.

(Mr. KINDNESS asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

Mr. KINDNESS. Mr. Chairman, I would like to add my commendations to the gentleman from New Jersey, the gentleman from Florida, and the other members of the subcommittee, for the fine work they have done in bringing this legislation to the House floor and my particular commendations to the gentleman from Missouri <Mr. VOLKMER>, who has struggled and led so valiantly the effort over a good period of years now to get this matter to this stage.

I think it is quite regrettable that there has been so much polarization of the positions that have evolved with regard to this legislation. It is too bad.

That brings me down on the side of the Volkmer substitute. 

Begin 132 Cong. Rec. p. 6851]

I think it is regrettable that we could not have approached this point several years ago. Perhaps this is a lesson for the Committee on the Judiciary to learn, not to simply bury things forever, because the pot will boil over. The pot has boiled. The Volkmer substitute ought to carry the day.

I believe that there is a sincere effort on the part of both sides here to have their point of view put across well and it is even possible that there might have been further compromise to bring the two views together more closely. That does not appear to be the setting in which we will operate today.

Therefore, I urge my colleagues to support the Volkmer substitute and at the same time to pay respects to the committee for the work that it has done in bringing the measure to the floor today.

Mr. HUGHES. Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 1/2 minutes to the gentleman from Maryland <Mr. MITCHELL>.

(Mr. MITCHELL asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

 

Mr. MITCHELL. I thank the gentleman for yielding this time to me. My colleagues, 9 months ago we became so concerned in my city about the violence that a group of citizens formed themselves together to combat the killings that are taking place in my city, and my city is not too different from other cities.

We go out regularly putting up these bumper stickers on doors, on windows, on automobiles, "Us Killing Us Equals Genocide." The police department has given us excellent cooperation. The State's attorney works with us. Therefore, I rise in support of the committee legislation rather than the Volkmer substitute because I would have to oppose any legislation that gave greater access to guns for people to kill each other.

I just talked with my Baltimore City Police Department. It is estimated that there are 100,000 illegal guns in the city of Baltimore. That is not too different from any other city. Of great concern to my police department and to me and to all well thinking people is the fact of gratuitous violence which is now taking place in connection with crime; not just a robbery, but after the robbery, kill them; not just a burglary or an attempted burglary, but after that, shoot the person. Gratuitous crimes.

In my city and in every other city, I know in Newark, NJ, there is an underground economy in handguns, where one can rent a handgun for the commission of a crime, or one can borrow a handgun for the commission of a crime. Last year in my city, in Baltimore, handguns accounted for 54 percent of all the homicides. This year, handguns account for 60 percent. And that ratio has obtained for the last 14 or 15 years. Us killing us equals genocide.

I think every one of us who is concerned about the sanctity of life, about the well being of our communities, should bitterly oppose any legislation at all that increases accessibility to weapons of death and maiming in our communities.

I will support the committee's legislation. I would urge my colleagues in this House to oppose the Volkmer legislation, because it does increase access to handguns. Remember, us killing us equals genocide.

Mr. MCCOLLUM. Mr. Chairman, may I inquire how much time remains on this side?

The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Florida <Mr. MCCOLLUM> has 31 minutes remaining and the gentleman from New Jersey <Mr. HUGHES> has 23 1/2 minutes remaining.

Mr. MCCOLLUM. Mr. Chairman, I yield such time as he may consume to the gentleman from Georgia <Mr. DARDEN>.

(Mr. DARDEN asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

Mr. DARDEN. I thank the gentleman for yielding time to me. Mr. Chairman, I rise today in support of the Volkmer substitute to H.R. 4332. This substitute-the Gunowners Protection Act-balances protection of public safety with the constitutional right of Americans to keep and bear arms.

The Gun Control Act of 1968, though well-intentioned in its concern over controlling crime, has burdened weapons dealers and those who would use firearms for sport and personal protection with layers of complex and unnecessary regulatio

The Volkmer substitute would lift much of the regulatory burden from law- abiding dealers and gunowners, while preserving necessary restrictions on the importation and sale of weapons likely to be used by criminals and terrorists.

Millions of Americans use firearms responsibly for recreation. Others have a justifiable need to keep a gun for their protection, especially in rural areas. These law-abiding citizens should not be denied their constitutional right to keep and bear arms because the criminal element ignores the laws we already have.

As a former district attorney, I know that gun control only hampers those who already obey the law; hardened criminals continue to buy, carry, and use guns as they choose, regardless of the legal requirements.

I urge my colleagues to support this long-needed revision of our Federal firearms laws.

Mr. MCCOLLUM. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 1/2 minutes to the gentlewoman from Nevada <Mrs. VUCANOVICH>.

Mrs. VUCANOVICH. I thank the gentleman for yielding this time to me. Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of the Volkmer substitute. It is very clear that millions of law-abiding sportsmen and gun owners in this country have been adversely affected by gun control legislation. The purpose of the Volkmer substitute is not to make life easier for the criminal element in our society, but to correct the unnecessary burden placed on the law-abiding American citizens who exercise their constitutional right to own a firearm.

Naturally, there must be a balance between individual rights and the protection of our citizens. But the 1968 Gun Control Act has failed because it does not recognize the realistic difference between law-abiding citizens and criminals. Criminals do not often purchase guns from authorized dealers, and if they do, it is unrealistic to think they will provide truthful information to the dealer.

Instead of infringing upon the rights of law-abiding citizens, instead of searching for new ways to license, tax and regulate law-abiding citizens, Congress should pass laws that toughen and enforce penalties against criminals.

My State of Nevada, has considerably less State regulation on firearms than most States, and it is clear that most Nevadans would like to see it stay that way, because I have received an overwhelming amount of constitutent support for Mr. VOLKMER'S legislation. 

Mr. Chairman, it is time the Federal Government stops harassing sportsmen and gun owners by treating them like criminals. The Volkmer substitute treats the gun owners as law-abiding citizens, by giving them an opportunity to conduct legitimate business transactions in a reasonable manner. It also treats criminals as criminals through the use of mandatory penalties. 

The Volkmer substitute returns basic American principles to firearms laws. H.R. 4332 does not adequately reform the abuses contained in the 1968 Gun Control Act. The Volkmer substitute is a realistic, rational approach to reform. I urge my colleagues to vote for the law-abiding citizens and uphold the Constitution by voting for the Volkmer substitute.

Mr. HUGHES. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 1/2 minutes to the gentleman from New Jersey <Mr. TORRICELLI>.

(Mr. TORRICELLI asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

Mr. TORRICELLI. I thank the gentleman for yielding this time to me. Mr. Chairman, let me first extend my congratulations to the gentlemen from New Jersey <Mr. RODINO and Mr. HUGHES>. They have made this a proud day for my State of New Jersey.

My colleagues, we have a problem. Year after year we have stood in this well and we have talked about the problems of crime, guns in the schools, teenage suicides, mounting homicides, and people thought we were serious. They did not understand that these were just speeches. They did not know that there were not people prepared to come to this Congress and to vote for laws to protect law enforcement officers and to meet the problem.


Begin 132 Cong. Rec. p. 6852]

My friends, I am sorry if it is inconvenient that we want to keep records of those who buy guns. I am sorry if it is inconvenient that we need to check criminal records, mental records, before people buy deadly guns. It is too bad; but if you think it is inconvenient for you to check the records, ask Sarah Brady, ask police officers, ask the 10,000 Americans who are going to be murdered next year by guns in this country. Ask about their inconveniences.

There is not just a gun problem in America. There is a gun epidemic in America and it is time we stand up and be counted. It is easy to put a bumper sticker on your car to "Support Your Local Police." It is so simple to stand here and make a speech about the problems of crime. It is another thing to stand up to the gun lobby. That is what we need to do here today.

Mr. MCCOLLUM. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 1/2 minutes to the gentleman from Alabama <Mr. DICKINSON>.

(Mr. DICKINSON asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

Mr. DICKINSON. I thank the gentleman for yielding this time to me. Mr. Chairman, I rise today to voice my strong support for the Firearm Owners Protection Act, as a substitute to H.R. 4332.

H.R. 4332 has been billed as a compromise between the rights of law-abiding gun owners and law enforcement. Nothing could be further from the truth. The bill actually creates a whole new set of enforcement problems for the Secretary of the Treasury, the FBI and State and local police

The substitute, on the other hand, clarifies and codifies provisions of existing law to benefit police in their fight against crime-a fight, I might add, that they are beginning to win.

Mr. Chairman, the substitute will protect the rights of law-abiding gunowners, dealers, sportsmen, and collectors, and will target violent felons and drug traffickers.

Mr. Chairman, I would like to focus on just one onerous aspect of H.R. 4332. That of denying persons under indictment the ability to possess firearms.

Under current law, and under the substitute, a person who has been indicted for a State or Federal crime may not receive or transfer any firearm. He may, however, possess any guns he might have at the time of his indictment. After all, it is our system of judicial review that deems a person innocent until proven guilty.

H.R. 4332 would prohibit the receipt and possession of firearms by persons under indictment thereby creating instant criminals. At the moment of indictment on a State or Federal charge, a gunowner would be in violation of H.R. 4332-a felony. Even if the person is acquitted of the charges or the charges are dismissed he would be a felon for possessing a gun while under indictment.

The substitute adequately addresses this problem. It provides safeguards for law enforcement and persons under indictment but not yet convicted for a crime.

There are many other onerous provisions in H.R. 4332 that I will defer to my colleagues.

Mr. Chairman, the substitute was introduced 7 years ago to correct the abuses and problems of the 1968 Gun Control Act, While H.R. 4332 does address some of these concerns, it also creates new ones. And for that reason-and others that this body will hear today-I support the substitute.

In closing, I urge my distinguished colleagues to consider this: Should we pass a bill, H.R. 4332, that creates new problems for gun owners and law enforcement, or should we adopt the substitute, a bill that will correct old problems, protect law-abiding gun owners from future problems and help law enforcement combat existing crime problems?

Mr. HUGHES. Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Texas <Mr. FROST>.

(Mr. FROST asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

Mr. FROST. I thank the gentleman for yielding this time to me. Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of the Hughes-Rodino bill on the floor today. It is a well thought out and reasoned approach to the issue of firearm sales and transfer in this country. I believe its enactment today will be a victory for sportsmen and the law enforcement community alike.

This legislation most certainly involves one of the most emotional issues I have faced in my 8 years in Congress. Feelings run high on both sides and, as a result, I have given the matter a great deal of time and attention. I have listened to the views of my constituents and to the people charged with enforcing the laws in my congressional district. I decided when I came here 8 years ago that I would consider each issue on its own merits and would vote in the best interest of my district and my country, regardless of the passions of the moment.

Prior to making my decision on the legislation before us, I had my staff contact literally every one of the local police departments in my district as well as the Dallas offices of the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Texas Rangers. Each department chief was asked to comment on the Hughes- Rodino bill and the Volkmer substitute. Ever single sheriff, police chief, commander, and inspector spoken to said that Hughes/Rodino is preferable to McClure-Volkmer and will make our streets safer for law enforcement officers and the citizens they are charged with protecting.

I would like to share with you a few short comments offered by the law enforcement officials I contacted

The Dallas Police Chief, himself a sportsman, stated that "the Hughes-Rodino bill is a fair compromise that will help protect my officers in the street".

The Police Chief in Duncanville, Texas stated that "provisions in the bill will be of assistance in keeping handguns out of the hands of known criminals".

The Police Chief in Irving, Texas strongly endorsed Hughes-Rodino as a bill that makes sense and fairly addresses any concerns legitimate sportsmen may have.

The DeSoto Police Chief acknowledged that the retention of limited control on handguns and increased penalties for crimes committed with firearms is an effective approach to dealing with violent crimes. A Captain at the Cedar Hill Police Department expressed the view that any effort to lessen restrictions on concealable firearms threatens the safety of officers in the street

The Sheriff of Dallas County stated that "the resolution of violent crimes often depends solely on the availability of records that can be used to track the ownership of weapons".

The Senior Ranger Captain of the Texas Rangers expressed that enactment of legislation lessening restrictions on handguns will make law enforcement a much more dangerous and difficult job. A spokesman from the Dallas office of the FBI stated that "making the sale and availability of handguns easier is a mistake from the law enforcement point of view".

Finally, the Dallas Regional Commander of the Drug Enforcement Agency stated that "Hughes-Rodino is fair to sportsmen but retains needed restrictions on concealable firearms."

After reviewing the comments of the officers in my district, I'm convinced that lessening restrictions on handguns would be a mistake that we would pay for with the lives of citizens and police officers. Hughes-Rodino is a responsible measure. It allows hunters the flexibility they need to pursue and enjoy their sport. Law abiding sportsmen, gun collectors, and dealers have nothing to fear from its provisions. Criminals, however, and those who seek to make firearms easily available to criminals, will be thwarted by the provisions of this bill. It's a good bill. It's a fair bill. I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting it.

Mr. MCCOLLUM. Mr. Chairman, I yield 7 minutes to the gentleman from California <Mr. LUNGREN>.

(Mr. LUNGREN asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

Mr. LUNGREN. Mr. Chairman, I am one of those who is pleased that we are here today. I understand the frustration of many who have wanted to deal with amendments to the 1968 firearms bill for some time. I understand their frustrations, and I understand their concerns. In fact, I applaud them for putting pressure so that we are here.

I am not one who is adverse to using a discharge petition. I have used a discharge petition before to gain the attention of the House to help move the immigration bill. I have used other procedures to get the omnibus crime

Begin 132 Cong. Rec. p. 6853]

bill out here. Yet I have tried to work within my committees when that was possible to bring forward what I consider to be strong law-enforcement legislation.

I would say as one who did not sign the discharge petition, I do not argue with anybody who did. I think it was a healthy thing for us to move this legislation.

I will say that I think the subcommittee, when it finally got an opportunity to act on this, passed out a pretty good product. I think that is recognized by the gentleman from Missouri, Mr. VOLKMER, who is some cases has taken part of that product and placed it into his substitute today. He admitted when he came and testified before us that there were problems with the bill he had introduced, with the bill that had come from the other body, and he was going to attempt to rectify them, and that is where we are now. His substitute does rectify some of the concerns he had about his own bill.

On the other hand, I think we have made some changes, in the subcommittee version, which go further in rectifying some of those problems. But the fact of the matter is that there is going to be an up-or-down vote on the Volkmer bill before we ever really vote on the entire committee bill. So we are really going to be talking about how we amend the Volkmer substitute, which is an amended form of the original bill that the gentleman from Missouri <Mr. VOLKMER> had introduced some time ago.

It is in this direction that I would like to address my remarks. I happen to think that the members of the National Rifle Association have legitimate concerns about the present law. They have expressed those concerns, and I think we have a duty to meet those concerns. At the same time, I believe that members of law enforcement agencies have a legitimate concern about some of the things that are contained in the original Volkmer bill and the Volkmer substitute, I know there has been some discussion about the fact that there is a split in the law enforcement community. The president of one of the groups that is represented in the AFL-CIO has come out in support of the McClure-Volkmer bill. I have tried to have my staff do a survey of the various groups involved. As close as I can determine, this is what it amounts to: Of the law enforcement groups that support major amendments to the McClure-Volkmer substitute, they represent 173,393 police officers in America. Of the one group that supports McClure-Volkmer without amendment, they represent 7,000 police officers in America. So if you want to know where the overall number of police officers are in terms of the number of amendments that are to be offered, I think you know they go in the direction of amending the Volkmer substitute. We will have several opportunities to do that. One is the Hughes law enforcement package amendment. Then subsequently, if that is not successful, there will be individual amendments.

I will support the Hughes law enforcement package which consists of nine major amendments en bloc because I think they make reasonable changes to the McClure-Volkmer substitute.

Let me just talk about one of them that I think is important. This will be dealt with in an individual amendment if the Hughes law enforcement package is not agreed to, and that bans the sale of silencers. I frankly, for the life of me, cannot understand the arguments of anybody that it serves a legitimate sportsman interest to use a silencer. Maybe when you shoot one grouse, you do not want the other grouse to get up and walk away because they hear the noise. Maybe you have some concern about other deer running around when you fire a weapon with a silencer at a particular deer that is in front of you. But for the life of me, I cannot understand anybody suggesting that there is legitimate interest in dealing in and selling silencers. I hope when we have an opportunity for the amendment that the gentleman from Florida <Mr. SHAW>, and I might offer, that someone who does believe there is a legitimate sportsman interest will come forward and explain it to me. Perhaps the major difference that is going to be voted on here, and either will be encompassed in the Hughes law enforcement package or by a separate amendment, will be what I think this is the bottom line for law enforcement organizations, the transport across State lines of handguns. We have made a legitimate decision in both versions to allow the interstate transportation of long guns; that is, shotguns and rifles. That is what the sportsmen in my community have asked me about. I had one come up to me in a townhall meeting just this week and said, " Please allow me to do that. I am not someone breaking the law. All I want to do is to be able to take my rifle or shotgun hunting." And I said, "What about handguns?" And he said, "I don't want handguns, I don't want to go that far." I said, "that may be the major difference in the vote that takes place."

The law enforcement community, for whatever it is worth, has decided that this change in law would interfere with their ability to enforce the law with respect to the transport of handguns in their own communities. It seems to me we ought to take cognizance of that. I think we are finally going to come up with something that is an improvement on current law. I suspect that in some ways it will have the contributions of the gentleman from Missouri <Mr. VOLKMER> and the contributions of others. But I would just ask that Members not flock to one side or the other because the NRA says this, or law enforcement says that, or because we got more phone calls at home on this, or somebody down the street said that. Please take a look at the various amendments as they are presented. Please take a look. For someone to say to vote for any amendment will gut the Volkmer substitute means that when we offer our amendment to outlaw silencers, that that somehow is going to gut the Volkmer substitute. I do not understand that. I cannot understand that.

It seems to me we owe it to ourselves to look at each and every amendment, and make a judgment on the amendments as they come forward. Then we can vote up or down the final package. As I say, I think we need to amend the current law. I stand against handgun control. I have never supported it and I never will. But I think we have a far distance from one extreme to the other. We will have an opportunity to try and make informed judgments all along that distance during the debate today. I would just ask Members please, open up your eyes and vote on these amendments on their merits. Please do not disregard the legitimate concerns of law enforcement.

Mr. HUGHES. Mr. Chairman, I would ask, how much time remains?

The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from New Jersey <Mr. HUGHES> has 20 minutes remaining and the gentleman from Florida <Mr. MCCOLLUM> has 21 minutes remaining.

Mr. HUGHES. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from Connecticut <Mr. MORRISON>.

(Mr. MORRISON of Connecticut asked and was given permission to revise

and extend his remarks.)

Mr. MORRISON of Connecticut. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for yielding this time and rise in support of the Judiciary Committee bill. I think it is good work and good legislation and I commend the gentleman from New Jersey <Mr. HUGHES> and the ranking member, the gentleman from Florida <Mr. MCCOLLUM> for the cooperative process that brought it to the floor.

But we know that the real vote today is going to be the vote on the law enforcement package that the gentleman from New Jersey <Mr. HUGHES> is going to offer. It provides the alternatives for all Members in this body to speak with a voice that says we want to accommodate in this gun control legislation the reasonable concerns of law enforcement to protect people. We should follow the advice of the broad spectrum of law enforcement organizations across

Begin 132 Cong. Rec. p. 6854]

the country that are saying this is the minimum that is required.

I think the gentleman from New Jersey <Mr. HUGHES> has been diligent in picking an amendment and fashioning an amendment that will make that kind of change in the Volkmer bill. I would hope that a majority of this body on both sides of the aisle will see the wisdom of that amendment and support it.

Mr. MCCOLLUM. Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from New Jersey <Mrs. ROUKEMA>.

(Mrs. ROUKEMA asked and was given permission to revise and extend her remarks.)

Mrs. ROUKEMA. Mr. Chairman, first let me commend my good colleagues, Mr. HUGHES and Mr. MCCOLLUM for this outstanding legislation. Lives may be on the line as a result of today's vote on gun legislation.

Not surprisingly, then, passions run high whenever this issue is debated. At its most basic level, the Constitution clearly guarantees the right to keep and bear arms. Yet, the need for reasonable restrictions on firearms should be beyond question. Our goal should be to maintain the greatest level of public safety while preserving personal freedom. The question, then, is for reasonable people to find that balance.

The Hughes alternative, which passed the Judiciary Committee without a single dissenting vote, would allow hunters and sportsmen greater freedom to pursue their sport. They would be able to travel between States with secured, unloaded rifles and shotguns. They could purchase these guns in person outside their home State. These are reasonable changes which will not make concealable weapons more available. As such, I support them.

The Volkmer proposal, however, would permit handguns to be brought across State lines. First, this infringes on the rights of my constituents who helped enact New Jersey State law that restricts the entry of unregistered handguns. The Volkmer proposal would specifically preempt our reasonable and necessary handgun regulations. Second, the Volkmer proposal would prevent New Jersey authorities from prosecuting violations of its own gun laws by permitting people to buy handguns in other States and bring them back to my State, without notifying New Jersey authorities.

There are many other provisions of the Hughes proposal which would address the needs of gun owners without endangering innocent lives. But since my time is short, let me address the one key fact that should control our consideration of this legislation: All major police organizations in this country support the Hughes proposal and reject the Volkmer substitute. These are the people who put their lives on the line every day to protect our citizenry, and they say that the Volkmer substitute would aid criminals and will lead to the deaths of police officers. I will not vote for legislation that may have this effect! Now, the National Rifle Association tells us that these police organizations are out of touch with the cop on the street. By the police officers in my district-Sheriffs Fred Cooper, Edwin Englehardt, and William McDowell-in addition to the local police officers I have spoken to, all support the Hughes reforms and oppose the dangerous provisions of the Volkmer substitute. I will not support a gun bill which these people tell me will aid criminals and kill police officers.

I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting the Hughes proposal and rejecting the dangerous Volkmer substitute. Our police forces deserve better. The Hughes proposal is the better, balanced, and reasonable compromise between safety and freedom.

Mr. BREAUX. Mr. Chairman, I rise in strong support of the Volkmer substitute to H.R. 4332 and I would like to address a part of the amendment which is of particular concern to me as a hunter. That is the provision which deals with the transportation of firearms across State lines.

As most of you know, the District of Columbia has a very strict gun control law. Possession of an unlicensed firearm in the District is a crime. Yet each fall, thousands of residents of Virginia and Maryland load their hunting equipment in their cars on Friday morning, drive to work in the District of Columbia, and leave after work for hunting trips in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, and West Virginia. These people are not criminals; they're hunters like I am and like a number of my good friends in the House. Yet, under current law, they could be arrested in the District of Columbia.

I know that the Rodino-Hughes bill attempts to deal with this problem by providing for interstate transportation of shotguns and rifles. This overlooks the fact that, according to the Interior Department's 1980 Survey of Fish and Wildlife Associated Receation, over 1.3 million Americans hunt with pistols or handguns, and many more Americans carry pistols with them when they hunt to finish off wounded game. Mr. Chairman, I submit that people who hunt with pistols should not be treated as criminals either. The Volkmer substitute would protect hunters who use pistols and I urge my fellow Members to give it their support

I would also like to add my voice in support of the Volkmer substitute's provision which exempts people who collect guns as a hobby from the registration and recordkeeping requirements of the Gun Control Act. It makes no sense for persons who collect guns as a hobby and trade or sell three or four guns a year to be required to register as gun dealers and maintain records on their hobby. It is hard to imagine what use these records would serve.

Mr. DREIER of California. Mr. Chairman, on behalf of an overwhelming number of my constituents who have written in favor, I rise in strong support of the Volkmer substitute. Proper reform of the 1968 Gun Control Act and its abuses are long overdue. As a cosponsor of the Firearm Owners Protection Act and a signer of its discharge petition, I look forward to the passage of the substitute which would focus the efforts of gun control on criminals who use guns. Freed from prosecution would be the honest citizen who may inadvertently violate current gun laws. Mr. Chairman, we continue to hear that law enforcement opposes McClure- Volkmer. I have just gotten off of the telephone with Los Angeles Police Chief Daryl Gates. Chief Gates told me that no legislation will prevent wanton criminals from obtaining guns. He said that the solution is to intensify our efforts against those who commit crimes with firearms. I agree with Chief Gates.

Mr. Chairman, I think we all appreciate Congressman VOLKMER's efforts to meet the legitimate concerns of the law enforcement community, the Attorney General, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. I especially want to commend my colleagues' attention to the substitute's proposal for even stiffer mandatory sentences for the use of a gun in a violent crime, and a codification of current Federal gun tracing regulations. Therefore, I repeat my support and urge my colleagues to vote for this pro-gunower, pro-law enforcement substitute.

Mr. HEFTEL of Hawaii. Mr. Chairman, I want to express my support for amendments to the Volkmer substitute offered by my distinguished colleague, House Crime Subcommittee Chairman BILL HUGHES. I would also like to associate myself with the general approach to reforming the Gun Control Act of 1968 contained in H.R. 4332, which was unanimously approved by the Crime Subcommittee and the full Judiciary Committee. The primary objective of any initiative to reform Federal gun laws should be to refine the law in response to prevailing conditions in our society. I recognize that the 1968 act might have been implemented in a manner that places undue burdens on law-abiding sportsmen and hunters. It is also, however, necessary to note that the terrible plague of handgun-related crime that prompted the 1968 act continues unabated today. Violent crime, especially violence perpetrated with firearms, disturbingly, has become ingrained in our society. Violent crime is not inevitable. There is a definite link between crime and the ready availability of the tools of crime. Japan, a nation of roughly half the United States population crowded into an area the size of the State of California, had six handgun murders in 1983. In 1983, 10,000 U.S. citizens were murdered with handguns. It is no coincidence that Japan's handgun laws are among the strictest in the world. We can never ignore the role of Federal firearms laws in protecting the public, nor our responsibility for this function. 

Although we should respond today to the reasonable needs of the sporting community, we also have an inescapable responsibility to respond to the needs of law enforcement personnel who are at the front lines in protecting the public from gun-bearing criminals. H.R. 4332, and Chairman HUGHES' amendments, meet this challenge in a balanced manner. This legislation indeed represents a meaningful compromise. Police officials from across the country and from my home State of Hawaii have contacted me to point out that

Begin 132 Cong. Rec. p. 6855]

the Volkmer legislation would simply erode their ability to control crime and enforce State and local gun laws. H.R. 4332 answers the concerns of law enforcement, but this approach is tempered with provisions which provide relief to legitimate sportsmen and law-abiding gun dealers.

I also strongly support amendments to ban the sale and possession of parts to convert certain firearms to fully automatic weapons, silencers, and firearms which cannot be detected by security screening systems. These weapons have no place in the hunting field or on the target range. They are the tools of criminals, contract killers, and terrorists, not true sportsmen. I also support amendments to create a 15-day waiting period for hundgun sales. My esteemed colleague in the other body, DAN INOUYE, offered a similar amendment, which was unfortunately defeated. I commend Chairman HUGHES and all my colleagues who helped to bring the Judiciary Committee legislation to the floor today. They have displayed considerable fortitude and leadership in calling for a measured and balanced approach to reform our Federal gun laws in the face of heated and emotional rhetoric associated with this difficult issue.

Mr. DOWNEY of New York. Mr. Chairman, we Members of Congress are faced with a simple choice today. We can either turn our backs on our law enforcement officers or we can lend them a hand. I am proud to stand with our police officers in their uphill battle against violent crime. I also stand with them in their fight for reasonable and fairminded firearms legislation.

The American people do not need a law which will aid itinerant would-be assassins like John Hinckley. The American people do not need a law which the Justice Department says would benefit "the suppliers of underworld weapons." The American people do not need a law which allows the interstate sale of handguns. And certainly, the American people do not need a bill which would make it easier for terrorists to get their hands on sophisticated weaponry like machineguns, silencers, and armor-piercing bullets.

Instead, we need a law which will allow law-abiding sportsmen and hunters to go about their activities freely. Such a law will exist if this august body has the wisdom to pass H.R. 4332, a bill which passed in the Judiciary Committee by a unanimous vote of 35 to 0. This is a vote for tough law enforcement. Our police officials have voiced their support for this legislation. Will we honor the memory of the 700 police officers who have given their lives for us in the past decade by relaxing restrictions on the very weapons that led to their demise? Or will we restrict the flow of the deadly handgun while allowing for the legitimate rights of law- abiding gun owners and hunters. The choice is clear. I urge my colleagues to vote for H.R. 4332 and the Hughes law enforcement amendment package

Mr. BEVILL. Mr. Chairman, I rise today on behalf of the many, many law- abiding citizens in my district who own firearms. I believe the rights of these citizens to keep and bear arms can best be protected if we pass the Volkmer substitute to revise the 1968 Gun Control Act. Current gun control laws have created mountains of bureaucratic redtape. Some of these provisions serve no legitimate purpose and sometimes law-abiding gun owners are subjected to harrassment by Federal officials. I believe the Volkmer substitute goes a long way to correct these deficiencies. At the same time, I believe this amendment also strengthens the law against criminal use of firearms. All of us cringe when we hear about the criminal use of weapons against innocent victims. None of us wants it to be easy for criminals to obtain and use firearms. But, let's face it. Criminals and hoodlums are not going to pay attention to any law restricting the sale and possession of firearms. If they want guns, they will find a way to get one. I want law enforcement officials to have the tools they need to track down criminals and to prevent crimes from happening. At the same time, I don't think law-abiding citizens should have to suffer undue hardships to own a gun.

The Volkmer bill defines those individuals who must obtain a Federal license to manufacture, import, or deal in firearms. Current law provides no such guidance for these individuals. The bill would allow hunters and sportsmen, traveling through a State with restrictive gun laws, to transport their guns. Those guns, however, must be unloaded and inaccessible.

A citizen would be allowed to purchase a firearm in another State as long as the seller is a licensed firearms dealer and the laws of both States are met. The buyer must appear in person to make the transaction. No mail order sales of firearms would be allowed.

Most importantly, the Volkmer bill would prohibit the sale of a firearm to a convicted felon by an individual. Current law makes it a crime only for a licensed dealer to make such a sale. Individuals are currently not prohibited from selling a gun to a criminal. This bill eliminates that loophole. Felons, drug addicts, and mental incompetents would not be allowed to possess, ship or receive firearms.

I believe the Volkmer substitute will shift the focus of the Federal law enforcement effort away from a regulatory mentality and toward an actual law enforcement strategy aimed at the criminal. I believe this addresses the concerns of a majority of citizens in my district.

Mrs. SCHNEIDER. Mr. Chairman, as you well know, our responsibility as legislators is to cast our votes on the basis of the facts. As we consider amendments today which would make it quicker and simpler to gain access to firearms, I urge my colleagues to consider the following statistics:

In 1984, nearly 9,000 Americans were murdered with handguns. Nationwide, handguns were used in 48 percent of homicide

In 1982, 19 States, including my home State of Rhode Island, reportedthat not once was a handgun used by a civilian to kill a criminal. In those same 19 States, 562 innocent citizens were killed by handguns. Nationally, for every time a criminal was killed by a civilian with a handgun in 1982, 41 innocent lives were terminated by handgun homicides. Two-thirds of all police officers who died in the line of duty last year were victims of handguns.

The facts speak for themselves. Handguns do not keep our streets safe but they do increase the chances that a street corner confrontation will turn into a deadly crime scene. Handguns cannot effectively protect innocent people in their homes but they do turn family squabbles into homicides. Handguns rarely deter criminals but they frequently bring a tragic end to the lives of police officers and children who have the misfortune to be playing with daddy's gun

Clearly, no law will bring a complete stop to the shooting and the senseless accidents. We should not, however, abandon our efforts to save lives. Making handguns more readily accessible simply defies common sense. I urge my colleagues to join me in opposing the Volkmer substitute and all other amendments which would weaken gun control laws already on the books. Let's keep our society safe and stop handgun crime before it stops us.

Mr. CLAY. Mr. Chairman, America is the only Western Nation without strong handgun control laws. Everyday 38 Americans are murdered with handguns, 45 use handguns to commit suicide, and another 5 are accidentially killed with handguns. The patchwork of State handgun laws is weak and ineffective. Fortunately, today, we have the opportunity to correct this drastic situation.

In 1969, Congress enacted the first step toward a national handgun control law. The Gun Control Act of 1968 regulates who can sell guns, and prohibits criminals, minors, and the mentally incompetent from purchasing guns. It requires that dealers keep records to aid police in tracing guns used in crimes and prohibits the interstate sale of handguns to enable States to regulate handgun traffic within their borders. I supported the 1968 act and I believe its enactment has proven to be an important first step toward long needed national handgun control laws.

The basic issue before this Congress is a about law enforcement. H.R. 4332, a bill passed unanimously by the House Judiciary Committee is supported by every major law enforcement organization in America. Although I am not convinced that it goes far enough toward strengthening our Federal gun control laws, it is absolutely a step in the right direction. The Judiciary Committee bill is a well-balanced bill which has been drafted to provide real relief to the Nation's hunters and sportsmen without impairing the ability of law enforcement to respond to violent crime.

On the contrary, the substitute bill offered by Mr. VOLKMER is opposed by every major police organization in America. Similar to the legislation passed by the Senate last year (S. 49), the substitute bill loosens Federal controls over interstate sales of handguns as well as rifles and shotguns, preempts States and local laws to permit interstate travel with both handguns and long guns, and does not impose any notification requirements for handgun sales. Our Nation's law enforcement community has assured us that the Volkmer substitute poses an immediate and unwarranted threat to American citizens and the law enforcement officers sworn to protect them. 

Mr. Chairman, we live in a dangerous world and there are no shortcuts to security. But, today this body has a very serious choice-we can act to improve the effectiveness of our Nation's gun laws or we can act to reduce the effectiveness of our handgun laws. I encourage my colleagues to vote against any weak-

Begin 132 Cong. Rec. p. 6856]

ening of our handgun control laws and to join me in supporting H.R 4332, a bill which will help modernize our firearms laws to prevent crime while protecting the rights of lawful firearms users.

Mr. TALLON. Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of the Firearms Owners Protection Act and in opposition to H.R. 4332. I do so in the interest of firearms ownership which is our constitutional right and a basic part of our American heritage. I believe the Firearms Owners Protection Act is necessary to restore fundamental fairness and clarity to our Nation's firearms laws.

As they exist now, firearms laws are often inconsistent and contradictory. There are currently over 17 million licensed hunters in the United States. Often they travel by automobile through a neighboring State to reach a legitimate hunting area. Yet many law-abiding sportsmen transporting their guns legally in their home States have crossed State lines and been arrested and jailed simply because the State has different requirements.

The majority of America's sportsmen support passage of the McClure-Volkmer substitute. This is indicated by the volume of mail that I have received from sportsmen encouraging me to sign the discharge petition and vote for McClure- Volkmer.

Further, three of the largest hunter magazines-Petersen's Hunting, Field & Stream, and Outdoor Life-with a joint circulation of nearly 4 million, supported the discharge petition to send the McClure-Volkmer bill for a vote on the House floor.

Under McClure-Volkmer, States would be prohibited from interfering with the lawful transport of unloaded firearms. This pass through provision would allow sportsmen to transport their firearms through all 50 States as long as guns are unloaded and not readily accessible. It would not, however, affect local and State laws governing residents.

America's sportsmen, however, can expect no such relief under H.R. 4332. It authorizes the interstate transportation of secured shotguns and rifles only. This bill does not authorize the transportation of handguns, as the McClure- Volkmer does, which may be used for hunting in 37 States.

McClure-Volkmer would repeal the existing prohibition against over-the- counter sales of firearms by licensed dealers to out-of-State residents, providing that the transaction is legal in the buyer's place of residence and the seller's place of business. This would allow a hunter who may want to purchase a new or replacement firearm to do so as long as all State laws are observed. By contrast, under H.R. 4332, purchase of firearms in another State is limited to rifles and shotguns. Mr. Chairman, the contributions of America's sportsmen are innumerable. Last year alone, licensed sportsmen through hunting licenses, excise taxes and duck stamps contributed nearly $300 million for wildlife and habitat conservation, hunter safety programs and funding of State fish and game departments.

And, since 1923, American sportsmen have contributed nearly $5 billion to wildlife conservation projects including the purchase of nearly 4 million acres as wildlife reserves. 

The sportsmen of America need and deserve relief from the overly restrictive provisions of the Gun Control Act of 1968. McClure-Volkmer will provide that relief. I urge my colleagues to pass this substitute. Mr. GREEN. Mr. Chairman, I rise today in vehement opposition to the McClure- Volkmer substitute legislation which would relax our Nation's gun control laws, and in strong support of H.R. 4332, the Federal firearms law reform bill, sponsored by Representatives RODINO and HUGHES.

I was honored last year, Mr. Chairman, when I was asked by Congressman RODINO to be one of three original cosponsors of the legislation from which H.R. 4332 originated. H.R. 4332, unlike McClure-Volkmer, is endorsed by all major police organizations-a fact which many of my constituents have stated very forcefully in their letters and telephone calls in opposition to McClure- Volkmer and in favor of the Federal firearms law reform bill.

There is no doubt that Rodino-Hughes represents a compromise among the major firearms reform bills introduced in the House. The legislation benefits legitimate sportsmen as well as law enforcement personnel, and it cuts down on most gun dealers' paperwork. In essence, Mr. Chairman, the Hughes-Rodino bill eases current Federal restrictions on the interstate sale of rifles and shotguns, but not handguns. It preempts State laws to create a uniform standard for interstate travel with long guns. Travel with handguns would continue to be subject only to State law. It also requires dealers to notify police of each handgun sale. McClure-Volkmer, on the other hand, loosens Federal controls over the interstate sale of handguns as well as rifles and shotguns, it preempts State and local law to permit interstate travel with both handguns and long guns, and does not impose any notification requirements for handgun sales. Though I wish H.R. 4332 were stronger, it is obviously preferable to McClure- Volkmer, which effectively guts our Nation's 1968 gun laws, enacted after the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Senator Robert Kennedy.

Mr. Chairman, voting for this bill is a very personal act. In recent years, two friends of mine from school, the renowned Dr. Michael Halberstam, whom I knew in college, and Allard Lowenstein, a friend from high school, were killed by handguns. I can think of few other causes which deserve our attention and vigilance as much as strengthening our Nation's gun control laws. For these reasons, I urge my colleagues, in the strongest possible manner, to vote against McClure-Volkmer and in favor of the Hughes-Rodino gun control bill.

Mr. WIRTH. Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of the law enforcement amendments to the Volkmer substitute. I rise in favor of a balanced approach to performing the Gun Control Act of 1968-an approach that respects the needs and rights of both our sportsmen and our law enforcement officers.

As a sportsman and gun user myself, I deplore any government infringement on the American people's constitutional right to own and use firearms. At the same time, I oppose any efforts which handcuff the ability of our police and sheriffs to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals and mentally deranged individuals.

The need to balance these two very important objectives is at the heart of my approach to the legislation we consider today. It is a need reflected in the views of many Coloradans, most importantly our State's law enforcement officials.

Take, for example, the words of Sheriff Bernard Barry, from El Paso County, who wrote to me last month:

 

Obviously, the right to keep and bear arms must be delicately balanced with the requirement to maintain public safety. For that reason, I am basically supportive of the Gun Control Act of 1968. However, I do feel that some of its provisions are overly bureaucratic and serve no valid purpose with respect to deterring crime.

 

He went on to remark that McClure-Volkmer also "seems to be a mixture of good and bad ideas" and that "in order to make this bill an effective piece of legislation, it would appear that use of the full legislative process will be required." He urged me to "continue (my) support for both gun owners and law enforcement. Despite opinions to the contrary, there is no conflict of interest between these two elements of our society!" Mr. Chairman, I fully agree with Sheriff Barry. I believe that it is possible to craft firearms legislation that serves the needs of gun owners, law enforcement officials and the American public. That is why I support the amendments being proposed by the gentleman from New Jersey <Mr. HUGHES>. The Hughes amendments, together with provisions in the Volkmer substitute, will produce a superior piece of legislation that meets the needs of these different constituencies.

Let me briefly review the merits of a combined Voklmer-Hughes bill. For sportsmen, the legislation would permit the interstate sale of rifles and shotguns and would assure sportsmen's rights to travel in and between States with a secured, unloaded rifle or shotgun when participating in legal sporting activities or when changing residences. It would also eliminate recordkeeping for sales of ammuni-tion in quantities of less than 1,000 rounds and limit the forfeiture of firearms to only those involved in felony violations of the law. For law enforcement, a combination of VOLKMER's and HUGHES' initiatives would have many benefits, including the expansion of mandatory sentencing to those persons who use a machinegun in the commission of a violent crime or who carry a firearm in connection with a narcotics-related crime. Among other things, this combination would also control armor-piercing ammunition and eliminate a loophole for illegal and untraceable traffic in firearms.

Sheriff Barry and I are not the only Coloradans who see the merit in pursuing a balanced approach to fireams legislation. I have received letters in support of this position from many other law enforcement officials in Colorado, including the police chiefs from Denver, Fort Collins, Arvada, Littleton, Lafayette, Cortez, Thornton, Estes Park, Glenwood Springs, Rifle, Sheridan, and Sterling. I have also heard the same sentiments from the directors responsible for public safety in Lakewood, Broomfield, and the State of Colorado. Their opinion has been affirmed in the press, most notably a recent article in the Denver Post,

Begin 132 Cong. Rec. p. 6857]

 by the police chiefs of Durango, Greenley, Pueblo, Colorado Springs, and Grand Junction.

Colorado law enforcement's opposition to the Volkmer bill-as it now stands- is crystal clear. But do not misconstrue their opposition to the Volkmer bill as opposition to reforming the Gun Control Act. It is clear that there are a number of onerous provisions in the act which must be either removed or modified. That is why I strongly support provisions which allow sportsmen such as myself the opportunity to transport long guns across State lines and to purchase small quantities of ammunition without undue hindrance. It is also why I favor reducing undue burdens on law abiding gun dealers.

I realize, however, that my precious rights as a sportsman and gun user may be abridged if we are not vigilant in keeping firearms out of criminal hands. That is why any gun legislation approved by this body today must have the support of our police officers and sheriffs, who are responsible for this task. We must crack down on criminal access to firearms if we are to protect law- abiding Americans' right to bear arms.

I have made clear Colorado law enforcement's dissatisfaction with Mr. VOLKMER's bill, as presently constituted. But our sheriffs and police officers do support his bill as amended by Representative HUGHES' package of amendments. A combination of these two legislative vehicles would ease unwarranted restrictions on our sportsmen and hunters while increasing the ability of law enforcement to arrest the individuals who abuse the privilege of possessing a firearm. It is a combination that would meet Sheriff Barry's standard for gun legislation that "target(s) the criminal misuse of firearms, not legitimate gun ownership by law-abiding citizens."

Mr. Chairman, a vote against the Hughes package is a vote against the very men and women who are responsible for protecting us. According to police officers and sheriffs from across Colorado, a vote against the Hughes package would endanger their lives and ours. In the name of crime control and long-term respect for the rights of gun owners and users, I urge our colleagues to vote for the Hughes amendment to the Volkmer substitute.

 

Mr. GALLO. Mr. Chairman, I want to thank my constituents in the 11th District of New Jersey who took the time to contact me with their views on the gun legislation being considered in the House of Representatives today. I want to take this opportunity to let my constituents know the reasons that I intend to support the McClure-Volkmer substitute legislation.

 

For sportsmen, this bill permits the interstate sale of firearms if the sale is made face to face between buyer and seller and only if the sale complies with laws of both States. It assures the rights of individuals to travel in and between States with a secured, unloaded, not readily accessible firearm for the purpose of participating in legal sporting activities or for changing their residence.

 

For law enforcement, this bill provides an important new weapon against narcotics traffickers by mandating a 5-year mandatory prison sentence for any person who uses a firearm during commission of a drug trafficking crime; provides a mandatory prison term of 10 years for using a machinegun during commission of a crime; bans the use or sale of silencers; bans the importation of parts used to make saturday night specials; bans parts used to convert guns into machineguns; and makes it a felony to transfer a firearm to another person knowing or having reason to believe that such person is unqualified.

 

For gun dealers, this bill requires a knowing state of mind for felony violations; reduces technical recordkeeping offenses to a misdemeanor; permits sales at gun shows; and limits unannounced inspections to one per year with other inspections requiring a warrant.

 

Again, let me state that this bill will not make it easier for criminals to obtain guns. Criminals already go outside the law to obtain guns. This bill will not allow someone to escape the jurisdiction of their State laws and purchase in a State with more lenient laws since all interstate sales must comply with State laws of both the owner and the seller. As my constituents know, New Jersey has very stringent gun control laws which will remain in effect under this bill.

 

In sum, this bill will aid law enforcement by simplifying the administration of the law, eliminating some ambiguities and, overall, will benefit law abiding shooters, sportsmen, and other gunowners. Mr. JEFFORDS. Mr. Chairman, I rise today in reluctant support of the Hughes amendment package. As the Representative from Vermont, I come from one of the most rural areas in the Nation where hunting is an integral part of our tradition and way of life. Gun ownership is considered a cherished right and one that I, as a gunowner, have always supported.

 

In Vermont, gun control laws are few and far between and, thankfully, so, too, are serious crimes committed with firearms. In the 18 years since passage of the Gun Control Act of 1968, law-abiding gunowners in Vermont and nationwide have often borne the brunt of unworkable, unnecessary provisions in this law.

 

I support many of the provisions contained in the Volkmer substitute before us today that correct those longstanding problems. I also commend Mr. VOLKMER for revising his substitute to take into account some of the problems that were highlighted by the administration and the law enforcement community during the House Subcommittee on Crime's hearings on the issue last year.

 

However, as the former chief law enforcement officer for Vermont, I emphasize with additional concerns raised by law enforcement officers in Vermont and across the Nation. I am especially concerned about the provision in the Volkmer substitute that opens up the ability to cross State lines to purchase handguns. This overrides existing law. I agree with the provisions in both the Hughes amendment and the Volkmer substitute allowing interstate sales of shotguns and rifles. I see no overriding inconvenience, however, that necessitates altering existing law to allow the crossing of State lines to purchase handguns. Here, law enforcement considerations should prevail.

 

While there are some provisions within the Hughes amendment that I do not support, overall I believe the amendment-taken as a whole-improves the Volkmer substitute. It leaves intact many provisions to alleviate un-


necessary complications created by the 1968 act, while taking into account the concerns of our law enforcement community.

 

Mr. HUGHES. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself 10 minutes.

 

(Mr. HUGHES asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

 

Mr. HUGHES. Mr. Chairman, first I want to thank my colleagues on the Judiciary Committee, particularly the ranking Republican, the gentleman from Florida <Mr. MCCOLLUM>, for his yeoman work, and so many others on the Subcommittee on Crime that assisted in drafting this particular legislation. This is a difficult issue to deal with. It is one that does generate, as has often been said, more heat than light. It is a very emotional issue, and I want to tell you quite candidly I will be very happy to get this vote over with today so that our subcommittee can get back to money laundering and drug trafficking and a whole host of other matters we have before the Subcommittee on Crime. It is all consuming. It has been that kind of an issue, because it generates, unfortunately, so much interest, so much controversy.

 

I have been in Congress for 12 years. I am in my 12th year, and I can truthfully say I have never seen an issue so grossly distorted as the issue dealing with firearms. The letters that just come into the districts are just overwhelming, thousands and thousands of pieces of mail are being dropped upon Members of Congress. Their telephones are ringing off the hooks. They are interrupted in townhall meetings with people that are outraged over those that want to take their firearms away, and I just regret that Members have been subjected to that type of a campaign because it does not help in trying to address the major issues here.

 

A lot has been said about why the bill was not reported out. It has been introduced in a number of Congresses. The other body never reported out a bill until July 1985.

 

My colleague from Florida knows that our subcommittee sits down each year, and we try to map out priorities. We sit down with our counterparts in the other body, and we decide what matters, what crime matters we are going to have on the table for that session of Congress. We just cannot take up the hundreds and hundreds of bills that are introduced each year; we have to prioritize.

 

We sit down with the White House and we try to determine what their priorities are, and I can tell the membership that firearms legislation was never placed on the table; by the White House, by the other body, by Members in this body.

 

We attempted to move a very modest bill in the last Congress; the so-called cop-killer bullet bill, armor-piercing ammunition. Ammunition that really has no sporting value whatsoever; its only value is that it penetrates the bulletproof vests worn by police officers. The police do not even use this ammunition because it is so powerful that it can penetrate an automobile engine block; it is that powerful. We developed a bill last year that would actually forbid the sale and manufacture of that ammunition. What happened to it, I asked my colleauges last year? Well, the answer is, the leadership pulled the bill; they did not want to put Members of Congress on the spot in that year, in voting on that particular bill, because it generated so much controversy; and so it is with firearms legislation.

 

In all fairness, the reason we have not had it before is because the Senate never reported out anything before, and because the leadership was hesitant to put Members of Congress on the spot of even a modest bill like the cop-killer bullet bill.

 

Well, here we are, and so we should be after 18 years debating an extremely important issue to sportsmen, to hunters, to police officers, to society in general.

 

A lot of things have been said on this floor that I just do not believe. I spent 25 years of my life, one way or another working in law enforcement matters. I worked as a young assistant prosecutor in the trenches with police officers, making cases, so I know a little bit about the necessity of tracing handguns used in the commission of crimes. I know how important it is to try to be able to run record checks on weapons, particularly handguns, so that the police can screen out the felons, the mental incompetents, and the drug addicts.

Begin 132 Cong. Rec. p. 6858]

I have heard it said that felons do not buy handguns in gunshops. I have heard that twice today. Well, ladies and gentlemen, let me tell you, felons look for handguns that are clean. They do not want handguns that might appear in NCIC; they do not want handguns that have a history. They like to purchase their handguns in gunshops because it has a clean record. They do not want handguns that can be traced, and that is why they use fictitious identification when they walk into gunshops to purchase their guns.

 

My colleague, HAROLD VOLKMER and I came to the Congress back in 1974. He is a good Member of Congress. We are good friends. He is to be commended because he helped us prove that the legislative process does work. His substitute is far better than when it first came to us, and he conceded when he came to the subcommittee and testified that it needed some improvements.

 

He indicated he did not support S. 49 that we have heard so much about, because that had so many major problems. So the bill has been improved through the legislative process.

 

Our subcommittee took that product and the product of a lot of other bills that were introduced, and through a series of hearings, some 25 hours of public hearings, 75 witnesses; we heard from all points of view-in fact, we heard some points of view ad nauseum. We heard from everybody that wanted to testify.

 

We sat down, as a subcommittee, from scratch and we wrote what we thought was a fair and rational bill, one that would address the concerns of the sportsmen, the hunters; one that would address the concerns of the police, and one that would address the concerns of the victims of crime, and of society generally.

 

I am proud of the work product. I will stack my rural district up against any other district, in having as many hunters and sportsmen-we have major deer hunting woods in my area; we have fine hunting of all kinds in my district-when my priorities were straight, I was a hunter and a sportsman, and I am proud of that fact. I think it helped me be sensitive to the needs and the concerns of sportsmen.

 

We are not talking about legislation that is going to harm sportsmen and hunters. We have addressed their concerns in both bills, it seems to me. The National Rifle Association's rhetoric and their effort has been one to try to protect the interests of the dealers and the manufacturers; not the hunters. They have used the hunters in this propaganda campaign of theirs, in trying to portray it as a hunter/sportsmen's bill. It is not a hunter's or sportsmen's bill.

 

The police have told us what it is: It is a bill that is going to put police in jeopardy in this country. and it is going to weaken the law enforcement community's effort to identify and vigorously prosecute those that commit criminal offenses.

 

It is interesting, Mr. Chairman. The NRA lobbies differently than other lobby groups. I had a lobby group in yesterday that was concerned about the alcohol beverage excise tax over in the Senate side. Lobbyists come in to our office, as you well know, and they tell us of their concerns. They understand that there is a problem with the deficit and that other people have concerns, and they are willing to be flexible; they are not locked in to any one position. They just want us to know how it is going to impact them, and they ask us to take into account their concerns as we try to craft legislation that is in the public interest, that will in fact protect everyone.

 

Not so with the National Rifle Association. The National Rifle Association determines what they want. They determine what is in their self-centered interest, and then they tell us what they want. Then they try to bully and intimidate their way in the decisionmaking process by trying to get Members to not focus on the merits of the legislation but on the thousands and thousands of letters that they generate and the telephone calls that they originate, and they encourage, to try to bombard Members and take the impression that the overwhelming sentiment supports the NRA.

 

Today is going to be a day of courage for Members. I think that their strategy has backfired. I think that Members of Congress resent that kind of bullying and intimidation. Members of Congress resent being told what to do.

 

When the Washington Post portrays the vote today as one of the police versus the NRA, that is where it is. It is not a vote between the hunters and the police; or the hunters and the rest of society. The issue boils down to who we are going to support: Are we going to support the policy on the one hand who have legitimate concerns, and do we express those concerns; are we going to support the NRA and their very selfish, self-centered, self-serving interests?

 

The CHAIRMAN. The time of the gentleman from New Jersey has expired.

Mr. HUGHES. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself 5 additional minutes. The key differences in this legislation, in my judgment, fall into just half a dozen categories: Interstate sale and interstate transportation To the police, interstate sale means a proliferation of handguns to tens of thousands of additional people around the country who are not qualified. Because it defies reason to believe that dealers around the country will know the tens of thousands of laws that exist at the State, county, and local level. We cannot expect a dealer in Alabama to understand what the laws are in Ohio, because you have so many different laws, even within one State, and court interpretations.

As a backup in the Volkmer bill, unless the dealer commits a willful violation; that is, knowingly violates a law that he is aware of, the dealer walks and the weapon is sold to the felon, to the mental incompetent, and to the person who is a drug trafficker.

It is as simple as that. To the police, the interstate transportation of handguns-we are not talking about long guns, rifles, and shotguns, because the subcommittee bill deals with that. We make that transportation interstate and the sale interstate of long guns permissible as long as it is a face-to-face transaction and they are qualified in both States. We are only talking about handguns. The police view the possible carrying of handguns in automobiles as one of the more pernicious provisions in the Volkmer legislation, for this reason: The police are the first line of defense. They are the ones who are going to be stopping the automobiles on the road, and they are the ones who are going to face those handguns in those automobiles.

 

We are going to have an interesting dilemma. We are going to have people claim they are in interstate commerce and therefore they can carry a handgun in their automobile for any purpose whatsoever, and if they are in New Jersey, for instance, or other States that forbid that kind of transportation except for target practice or for hunting purposes, why, the ones that claim they are in interstate commerce on highways heading for Delaware, Pennsylvania, or New York, they have Federal immunity. They can carry those handguns.

 

However, those that live within New Jersey who do not claim that they are in interstate commerce have to abide by New Jersey law. That does not make sense. But more importantly it means that police officers and society are going to face the prospect of tens of thousands of more people carrying their handguns in their cars. Sure they say it is going to be unloaded, inaccessible. What does inaccessible mean? In a briefcase in the back of the seat with the ammunition here in your pocket? That would be inaccessible in my judgment.

 

It would be a field day for defense lawyers because, I can tell you what is going to happen, that every situation is going to be challenged and everybody is going to be in interstate commerce. Make no mistake, the police of this country get concerned about taxing their pension benefits but they know that they are not going

Begin 132 Cong. Rec. p. 6859]

to be around to collect those pensions if in fact they face somebody who has one of those weapons. It is a life-or-death issue to them.

 

Mr. BEDELL. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?

 

Mr. HUGHES. I yield to the gentleman briefly.

 

Mr. BEDELL. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

 

First of all I was pleased to hear the gentleman say what he did. I can probably speak more freely because of the fact that I am not running for reelection again.

 

I guess the challenge I would have to the Members of this body would be, as we face this issue, I hope you will look at what is right and look at what should be done. The problem I see with the vote today is that it appears to me it is coming to be a power play. It is a power play of who can tell us what we have to do. That is not what we are here for. We are here to serve our people.

 

Mr. VOLKMER is about the best friend I have here. We are together on most other issues. I do not question for a minute his stand on what he is doing, and I am sure he is doing it because he thinks it is right. I should tell you that as I had the votes in my district when it came up, there was near unanimity as they looked at the issues between two bills, that they were not for the Volkmer bill, they were for what is in the gentleman from New Jersey's bill.

 

And I am a hunter. I come from an area where we hunt all the time. I grew up with a gun in my hand. But I just so completely agree with that fact that we ought to look at what is right and not look at what is political, not look at what people are telling us we have to do. To do that is the only thing I plead with the people on this issue.

 

Mr. HUGHES. I thank the gentleman and I thank the gentleman for that very fine statement.

 

Let me just move on quickly to recordkeeping. It has been said in this Chamber and often that recordkeeping is not important, as if the ability to trace handguns is not important.

 

Well, if the Volkmer bill carries, I want to tell you you might as well just kiss goodbye effective handgun tracing capability.

 

As a prosecutor for 10 years I could name you dozens and dozens of cases that we made and that would not have been made if we had not had the ability to trace a handgun used in the commission of a crime.

 

The CHAIRMAN. The time of the gentleman from New Jersey <Mr. HUGHES> has expired.

 

Mr. HUGHES. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself 4 additional minutes. For instance, carrying a handgun under the front seat of the car, you find when you stop them, you find a hundgun that you can trace to a burglary in Pennsylvania. Already you have a prime suspect for that burglary. That is only done because you have the ability to trace that hundgun.

 

Let me tell you the story of an outstanding police officer and he is typical of police officers throughout this country. I am talking about trooper Phillip Lamonaco who, 4 days before Christmas, December 21, 1981, one of the most decorated troopers of the New Jersey State Police, was on patrol by himself on Interstate Highway 80 near the Delaware Water Gap. At about 4:30 p.m. he made a routine traffic stop. He was not aware that he had pulled over Richard Charles Williams and Thomas Manning, members of a leftwing terrorist group based in New England who called themselves the United Freedom Front.

 

Manning was, in fact, a fugitive from an armed bank robbery in Maine in 1975.

 

Trooper Lamonaco asked Manning, the driver, to exit the car. Manning began waving his arms which momentarily distracted Trooper Lamonaco and the passenger, Richard Charles Williams, opened fire on the trooper and killed him. After shooting him some seven times from the car, he then pumped the rest of the ammunition into Trooper Lamonaco's body. They could not get a lead on Manning for the longest time. It was not until November 1984 that they arrested this Richard Charles Williams, a member of this front organization in Cleveland, OH. While they searched the premises they found this weapon, a Derringer .38, .357 caliber. It was loaded with ammunition which on impact explodes, does not penetrate very much but fragments and leaves a hole about five times the size of a .357 magnum.

 

They traced this particular weapon. The serial number had been erased. They sent it to FBI headquarters. The serial number had been obliterated. They restored it at FBI and BATF. They traced it to a gunshop in Virginia. The people that bought it in Virginia gave a name and address in Virginia. The FBI put in place a stakeout and within a couple of weeks Mrs. Manning arrived at what was then a mail drop for them. She led them to another safe house in Virginia and as a result Mr. Manning, the defendant, was apprehended.

 

If it were not for the ability of the BATF and the FBI in restoring that serial number and tracing that weapon to a gunshop in Virginia they would never have been able to make that bust when they did. It was because of that particular trace. That is typical of the traces that are made every day of the week by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.

 

If Volkmer carries, you are going to open up Pandora's box. What he wants to do is he wants only those individuals whose primary livelihood depends upon firearms sales to keep records. What that would mean is if you were a terrorist and you were not in business for a profit, you could buy as many weapons as you want, you would not have to keep records. He also wants to permit those 200,000 or so dealers out there who do not have storefronts, who are part-time dealers who operate out of their cars or homes, to be able to transfer to their personal collection firearms and not keep records.

 

I want to say to my colleagues that you are going to have tens of thousands of nontraceable weapons out there in neighborhoods. When PARREN MITCHELL says it is 100,000 illegal weapons right now in Baltimore, you can double or triple that if the Volkmer substitute carries. It is an important bill today, it is one that deserves your serious attention. It is going to require a lot of courage, there is no question about it. But I have every confidence that this House will do what is right and if you do what is right you will support the police in their effort to bring out of this Committee of the Whole rational legislation, legislation that balances the interests of the sportsmen, the police, and of society in general.

 

The CHAIRMAN. All of the time of the gentleman from New Jersey <Mr. HUGHES> has expired.

 

The gentleman from Florida <Mr. MCCOLLUM> has 19 minutes remaining.

 

Mr. MCCOLLUM. Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 1/2 minutes to the gentleman from Michigan <Mr. SCHUETTE>.

 

(Mr. SCHUETTE asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

 

Mr. SCHUETTE. I thank the gentleman from Florida for yielding. Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of the Volkmer substitute. I signed the discharge petition in the hopes of having free and honest debate and review and discussion on this fundamental right and this fundamental issue under our Constitution, and that is the right to bear arms, which is so central to our system of government.

 

Before I go further, I want to commend by friend and colleague, Mr. VOLKMER, who has been such a leader on this issue. My basis and philosophy of support for the Firearms Owner Protection Act, as incorporated into the Volkmer substitute, is the second amendment of our Constitution, the right to bear arms. The framers were wise and recognized that this concept needs to exist and should exist under our government of laws.

 

Those words of expression, the right to bear arms, in today's world must be maintained and interpreted to protect the law-abiding citizen, the collector, and those who wish to bear arms for protection. And for purposes of hunting, sporting purposes, collection, and for protection, the law-abiding citizen should not be punished and the law-abiding citizen should not be penalized or treated unfairly in the honest exercise of our constitutional rights. Nor should the law-abiding citizen be

Begin 132 Cong. Rec. p. 6860]

treated or categorized or stigmatized like a common criminal, those lawbreakers who commit criminal acts and who terrorize our society.

 

In my closing comments I have discussed and conversed with local law- enforcement officials in the district that I am from, which I am fortunate to represent in mid-Michigan, the 10th district, in talking with men and women who deal with the law-abiding citizens and who will protect our citizenery from the lawbreakers.

 

One such law-enforcement official is Howard Haskin, county sheriff in Clare County. He and other law-enforcement officers in mid-Michigan recognize that we should not punish the law-abiding citizen but rather our focus should be on the lawbreaker. This is why I rise to suport the Volkmer substitute, to protect our constitutional right to bear arms under our form of government.

 

I thank the gentleman for yielding.

 

Mr. MCCOLLUM. Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from

Illinois <Mr. CRANE>.

 

(Mr. CRANE asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

 

Mr. CRANE. I thank the gentleman for yielding time to me.

 

Mr. Chairman, today, this body is considering an emotionally charged issue- handguns. There are many different views on how best to control those individuals who are abusing their right to own a handgun. Rather than using my time to explain the many reasons why people legitimately own a gun and why they should not be unnecessarily regulated, I would like to discuss one particular aspect that my colleagues will be considering today which is background and waiting periods.  Currently there is no Federal waiting period. H.R. 4332 and the Volkmer substitute do not require a waiting period, however, an attempt is expected to amend one or both of these measures to require a waiting period.

 

Much has been said about the supposed effectiveness of the proposed background check for purchasers of handguns. The FBI estimates that if a nationwide system is implemented, it will cost approximately $45 million per year. This does not count, however, the man-hours wasted and the massive diversion of scarce law enforcement resources that would be the result of such a plan. In addition, there is no estimate of money and labor that would be spent by State and local law enforcement agencies in the furtherance of this scheme. When all is said and done, the sky is really the limit on the costliness of this venture.

 

The residents of my State are already living under a background check scheme. Illinois residents are in a unique position to let the Nation know how ineffective this type of system is. A researcher at the University of illinois recently completed a study of my State's Firearms Owners Identification Card Program <FOIC>. I would like to make a few brief points to share with this House the knowledge gained through this research.

 

The FOIC Program in my State has employed a total of 412 staff persons and spent $5.9 million since its inception in 1968. Yet the percentage of applicants denied, prior to the 1984 study, averaged only one-half of 1 percent. We must ask, isn't there a better way for law enforcement to spend $5.9 million and employ 412 individuals.

 

In addition to this low rate of denial-proof once again that the criminal element simply does not subject itself to the type of background check discussed today-the Illinois researchers found that most of those denied were apparently mistakenly rejected. Under the Illinois system, an individual has the right of appeal upon denial of an ID card. The administrator of the program estimated that 95-98 percent of those appealing unfavorable rulings or petitioning for a hearing were granted relief. Obviously, that system is catching a great deal of honest folks.

 

So we have a system that is costly, time-consuming, and an infringement on the rights of law-abiding citizens. Some still may ask: But does it fight crime? The answer, according to this research, is an emphatic "No."

 

If I may quote from this study: "Illinois police do not see or at least do not use the ID charge as a device to assist directly in the prosecution of violent crime." Quoting again, the study stated: "It is simply too minor a

charge to levy where there is a serious offense for the lead charge * * * the felon gets a free firearm owners identification violation." Mr. Speaker, it is clear that the background check employed in my State does nothing to fight crime. On the contrary, the diversion of resources to the wasteful investigation of law-abiding citizens can only be said to enhance the criminal's chances of evading arrest.

 

The Illinois study concludes by saying "Legitimate users of firearms * * * do pay in aggregate for the cost of a system that, as yet, seems to have had little or no demonstrated benefit. In that sense, the FOIC system does ' exploit' the legitimate firearms owners."

 

In conclusion, I am hopeful that I will not have to return to my constituents and explain why this body voted for an ineffective and costly program that also represents an infringement of their constitutional rights. I urge my colleagues to defeat all proposals for background checks or waiting period schemes.

 

Mr. MCCOLLUM. Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from North Carolina <Mr. HENDON>.

 

(Mr. HENDON asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

 

Mr. HENDON. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

 

Mr. Chairman, I rise today with the greatest respect for those who might disagree with me, to speak, if I might for just a moment, for the "good old boys" from rural America who cherish their way of life and who deserve positive reform of the Gun Control Act of 1968.

 

Mr. Chairman, good old boys they are; I was with them, as I always am, recently at a gun show just this past weekend in my hometown. They are good friends, they are good citizens, they are good neighbors, they are good people, they are my friends; who, with their families and their friends, enjoy hunting and other lawful recreational use of firearms.

 

The present law has not done anything to the crooks, but it has placed undo hardship on these law-abiding citizens, and that is why I wholeheartedly support the Volkmer substitute, because it rolls back onerous provisions of the Gun Control Act which unnecessarily penalize these honest people, the sportsmen and gun enthusiasts of rural America. Mr. Chairman, though some of our good friends here have worked hard and put forth some good arguments today, I believe, and I say this with the greatest respect, that they are simply wrong. The folks of Main Street America want, support and deserve the carefully crafted substitute offered by our colleague, the gentleman from Missouri <Mr. VOLKMER>. I, therefore, urge my colleagues to vote "yes" for the American sportsmen by voting "yes" on the Volkmer substitute.

 

Mr. MCCOLLUM. Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to my good friend and colleague, the gentleman from florida <Mr. SHAW>, a member of the subcommittee.

 

Mr. SHAW. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman from Florida for yielding me this time.

 

Mr. Chairman, I do not think that there are many issues that have created as much emotion in this Chamber as this particular issue. I am reminded of a bumper sticker that I saw many years ago that said, "My wife, yes; my dog, maybe; my gun, never."

 

This body is never going to satisfy that type of mentality. But there is a situation which we have to look at, and that is that there is a second amendment to the Constitution and that this body has the responsibility of upholding that particular right, and that is the right to bear arms. But none of the rights given to the citizens of this country under the Bill

Begin 132 Cong. Rec. p. 6861]

of Rights are absolute. They both are qualified and they both require responsible legislation and responsible citizens.

 

Mr. Chairman, we have before us today two excellent pieces of legislation. Admittedly, both of them can be improved, and this body will have an opportunity to improve upon both of them as they see fit and they see that the law should be. But it does give us an opportunity to let the system work and let democracy work.

 

I think both sides have certainly had their say, law enforcement has had their say, the community has had their say, the National Rifle Association has had their say, and the sportsmen of the country have had their say. No one at this point can say that they were muzzled. No one at this point can say that they were locked out of the process.  That is not to say that this body does not sometimes lock some of us out of the process. but this is going to be our day.

 

Mr. Chairman, I would encourage the Members of the House to look carefully at each and every amendment and vote your own conscience. But then I would say to look at the two bills that are presented to us, make a choice, and vote yes for one of them. They are definitely an improvement over existing law. They both emphasize the right in the Constitution, and that is the right guaranteed by the second amendment.

 

Mr. MCCOLLUM. Mr. Chairman, I yield such time as he may consume to the gentleman from California <Mr. ZSCHAU>.

 

(Mr. ZSCHAU asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

 

Mr. ZSCHAU. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for yielding this time to me.

 

Mr. Chairman, I rise today in qualified support of the Volkmer substitute. I agree with a majority of the provisions contained in the substitute that would correct many of the nuisance laws that have unnecessarily harassed law abiding gun owners, gun dealers, and sportsmen. In particular, I support the following constructive provisions that:

 

Permit law-abiding sportsmen to travel to different States without the threat of unnecessary harassment of State and local governments through which they pass;

 

Eliminates the application of felony penalties for unintentional violations of the act;

 

Limits the forfeiture of firearms only to those involved in or intended to be involved in felony violations of the law;

 

Improves the ability of qualified individuals to petition the Secretary of the Treasury to obtain permission to own firearms if they have been disqualified. This is important for individuals who were convicted during the Carter administration for unintentional gun violations; Reduces gun dealers recordkeeping offenses to a misdemeanor;

 

Permits sales at gun shows by licensed dealer;

 

Reduces the recordkeeping provisions for the sale of ammunition, which the Department of the Treasury has recognized as having no substantial law enforcement value.

 

The Volkmer substitute also contains provisions that would benefit law enforcement. In particular, the measure provides that:

 

It is a crime for any person to transfer a firearm to another person knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that the other person is unqualified under the law to own a gun;

 

Reinforces the prohibition against a drug addict being able to secure a gun;

 

Bans the import of key components of "Saturday night specials."

 

Makes it unlawful for any person to sell or otherwise dispose of firearms to convicted felons. This proposal closes an existing loophole whereby qualified purchasers have acquired firearms from licensees on behalf of prohibited persons.

 

Mr. Chairman, these changes adequately address the concerns of gun owners in my State of California and would enhance public safety as well. During a recent meeting with representatives of the National Rifle Association in my office, they indicated that these constructive provisions were the top priorities for the gun owners that they represent. The mail that I have received from my district and my conversations with gun owners confirm this.

 

There are, however, two provisions of the Volkmer substitute that, I believe, would be detrimental to law enforcement and public safety: The provision permitting the interstate sale of handguns, and the provision allowing part-time dealers to sell firearms without the current recordkeeping requirements.

 

Proponents of the first provision argue that criminals do not now buy handguns through legal channels. This is true in most cases. However, we must also ask: "Would permitting interstate sale of handguns make it the least bit easier for criminals to purchase such weapons?" I think it would. That's why I hope that we can amend the Volkmer substitute to limit interstate sales to only rifles and shotguns that are used by sportsmen.

 

Regarding the provision that addresses the definition of a "dealer," I share the concerns that have been raised by the Justice Department. In particular, Justice has indicated that if the current definition of a "dealer" is narrowed to allow part-time, marginal dealers to sell firearms without meeting Federal recordkeeping, it would be easier for criminals and terrorists to secure untraceable weapons. Again, I hope the House today can amend the Volkmer substitute to maintain the current licensing and recordkeeping requirements for any dealer who sells firearms so that weapons can be traced. Such an amendment would improve the Volkmer substitute.

 

In addition, to the two concerns raised above, I intend to offer an amendment to the committee bill which would delete the records check section. The committee bill requires that the FBI be notified of every handgun purchase and in turn search its records for the background of the purchaser. The Bureau believes that a records check based solely on name will be of little value in the effort to locate persons who are prohibited from possessing a handgun. The process can be easily circumvented by the use of readily available and cheap false ID's by criminals. Also, a records check would cost taxpayers at least $30 to $40 million annually. That's why this section should be deleted. Mr. Chairman, I hope the Volkmer substitute will be amended in the two ways that I have just indicated and passed today by the House. As amended, the Volkmer substitute would free law-abiding gun owners from needless harrassement while providing law enforcement officials with the responsible and effective controls they need to do their jobs.

 

Mr. MCCOLLUM. Mr. chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from New York <Mr. Boehlert>.

 

(Mr. BOEHLERT asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

 

Mr. BOEHLERT. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for yielding this time to me.

 

Mr. Chairman, I support the Volkmer substitute for a variety of reasons. However, this is one very simple reason that commands special consideration. Rodino-Hughes has no provision requiring that intent be proved before a conviction results. The Volkmer legislation requires that before any gun owner or dealer can be prosecuted for violating a technical provision of the Gun Control Act of 1968, the Government must prove that his or her actions were " willful"-that the citizen violated the law with some sort of criminal intent.

 

We aren't talking here of serious violations that threaten the public safety; the Volkmer legislation only provides that the Government must prove that the accused violated those provisions "knowingly." Both the language and the intent of the Volkmer legislation are exceptionally clear: no honest citizen should be vulnerable to prosecution on Federal felony charges for minor mistakes made in filling out one of the multitude of forms required under present law.

 

The judiciary legislation, on the other hand, discards this provision in favor of a mere "knowing" standard for all violations of the Gun Control Act. While drafters offer firearms dealers some protection by making recordkeeping violations misdemeanors rather than felonies, this "knowing" standard which they advocate implies that all errors in bookkeping are criminal-regardless of how innocent of criminal intent that gun owner may be.

 

Mr. Chairman, to some it may seem as if this squabble over words is unnecessary, but the fact remains that this legislation has gone through several revisions after hours of negotiations. The Treasury Department, which is, after all, the body charged with enforcing any law we pass here today, helped write these finely crafted distinctions that the Hughes-Rodino legislation would eliminate. So I ask the Members of this body: If the agency most directly affected by this legislation wants to define the distinctions between "willful" and "knowing" that

[Begin 132 Cong. Rec. p. 6862]

are found in the Volkmer legislation, then why should we ignore their recommendations and pass a bill without this crucial language? The provisions relating to "willful intent" found in the Volkmer substitute are an integral part of our efforts to reform Federal firearms laws. Without those provisions, our efforts here today are wasted. I urge my colleagues to assist our Treasury Department by supporting the Volkmer substitute. By doing so, we will be accomplishing the primary purpose of any law: To assist law enforcement in the performance of its duties while protecting law-abiding citizens from the unintended excesses of the law.

 

Mr. MCCOLLUM. Mr. Chairman, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from Ohio < Mr. FEIGHAN>.

 

Mr. FEIGHAN. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for yielding this time to me.

 

Mr. Chairman, I want to begin by saying, as a member of the subcommittee and a member of the full Judiciary Committee, how proud I am of the leadership and the hard work of our committee on this issue, particularly the leadership of our full committee chairman, Mr. RODINO, and the endless hours of work that has been put into this issue by our chairman of the subcommittee, Mr. HUGHES. I think that when the gentleman from Florida <Mr. SHAW> earlier mentioned that no one has been denied the opportunity to have their full hearing on this issue, that is one matter that we can all be in full agreement on. We could not have had the full and thorough and important debate that we had in the committee without the assistance and the extremely effective work of our ranking minority leader from Florida <Mr. MCCOLLUM>. I, on behalf of the committee members, would like to thank both our leadership members for that work and for that effort.

 

Mr. Chairman, last July, the U.S. Senate voted to repeal many of the gun laws enacted after the assassinations of Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. Today, the House of Representatives is in danger of making the same mistake.

 

For the past several months, the House Judiciary Committee has conducted hearings on the issue of gun control. After listening to hundreds of hours of testimony from across the country, we drafted a strong and sensible alternative to the dangerous Senate bill. Last month, the Judiciary Committee unanimously approved this comprehensive gun control legislation that would strengthen, rather than weaken, this Nation's gun laws.

 

Our proposal, which has overwhelming support from law enforcement officials, is the most significant anticrime legislation we will consider this year. With 20,000 Americans murdered each year by handguns, Congress must uphold and strengthen our gun laws, not dismantle them.

 

By supporting the committee amendments, the House can help protect the public from the terror of armed criminals and illegal guns. Volumes of statistics prove that we need a waiting period and background check for all handgun sales. We must also curb abuses in the sale of machineguns, prohibit the sale of silencers, and crack down on the use of assault and semiautomatic weapons.

 

Current handgun laws are ineffective and ridden with loopholes. They must be strengthened to protect the public and our police.

 

Studies from across the country consistently show that illegal handgun use is a major factor in crimes of violence. The Justice Department reports that handguns are used in 75 percent of all murders and assaults and 90 percent of all robberies in which guns are used.

 

Firearm homicides penetrate all age groups and income levels in our society. Every single day, one American child under the age of 15 is killed by a handgun. A 25-year study of child deaths in the Greater Cleveland area shows a terrifying rise in the number of children killed by guns. Since 1958, the number of Greater Cleveland children killed skyrocketed nearly 600 percent. What is the major factor behind the slaying of these children? Handgun violence. More than 70 percent of these children were killed by guns.

 

This is not the time for Congress to repeal Federal gunlaws. The law enforcement officials of our Nation are doing all that they can to protect the public. We must continue to support them in their efforts. Effective gun control is the key to effective law enforement. Speaking in 1968, less than a month before his murder, Robert F. Kennedy expressed the horrors of handgun violence. "The victims of the violence," said Senator Kennedy, "are black and white, young and old, rich and poor, famous and unknown * * *. No one, no matter where he lives or what he does, knows who next will suffer from some senseless act of violence. Yet it goes on and on in this country of ours. Why?" Almost 20 years later, I ask my colleagues to consider the same question.

 

Mr. MCCOLLUM. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume. Mr. Chairman, I think it is important as we conclude this debate in this general debate period today and go into the amendment process that we reflect upon one very important fact about the legislation before us.

There is no new gun control legislation out here today. Both the committee bill, H.R. 4332, and the Volkmer substitute, both of them, are receding from the restrictions in the present Gun Control Act of 1968. They are receding from restrictions that have hampered sportsmen and those who would participate in sporting matches and hunting. They are acquiescing to the learned, studied, considered experience of the past 8 years, or so, with the present law, and knowing that changes can be made that will not unduly affect the ability of law enforcement to fight criminals in this country.

 

The debate today and the amendments we are going to go through will be over relatively narrowed differences between those who think we ought to take more than we have in the committee bill, in the way of restrictions, off the backs of those who would be sportsmen and use weapons as private citizens, and those who are believing that some of the restrictions that would be removed and are going to be proposed will in some way hamper law enforcement efforts and that the restrictions should remain.

 

But I again want to reiterate, as this general debate closes, that both of these measures are fundamentally good pieces of legislation. Despite the harsh feelings and the rhetoric that is here, I think that we are going to wind up today proud of what wer produce, proud of the fact that we have made a major statement for the sportsmen of this country and for those who want reasonable laws on the books with regard to the guns of our Nation and the usage by our private citizens. I think this is extremely important. I urge my colleagues to consider each amendment that is offered with great care today, because I think that we have a chance to improve what is out here but, in any event, we are going to have a good bill.

 

Mr. GEKAS. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?

 

Mr. MCCOLLUM. I yield to the gentleman from Pennsylvania.

 

Mr. GEKAS. Mr. Chairman, I was glad to see the gentleman from Florida reiterate the proposition that, no matter what happens here today, we do not change for the worse, in the eyes of the sportsman and the hunter, the present law as it exists with respect to handguns; that is, no one here has made that situation more restrictive in any version that has come before the floor.

 

Is that the gentleman's belief?

 

Mr. MCCOLLUM. The gentleman is correct. And, as the gentleman well knows, in both versions we do remove restrictions on long guns, and no one is debating that, even, today; so the hunter with the rifle, the shotgun, is going to be exceedingly pleased with this today. And we certainly do not increase any restrictions, no matter what is adopted. 

[Begin 132 Cong. Rec. p. 6863]

Mr. GEKAS. If the gentleman will yield further, it is fair to say, as I have tried to state before and which the gentleman has confirmed, as we leave the Hall here today, the sportsmen of our Nation can rejoice in the fact that those burdensome restrictions that have so long vexed them have been removed from the aegis of the laws of this country.

 

Mr. MCCOLLUM. They can rest assured, if the gentleman will allow me to take my time back, that after we finish with the bill today and we get a conference and the Senate and the House pass that version and it goes to the President, you are going to be correct, that will occur; but I think it is equally important for the Members and the sportsmen to know that there are honest differences of opinion over the fine points, and the fine points will be debated today.

 

I believe my time has about expired. I thank the gentleman for his participation in the colloquy. I thank my colleagues on the committee and on the subcommittee for the work product. Again I thank particularly the gentleman from New Jersey <Mr. HUGHES> for his hard work product in bringing this legislation out today.

 

Mr. Chairman, whatever time is left on my side for general debate, I yield back the balance of my time.

 

The CHAIRMAN. Pursuant to the rule, it shall be in order to consider immediately after the enacting clause is read the amendment in the nature of a substitute recommended by the Committee on the Judiciary now printed in the reported bill, and said amendment is considered as having been read.

 

Before the consideration of perfecting amendments to the committee amendment, it shall be in order to consider a substitute printed in the CONGRESSIONAL RECORD of March 18, 1986, by and if offered by, Representative VOLKMER, which is considered as having been read. It shall be in order to consider a perfecting amendment to the substitute printed in the CONGRESSIONAL RECORD of March 19, 1986, by, and if offered by, Representative VOLKMER prior to the consideration of any other perfecting amendments.

 

No amendments to the committee amendment or to the substitute are in order except pro forma amendments for the purpose of debate and amendments printed in the CONGRESSIONAL RECORD.

At the expiration of 5 hours, no further amendments are in order to the committee amendment, the substitute, or the bill.

 

The Clerk will designate the amendment in the nature of a substitute recommended by the Committee on the Judiciary.

 

The text of the Judiciary Committee amendment in the nature of a substitute is as follows:

 

H.R. 4332

 

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United

States of America in Congress assembled,

 

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

 

This Act may be cited as the "Federal Firearms Law Reform Act of 1986".

 

SEC. 2. PROHIBITION ON TRANSFER AND POSSESSION OF SILENCERS.

 

(a) DEFINITION.-Section 921(a) of title 18, United States Code, is

amended by adding at the end the following:

"(21) The terms 'silencer' and 'muffler' mean any device for silencing,

muffling, or diminishing the report of a portable firearm, including any

part or combination of parts designed or redesigned and intended for

such use with a firearm.".

(b) PROHIBITION.-Section 922 of title 18, United States Code, is amended

by adding at the end the following:

"(n)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), it shall be unlawful for

any person to transfer or possess a silencer.

"(2) This subsection does not apply with respect to-

"(A) a transfer to or by, or possession by or under the authority of,

the United States or any department or agency thereof or a State, or a

department, agency, or political subdivision thereof; or

"(B) any lawful transfer or lawful possession of a silencer that was

lawfully possessed before the date this subsection takes effect.".

(c) CONFORMING AMENDMENTS.-

(1) Section 921(a)(3) of title 18, United States Code, is amended by

striking out "any firearm muffler or firearm silencer" and inserting

"any muffler or silencer for a firearm" in lieu thereof.

(2) Section 5845(a)(7) of the National Firearms Act (26 U.S.C.

5845(a)(7)) is amended to read as follows:

"(7) any silencer (as defined in section 921 of title 18, United States

Code);".

(3) Sections 922(a)(4) and 922(b)(4) of title 18, United States Code,

are each amended by striking out "(as defined in section 5845 of the

Internal Revenue Code of 1954)," and inserting "silencer," in lieu

thereof.

 

SEC. 3. LAWFUL INTERSTATE SALE OF LONG GUNS.

 

Subparagraph (A) of section 922(b)(3) of title 18, United States Code,

is amended to read as follows: "(A) shall not apply to the sale or

delivery of any rifle or shotgun to a resident of a State other than a

State in which the licensee's place of business is located if the

transferee meets in person with the transferor to accomplish the

transfer, and the sale, delivery, and receipt fully comply with the

legal conditions of sale in both such States (and any licensed

manufacturer, importer or dealer shall be presumed, for purposes of this

subparagraph, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, to have had

actual knowledge of the State laws and published ordinances of both

States),".

 

SEC. 4. UNLAWFUL SALE, POSSESSION, OR RECEIPT OF FIREARMS OR AMMUNITION.

 

(a) IN GENERAL.-Section 922(g) of title 18, United States Code, is

amended to read as follows:

"(g)(1) It shall be unlawful for any person-

"(A)(i) if such person is a licensee under this chapter, to sell or

otherwise dispose of any firearm or ammunition to any other person,

knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that such other person is

unqualified; or

"(ii) if such person is not such a licensee, to sell or otherwise

dispose of any firearm or ammunition to any other person, knowing that

such other person is unqualified;

"(B) to ship or transport any firearm or ammunition in interstate or

foreign commerce, if such person is unqualified;

"(C) to receive any firearm or ammunition which has been shipped or

transported in interstate or foreign commerce, if such person is

unqualified; or

"(D) to receive, possess, or transport any firearm in or affecting

interstate or foreign commerce, if-

"(i) such person is unqualified (unless such person is unqualified only

because such person is under indictment for, or has been convicted in

any court of, a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding 1

year); or

"(ii) in the course of such person's employment by another person, such

person knows that other person is unqualified (unless such other person

is unqualified only because such person is under indictment for, or has

been convicted in any court of, a crime punishable by imprisonment for a

term exceeding 1 year).

"(3) For purposes of paragraph (1), a person is unqualified if that

person-

"(A) is under indictment for, or has been convicted in any court of, a

crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding 1 year;

"(B) is a fugitive from justice;

"(C) is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance (as

defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C.

802));

"(D) has been adjudicated as a mental incompetent or committed to any

mental institution;

"(E) has been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable

conditions;

"(F) has renounced that person's United States citizenship; or

"(G) is an alien illegally in the United States.".

(b) CONFORMING REPEAL AND AMENDMENT.-

(1) Title VII of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968

(18 U.S.C. App. 1201 et seq.) is repealed.

(2) Section 923(d)(1)(B) of title 18, United States Code, is amended by

striking out "and (h)".

 

SEC. 5. GUN SHOW SALES.

 

(a) IN GENERAL.-Section 922(h) of title 18, United States Code, is

amended to read as follows:

"(h) In any case not otherwise prohibited by this chapter, a licensed

dealer may sell or otherwise dispose of a firearm to a person who does

not appear in person at the licensee's business premises if such sale or

disposition takes place during and at a temporary gun show or event

sponsored by any national, State, or local organization, or affiliate of

any such organization devoted to the collection, competitive use, or

other sporting use of firearms, or an organization or association that

sponsors events devoted to the collection, competitive use, or other

sporting use of firearms and the location of such sale or disposition is

in the State specified in the license of such licensee.

[Begin 132 Cong. Rec. p. 6864]

Records of

receipt and disposition of firearms transactions conducted at such

temporary location shall include the location of the sale or disposition

and shall be entered in the permanent records of the licensee and

retained on the location specified on the license of such licensee. Any

inspection or examination of inventory or records under this chapter by

the Secretary at such temporary location shall be limited to inventory

consisting of, or records relating to, firearms held or disposed at such

temporary location. Nothing in this subsection shall authorize such

licensee to conduct business in or from any motorized or towed

vehicle.".

(b) CONFORMING AMENDMENT.-Section 923(a) of title 18, United States

Code, is amended by inserting "(other than at a temporary location

described in section 922(h) of this title)" after "each place".

 

SEC. 6. PROHIBITION ON IMPORTATION OF PARTS OF CERTAIN FIREARMS.

 

Section 922(1) of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at

the end the following: "It shall be unlawful for any person knowingly to

import into the United States the barrel of any firearm if the

importation of that firearm is prohibited by this section.".

 

SEC. 7. ADMINISTRATIVE FLEXIBILITY FOR INVOKING LICENSE-RELATED

PENALTIES AND OTHER LICENSING-RELATED MATTERS.

 

(a) RELEVANT LICENSE INFORMATION.-Section 923(a) of title 18, United

States Code, is amended by striking out "such information" and inserting

"only that information necessary to determine eligibility for

licensing".

(b) ADDITIONAL LICENSE APPROVAL CRITERION.-Section 923(d)(1)(B) of title

18, United States Code, is amended by striking out the semicolon at the

end and inserting in lieu thereof "and is not prohibited by applicable

State law from engaging in conduct necessarily incident to business

subject to license under this chapter;".

(c) AUTHORITY TO SUSPEND LICENSES.-

(1) Section 923(e) of title 18, United States Code, is amended by

inserting "suspend or" before "revoke".

(2) Section 923(f) of title 18, United States Code, is amended-

(A) in paragraph (1)-

(i) by inserting "suspended or" before "revoked" each place it appears;

and

(ii) by inserting "suspension or" before "revocation";

(B) in paragraph (2)-

(i) by striking out "revokes, a license," and inserting in lieu thereof

" suspends or revokes a license";

(ii) by striking out "his denial or revocation" and inserting in lieu

thereof "that action"; and

(iii) in the second sentence, by inserting "suspension or" before "

revocation" each place it appears; and

(C) in paragraph (3)-

(i) in the first sentence, by striking out "his decision to deny an

application or revoke a license" and inserting in lieu thereof "the

action reviewed";

(ii) in the second sentence, by striking out "denial or revocation" and

inserting in lieu thereof "action"; and

(iii) in the last sentence, by inserting "suspend or" before "revoke".

(d) LIMITATION ON FREQUENCY OF COMPLIANCE INSPECTIONS.-Section 923(g) of

title 18, United States Code, is amended by inserting "The Secretary may

inspect the inventory and records of a licensee for the purpose of

ensuring compliance with the recordkeeping requirements of this chapter

not more than three times during any 18-month period, unless the

Secretary or the Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and

Firearms approves such inspection." before "The Secretary".

 

SEC. 8. MODIFICATION OF PENALTY PROVISIONS AND REENACTMENT OF ARMED

CAREER CRIMINAL PROVISIONS.

 

Section 924(a) of title 18, United States Code, is amended-

(1) by inserting "(1)" after "(a)";

(2) by striking out "Whoever violates" and inserting "Except as

otherwise provided in this subsection, whoever knowingly engages in

conduct that is a violation of" in lieu thereof; and

(3) by adding at the end the following:

"(2) Whoever knowingly engages in conduct that is a violation of section

922(b)(5), 922(m), or 923(h) of this title and has not been previously

convicted of a violation of such section shall be fined under this title

or imprisoned not more than one year, or both, rather than as provided

under paragraph (1) of this subsection.

"(3) Any person who knowingly engages in conduct that is a violation of

section 922(g)(1)(D) of this title and has been convicted on 3 previous

occasions of robbery, burglary, or both-

"(A) shall be fined under this title and imprisoned not less than 15

years;

"(B) notwithstanding any other provision of law, shall not be granted

any suspended or probationary sentence with respect to such violation;

and

"(C) shall not be eligible for parole from any sentence imposed with

respect to such violation.

"(4) As used in paragraph (3)-

"(A) the term 'robbery' means any felony consisting of the taking of the

property of another from the person or presence of another by force or

violence, or by threatening or placing another person in fear that any

person will imminently be subjected to bodily harm; and

"(B) the term 'burglary' means any felony consisting of entering or

remaining surreptitiously within a building that is the property of

another, with intent to engage in conduct constituting a Federal or

State offense.

"(5) As used in paragraph (4), the term 'felony' means any offense

punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year, but does not

include any offense (other than one involving a firearm or explosive)

classified as a misdemeanor under the laws of a State and punishable by

a term of imprisonment of two years or less.".

 

SEC. 9. RECORDKEEPING AND REPORTING AMENDMENTS.

 

(a) ELIMINATION OF CERTAIN AMMUNITION RECORDKEEPING.-Section 923(g) of

title 18, United States Code, is amended-

(1) by striking out "Each" and inserting "(1) Except as provided in

paragraph (2), each" in lieu thereof; and

(2) by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

"(2) The Secretary shall not require the keeping of any records under

this chapter with respect to the sale of ammunition (other than

armor-piercing ammunition, as such term is defined in section 929 of

this title) in transactions involving less than 1,000 rounds.".

(b) CODIFICATION OF EXISTING REGULATION REQUIRING REPORTS OF MULTIPLE

FIREARM SALES.-Section 923(g) of title 18, United States Code, is

amended by inserting after the second sentence the following: "Each

licensee shall submit such a report to the Secretary with respect to

each sale or other disposition to an unlicensed person by that licensee,

in 1 or more transactions during any period of 5 consecutive business

days, of any combination of pistols and revolvers totaling 2 or more.

Such report with respect to such sale or disposition shall be forwarded

to the office specified by the Secretary not later than the close of

business on the day such sale or other disposition is completed.".

 

SEC. 10. IMPOSITION OF ADDITIONAL PENALTIES FOR USING OR CARRYING A

FIREARM OR ARMOR-PIERCING AMMUNITION IN CONNECTION WITH FELONY INVOLVING DRUG TRAFFICKING.

 

(a) FIREARM.-Section 924(c) of title 18, United States Code, is amended-

(1) by inserting "(1)" before "Whoever,";

(2) by striking out "violence," each place it appears and inserting in

lieu thereof "violence, or drug trafficking crime,";

(3) by inserting "or drug trafficking crime" before "in which the

firearm was used or carried."; and

(4) by adding at the end the following:

"(2) As used in this subsection, the term 'drug trafficking crime' means

any felony violation of Federal law involving the distribution,

manufacture, or importation of any controlled substance (as defined in

section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802)).".

(b) ARMOR-PIERCING AMMUINITION.-Section 929(a) of title 18, United

States Code, is amended-

(1) by inserting "(1)" before "Whoever,";

(2) by striking out "violence" each place it appears and inserting in

lieu thereof "violence or drug trafficking crime,"; and

(3) by adding at the end the following:

"(2) As used in this subsection, the term 'drug trafficking crime' means

any felony violation of Federal law involving the distribution,

manufacture, or importation of any controlled substance (as defined in

section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802)).".

 

SEC. 11. ENHANCED PENALTY FOR MACHINEGUN USE IN CRIME AND OTHER

MACHINEGUN- RELATED MATTERS.

 

(a) ENHANCED PENALTY.-Section 924(c) of title 18, United States Code, is

amended-

(1) in the first sentence, by striking out the period at the end and

inserting in lieu thereof ", and if the firearm is a machinegun, to

imprisonment for 10 years."; and

(2) in the second sentence, by striking out the period at the end and

inserting in lieu thereof ", and if the firearm is a machinegun, to

imprisonment for 20 years."

(b) DEFINITION-

(1) Section 921(a) of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding

after the paragraph added by section 2(a) the following:

"(22) The term 'machinegun' has the meaning given such term in section

5845(b) of the National Firearms Act (26 U.S.C. 5845(b)).".

(2) Section 5845(b) of the National Firearms Act (26 U.S.C. 5845(b)) is

amended by inserting "part or" before "combination of parts designed and

intended".

(c) CONFORMING AMENDMENT.-Section 925(d)(2) of title 18, United States

Code, is amended by striking out "as defined in section 5845(b) of the

Internal Revenue Code of 1954".

 

SEC. 12. LIMITATION ON FORFEITURE.

 

Section 924(d) of title 18, United States Code, is amended-

(1) by inserting "felony" before "violation" each place it appears; and

(2) by striking out "or any rule or regulation promulgated thereunder".

 

SEC. 13. BROADENED RELIEF FROM DISABILITIES.

 

Section 925(c) of title 18, United States Code, is amended-

(1) by striking out "has been convicted of a crime punishable"

[Begin 132 Cong. Rec. p. 6865]

and all

that follows through "National Firearms Act)" and inserting in lieu

thereof "is prohibited by Federal law from acquiring, receiving,

transferring, shipping, transporting, or possessing firearms or

ammunition";

(2) by inserting "transportation," after "shipment,";

(3) by striking out "and incurred by reason of such conviction"; and

(4) by adding at the end the following: "If the Secretary determines

that relief from disabilities, incurred by reason of a conviction under

State law and imposed by Federal laws with respect to the acquisition,

receipt, transfer, shipment, or possession of firearms, would be

consistent with the purposes of this chapter when such expungement or

elimination occurs under any State law regarding the expungement of

criminal convictions, the Secretary may declare that all persons

obtaining relief under such State law are relieved from such

disabilities.".

 

SEC. 14. INTERSTATE TRANSPORT OF RIFLES AND SHOTGUNS.

 

Section 927 of title 18, United States Code, is amended-

(1) by inserting "(a)" before "No"; and

(2) by adding at the end the following:

"(b) Notwithstanding any provision of State law or of any published

ordinance to the contrary, any individual may transport any secured

shotgun or secured rifle from such individual's place of origin to any

destination State if-

"(1) such transport is-

"(A) incident to the change of the individual's State of residence; or

"(B) for the purpose of lawful participation in, or returning from

lawful participation in-

"(i) hunting;

"(ii) a shooting match or contest; or

"(iii) any other lawful sporting activity; and

"(2) the individual may lawfully transport and possess such shotgun or

rifle-

"(A) in the individual's place of origin, the destination State, and the

destination political subdivision of the destination State; and

"(B) under Federal law.

"(c) For purposes of subsection (b)-

"(1) a rifle or shotgun is secured if the rifle or shotgun-

"(A) is enclosed or cased;

"(B) is not readily accessible; and

"(C) is not loaded with ammunition; and

"(2) the term 'place of origin' means-

"(A) in the case of a change of residence, the State and political

subdivision thereof from which residence is changed; and

"(B) in any other case, the State and political subdivision thereof in

which the possession or transport of the rifle or shotgun begins.".

 

SEC. 15. RECORD CHECK FOR CRIMINAL CONVICTIONS AND OTHER

DISQUALIFICATIONS FOR PURCHASE OF HANDGUNS.

 

"(a) DEFINITION.-Section 921(a) of title 18, United States Code, is

amended by adding after the paragraph added by section 11(b) the

following:

"(23) The term 'handgun' means a firearm which has a short stock and is

designed to be held and fired by the use of a single hand.".

"(b) PROHIBITION.-Section 922(d) of title 18, United States Code, is

amended to read as follows:

"(d)(1) It shall be unlawful for a licensed importer, licensed

manufacturer, or licensed dealer to sell, deliver, or otherwise transfer

a handgun to an individual who is not licensed under section 923 unless

such importer, manufacturer, or dealer promptly sends by registered or

certified mail (return receipt requested), a copy of the documentation

of the transaction required under this chapter, in a form prescribed by

the Secretary-

"(A) to the chief law enforcement officer of the place of residence of

the transferee notifying such officer of the transaction; and

"(B) to the Federal Bureau of Investigation which shall-

"(i) examine Federal official records which may reveal any circumstance

making illegal the receipt or possession of a handgun by the transferee;

and

"(ii) report to the chief law enforcement officer of the place of

residence of the transferee if any such records show any such

circumstance.

"(2) The chief law enforcement officer of the place of residence of the

transferee and the Federal Bureau of Investigation shall each destroy

each report received under this section from any licensee concerning any

transferee, within 90 days after the date such report is received, if

such report does not indicate any circumstance making illegal the

receipt or possession of a handgun by the transferee.".

 

 

PARLIAMENTARY INQUIRY   

 

Mr. GEKAS. Mr. Chairman, I have a parliamentary inquiry, a point that has been vexing me since the debate on the rule itself. My parliamentary inquiry is: What is the exact status at this moment of the discharge petition?  

 

As I understand it, the rule, when we approved it, made that entire matter moot.  

 

Now, this was stated during the explanation of the rule, at the outset, but I want to know if, procedurally, legally, we did accomplish that? Have we, by the passage of the rule, determined once and for all that the discharge petition is no longer in any kind of status for consideration?  

 

Mr. CHAIRMAN. It is the Chair's understanding that the resolution which the discharge petition would permit to be considered was laid on the table by the rule.  

 

Mr. GEKAS. So that, Mr. Chairman, in effect it still remains, it has not been eliminated, so to speak, it is just laid on the table?

 

Mr. CHAIRMAN. It has been adversely disposed of by having been laid on the table by the rule.  

 

Mr. GEKAS. I thank the Chairman.   

 

 AMENDMENT OFFERED BY MR. VOLKMER AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR THE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE AMENDMENT IN THE NATURE OF A SUBSTITUTE   

 

Mr. VOLKMER. Mr. Chairman, I offer a substitute for the Judiciary Committee amendment in the nature of a substitute.   

 

The CHAIRMAN. The Clerk will designate the amendment offered as a substitute for the Judiciary Committee amendment in the nature of a substitute.  

 

The text of the amendment offered by Mr. VOLKMER as a substitute for the Judiciary Committee amendment in the nature of a substitute is as follows:  

 

Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert in lieu thereof the following:  

 

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE AND CONGRESSIONAL FINDINGS.  

 

(a) SHORT TITLE.-This Act may be cited as the "Firearms Owners' Protection Act".

(b) CONGRESSIONAL FINDINGS.-The Congress finds that-

(1) the rights of citizens- (A) to keep and bear arms under the second amendment to the United States Constitution; (B) to security against illegal and unreasonable searches and seizures under the fourth amendment; (C) against uncompensated taking of property, double jeopardy, and assurance of due process of law under the fifth amendment; and (D) against unconstitutional exercise of authority under the ninth and tenth amendments; require additional legislation to correct existing firearms statutes and enforcement policies; and

(2) additional legislation is required to reaffirm the intent of the Congress, as expressed in section 101 of the Gun Control Act of 1968, that "it is not the purpose of

this title to place any undue or unnecessary Federal restrictions or burdens on law-abiding citizens with respect to the acquisition, possession, or use of firearms appropriate to the purpose of hunting, trapshooting, target shooting, personal protection, or any other lawful activity, and that this title is not intended to discourage or eliminate the private ownership or use of firearms by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes.".  

 

SEC. 101. AMENDMENTS TO SECTION 921.  

 

Section 921 of title 18, United States Code, is amended- (1) in subsection (a)(10), by striking out "manufacture of" and inserting in lieu thereof "business of manufacturing"; (2) in subsection (a)(11)(A), by striking out "or ammunition"; (3) in subsection (a)(12), by striking out "or ammunition"; (4) in subsection (a)(13), by striking out "or ammunition"; (5) by amending paragraph (20) of subsection (a) to read as follows: "(20) The term 'crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year' does not include- "(A) any Federal or State offenses pertaining to antitrust violations, unfair trade practices, restraints of trade, or other similar offenses relating to the regulation of business practices, or "(B) any State offense classified by the laws of the State as a misdemeanor and punishable by a term of imprisonment of two years or less. What constitutes a conviction of such a crime shall be determined in accordance with the law of the jurisdiction in which the proceedings were held. Any conviction which has been expunged, or set aside or for which a person has been pardoned or has had civil rights restored shall not be considered a conviction for purposes of this chapter, unless such pardon, expungement, or restoration of civil rights expressly provides that the person may not ship, transport, possess, or receive firearms."; and (6) in subsection (a), by inserting after paragraph (20) the following new paragraphs: "(21) The term 'engaged in the business' means- "(A) as applied to a manufacturer of firearms, a person who devotes time, attention,

[Begin 132 Cong. Rec. p. 6866]

 and labor to manufacturing firearms as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit through the sale or distribution of the firearms manufactured; "(B) as applied to a manufacturer of ammunition, a person who devotes time, attention, and labor to manufacturing ammunition as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit through the sale or distribution of the ammunition manufactured; "(C) as applied to a dealer in firearms, as defined in section 921(a)(11)(A), a person who devotes time, attention, and labor to dealing in firearms as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit through the repetitive purchase and resale of firearms, but such term shall not include a person who makes occasional sales, exchanges, or purchases of firearms for the enhancement of a personal collection or for a hobby, or who sells all or part of his personal collection of firearms; "(D) as applied to a dealer in firearms, as defined in section 921(a)(11)(B), a person who devotes time, attention, and labor to engaging in such activity as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit, but such term shall not include a person who makes occasional repairs of firearms, or who occasionally fits special barrels, stocks, or trigger mechanisms to firearms; "(E) as applied to an importer of firearms, a person who devotes time, attention, and labor to importing firearms as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit through the sale or distribution of the firearms imported; and "(F) as applied to an importer of ammunition, a person who devotes time, attention, and labor to importing ammunition as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit through the sale or distribution of the ammunition imported. "(22) The term 'with the principal objective of livelihood and profit' means that the intent underlying the sale or disposition of firearms is predominantly one of obtaining livelihood and pecuniary gain, as opposed to other intents, such as improving or liquidating a personal firearms collection. "(23) The term 'machinegun' has the meaning given such term in section 5845(b) of the National Firearms Act (26 U.S.C. 5845(b)). "(24) The terms 'firearm silencer' and 'firearm muffler' mean any device for silencing, muffling, or diminishing the report of a portable firearm, including any part or combination of parts, designed or redesigned, intended only for such use in assembling or fabricating a firearm silencer or firearm muffler.".

 

SEC. 102. AMENDMENTS TO SECTION 922.  

 

Section 922 of title 18, United States Code, is amended- (1) so that paragraph (1) of subsection (a) reads as follows: "(1) for any person- "(A) except a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, or licensed dealer, to engage in the business of importing, manufacturing, or dealing in firearms, or in the course of such business to ship, transport, or receive any firearm in interstate or foreign commerce; or "(B) except a licensed importer or licensed manufacturer, to engage in the business of importing or manufacturing ammunition, or in the course of such business, to ship, transport, or receive any ammunition in interstate or foreign commerce;"; (2) in subsection (a)(2)- (A) by striking out "or ammunition"; and (B) by striking out "or licensed dealer for the sole purpose of repair or customizing;" and inserting in lieu thereof "licensed dealer, or licensed collector;"; (3) in subsection (a)(3), by striking out "(B)" and all that follows through "(b)(3) of this section," and inserting in lieu thereof the following: "(B) shall not apply to the transportation or receipt of a firearm obtained in conformity with subsection (b)(3) of this section,"; (4) in subsection (b)-  (A) in paragraph (2), by striking out "or ammunition" each place it appears; (B) in paragraph (3), by striking out "(A)" and all that follows through " intrastate transactions other than at the licensee's business premises," and inserting in lieu thereof "(A) shall not apply to the sale or delivery of any firearm to a resident of a State other than a State in which the licensee's place of business is located if the sale, delivery and receipt fully comply with the legal conditions of sale in both such States (and any licensed manufacturer, importer or dealer shall be presumed, in the absence of evidence to the contrary to have had actual knowledge of the State laws and published ordinances of both States) and if the transferee (other than a licensed manufacturer, importer, or dealer) meets in person with the transferor to accomplish the transfer or to negotiate the transfer (and, notwithstanding any other provision of law, the transportation or shipment of such firearm to such transferee in interstate or foreign commerce shall be permitted, but this exception does not authorize mail order sales of firearms),"; (C) in paragraph (3), by inserting "and" before "(B)";  (D) in paragraph (3), by striking out ", and (C)" and all that follows through the end of such paragraph and inserting in lieu thereof a semicolon; and (E) in paragraph (5), by striking out "or ammunition except .22 caliber rimfire ammunition" and inserting "or armor-piercing ammunition" in lieu thereof; (5) in subsection (d)-  (A) by striking out "licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector" the first place it appears and inserting in lieu thereof "person"; (B) by amending paragraph (3) to read as follows:  "(3) is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802));"; (C) in paragraph (4), by striking out the period and inserting in lieu thereof a semicolon; and (D) by inserting after paragraph (4) the following: "(5) who, being an alien, is illegally or unlawfully in the United States; "(6) who has been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions; or "(7) who, having been a citizen of the United States, has renounced his citizenship." ; (6) in subsection (g)- (A) in paragraph (1), by striking out "is under indictment for, or who" ; (B) by amending paragraph (3) to read as follows: "(3) is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802));" ; (C) by inserting after paragraph (4) the following new paragraphs: "(5) who, being an alien, is illegally or unlawfully in the United States; "(6) who has been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions; or "(7) who, having been a citizen of the United States, has renounced his citizenship;" ; and (D) by striking out "to ship or transport any firearm or ammunition in interstate or foreign commerce." and inserting in lieu thereof "to ship or transport in interstate or foreign commerce, or possess in or affecting commerce, any firearm of ammunition; or to receive any firearm or ammunition which has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce." ; (7) by striking out subsection (h); and (8) by inserting after subsection (m) the following: "(n) It shall be unlawful for any person who is under indictment for a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year to ship or transport in interstate or foreign commerce any firearm or ammunition or receive any firearm or ammunition which has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce." .  

 

SEC. 103. AMENDMENTS TO 

Section 923 of title 18, United States Code, is amended- (1) in subsection (a)-

 (A) by striking out the first sentence and inserting in lieu thereof "No person shall engage in the business of importing, manufacturing, or dealing in firearms, or importing or manufacturing ammunition, until he has filed an application with and received a license to do so from the Secretary." ; and (B) by striking out "and contain such information", and inserting in lieu thereof "and contain only that information necessary to determine eligibility for licensing."; (2) in subsection (a)(3)(B), by striking out "or ammunition for firearms other than destructive devices,"; (3) in subsection (b), by striking out "and contain such information" and inserting in lieu thereof "and contain only that information necessary to determine eligibility"; (4) in subsection (c), by adding at the end "Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prohibit a licensed manufacturer, importer, or dealer from maintaining and disposing of a personal collection of firearms, subject only to such restrictions as apply in this chapter to dispositions by a person other than a licensed manufacturer, importer, or dealer. If any firearm is so disposed of by a licensee within one year after its transfer from his business inventory into such licensee's personal collection or if such disposition or any other acquisition is made for the purpose of willfully evading the restrictions placed upon licensees by this chapter, then such firearm shall be deemed part of such licensee's business inventory."; (5) in subsection (e), by inserting "willfully" before "violated";  (6) in subsection (f)-  (A) in paragraph (3)- (i) by inserting "de novo" before "judicial"; and  (ii) by inserting "whether or not such evidence was considered at the hearing held under paragraph (2)." after "to the proceeding"; and (B) by adding at the end the following new paragraph:  "(4) If criminal proceedings are instituted against a licensee alleging any violation of this chapter or of rules or regulations prescribed under this chapter, and the licensee is acquitted of such charges, or such proceedings are terminated, other than upon motion of the Government before trial upon such charges, the Secretary shall be absolutely barred from denying or revoking any license granted under this chapter where such denial or revocation is based in whole or in part on the facts which form the basis of such criminal charges. No proceedings for the revocation of a license shall be instituted by the Secretary more than one year after the filing of the indictment or information."; (7) so that subsection (g) reads as follows:  "(g)(1)(A) Each licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, and licensed dealer shall maintain such records of importation, production, shipment, receipt, sale, or other disposition of firearms at his place of business for such period, and in such form, as the Secretary may by regulations prescribe. Such importers, manufacturers, and dealers shall not be required to submit to the Secretary reports and information with respect to such records and the contents thereof, except as expressly required by this section. The Secretary, when he has reasonable cause to believe a violation of this chapter has occurred and that evidence thereof may be found on such premises, may, upon demonstrating such cause before a Federal magistrate and securing from such magistrate a warrant authorizing entry, enter during business hours the premises (including places of storage) of any licensed firearms importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer, licensed collector, or any licensed importer or manufacturer of ammunition, for the purpose of inspecting or examining- "(i) any records or documents required to be kept by such licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector under this chapter or rules or regulations under this chapter, and "(ii) any firearms or ammunition kept or stored by such licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector, at such premises. "(B) The Secretary may inspect or examine the inventory and records of a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, or licensed dealer without such reasonable cause or warrant- "(i) in the course of a reasonable inquiry during the course of a criminal investigation or a person or persons other than the licensee; "(ii) for ensuring compliance with the record keeping requirements of this chapter not more than once during any 12-month period; or "(iii) when such inspection or examination may be required for determining the disposition of one or more particular firearms in the course of a bona fide criminal investigation. "(C) The Secretary may inspect the inventory and records of a licensed collector without such reasonable cause or warrant- "(i) for ensuring compliance with the record keeping requirements of this chapter not more than once during any 12-month period; or "(ii) when such inspection or examination may be required for determining the disposition of one or more particular firearms in the course of a bona fide criminal investigation. "(D) At the election of a licensed collector, the annual inspection of records and inventory permitted under this paragraph shall be performed at the office of the Secretary designated for such inspections which is located in closest proximity to the premises where the inventory and records of such licensed collector are maintained. The inspection and examination authorized by this paragraph shall not be construed as authorizing the Secretary to seize any records or other documents other than those records or documents constituting material evidence of a violation of law. If the Secretary seizes such records or documents, copies shall be provided the licensee within a reasonable time. The Secretary may make available to any Federal, State, or local law enforcement agency any information which he may obtain by reason of this chapter with respect to the identification of persons prohibited from purchasing or receiving firearms or ammunition who have purchased or received firearms or ammunition, together with a description of such firearms or ammunition, and he may provide information to the extent such information may be contained in the records required to be maintained by this chapter, when so requested by any Federal, State, or local law enforcement agency. "(2) Each licensed collector shall maintain in a bound volume the nature of which the Secretary may by regulations prescribe, records of the receipt, sale, or other disposition of firearms. Such records shall include the name and address of any person to whom the collector sells or otherwise disposes of a firearm. Such collector shall not be required to submit to the Secretary reports and information with respect to such records and the contents thereof, except as expressly required by this section. "(3) Each licensee shall prepare a report of multiple sales or other dispositions whenever the licensee sells or otherwise disposes of, at one time or during any five consecutive business days, two or more pistols, or revolvers, or any combination of pistols and revolvers totalling two or more, to an unlicensed person. The report shall be prepared on a form specified by the Secretary and forwarded to the office specified thereon not later than the close of business on the day that the multiple sale or other disposition occurs. "(4) Where a firearms or ammunition business is discontinued and succeeded by a new licensee, the records required to be kept by this chapter shall appropriately reflect such facts and shall be delivered to the successor. Where discontinuance of the business is absolute, such records shall be delivered within 30 days after the business discontinuance to the Secretary. However, where State law or local ordinance requires the delivery of records to other responsible authority, the Secretary may arrange for the delivery of such records to such other responsible authority. "(5)(A) Each licensee shall, when required by letter issued by the Secretary, and until notified to the contrary in writing by the Secretary, submit on a form specified by the Secretary, for periods and at the times specified in such letter, all record information required to be kept by this chapter or such lesser record information as the Secretary in such letter may specify. "(B) The Secretary may authorize such record information to be submitted in a manner other than that prescribed in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph when it is shown by a licensee that an alternate method of reporting is reasonably necessary and will not unduly hinder the effective administration of this chapter. A licensee may use an alternate method of reporting if the licensee describes the proposed alternative method of reporting and the need therefor in a letter application submitted to the Secretary, and the Secretary approves such alternate method of reporting."; and (8) so that subsection (j) reads as follows: "(j) A licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, or licensed dealer may, under rules or regulations prescribed by the Secretary, conduct business temporarily at a location other than the location specified on the license if such temporary location is the location for a gun show or event sponsored by any national, State, or local organization, or any affiliate of any such organization devoted to the collection, competitiive use, or other sporting use of firearms in the community, and such location is in the State which is specified on the license. Records of receipt and disposition of firearms transactions conducted at such temporary location shall include the location of the sale or other disposition and shall be entered in the permanent records of the licensee and retailed on the location specified on the license. Nothing in this subsection shall authorize any licensee to conduct business in or from any motorized or towed vehicle. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, a separate fee shall not be required of a licensee with respect to business conducted under this subsection. Any inspection or examination of inventory or records under this chapter by the Secretary at such temporary location shall be limited to inventory consisting of, or records relating to, firearms held or disposed at such temporary location. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to authorize the Secretary to inspect or examine the inventory or records of a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, or licensed dealer at any location other than the location specified on the license. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to diminish in any manner any right to display, sell, or otherwise dispose of firearms or ammunition, which is in effect before the date of the enactment of the Firearms Owners' Protection Act.".  

 

SEC, 104. AMENDMENTS TO SECTION 924.  

 

(a) IN GENERAL.-Section 924 of title 18, United States Code, is amended- (1) so that subsection (a) reads as follows: "(a)(1) Except as otherwise provided in this section or in section 929, whoever- "(A) knowingly makes any false statement or representation with respect to the information required by this chapter to be kept in the records of a person licensed under this chapter or in applying for any license or exemption or relief from disability under the provisions of this chapter; "(B) knowingly violates subsection (a)(4), (a)(6), (f), (g), (i), (j), or (k) of section 922; "(C) knowingly imports or brings into the United States or any possession thereof any firearm or ammunition in violation of section 922(1); or "(D) willfully violates any other provision of this chapter. shall be fined not more than $5,000, imprisoned not more than five years, or both, and shall become eligible for parole as the Parole Commission shall determine. "(2) Any licensed dealer, licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, or licensed collector 

[Begin 132 Cong. Rec. p. 6868]

who knowingly- "(A) makes any false statement or representation with respect to the information required by the provisions of this chapter to be kept in the records of a person licensed under this chapter, or "(B) violates subsection (m) of section 922, shall be fined not more than $1,000, imprisoned not more than one year, or both, and shall become eligible for parole as the Parole Commission shall determine."; (2) in subsection (c)- (A) by inserting "(1)" before "Whoever,";  (B) by striking out "violence" each place it appears and inserting in lieu thereof "violence or drug trafficking crime,"; (C) by inserting "or drug trafficking crime" before "in which the firearm was used or carried."; (D) in the first sentence, by striking out the period at the end and inserting in lieu thereof ", and if the firearm is a machinegun, or is equipped with a firearm silencer or firearm muffler, to imprisonment for 10 years."; (E) in the second sentence, by striking out the period at the end and inserting in lieu thereof ", and if the firearm is a machinegun, or is equipped with a firearm silencer or firearm muffler, to imprisonment for 20 years."; and (F) by adding at the end the following: "(2) For purposes of this subsection, the term 'drug trafficking crime' means any felony violation of Federal law involving the distribution, manufacturer, or importation of any controlled substance (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802))."; (3) so that subsection (d) reads as follows: "(d)(1) Any firearm or ammunition involved in or used in any willful or knowing violation of the provisions of this chapter or any rule or regulation prescribed under this chapter, or any violation of any other criminal law of the United States, shall be subject to seizure and forfeiture. All provisions of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 relating to the seizure, forfeiture, and disposition of firearms, as defined in section 5845(a) of that Code, shall, so far as applicable, extend to seizures and forfeitures under the provisions of this chapter, but, upon acquittal of the owner or possessor, or dismissal of the charges against him other than upon motion of the Government before trial, the seized firearms or ammunition shall be returned forthwith to the owner or possessor or to a person designated by the owner or possessor unless the return of the firearms or ammunition would place the owner or possessor or his delegate in violation of law. Any action or proceeding for the forfeiture of firearms or ammunition shall be commenced within 120 days of such seizure. "(2)(A) In any action or proceeding for the return of firearms or ammunition seized under this chapter, the court shall allow the prevailing party, other than the United States, a reasonable attorney's fee, and the United States shall be liable therefor. "(B) In any other action or proceeding under this chapter, if the court finds that such action was without foundation, or was initiated vexatiously, frivolously, or in bad faith, the court shall allow the prevailing party, other than the United States, a reasonable attorney's fee, and the United States shall be liable therefor. "(C) Only those firearms or quantities of ammunition particularly named and individually identified as involved in or used in any violation of this chapter, or of any rule or regulation issued under this chapter, or any other criminal law of the United States, shall be subject to seizure, forfeiture, and disposition. "(D) The United States shall be liable for attorneys' fees under this paragraph only to the extent provided in advance by appropriation Acts."; and (4) by adding at the end the following new subsection: "(e)(1) In the case of a person who violates section 922(g) of this title and has three previous convictions by any court referred to in section 922(g)(1) of this title for robbery or burglary, or both, such person shall be fined not more than $25,000 and imprisoned not more than 15 years, and, notwithstanding any other provision of law, the court shall not suspend the sentence of, or grant a probationary sentence to, such person with respect to the conviction under section 922(g), and such person shall not be eligible for parole with respect to the sentence imposed under this subsection. "(2) As used in this subsection- "(A) the term 'robbery" means any crime punishable by a term of imprisonment exceeding one year and consisting of the taking of the property of another from the person or presence of another by force or violence, or by threatening or placing another person in fear that any person will imminently be subjected to bodily harm; and "(B) the term 'burglary' means any crime punishabdle by a term of imprisonment exceeding one year and consisting of entering or remaining surreptitiously within a building that is the property of another with intent to engage in conduct constituting a Federal or State offsense.". (b) CONFORMING REPEAL.-Title VII of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (18 U.S.C. App. 1201 et seq.) is repealed.  

 

SEC. 105. AMENDMENTS TO SECTION 925.  

 

Section 925 of title 18, United States Code, is amended- (1) in subsection (c)- (A) by striking out "has been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year (other than a crime involving the use of a firearm or other weapon or a violation of this chapter or of the National Fireamrs Act)" and inserting in lieu thereof "is prohibited from possessing, shipping transporting, or receiving firearms or ammunition"; (B) by inserting "transportation," after "shipment,";  (C) by striking out "and incurred by reason of such conviction"; and (D) by inserting "Any person whose application for relief from disabilities is denied by the Secretary may file a petition with the United States district court for the district in which he resides for a judicial review of such denial. The court may in its discretion admit additional evidence where failure to do so would result in a miscarriage of justice." after "the public interest."; and (2) in subsection (d)- (A) by striking out "may authorize" and inserting in lieu thereof "shall authorize"; (B) by striking out "the person importing or bringing in the firearm or ammunition establishes to the satisfaction of the Secretary that"; (C) in paragraph (3), by inserting before the semicolon ", except in any case where the Secretary has not authorized the importation of the firearm pursuant to this paragraph, it shall be unlawful to import any frame, receiver, or barrel of such firearm which would be prohibited if assembled"; and (D) by striking out "may permit" and inserting in lieu thereof "shall permit".  

 

SEC. 106. AMENDMENTS TO SECTION 926.  

 

Section 926 of title 18 of the United States Code is amended- (1) by inserting "(a)" before "The Secretary" the first place it occurs; (2) by inserting "only" after "prescribe"; (3) by striking out "as he deems reasonably" and inserting in lieu thereof " as are"; (4) by striking out the last sentence and inserting in lieu thereof "No such rule or regulation prescribed after the date of the enactment of the Firearms Owners' Protection Act may require that records required to be maintained under this chapter or any portion of the contents of such records, be recorded at or transferred to a facility owned, managed, or controlled by the United States or any State or any political subdivision thereof, nor that any system of registration of firearms, firearms owners, or firearms transactions or dispositions be established. Nothing in this section expands or restricts the Secretary's authority to inquire into the disposition of any firearm in the course of a criminal investigation."; and (5) by adding at the end the following: "(b) The Secretary shall give not less than 90 days public notice, and shall afford interested parties opportunity for hearing, before prescribing such rules and regulations. "(c) The Secretary shall not prescribe rules or regulations that require purchasers of black powder under the exemption provided in section 845(a)(5) of this title to complete affidavits or forms attesting to that exemption.".  

 

SEC. 107. TRANSPORTATION OF FIREARMS.  

 

(a) IN GENERAL.-Chapter 44 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by inserting between section 926 and section 927 the following new section:

 

926A. Interstate transportation of firearms

 

"Any person not prohibited by this chapter from transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm shall be entitled to transport an unloaded, not readily accessible firearm in interstate commerce notwithstanding any provision of any legislation enacted, or any rule or regulation prescribed by any State or political subdivision thereof.".

 

(b) CLERICAL AMENDMENT.-The table of sections for chapter 44 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by inserting between the item relating to section 926 and the item relating to section 927 the following new item: "926A. Interstate transportation of firearms.".  

 

[e 

SEC. 108. AMENDMENTS TO SECTION 929.  

 

Section 929(a) of title 18, United States Code, is amended- (1) by inserting "(i)" before "Whoever,"; (2) by striking out "violence" each place it appears and inserting in lieu thereof "violence or drug trafficking crime,"; and (3) by adding at the end the following: "(2) For purposes of this subsection, the term 'drug trafficking crime' means any felony violation of Federal law involving the distribution, manufacture, or importation of any controlled substance (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802)).".  

 

SEC. 109. AMENDMENT OF NATIONAL FIREARMS ACT.  

 

Section 5845(b) of the National Firearms Act (26 U.S.C. 5845(b)) is amended by striking out "any combination of parts designed and intended for use in converting a weapon into a machinegun," and inserting in lieu thereof "any part or combination of parts designed and intended solely and exclusively for use in converting a weapon into a machinegun,".


[Begin 132 Cong. Rec. p. 6869]


SEC. 110. EFFECTIVE DATE.  

 

(a) IN GENERAL.-The amendments made by this Act shall become effective 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act. Upon their becoming effective, the Secretary shall publish and provide to all licensees a compilation of the State laws and published ordinances of which licensees are presumed to have knowledge pursuant to chapter 44 of title 18, United States Code, as amended by this Act. All amendments to such State laws and published ordinances as contained in the aforementioned compilation shall be published in the Federal Register, revised annually, and furnished to each person licensed under chapter 44 of title 18, United States Code, as amended by this Act. (b) PENDING ACTIONS, PETITIONS, AND APPELLATE PROCEEDINGS.-The amendments made by sections 103(6)(B), 105, and 107 of this Act shall be applicable to any action, petition, or appellate proceeding pending on the date of the enactment of this Act.  

 

(By unanimous consent, Mr. VOLKMER was allowed to proceed for 5 additional minutes.)  

 

The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Missouri <Mr. VOLKMER> is recognized for 10 minutes in support of his amendment.  

 

Mr. VOLKMER. Mr. Chairman, I would like to take this time to briefly go over the provisions of the substitute so that the Members will be cognizant of what it does contain and that it does not contain other provisions that have been stated by the Members, such as provide felons or criminals with handguns.  

 

To begin with, the first part is the definition. The definition, basically, is in the "engaged in business" definition. This definition was not arrived at easily. It was done through hard work by myself, Senator MCCLURE, the BATF, Justice Department, and Treasury Department. A long period of time has gone into this definition. This definition does not mean that terrorists can go out and get guns and provide guns to other people.

 

The definition does provide that those who are engaged in the business for a profit are those who should be licensed as dealers. It differs from the definition that is being promoted by the gentleman from New Jersey in his amendment to the substitute. In the amendment of the gentleman from New Jersey, you do not even have to sell a gun to have to be licensed. You merely have to trade a gun. And then if you go to trade a second gun, you are going to have to be licensed as a dealer. Therefore, if you, even as a hunter, sell to your neighbor or friend one of your shotguns, and the amendment says on a recurring basis-that means if I have other guns and that later on, in another 6 months or a year, I would like to trade my other shotgun or rifle or handgun to a fellow sportsman, that I would have to be licensed as a dealer.

 

Basically, what this means, to every sportsman here in the United States, if I want to protect myself from being prosecuted for dealing in weapons without a license, if we had the Hughes definition, that means that I would have to be registered as a dealer. And that means that every gun owner has to be registered as a dealer, that means that every gun owner is known to the BATF and we have an insidious way of registration of every gun in the United States. That is the definition of Mr. HUGHES.  

 

I have talked to BATF about the two different definitions. They clearly state that the definition which they helped write, which is in our substitute, is far more superior to the definition of the gentleman from New Jersey.  

 

Yes, we do provide, on interstate sale of firearms, for both rifles, shotguns, and handguns, but we do provide that they have to be face to face sales.  

 

We also provide that they have to be in compliance-a person who purchases has to be in compliance with the laws of both States and local subdivisions thereof.  

 

That means that no local law, no State law is being changed. If a person from New Jersey goes to the State of Missouri to buy a handgun, he or she can only purchase that handgun, if they fully comply with all the laws of both New Jersey and the State of Missouri. If New Jersey has a waiting period, that would have to be complied with. It does not offer to felons or people who commit crimes any opportunity to get handguns that they do not have.  

 

Some persons have said it means that a person can use a false or fictitious identification, and it would be easy to get a handgun. Well, you can do that today. If I have a driver's license, a Social Security number, and everything else, from another State, showing that I am a resident of that State, and I can get a gun today, it would not make any difference whether you do it in an interstate purchase or a local State purchase, if that is the case. This does not change or make it easier for felons to get handguns.  

 

We also provide, as the Judiciary bill has copied from us, additional persons who are disqualified, along with persons who are felons, illegal aliens, dishonorably discharged veterans, and former citizens of the United States.  

 

In that regard, I would like to point out, especially to the law enforcement people who are in the Capitol, that the bill that came out of the Judiciary Committee clearly states that any convicted felon can possess and receive a handgun.  

 

Now, present law prohibits any convicted felon from possessing a handgun. Our bill prohibits any convicted felon from possessing a handgun. But the Judiciary Committee clearly states, on page 5 of that bill, that a convicted felon, a murderer, can possess a handgun.  

 

Mr. HUGHES. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?  

 

Mr. VOLKMER. I yield to the gentleman from New Jersey.  

 

Mr. HUGHES. Mr. Chairman, as the gentleman knows, when the substitute, the Volkmer substitute, came out, it was discovered there were a number of technical drafting amendments needed to correct some of the inadvertent provisions of the Volkmer bill, and it may very well be that there is some ambiguity about the language in the substitute. Would the gentleman agree to a unanimous-consent request to make the necessary conforming changes, the technical changes, that would eliminate that?  

 

Mr. VOLKMER. The gentleman from New Jersey admits that his bill that came out of the Judiciary Committee does provide that a convicted felon can possess a handgun?  

 

Mr. HUGHES. I am prepared to concede that that argument could be made. Just to clarify that, to make sure that that argument cannot be made, would the gentleman agree to a unanimous-consent request, to an amendment  

 

Mr. VOLKMER. I have no objection as long as the gentleman will not object to any that I may have later on, which I do not know of. Mr. HUGHES. If the gentleman will yield further, I think we are both acting in good faith. We want to develop the very best bill that we can develop, whatever it is, to come out of this Congress; and in the spirit of trying to develop the very best bill, is the gentleman willing to do that?  

 

Mr. VOLKMER. I said I would not object if you make that unanimous-consent request at the appropriate time. Mr. HUGHES. If the gentleman has made some additional inadvertent mistakes, I think you will find that the gentleman on this side of the aisle would be very happy to accede to the gentleman's request.  

 

Mr. VOLKMER. Continuing on, Mr. Chairman, we also limit the licensing of ammunition dealers because ammunition and recordkeeping for ammunition, BATF and most everybody agrees, there is just a waste of time because you cannot trace ammunition.

We provide that a dealer, along with a private individual, presently, as long as it is not in the case of doing business, can sell from his private collection. The reason for that is that BATF has had an ambiguity as far as the reasons for requiring dealers to keep records on those. At one time BATF said that it was not necessary because they are no different than any other private individual. A lot of dealers are hunters and sportsmen, and they have their own guns that they use. We do put a provision in there that they cannot

[Begin 132 Cong. Rec. p. 6870]

sell any more than any other private individual can without being licensed. That means that under that they cannot sell whole carloads or truckloads of guns from their private collection, because that would be in violation of the law pertaining to private individuals, as they would be treated from selling from their private collection, and that means that the argument that would give people the right to sell a lot of weapons out of their private collection is wrong. People again just have not read the substitute.

 

They do not understand it or they have not read it. We provide for revocation of license for willful violations. We provide for no civil proceedings to revoke if criminally charged and acquitted in civil proceedings based on the same evidence as criminal charges. This is because of some of the abuses that I have pointed out in prior years from BATF as necessary.

 

We provide for inspections. Today under the law there are no specific guidelines for inspection of records. We provide those, without a warrant, you can do it once a year for purely recordkeeping without notice.

 

During a criminal investigation for firearms tracing, we specifically provide that if any police officer or BATF needs to do it for firearms tracing, that they may inspect the records at any time. We provide for requirements for inspection of license collectors records.  

 

We provide for codifying, as the Senate bill, which is a good thing and it is good for law enforcement, multiple sales report requiring if a dealer sold two or more handguns within 5 business days and then there has to be an immediate report to BATF. That is not in the Judiciary bill at all.

 

We provide for out-of-business records to the Secretary to go to him so they can be used for tracing specifically in the legislation. Law enforcement can use those out-of-business records for purposes of tracing.

 

We provide, which the Judiciary Committee has also, for gun show sales. This language came basically from S. 49.  

 

I would like to point out to the members of the committee that S. 49 could not have been all as bad as a lot of people put it, because some of the provisions of S. 49 are now contained in the Judiciary bill as well as my bill.  

 

We provide for penalty provisions.  

 

Mr. CHAIRMAN. The time of the gentleman from Missouri <Mr. VOLKMER> has expired.  

 

(By unanimous consent, Mr. VOLKMER was allowed to proceed for 3 additional minutes.)  

 

Mr. VOLKMER. We provide that violations by a dealer have to be willful when they are concerned with recordkeeping, and that all other violations for nonlicensed persons transporting constructive devices, et cetera, purchasers making false or fictitious oral or written statements or false I.D.'s to get guns or to get a license, knowingly making a false statement for records of gun purchases. Those are all knowing violations under our bill. They are not willful. But we are providing for willful violations when it comes to certain technical violations by the dealer.  

 

Another thing I would like to point out in my limited time is that in the legislation, although we do provide for interstate transportation of firearms, you have got to remember that the firearms have to be inaccessible. I would like to point out and put it on the record at this time that inaccessible means not in the back seat or under the seat of a car. It means, as is stated in the Senate and in the Senate report when S. 49 was taken up there, that it has to be locked up and away. That means in a trunk or a glove compartment or somewhere where it cannot be readily accessible and it has to be unloaded. Therefore, it is not going to lead to a proliferation of guns being transported all over the country.  

 

I would like to point out, too, that in States west of the Mississippi that this is more restrictive than our present State law. Our present State law is a lot less restrictive than this.  

 

I can take today in my home State, I can take a gun and put it on the seat of my car and I can load it and I can drive all over my State and I can go all over the West with that same gun, interstate or anything else. Now, that is the present law.  

 

What we have in our bill is more restrictive than that, but what we are trying to do is to permit other persons to be able to travel in States that they cannot presently do on lawful purposes and only for lawful citizens having guns to be able to make that interstate transportation. I would like to point out, too, that when we were working on this, and I admit with many law enforcement groups, that I had been provided and I discussed in meetings with the Law Enforcement Steering Committee and some of my own from the State of Missouri, they said their principal objections to the bill are allowing the interstate sale of handguns. All right, that is one that we have not corrected. We feel that it does not provide criminals access to guns.

 

They say that it would weaken current Federal law which imposes a 5- to 10- year mandatory prison term for use or possession of firearms in the commission of a violent felony. That was never in my bill. It is not in the substitute. It was never in H.R. 945. That is not in here. So that law enforcement concern is taken away.  

 

And it would undermine the ability of law enforcement to trace thousands of weapons used in violent crimes every year. We have corrected that. That is taken away. It would prevent the identification and prosecution of unscrupulous gun dealers, requiring advance notice of every annual regulatory inspection. That is not true. That has been corrected in my substitute.  

 

So really, out of those that I was given by the Law Enforcement Steering Committee, basically three out of four have been taken care of, and as many of us know on legislation, if you get that much, you should be happy, rather than trying to get everything.  

 

The CHAIRMAN. The time of the gentleman from Missouri has again expired.  

 

(At the request of Mr. MCCOLLUM, and by unanimous consent, Mr. VOLKMER was allowed to proceed for 2 additional minutes.)  

 

Mr. MCCOLLUM. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?  

 

Mr. VOLKMER. Yes, I yield.  

 

Mr. MCCOLLUM. I would like to enter into a colloquy with the sponsor of this amendment, Mr. VOLKMER, regarding the meaning of the term "willfulness" as it appears in his amendment. My purpose is to clarify the congressional intent with regard to "willfulness." Is the gentleman agreeable?  

 

Mr. VOLKMER. I am.  

 

Mr. MCCOLLUM. I would like to know if it is the gentleman's intent to imply the same meaning of the term "willfulness" that the other body intended. The Judiciary Committee in the other body filed a report on the predecessor of S. 49, the companion to your bill, H.R. 945, during the last Congress. In the Judiciary Report 98-583 on page 20, the Judiciary Committee of the other body stated:  

 

For purposes of 18 U.S.C. 924(a), the committee intends "willful" conduct to cover situations where the offender has actual cognizance of all of the facts necessary to constitute the offense, but not necessarily knowledge of the law.  

 

Is this intent consistent with the gentleman's understanding of the meaning of the term "willful" in the gentleman's substitute?  

 

Mr. VOLKMER. Yes, it is identical to the Senate meaning.

 

Mr. MCCOLLUM. So by adopting the gentleman's language, the House will intend the same interpretation that the other body intends. I thank the gentleman from Missouri.


AMENDMENT OFFERED BY MR. VOLKMER TO THE AMENDMENT OFFERED BY MR. VOLKMER AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR THE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE AMENDMENT IN THE NATURE OF A SUBSTITUTE  

 

Mr. VOLKMER. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment to the amendment offered as a substitute for the Judiciary Committee amendment in the nature of a  substitute.


[Begin 132 Cong. Rec. p. 6871]

 

The Clerk read as follows:  

 

Amendment offered by Mr. VOLKMER to the amendment offered by Mr. VOLKMER as a substitute for the Judiciary Committee amendment in the nature of a substitute: (1) In the Volkmer amendment (on page H1319 of the March 18, 1986, CONGRESSIONAL RECORD) following the amendments made to subsection 924(c) add the following new paragraph:  

 

"(3) For purposes of this subsection the term 'crime of violence' means an offense that is a felony and-  

 

"(A) has as an element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person or property of another, or  

 

"(B) that by its nature, involves a substantial risk that physical force against the person or property of another may be used in the course of committing the offense.".  

 

(2) (On page H1319 of the March 18, 1986, CONGRESSIONAL RECORD,) strike all amendments made to subsection 924(d) and insert in lieu thereof the following:  

 

(3) by amending section (d) to read as follows:   

 

"(d)(1) Any firearm or ammunition involved in or used in any knowing violation of subsection (a)(4), (a)(6), (f), (g), (h), (i), (j), or (k) of section 922, or knowing importation or bringing into the United States or any possession thereof any firearm or ammunition in violation of section 922(l), or knowing violation of section 924, or willful violation of any other provision of this chapter or any rule or regulation promulgated thereunder, or any violation of any other criminal law of the United States, or any firearm of ammunition intended to be used in any offense referred to in paragraph (3) of this subsection, where such intent is demonstrated by clear and convincing evidence, shall be subject to seizure and forfeiture, and all provisions of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 relating to the seizure, forfeiture, and disposition of firearms, as defined in section 5845(a) of that Code, shall, so far as applicable, extend to seizures and forfeitures under the provisions of this chapter: Provided, That upon acquittal of the owner or possessor, or dismissal of the charges against him other than upon motion of the Government prior to trial, the seized firearms or ammunition shall be returned forthwith to the owner or possessor or to a person delegated by the owner or possessor unless the return of the firearms or ammunition would place the owner or possessor or his delegate in violation of law. Any action or proceeding for the forfeiture of firearms or ammunition shall be commenced within one hundred and twenty days of such seizure.  

 

"(2)(A) In any action or proceeding for the return of firearms or ammunition seized under the provisions of this chapter, the court shall allow the prevailing party, other than the United States, a reasonable attorney's fee, and the United States shall be liable therefor. "(B) In any other action or proceeding under the provisions of this chapter, the court, when it finds that such action was without foundation, or was initiated vexatiously, frivolously, or in bad faith, shall allow the prevailing party, other than the United States, a reasonable attorney's fee, and the United States shall be liable therefor.  

 

"(C) Only those firearms or quantities of ammunition particularly named and individually identified as involved in or used in any violation of the provisions of this chapter or any rule or regulation issued thereunder, or any other criminal law of the United States, or as intended to be used in any offense referred to in paragraph (3) of this subsection, where such intent is demonstrated by clear and convincing evidence, shall be subject to seizure, forfeiture, and disposition. "(D) The United States shall be liable for attorneys' fees under this paragraph only to the extend provided in advance by appropriation Acts.".  

 

"(3) The offenses referred to in paragraph (1) and (2)(C) of this subsection are-  

 

"(A) any crime of violence, as that term is defined in section 924(c)(3) of this title;  

 

"(B) any offense punishable under the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 801 et seq.) or the Controlled Substances Import and Export Act (21 U.S.C. 951 et seq.);  

 

"(C) any offense described in section 922(a)(1), 922(a)(3), 922(a)(5), or 922(b)(3) of this title, where the firearm or ammunition intended to be used in any such offense is involved in a pattern of activities which includes a violation of any offense described in section 922(a)(1), 922(a)(3), 922(a)(5), or 922(b)(3) of this title;  

 

"(D) any offense described in section 922(d) of this title where the firearm or ammunition is intended to be used in such offense by the tranferor of such firearm or ammunition;  

 

"(E) any offense described in section 922(i), 922(j), 922(l), 922(n), or 924(b) of this title; and  

 

"(F) any offense which may be prosecuted in a court of the United States which involves the exportation of firearms or ammunition."; and  

 

Mr. VOLKMER (during the reading). Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent that the amendment be considered as read and printed in the RECORD. The CHAIRMAN. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from Missouri?  

 

There was no objection.  

 

The CHAIRMAN. The Chair would inquire of the gentleman, is the gentleman's amendment the one printed in the RECORD?  

 

Mr. VOLKMER. That is correct, Mr. Chairman.  

 

The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Missouri <Mr. VOLKMER> is recognized for 5 minutes in support of his amendment.  

 

Mr. VOLKMER. Mr. Chairman, this is basically a technical amendment. At the time of the drafting of the substitute we were taking provisions from H.R. 945 and other provisions from S. 49. The provision in regard to use of weapons, firearms, et cetera, the definition that was taken in the substitute was inadvertently taken by the staff and by the legislative counsel from the old provisions, what we call the old provisions under H.R. 945, when they were supposed to be taken from S. 49.  

 

The language in S. 49 had been worked out in conjunction with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and the Department of the Treasury and was agreeable to them, while the language in H.R. 945 was not. The specific provision that was required by the BATF was to say that any firearm or ammunition intended to be used in any offense referred to in paragraph 3 of this section where such intent is demonstrated by clear and convincing evidence.  

 

We have agreed to this language. It was originally intended to be in the substitute, but as I say, was inadvertently omitted in the drafting of the substitute.  

 

If there are no questions, I move the adoption of the amendment.

 

Mr. HUGHES. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.

 

Mr. Chairman, I wonder if I could get the gentleman's attention. I really do not have any intent to oppose the technical amendment, but I just want to question the gentleman.  

 

Mr. VOLKMER. Yes.  

 

Mr. HUGHES. It was the gentleman's intent, I presume from his explanation, to have included these provisions in the original bill and inadvertently they were not.  

 

Mr. VOLKMER. That is correct.  

 

Mr. HUGHES. I see.  

 

Mr. VOLKMER. Not in the original bill as introduced, but in the substitute as introduced for the CONGRESSIONAL RECORD. Mr. HUGHES. The way I read the definition of the crime of violence provision, it would seem to only apply to felony crimes of violence and not to all of the crimes of violence, which are defined in the first category of the code. Is that the gentleman's intent?  

 

A crime of violence is interpreted under the United States Code in title 18, section 16, as (A) an offense that has as an element, the attempted use or threatened use of physical force against the personal property of another, or (B) any other offense that is a felony and that by its nature involves a substantial risk of physical force against the person or property of another may be used in the course of committing an offense.  

 

If I read that correctly, the gentleman basically is just limiting this to crimes of violence involving felonies.  

 

Mr. VOLKMER. This is for the purpose of confiscation of firearms and ammunition when it has been used in a felony or intended to be used or in violation of certain provisions of the Gun Control Act.  

 

Mr. HUGHES. So the gentleman would not require a forfeiture of nonfelony types of crimes of violence, in other words?  

 

Mr. VOLKMER. Well, the definition is one that has been agreed to by the Department of the Treasury. They helped write it. They are the ones that wanted it in the legislation, rather than what we had before. I would say if the gentleman has a disagreement, he should discuss it with them.

 

[Begin 132 Cong. Rec. p. 6872]

 

Mr. HUGHES. No, no. I have no disagreement with anybody. I am just trying to clarify just what it does. It seems to me that what the gentleman is doing is watering down those areas where forfeiture can attach. It also undermines the mandatory prison term for using or carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. In other words, if in fact the police in investigating, prosecuting, and convicting individuals of nonviolent felony offenses, forfeiture would not lie under the gentleman's provision.  

 

Mr. VOLKMER. If it is a nonviolent-does the gentleman mean a felony that is  

 

Mr. HUGHES. Let me read it. There is a whole category of crimes of violence in title 18 which the gentleman would seem to deny forfeiture, and I am talking about offenses that have as an element the use or attempted use or threatened use of physical force against the person or property of another. That whole category would be excluded from the gentleman's definition of crime or violence.  

 

Mr. VOLKMER. I understand those types of things can also be felonies. Mr. HUGHES. No; not in your amendment, because it is the second category in current law that is the only part limited to felonies. Any other offense, that is in category (B) that is a felony and that by its nature involves a substantial risk of physical force against the person or property of another may be used in the course of committing the offense. The effect, I think, of the gentleman's amendment essentially is a watering down of existing law-we are going to deny to the law enforcement community the opportunity to forfeit weapons that are intended to be used in acts of violence where they do not amount to a felony violation.  

 

Mr. VOLKMER. Well, all I have to say to the gentleman is that this is the language that has been agreed to again by the law enforcement body that enforces the Gun Control Act of 1968, the BATF.  

 

Mr. HUGHES. Let me just ask also, if I understand it, the gentleman substitutes the S. 49 forfeiture provisions for the H.R. 945 forfeiture provisions.  

 

Mr. VOLKMER. That is correct.  

 

Mr. HUGHES. And both provisions, if I understand it, narrow the forfeiture for firearms that are intended to be used to commit a Federal crime.  

 

Mr. VOLKMER. It does not narrow it. As originally used, it did not have it intended before.  

 

Mr. HUGHES. Well, originally it did not allow for the forfeiture of such firearms.  

 

Mr. VOLKMER. That is correct, but this does.  

 

Mr. HUGHES. It seems to me that the gentleman would not be permitting a forfeiture of firearms if it was intended to be used in the commission of such crimes as espionage, smuggling, money laundering, labor racketeering, among others. Is my reading of that correct?  

 

Mr. VOLKMER. Well, if it is through any of the violations listed.  

 

Mr. HUGHES. Well, why would we not want to permit the forfeiture of weapons used  

 

Mr. VOLKMER. I disagree. It says or any violation of any other criminal law in the United States.  

 

Mr. HUGHES. No, it does not with respect to this provision.   

 

Mr. VOLKMER. Well, let me see. It says any firearm willful violation of any other provision of this chapter or any rule or regulation promulgated thereunder or any violation of any other criminal law of the United States.  

 

The CHAIRMAN. The time of the gentleman from New Jersey has expired. (By unanimous consent, Mr. HUGHES was allowed to proceed for 2 additional minutes.)  

 

Mr. HUGHES. It would seem to me from a reading, and it may be inadvertent, that we would be eliminating such offenses as espionage. Mr. VOLKMER. Well, I do not believe that espionage is, because it says if used in any violation of any other criminal law in the United States and that would include even the nonfelonies. That is specifically in the amendment and it specifically says that any firearm or ammunition involved in or used in any knowing violation, et cetera, or willful violation of any other provision of this chapter or any rule or regulation promulgated thereunder or any violation of any other criminal law in the United States.  

 

Mr. HUGHES. And it goes on to read, or any firearm or ammunition intended to be used in any offense referred to in paragraph (3). And that paragraph is very limited-it does not include most Federal crimes. Well, I just point out that I am not going to object. It just may be that we have some language problems. It may be once again that that is not the gentleman's intent. I would have no objection to the gentleman offering clarifying language or making technical amendments, if in fact that is what is needed to change it, but the gentleman's intent is to cover all the offenses I have enumerated.  

 

Mr. VOLKMER. That is correct.   

 

Mr. HUGHES. And that includes also violent offenses that are nonfelonies?   

 

Mr. VOLKMER. That is correct; as long as it is a criminal violation of a criminal law.  

 

Mr. HUGHES. That would require, I would think, some technical amendment.  

 

Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.

 

The CHAIRMAN pro tempore (Mr. BIAGGI). The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Missouri <Mr. VOLKMER> to the amendment offered by the gentleman from Missouri <Mr. VOLKMER> as a substitute for the Judiciary Committee amendment in the nature of a substitute.  

 

The amendment to the amendment offered as a substitute for the Judiciary Committee amendment in the nature of a substitute was agreed to.  

 

 AMENDMENT OFFERED BY MR. HUGHES TO THE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE AMENDMENT IN THE NATURE OF A SUBSTITUTE  

 

Mr. HUGHES. Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent to offer a technical clarifying amendment to correct a deficiency in a section of the bill dealing with qualified and unqualified persons to own weapons. The gentleman from Missouri <Mr. VOLKMER> has, I think, rightfully brought to our attention that inadvertently there might have been some language in the bill that would modify current law with regard to certain individuals in the disqualified class of individuals who can own, possess, and use weapons.  

 

The Clerk read as follows:  

 

Amendment offered by Mr. HUGHES to the Judiciary Committee amendment in the nature of a substitute:  

 

Page 5, beginning in line 3, strike out ", or has been convicted in any court of,".  

 

Page 5, beginning in line 10, strike out ", or has been convicted in any court of,".  

 

The CHAIRMAN pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from New Jersey <Mr. HUGHES>? There was no objection.

 

Mr. HUGHES. Mr. Chairman, this is very simple. I am not going to spend a lot of time on it. It is a technical clarifying amendment.

 

It was never intended by the committee to add the words "or has been convicted in any court" in addition to "under indictment."  

 

I would ask my colleagues to support the amendment.  

 

The CHAIRMAN pro tempore. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from New Jersey <Mr. HUGHES> to the Judiciary Committee amendment in the nature of a substitute.  

 

The amendment to the Judiciary Committee amendment in the nature of a substitute was agreed to.  

 

AMENDMENT OFFERED BY MR. HUGHES TO THE AMENDMENT AS AMENDED BY MR. VOLKMER AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR THE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE AMENDMENT IN THE NATURE OF A SUBSTITUTE, AS AMENDED.  

 

Mr. HUGHES. Mr. Chairman, I offer amendments to the amendment, as amended, offered as a substitute for the Judiciary Committee amendment

[Begin 132 Cong. Rec. p. 6873]

in the nature of a substitute, as amended.  

 

The CHAIRMAN pro tempore. Have the gentleman's amendments been printed in the RECORD?  

 

Mr. HUGHES. The amendments have been printed in the RECORD, Mr. Chairman.  

 

The Clerk read as follows:  

 

Amendments offered by Mr. HUGHES to the amendment, as amended, offered by Mr VOLKMER as a substitute for the Judiciary Committee amendment in the nature of a substitute, as amended: Page 3, strike out line 19 and all that follows through line 16 on page 5 and insert in lieu thereof the following:  

 

"(21) The term 'engaged in the business', with respect to an activity, means devoting time, attention, and labor to that activity on a recurring basis, and for that purpose maintaining firearms on hand or being willing and able to procure firearms, but such term does not include the sale by the owner of a personal collection in connection with liquidation of such a collection.".  

 

Page 11, after line 22, insert the following:  

 

(5) Section 923(d)(1)(E)(i) of title 18, United States Code, is amended- (A) by striking out "conducts" and inserting "engages in" in lieu thereof; and  

 

(B) by striking out "conduct" and inserting "engage in" in lieu thereof. Redesignate succeeding paragraphs accordingly. Page 7, line 10, strike out "shall not apply" and all that follows through " firearms)" in line 2 on page 8, and insert in lieu thereof the following: " Shall not apply to the sale or delivery of any rifle or shotgun to a resident of a State other than a State in which the licensee's place of business is located if the transferee meets in person with the transferor to accomplish the transfer, and the sale, delivery, and receipt fully comply with the legal conditions of sale in both such States (and any licensed manufacturer, importer or dealer shall be presumed, for purposes of this subparagraph, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, to have had actual knowledge of the State laws and published ordinances of both States)".

 

Page 11, strike out line 9 and all that follows through line 22 and redesignate succeeding paragraphs accordingly.  

 

Page 11, strike out line 23 and all that follows through line 24 and redesignate succeeding paragraphs accordingly.  

 

Page 14, beginning in line 3, strike out "of a person" and all that follows through "licensee" in line 4.

 

Page 14, line 6, strike out "once" and insert "twice" in lieu thereof. Page 14, line 7, insert ", unless the Secretary or the Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms approves such application" after " period".  

 

Page 14, line 10, strike out "in the course" and all that follows through " investigation" in line 11.

 

Page 13, line 25, strike out "or".  

 

Page 14, line 1, insert ", or a licensed collector" after "dealer".   

 

Page 14, strike out line 12 and all that follows through line 21 and redesignate succeeding subparagraphs accordingly.  

 

Page 19, line 15, strike out "willfully" and inserting "knowingly" in lieu thereof.  

 

Page 26, strike out line 16 and all that follows through the matter  

 

immediately following line 5 on page 27 and insert in lieu thereof the following:  

 

SEC. 108. INTERSTATE TRANSPORT OF RIFLES AND SHOTGUNS.

 

Section 927 of title 18, United States Code, is amended-

 

(1) by inserting "(a) before "No"; and

 

(2) by adding at the end the following:  

 

"(b) Notwithstanding any provision of State or local law to the contrary, any individual may transport any secured shotgun or secured rifle from such individual's place of origin to any destination State if-  

 

"(1) such transport is-  

 

"(A) incident to the change of the individual's State of residence; or "(B) for the purpose of lawful participation in, or returning from lawful participation in-  

 

"(i) hunting;  

 

"(ii) a shooting match or contest; or   

 

"(iii) any other lawful sporting activity; and

 

"(2) the individual may lawfully transport and possess such shotgun or rifle-  

 

"(A) in the individual's place of origin, the destination State, and the destination political subdivision of the destination State; and "(B) under Federal law.  

 

"(c) For purposes of subsection (b)-  

 

"(1) a rifle or shotgun is secured if the rifle or shotgun- "(A) is enclosed or cased;  

 

"(B) is not readily accessible; and   

 

"(C) is not loaded with ammunition; and   

 

"(2) the term 'place of origin' means-  

 

"(A) in the case of a change of residence, the State and political subdivision thereof from which residence is changed; and  

 

"(B) in any other case, the State and political subdivision thereof in which the possession or transport of the rifle or shotgun begins.".  

 

Page 27, beginning in line 23, strike out "part" and all that follows through "exclusively" in line 1 on page 28 and insert in lieu thereof "part designed and intended solely and exclusively, or combination of parts designed and intended,".

 

Page 10, line 5, strike out "and".  

 

Page 10, line 12, strike out the final period and insert "; and" in lieu thereof.  

 

Page 10, after line 12, insert the following:   

 

(9) by inserting after the subsection added by paragraph (8) of this section the following:  

 

"(o)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), it shall be unlawful for any person to transfer or possess a firearm silencer.  

 

"(2) This subsection does not apply with respect to-

 

"(A) a transfer to or by, or possession by or under the authority of, the United States or any department or agency thereof or a State, or a department, agency, or political subdivision thereof; or  

 

"(B) any lawful transfer or lawful possession of a firearm silencer that was lawfully possessed before the date this subsection takes effect.". Page 28, after line 20 insert the following:  

 

(c) PROHIBITION ON FIREARM SILENCERS.-Section 102(9) shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act.  

 

Page 2, strike out line 16 and all that follows through line 21 and redesignate succeeding paragraphs accordingly.  

 

Page 6, strike out line 3 and all that follows through line 16 and redesignate succeeding paragraphs accordingly.  

 

Page 6, beginning in line 17, strike out "(2)" and all that follows through line 22 and insert in lieu thereof the following: "(2), by striking out 'or licensed dealer for the sole purpose of repair or customizing;' and inserting in lieu thereof "licensed dealer, or licensed collector;';".  

 

Page 7, strike out line 5 and all that follows through line 6 and redesignate succeeding subparagraphs accordingly.  

 

Page 8, line 4, insert "and" after the semicolon.  

 

Page 8, strike out line 8 and all that follows through line 12.

 

Page 10, line 19, strike out ", or importing or manufacturing" and insert " or" in lieu thereof.  

 

Page 11, strike out line 2 and all that follows through line 4 and redesignate succeeding paragraphs accordingly.  

 

Page 13, line 1, insert ", ammunition (other than armor-piercing ammunition) in transactions involving 1,000 rounds or more, and armor-piercing ammunition," after "firearms".  

 

Mr. HUGHES (during the reading). Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent that the amendments be considered as read and printed in the RECORD.  

 

The CHAIRMAN pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from New Jersey?  

 

There was no objection.  

 

(Mr. HUGHES asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)  

 

Mr. HUGHES. Mr. Chairman, this is an amendment that looks at the Volkmer-NRA bill and tries to address the basic, core concerns that makes the NRA bill so revolting to the law enforcement community of the United States.  

 

The vote on this amendment may be the most important vote we cast on this particular bill. Adoption of this amendment will not make the NRA bill a balanced bill, or even a sound piece of legislation, in my judgment. It is, however, an amendment that will remove the label of "Cop Killer Legislation" that police organizations of this country have placed on the NRA bill.  

 

It is an amendment that will allow the hundreds of police officers gathered here in the Capitol today and the thousands of other police officers who have raised their voices in outrage against the legislation to return home without a bitter message that the House of Representatives has turned its back on them. They will not have to go home in bewilderment and disbelief to report that their elected Representatives slammed the door in the face of law enforcement in order to blindly proclaim their allegiance to a ruthless and uncompromising special-interest group.  

 

Let me describe for my colleagues briefly, if I might, the features of the amendment.  

 

First, no interstate sale of handguns. This addresses the provision in the NRA bill that the police call the Cop Killer provision. They are convinced that this provision, more than any other, will permit felons and other disqualified persons to get guns. Proponents of permitting interstate sale of handguns argue that if the sale is legal in the purchaser's State of residence, and in the State of the sale, what is wrong with this?  

[Begin 132 Cong. Rec. p. 6874] 

What is wrong is that it ignores reality. Dealers cannot possibly keep abreast of the tens of thousands of gun laws throughout the country, as well as the court interpretations. Here is the BATF's most recent compilation of State and local firearms purchase laws. Is that what the dealers are supposed to know? I do not think so. Two hundred and twenty-five pages of what is literally fine print is what we send out to dealers. The task of keeping abreast of these laws is very difficult, if not impossible. In fact, the administration just recently asked Congress to repeal the requirement that this annual compilation be prepared for the use of dealers. They say it is impossible for even the enforcement agencies to keep up with the everchanging laws throughout the country. The use of false identification by disqualified persons would be certain to increase greatly, since even the most scrupulous dealer cannot be expected to be familiar with the appearance of typical ID documents far distant from their States.  

 

My amendment adopts a position approved by a 35 to 0 vote of the Committee on the Judiciary. Interstate sale of rifles and shotguns is permitted, but not handguns.  

 

There is no preemption of State and local handgun laws. This, in my view, is the single most objectionable provision of the Volkmer bill. We must strike out the provisions in the Volkmer bill which effectively undermine hundreds if not thousands of State and local laws restricting the possession and carrying of handguns. These laws are wiped out, because the NRA bill says if you are legal under Federal law, and if you are traveling in interstate commerce, Federal law now says you can thumb your nose at State and local laws.  

 

Some of my colleagues may think this is merely the hunters' exception, a special rule to allow hunters to take their guns when they hunt in another State. Unfortunately, it is not limited to hunting or sporting purposes, and it is not even limited to crossing State lines. A person can carry a handgun, for any reasons he chooses, or none at all, so long as he claims to be in interstate commerce. Any motorist stopped on an interstate highway could claim to be headed out of the State. Any person who is on a State highway indicating he is traveling to another State can claim he is in interstate commerce.

 

Unlike the Judiciary Committee bill, the NRA bill could preempt even the State and local laws of the home of such a person. It could also make it legal to carry a gun from a State where it is illegal into another State where it is illegal. For example, in New Jersey it is illegal under most circumstances to transport a handgun without a permit. In New York, one must have a license. Yet a person, regardless of whether they were New Yorkers or Jerseyites or Floridians or Sandinistas or whatever could travel legally through or into either State as a result of the NRA override provisions. "Not to worry," we are told, because handguns have to be unloaded and not readily accessible. However one can, in a very few seconds, pull a pistol from its position of inaccessibility, in the glove compartment, in a briefcase behind the seat, take an ammunition clip from one's coat pocket, and insert it in the pistol and be ready for a freeway fireaway fight.  

 

I appeal to my colleagues not to approve this assault upon federalism and upon State and local laws. I appeal particularly to those of you who are NRA members and NRA supporters.  

 

The CHAIRMAN pro tempore. The time of the gentleman from New Jersey <Mr. HUGHES> has expired.  

 

(On request of Mr. SMITH of Florida and by unanimous consent, Mr. HUGHES was allowed to proceed for 5 additional minutes.)  

 

Mr. HUGHES. Mr. Chairman, the NRA has always fought against Federal licensing of gun owners. This is Federal licensing, ironically, of every handgun owner to ignore all State and local laws restricting carrying of handguns in their cars and luggage.  

 

As they need to do in order to bask in Federal immunity, all they have to do is to carry, along with their handgun, enough money for a couple tanks of gas, a AAA map showing the route to the State line, and maybe for good measure an "I Love New York" or "Seven Flags Over Georgia" bumper stickers.  

 

This issue here is not whether Federal law should prohibit citizens generally from carrying handguns in glove compartments and trunks of their cars as they drive on interstate highways or State highways heading for other States, or in their luggage as they travel on public conveyances. Federal law does not even address these questions, except to prohibit a few, narrow classes of persons, felons, dope addicts, mental incompetents and the like from owning guns.  

 

When must a person be licensed to own a handgun? When, where and how may one carry a handgun when one travels about in one's car or in public?  

 

Are short- barreled handguns, which are readily concealable, to be treated the same as larger, less concealable handguns?  

 

These are all matters which, until the Volkmer-NRA bill surfaced, were left to State and local discretion. We are going to change all that. We are now going to have a new, overriding Federal law to deal with handgun transportation and sale.  

 

It is interesting in this context to note that the NRA attacks a relatively minor provision in the Judiciary Committee bill, one which provides that BATF should not grant a dealer's license to a person it knows to be disqualified under State law. The NRA claims this would involve BATF in interpreting local zoning laws, and that this is poor federalism.  

 

Is it for the Congress to come in via the back door, I should say the back seat, not to legislate positively, but to override in the most heavy-handed way decisions we have always left to local and State jurisdictions?  

 

My amendment limits Federal override of State and local laws in three ways: First, no override of handgun restrictions; second, preemption only of laws of States being transited, not of a person's home State and not of a destination State; and third, purposes for which one may lawfully transport long guns under Federal protection are limited to lawful sporting activities.

 

There is no major loophole for illegal and untraceable traffic in firearms in the so-called Hughes legislation. However, there is in the Volkmer legislation. Currently, anyone who deals in firearms must be licensed and keep records for tracing weapons used in crimes. The Volkmer-NRA bill would drop this requirement for part-time, marginal dealers. It would provide that a person who sells guns as a sideline, without it being a "principal objective of livelihood and profit," does not have to have a license or keep records. It is precisely these dealers who sell guns out of their garages and the trunks of their cars, not the legitimate storefront dealers, who commit most dealer violations.  

 

The Justice Department listed this provision first in a group of four most objectionable features of the bill, the Volkmer bill. The Department stated and I quote: " * * * restricting the term 'engaged in the business' to one who manufactures or deals in firearms, as a 'regular course of trade or business,' even if this includes a part-time business, would in our view, either remove controls from significant suppliers of underworld weapons or at best invite unnecessary litigation."  

 

The Justice Department has strongly objected to this provision in the past, fearing it might "remove controls from significant suppliers of underworld weapons."  

 

In the view of the Treasury Department, which enforces the gun laws, this provision of the Volkmer bill might permit unrestricted and unrecorded sales of guns by persons sympathetic to the causes of terrorist groups around the country. The loophole is the sympathizer's claim that he was not interested in profit, but only in supporting

[Begin 132 Cong. Rec. p. 6875]

the terrorist causes. And he made no money on it, that it was not a part of the trafficking for pecuniary gain.  

 

Similarly, a machinist turning out a few assassination rifles a month in his garage workshop could likely do so without complying with the requirements applicable to manufacturers of firearms under the Volkmer bill. Is that what you really want?  

 

My amendment adopts a working definition of when one is engaged in the gun business developed and applied by several Federal courts.  

 

The CHAIRMAN pro tempore. The time of the gentleman from New Jersey <Mr. HUGHES> has expired.  

 

(By unanimous consent, Mr. HUGHES was allowed to proceed for 5 additional minutes.)  

 

Mr. HUGHES. It has been said here often today that the definition of a dealer in the law enforcement amendment would, in fact, open up the floodgates and would require everybody to become a dealer that is buying an selling more than two weapons. That is nonsense.  

 

We have taken basically the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals definition of dealer. And we have endeavored to fashion that into something that is coherent and rational and that is what we have in the legislation. Unlike the Volkmer bill, which has a massive loophole in that it is based on the subjective motives of the dealer, my amendment provides an objective standard. It provides that a person must maintain guns on hand or be ready and able to obtain them for sale. It excludes one-time sales. There must be recurring sales, and the individual must commit time and energy to the trafficking of weapons to qualify, and, of course, there is an exception to allow a person to liquidate a personal collection of guns without having a license or risking being charged with a violation of law.  

 

Fourth, we permit no backdoor sales by gun dealers. The Volkmer bill would allow a licensed dealer to transfer guns from his business inventory to a personal collection and later sell them without recordkeeping or compliance. My amendment maintains present law. That means that the quarter of a million gun dealers out there who do not have a storefront, who operate out of their home, will be able to transfer hundreds of weapons out of their personal collection. They can sell any number of guns that they want out of their personal collection and not keep any records. That means that they are selling untraceable weapons when that occurs.  

 

The Justice Department has rightfully and strongly opposed this provision, stating that it would provide "a too-convenient source of guns for a person under a firearms disability or for a person wanting an untraceable gun for use in a crime."  

 

Fifth, we knock out the provisions that elevate gun dealers to a privileged class status. Under the guise of correcting alleged past discriminatory treatment of gun dealers, the NRA bill, in a number of ways, places gun dealers and collectors in a special privileged status before the law.

 

The amendment is directed at the single most damaging of these, the requirement in the Volkmer bill that dealers can be found guilty of violating the law only if they "willfully" break the law. This is more than a mere technicality, I say to my colleagues. The NRA has made it clear that the purpose of creating this privileged class is to make it next to impossible to convict dealers, particularly those who engage in business without acquiring a license, because the prosecution would have to show that the dealer was personally aware of every detail of the law, and that he made a conscious decision to violate the law. We do not do that for any other class that I am aware of. A pharmacist who sells prescription drugs illicitly and violates the controlled substances laws of this country does not face that kind of a standard. We are going to carve out a special place in the law for gun dealers, more than those who are peddling pills to the kids, and who are convicted of diverting licit drugs, prescription drugs, into illicit markets, and we are going to treat gun dealers differently.  

 

I have seen television interviews with NRA spokesmen in which they attempt to justify this provision by stating that "under current law, you do not have to prove intent to convict a dealer." That is totally false. The general rule in American law is that one must know that he is committing the conduct which is made a crime or that he must intend to commit the conduct, or intend to commit the act and the consequences of the act. It is not necessary that he knew that what he was doing was against the law. In this respect, the old cliche "ignorance of the law is no excuse" is accurate. The committee's bill retains the normal rules for everyone. Under the NRA bill, a dealer would practically have to sign a statement saying that, before committing the crime, he had studied the law, knew that what he had in mind was illegal, and did his damnedest to make sure he violated the law. Terrorists may make such proclamations, but most offenders, gun dealers included, do not. And we are not talking about the overwhelming majority of gun dealers, because they are honest, law-abiding citizens. We are talking about the people that are diverting weapons by the hundreds and thousands to the illicit market. The normal rules, not the NRA rules, should apply.  

 

If such a proposal for handcuffing prosecutors came from the American Civil Liberties Union, it would be hooted down as coddling criminals. It should be firmly rejected now when advanced by the NRA.  

 

In the area of silencers, silencers have no sporting purpose.

 

The CHAIRMAN pro tempore. The time of the gentleman from New Jersey <Mr. HUGHES> has again expired.  

 

(By unanimous consent, Mr. HUGHES was allowed to proceed for 5 additional minutes.)  

 

Mr. HUGHES. Mr. Chairman, will somebody, will somebody in this Chamber please come forward and tell me, if they would, what sporting value silencers have? Why do people need silencers? The silencer is a contract murder weapon. We find it increasingly in parts of our country in the hands of drug traffickers and organized crime figures. Who in the world needs a silencer? Why would the NRA oppose a ban on silencers? I do not understand it, I really do not.  

 

What we do is we attempt to ban silencers, and one of the law enforcement provisions is directed at silencers.  

 

Mr. VOLKMER. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?  

 

Mr. HUGHES. I will be happy to yield to the gentleman from Missouri.  

 

Mr. VOLKMER. I would just like to inquire if the gentleman knows it is presently against the law, a violation, a felony to have a silencer unless it is registered?  

 

Mr. HUGHES. It is against the law if it is unregistered, but you can get a silencer if you can register it.  

 

Mr. VOLKMER. Not everybody can register. Does the gentleman know what you have to go through to get a registration for a silencer?

 

Mr. HUGHES. I say to the gentleman that I am very familiar with it, and we oversee on our subcommittee the activities of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.  

 

Mr. VOLKMER. You have to have a full background check, and you have to have fingerprints and identification.  

 

Mr. HUGHES. I will say to the gentleman that indeed we on this Subcommittee on Crime do oversee the operations of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and frankly, we know the silencer procedures as have been authorized by law, and that they have to go through fingerprinting, and there is a record check and the gentleman is correct.  

 

But my question is: Is the gentleman opposed to banning silencers?


Mr. VOLKMER. I am just saying does the gentleman realize  

 

Mr. HUGHES. Let me ask you, is the gentleman saying that he is opposed to banning silencers?  

 

Mr. VOLKMER. I am trying to point out to the gentleman that by banning silencers, you are not going to stop one crime, you are not going to prevent one crime.  

[Begin 132 Cong. Rec. p. 6876]

Mr. HUGHES. Is the gentleman opposed to banning silencers?

 

Mr. VOLKMER. I am not saying. I am just saying that you are not going to stop one crime, because not one crime that has ever been committed in the United States with a silencer has been committed with a registered one, not one. I have the statement of the BATF, and I will use it.  

 

Mr. HUGHES. I want to say to my colleague that we have an increasing number of silencers, and we have silencer kits. We have do-it-yourself kits at home to build your silencers, and that is the next point. We are trying to ban conversion parts for machine guns, conversion kits for silencers. As the gentleman knows, you can read in publications today all kinds of silencer kits. Who in the world would be opposed to banning silencer kits? We are trying to address silencers and silencer kits and conversion parts for machineguns. The Volkmer bill creates loopholes for underworld gunsmiths converting semiautomatic weapons into machineguns. It amends the existing ban on machinegun kits to add language exempting these kits from the ban unless the kits are intended "solely and exclusively" for converting semiautomatic weapons to fully autmatic weapons. We need to close that loophole.  

 

In the area of unannounced inspections of dealers and criminal investigations, the Volkmer bill limits unannounced inspection of gun dealers to one per year, and limits other inspections of dealers' records in the course of normal criminal investigation. Police have been quick to point out that the one-per-year provision creates an opportunity for an unscrupulous dealer to ignore the law once he has had his single inspection. The amendment would permit two such inspections, the amendment we are offering would permit two such inspections per year, and would remove the language of the Volkmer bill barring even a normal criminal investigation of a gun dealer.

 

Like the Judiciary Committee bill, the amendment would allow additional unannounced inspections only if the Secretary of the Treasury or the Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms personally approves the inspection.   

 

In the area of armor-piercing ammunition, the Volkmer bill opens up ammunition sales to anyone, no license is necessary. All that is required is that if a license sells armor-piercing ammunition, a record must be kept. This does nothing to protect against sales or armor-piercing ammunition. The amendment maintains current law requiring that ammunition be sold only by licensees and that they keep records of armor-piercing ammunition sales and transactions of more than 1,000 rounds. I think it is important for the Government to know if we have somebody buying 50,000 rounds of ammunition. I think it is important for us to know. We have decontrolled over 1,000 rounds. I think that that is a fair and a rational compromise.  

 

I say to my colleagues that the provisions that I have described are extremely important to the bill. Recordkeeping is essential. Do not permit Pandora's box to be opened up by permitting the back-door sale of firearms or a change in definition to permit people to buy and sell and profit in firearms as long as it is not for their primary source of income or for profit. There are so many groups in this country that are purchasing weapons of all kinds where the motive is not for profit, and it is that the police amendment package is directed to.  

 

It is a good amendment. It is a basic amendment. It is an amendment that you can support. It is an amendment directed to the Volkmer bill. It perfects many of the provisions in the Volkmer bill, and I think it is important for us to support the police on what is their bottom line in making the Volkmer bill at least acceptable to the police of this country.  

 

The CHAIRMAN. The time of the gentleman from New Jersey <Mr. HUGHES> has again expired.  

 

(On request of Mr. RODINO and by unanimous consent, Mr. HUGHES was allowed to proceed for 3 additional minutes.)  

 

Mr. RODINO. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?  

 

Mr. HUGHES. I am happy to yield to the gentleman from New Jersey.  

 

Mr. RODINO. I merely want to first of all commend the gentleman for offering this amendment, but more importantly, I think that it would be important for him, as a former prosecutor, as one who has drafted this legislation, to show the significance of the change that you have brought about in the provision whereby under the Volkmer amendment, the gun dealer would be given a privileged status in that there would have to be proof of a willful state of mind.  

 

Mr. HUGHES. The gentleman is absolutely right. There is no other provision I am aware of. I cited the example of controlled substances offenses. As the gentleman knows, the drug laws fall within our committee's jurisdiction. We oversee both the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the Drug Enforcement Administration.  

 

The Drug Enforcement Administration has responsibility for overseeing the pharmacists and the doctors around the country where unfortunately we see a tremendous diversion of prescription drugs into the illicit market by a dishonest few.  

 

We are giving gun dealers a privileged status. We do not require that kind of proof when we prosecute somebody who is diverting these pills to youngsters that are found on our schoolyards today, and we are requiring, as I indicated, a dealer to know what the law is, every detail of the law, but that he intended to violate the law. I mean, it would be a prosecutor's nightmare. And for the defense attorneys, they would have a field day-knowing how easy it is to frustrate that kind of a standard.  

 

I shudder to think what would occur if, in fact, we elevated gun dealers to this privileged status. So I share the gentleman's concern.

 

Mr. RODINO. Again, I want to thank the gentleman for offering this amendment. It does not go as far as I would have liked. I would have preferred we have a waiting period so that there would be a complete check of prospective handgun purchasers. But in the interests of trying to gain a consensus and knowing how important it was to strengthen this provision rather than to weaken it, as Volkmer does, I think we have got to support the gentleman.

 

Mr. HUGHES. Something else I find interesting, I say to the Chairman. I heard Members get up here on the floor and make the statement that the 1968 gun control has not worked; that only the crooks have been affected; that basically they are the only ones who benefit from it. The law-abiding people have not benefited; "Look at the increase in crime," they say.

 

That is like saying, because we have a far more serious epidemic of drug crime today than we ever had before we ought to begin to dismantle all the drug enforcement laws and the new asset forfeiture provisions we have created to aid law enforcement, the new penalty provisions we have created, or the wiretap provisions we have provided for financial investigations to find the assets of drug traffickers and organized crime-I mean, what would the crime rate have been and the numbers of victims of drug abuse if we did not have these protections or these laws?  

 

The fact of the matter is that the argument that there is still a serious problem of violent crime just turns logic right on its head because in the final analysis, nobody can say what would be the case today if, in fact, we did not have these minimal protections that we now have in the law.  

 

Mr. OXLEY. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.  

 

(Mr. OXLEY asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)  

 

Mr. OXLEY. Mr. Chairman, it seems to me as we have worked our way through this bill, and I must give a great deal of credit to the committee for the work

[Begin 132 Cong. Rec. p. 6877]

that they have done, I had an opportunity not too long ago to meet with several constituents who are concerned about this issue, and I asked them what they were interested in in changing current law. They said that they were interested, as hunters, to be able to transport their shotguns and rifles across State lines; that they were from Ohio and they were hunting in Michigan; they wanted to do that and to do it lawfully.  

 

I said to them that in my estimation, I agreed with them, and as a matter of fact felt that both the approach of the committee as well as the Volkmer approach took care of that concern.  

 

As a matter of fact, both approaches; the Hughes approach and the Volkmer approach, it seems to me, provide a great deal of relief to some of the more onerous things that were in the 1968 act, including the deregulation of ammunition sales, eliminating other abuses of present law.  

 

So I guess it comes down to this, at least for this Member's opinion, and that is this: I would like to ask the sponsor of the substitute, the gentleman from Missouri, if he could answer this: Does the Volkmer substitute, as we are considering it currently, make it easier than present law to obtain handguns and to transport handguns across State lines?  

 

Mr. VOLKMER. It provides that in certain States which now have restrictions on transportation of handguns that you could, as long as it is inaccessible and unloaded, like locked in the trunk of the car, you could-where you cannot like in New York, Connecticut, New Jersey and places without permits, you cannot.  

 

As far as obtaining handguns, we do not change any of the present, existing local or State laws as to who must be qualified to have purchased a handgun. We do provide that instead of having to have a dealer send it from one State to another State as you presently can do, that the person, if he is qualified in both States, can purchase a handgun in the State of nonresidence, if he is qualified-only if that, in both States, yes.  

 

Mr. OXLEY. So that it, in some ways it does indeed relax the interstate availability of handguns.  

 

Mr. VOLKMER. Yes; for people who are law-abiding citizens, but not for disqualified people. It does not relax or change the law as far as who can purchase a handgun, or what you have to go through to get a handgun. Mr. OXLEY. I thank the gentleman for responding.   

 

As I have studied the issue, and this is a tough issue, very frankly, for myself; and I have worked my way through it over the last couple of weeks and it is a very difficult issue. It comes down to balancing what may be a potential inconvenience to handgun purchasers and those who own handguns with the very legitimate risk of law enforcement personnel. If we put it in that kind of context, we are trying to be very objective in dealing with this major piece of legislation where we are making public policy, it seems to me that is a no-contest decision, at least for this Member.  

 

I think that that is the ultimate question that each Member has to ask himself. We have really taken care of, in my estimation, the concerns that my constituents had about transporting those long guns and shotguns across State lines if they are legitimate hunters.  

 

I think that change makes a great deal of sense. What concerns me is the availability, the easily available handgun that has committed so much mayhem in this country.  

 

Mr. LUNGREN. Will the gentleman yield?  

 

Mr. OXLEY. I yield to the gentleman.  

 

Mr. LUNGREN. I know the gentleman is talking about this; he and I have discussed this for several weeks, and I know how he has studied this. I just want to know: The gentleman is a former member of the FBI, an agent; is that correct?  

 

Mr. OXLEY. That is correct.  

 

Mr. LUNGREN. I might just ask the gentleman, in terms of coming to his decision, does he make this judgment with respect to the question of interstate transport of handguns based partly on your experience as a law enforcement officer?  

 

Mr. OXLEY. I guess that is right; one can never disassociate himself from one's background. Clearly that is a great concern that I have. For example, the person who is going down the highway that is pulled over on the side of the road by the State patrol for any number of violations, that State trooper who comes up to that car has no idea whether that person behind the wheel is a law-abiding citizen who is transporting that handgun is doing so lawfully and safely or whether in fact that person is a criminal who seeks to do him harm, and the record is replete with those law enforcement officials who have been cut down in the line of duty because of that type of situation.

 

Mr. VOLKMER. Will the gentleman yield on that?  

 

Mr. OXLEY. I yield to the gentleman.  

 

Mr. VOLKMER. I want to try and resolve something here. In the first place, the criminal, the person who is out to commit a crime, is not going to just lay a handgun up on the dash or next to him where any officer can see it-he is going to try to conceal it, and he is going to do that today, if he is going to go somewhere and commit a crime. So the laws that we presently have, such as in New Jersey or New York are not preventing those people from doing it.  

 

(On request of Mr. VOLKMER and by unanimous consent, Mr. OXLEY was allowed to proceed for 2 additional minutes.)  

 

Mr. VOLKMER. Will the gentleman yield?  

 

Mr. OXLEY. I yield to the gentleman.  

 

Mr. VOLKMER. So those laws are not, but what they are preventing is to attend, like in my district come May, we will have a pistol competition. There will be not only sportsmen there, but military and law enforcement officials will participate in that, it is a national competition.  

 

If that was held in a State such as New York-well, you could not, in New York, New Jersey, or Massachusetts. You can do it in Missouri because in Missouri you can transport, and it does not even have to be unloaded; and yet the law enforcement-we do not have the crime that you have in the East; we do not have people going around sticking guns, just because they can do it in their cars, in a glove compartment or under the seats; they do not do that. Even though they can put it-I can lawfully transport in Missouri, through Iowa, to Minnesota, through South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, down through Oklahoma and Texas-I can put a loaded gun on my seat and do that, presently, today.  

 

The provisions in this bill are more restrictive than that.

 

Mr. OXLEY. I appreciate the gentleman's position. Again, it is a balancing act; it is a balancing of a potential inconvenience for the purchaser of a handgun versus the potential mayhem that could result to law enforcement officials. I think it is as simple as that.  

 

When it comes down to that kind of decision, of an inconvenience versus a potential loss of life, that decision in my estimation is very easy.  

 

Mr. VOLKMER. If the gentleman will yield further, who is going to commit the mayhem on the officer? The law-abiding sportsman who is going hunting, who is going to a pistol meet?  

 

Mr. OXLEY. The point is, it is very difficult for that law enforcement official to know whether in fact that person is law-abiding or not, until the action occurs. In many cases, that is far too late.  

 

Mr. HUGHES. Will the gentleman yield?  

 

Mr. OXLEY. I yield to the gentleman.  

 

Mr. HUGHES. I want to tell the gentleman, I really respect the time and effort that he has put in to try to understand what is in both bills.  

 [Begin 132 Cong. Rec. p. 6878]

The gentleman is absolutely correct. The bottom line, and if Members would do this, just weigh the minimum inconvenience on the one hand to sportsmen who can freely transport that handgun from State to State, against the concerns of the police, the police have to win out by a big margin.

 

The CHAIRMAN. The time of the gentleman from Ohio <Mr. OXLEY> has expired.  

 

Mr. HUGHES. Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent that the gentleman be allowed to proceed for 2 additional minutes.  

 

The CHAIRMAN. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from New Jersey?  

 

Mr. SHAW. Mr. Chairman, reserving the right to object, and I shall not object, but I rise under this reservation to remind the House that we are under a 5-hour rule. We have now consumed one-fifth of the time allowed for amendments and we have yet to have a single recorded vote on a substantive amendment. I know the gentleman from New Jersey is going to offer, if this amendment does not pass, is going to offer a series of amendments. I have one to offer on silencers. We are going to be shut off from opportunity for further debate unless we do slow this thing down.  

 

So I will serve notice that I am as one Member going to start to object to extensions at a further time, but it is not directed certainly to my friend in the well, the gentleman from New Jersey, or anyone else. It is simply directed at the clock.  

 

Mr. Chairman, I withdraw my reservation of objection.  

 

The CHAIRMAN. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from New Jersey?  

 

There was no objection.  

 

Mr. HUGHES. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman continue to yield?  

 

Mr. OXLEY. I yield to the gentleman from New Jersey.


Mr. HUGHES. I thank the gentleman for yielding. I understand what the gentleman is saying but as the gentleman, a member of the subcommittee, understands, many of the amendments noticed individually are within this package. So much of the debate would be repetitious and it is important for us to explore all aspects of this amendment because I intend to object also if we get to the point where we are shortchanging Members who have other amendments noticed.  

 

But New Jersey has been mentioned.  

 

In New Jersey you can transport your handgun or your long gun for hunting or sporting purposes as long as you have a license to do so and you are legal in the State in which you own it, that is New Jersey or Pennsylvania where a lot of our hunters go to hunt for deer in particular.

 

The legislation that we have before the full House today does not restrict States like Missouri, it just sets standards basically and we do not say that Missouri cannot permit an unloaded firearm to be carried on the seat of an automobile if that is what Missouri says. So we do not change that. But the bottom line is, and why the police are so upset, and the gentleman put his finger right on it, you never know when you stop that automobile, just like Phillip Lamonoco. He was a State trooper who back in 1981 when he stopped that car did not know he had some terrorists, he did not know what he had.  

 

You are going to see a proliferation of handguns in automobiles. That is why the police are scared to death because they see a proliferation of handguns.  

 

What does inaccessible mean? What is going to happen when people get upset on the highways and they decide that they want to take a shot at somebody? Are you going to have a shootout at O.K. Corral? I think the police understand that. Their lives are in jeopardy, No. 1. But more importantly we are going to see more experiences like we too often see where motorists get upset and they resort to a handgun which is readily accessible. There are no restrictions on it. You can carry a handgun under the Volkmer bill for any reason.  

 

Mr. OXLEY. I thank the gentleman for his comments. Again I think it is a decision that all of us have to make in that balancing act. I appreciate the efforts on the part of the committee.  

 

Ms. MIKULSKI. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words, and I rise in support of the Hughes subsitute and the leadership of the gentleman from New Jersey <Mr. RODINO> and in support of a great police chief from Baltimore County.  

 

Mr. Chairman, 2 months ago I brought to the attention of my colleagues an op-ed written by Baltimore County Police Chief Cornelius Behan. In that op-ed, Chief Behan recited the horrors caused by handguns-horrors he had seen firsthand as a cop-on-the-beat for 39 years.  

 

On behalf of police officers throughout the State of Maryland, Chief Behan has been leading a tireless effort opposing the McClure-Volkmer bill.  

 

Why is he taking this courageous stand? He's doing it because he wants to protect the lives of police officers and the safety of our streets. But in today's Washington Post, we see what happens to good and decent people who dare to speak out against the gun dealers of this country. On page 4 of today's Post is a story headlined "Baltimore County Police Chief Is Under Fire."  

 

This article tells us that Chief Behan has been targeted for attack by a gun lobby located 3,000 miles from Maryland in Washington State. This organization has sent a mailgram to 10,000 Maryland residents calling Chief Behan a "gun-grabber." They want him fired. They say he has misled members of the Maryland congressional delegation.  

 

Mr. Chairman, I've known and worked with Chief Behan for 8 years. I've never been misled by him on any issue. He has not misled me about gun control. He has not misled me about the problems police officers face in hostage situations.  

 

And he has not misled me when we've worked together on the problem of missing children.  

 

Why, then, is this gun lobby so afraid of Chief Behan? I'll tell you why. It's because he's a leader in the law enforcement community. And it's because his leadership gives the lie to the argument of the gun lobby.  

 

Chief Behan says in his op-ed:  

 

McClure-Volkmer is a bad, dangerous, unconscionable anti-police bill. It will increase the number of guns on the street, as well as increase the chances of cops-and citizens-getting killed. It's mainly a gun-dealers' bill. And that's wrong.  

 

Mr. Chairman, if I have to choose between cops-on-the-beat and the gun lobbyists in Washington, I'll go with the cops everytime!  

 

I'm with the Chief. This bill is a gun dealer's bill. It's anticop and anticitizen. And it should be defeated.  

 

Mr. BIAGGI. Mr. Chairman, will the gentlewoman yield?  

 

Ms. MIKULSKI. I yield to the gentleman from New York, a former police officer himself.  

 

Mr. BIAGGI. I thank the gentlewoman for yielding.

 

Mr. Chairman, I want to commend the gentlewoman for making her comments in support of Chief Cornelius Behan, formerly of the New York City Police Department, a gentleman with whom I have worked and who is held in the highest regard in the police profession throughout the world. I am confident that the county executive, Mr. Hutchinson, will give little or no regard to those individuals who send telegrams from a most remote part of these United States, trying to influence and intimidate the county executive in dealing with Mr. Behan, who has spoken well and is leading the fight in this police officers protection legislation with which we are confronted.  

 

His primary concern is law enforcement and people. Clearly he is on the right track.


Ms. MIKULSKI. I thank the gentleman for his comments.   


[Begin 132 Cong. Rec. p. 6879]


You know, I thought in this country we were supposed to go after the crooks and not go after the cops.  

 

Mr. CRAIG. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words. (Mr. CRAIG asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)  

 

Mr. CRAIG. Mr. Chairman, I think it is important that we pause for a moment to understand something that has been alleged here today as being false. It has been said that this is a shootout between the Nation's law enforcement people and the NRA. And if I did not know better I guess I would find that a rather humorous statement. It is a long way from the truth. I have here in my hand a letter from the National Wildlife Federation endorsing the Volkmer substitute. They only have 4.3 million citizens as their membership. They are not the NRA. I guess we do not want to recognize the better than 3 million citizens who are members of the NRA. I think we ought to be more intelligent in understanding that this is no such thing as a shootout. What we are really talking about, I guess, are our basic civil liberties.   

 

Ladies and gentlemen, the law does not belong to the Nation's police. I said that once and I will say it again. And we really ought to pay some attention to that.  

 

It belongs to the Nation's people. And our Nation has said for a long time that we will be a Nation of law and that will govern us and I strongly support the law enforcement people of this country. That is not what should be debated here today.  

 

The law enforcement people do have some concerns and we well ought to be concerned about their problems. They truly are on the front lines of law enforcement in this country.  

 

But you know, I suspect that there an awful lot of citizens out there who wish we would pay as much attention to their civil liberties as we seem to be paying to the concerns of the law enforcement community today. And I suspect there are some awfully concerned citizens out there who wish we would pay more concern to laws that somehow the IRS tends to spread and stretch in the enforcement and pursuit of what they call justice, and what we allow them to do. And yet that does not seem to be an issue here today.  

 

Ladies and gentleman, I guess the point I am trying to make is there is no such thing as a shootout between law enforcement and the NRA. They have historically worked together and we do have some common divisions today and those common divisions lie on the lie of what is right and what is wrong, and more importantly: Are we in fact restricting the freedoms of the law enforcement, law-abiding citizens of this country? I have here now an endorsement from the administration and from treasury for the Volkmer substitute and for some of the amendments that will be coming that my colleague from Florida <Mr. MCCOLLUM> will be offering. And they support it based on the fact that they recognize that there needed to be change in the 1968 gun law. But they do not support H.R. 4332. The so-called Hughes law enforcement in fact guts every major provision of the Volkmer substitute, of importance to American sportsmen and law-abiding gun owners, and we ought to recognize that. That is what we are talking about right now.  

 

In doing so it fails to remedy the major problem areas law-abiding gun owners have encountered under the 1968 Gun Act, and some of those problems it even makes worse.  

 

Let us look at some of those provisions. The Volkmer substitute has let the Treasury Department pick those offenses that they feel are most likely to inadvertently catch the honest citizen in the net. And that was a reasonable and responsible approach and my colleague from Missouri has responded to that. The Treasury Department has applied the higher willful-intent standard to these provisions likely to affect the honest citizen. The Volkmer substitute has let the Treasury Department decide the violations most likely, and I repeat, most likely to involve those citizens where there is criminal intent or lower intent in the standards. And the Rodino-Hughes amendment does away with the distinction, and once again throws honest citizens in with real criminals, and that has never been the intent of the law-the very problem of the bill that our bill intends to solve. The Treasury and Justice Departments are opposed to this provision.  

 

Ladies and gentleman, this amendment as proposed by my colleague from New Jersey is absolutely key and we well ought to understand it. It guts McClure- Volkmer and that is important, and all Members should recognize that.  

 

The CHAIRMAN. The time of the gentleman from Idaho has expired. (By unanimous consent, Mr. CRAIG was allowed to proceed for 2 additional minutes.)  

 

Mr. VOLKMER. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?  

 

Mr. CRAIG. I yield to the gentleman from Missouri.  

 

Mr. VOLKMER. I thank the gentleman for yielding.  

 

Mr. Chairman, the memo that the gentleman is reading as to the objections to the Hughes amendment which is pending now is from the administration and specifically states that both Treasury and Justice do not support the Hughes amendment and they oppose the Hughes amendment. Mr. CRAIG. That is correct.  

 

Mr. BIAGGI. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words.  

 

Mr. Chairman, it seems like we have gone this round before. I will try to be incisive on the issue, but before I do that, I would like to remove the cloak of confusion and of obfuscation from the issue. One of my colleagues rose and said that in his district the folks are comfortable when their husband leaves the house, and they want the family to have a gun at home. I do not quarrel with that. I do not quarrel with that at all.  

 

Others have said we have the target shooters and gun clubs in our country who feel encroached upon and who are out there and have been practicing the sport for a long time, and want to have handguns available. I do not quarrel with that at all and never have. They also say the sportsmen, the hunters, should not have their rights inhibited. They should be able to have shotguns and rifles. I agree with them on that score.  

 

But those arguments are offered to enrage the hunter, to infuriate the target shooter, to activate the gun clubs across the country, because they are told that if you vote for the Hughes amendment or if you vote for the Hughes bill, your rights will be diminished.  

 

Nothing could be further from the truth. Nothing could be further from the truth.  

 

It is an old tactic of the NRA. That is who we are fighting, the National Rifle Association of America, and nobody else. It has to be said just the way it is. They engage in tactics that leave a great deal to be desired. They bully and they intimidate. They lobby in the worst possible way. In my 18 years in the Congress, I have never seen as base an approach on an issue as engaged in by the NRA.  

 

I respect my colleagues. If they have honest differences of opinion, they will express it, and they have. We have always respected difference of opinion. And I would ask that they vote on the merits of the issue, nothing else. If that be the case, there is no doubt in my mind as what the outcome of this legislation would be, the Hughes amendment would carry overwhelmingly. 


The gentleman who spoke before said let us not talk about law enforcement personnel rights. Let us talk about people rights. Why not. Who are they? They are our neighbors. They are our relatives. They are our friends. Any attempt to contrast their rights to the rights of people is indeed puzzling. I do not know how they make the demarcation. The rights of people and the rights of law enforce-

[Begin 132 Cong. Rec. p. 6880]

ment in this case are similar, identical. We are talking about protecting the life and property of American society.  

 

Mr. Chairman, I have been in the New York City Police Department some 23 years. Most of you know that. It was one of my earlier careers. I can tell you from a practical perspective the Volkmer bill makes provisions about the dealers, about accessibility that are absolutely Cinderella-like. How naive can one be, accessible? Put the gun in the trunk, they say this will make the weapon inaccessible, unbelievable! If I am a criminal and have intention to commit crime, I am certainly not going to wear a gun on my person, or even in the glove compartment. Many damn fools do use the glove compartment-to their regret. I would secret it in the trunk until I reached the point of activity, the site of my criminal act. Then I would take it out.  

 

Accessibility. How ridiculous a comment when you are talking about the real world.  

 

Dealers. We have rules and regulations for dealers today, and it is working out fairly well. Can you imagine eliminating or preempting all the rules under the Volkmer bill? You would have hucksters and sellers in flea markets walking around and peddling guns to all. It boggles my mind to think that this is possible. What is the rationale of this proposal?  

 

I only ask you, ladies and gentlemen, in you deliberations to have only one concern: Is it right? Nothing else. Have the courage to vote on the merits.  

 

The CHAIRMAN. The time of the gentleman has expired. (By unanimous consent, Mr. BIAGGI was allowed to proceed for 2 additional minutes.)  

 

Mr. BIAGGI. The Chairman, Mr. HUGHES, made some comments early on that were very comprehensive and very thorough, chapter by chapter, verse by verse, which should be sufficiently persuasive. Comments in defense of silencers, was a crime ever committed by a silencer. A report, the gentleman tells about the BATF, how would they know? Come on, let us not insult one's intelligence. This is a world in which I lived for a quarter of a century. You open the floodgates to terrorists and to the underworld. As stated once before, I am confident that is clearly not the intention of anybody here, not even the NRA.

 

Let me tell you about the NRA and the police and they were locked in together. They were, yes. They no longer are because the NRA is concerned about the NRA, dealers and munitions manufacturers, and not police officers. They misled them in the past. They sang that siren song to them just once too often, but no more, because the police out there know what is good for them and they are here to demonstrate and lobby for their concerns.  

 

I know we talk about the police and the high regard we have for them. Yes, and when they die, we make a few appropriate comments and for some we shed crocodile tears. That is of little moment, because when it is over, the survivors go on to live a lesser life and we go on to do our daily business. If you are really concerned about the deceased police office, and all those who have given their lives, all those citizens who have been killed by criminals, take action today. Now is the time, the moment of truth.  

 

I know that the NRA will not let you forget it if you vote against them.  

 

They say that police will forget.  

 

But I ask you this: Will your consciences permit you to forget?

 

The CHAIRMAN. The Committee will rise informally in order that the House may receive a message.  

 

FEDERAL FIREARMS LAW REFORM ACT OF 1986

 

The Committee resumed its sitting.

 

The CHAIRMAN. For what purpose does the gentleman from California <Mr. LUNGREN> rise?

 

Mr. LUNGREN. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words.

 

Mr. Chairman, unfortunately, this debate is one which makes me and others feel rather uncomfortable. That is because we are not siding with either of the most emotional sides on this. That is, some of us have felt there was a real obligation for Congress to reform the 1968 Firearms Act, but at the same time, we did not buy all of the suggestions made by different groups. As a result, I guess we find ourselves in the position of trying to strike a compromise and, therefore, being criticized for not doing enough from either side.

 

I rise in support of the law enforcement amendment that the gentleman from New Jersey <Mr. HUGHES> has presented before us. It does not give everybody everything that the NRA wants. That is true. It, frankly, does not give everything that all of the law enforcement groups want. It tries to give what I would say is a bottom line of what various law enforcement organizations felt they needed in the context of a reform of a law that they recognized needed to be reformed. That is where we are right now.

 

There are perhaps a couple of crucial changes that are affected by the amendment brought forward by the gentleman from New Jersey. One, as has been mentioned, it bans silencers. Now someone can get up and say we have never proven that any crime has been committed by someone who has used a silencer that has been registered.

 

I, frankly, do not care whether that is true or not. I still ask, what legitimate sports interest is served by selling silencers? I ask anyone to get up here and tell me. I do not think there is. That is part of this.

 

A second question is, it seems to me, one of federalism: Should we decide that States and localities have no right to make decisions with respect to handguns? I do not support handgun control. I have never supported handgun control. I do not anticipate ever supporting handgun control.

 

But what this bill does, unless it is amended in the way suggested by this amendment, is to say the following: If a State or locality makes a decision with respect to carrying, inaccessible but concealed handguns in your car, under most circumstances, Federal law will supersede that and the States and localities will have no judgment to make.

 

Now I happen to think some communities are wrong. They are wrong by


[Begin 132 Cong. Rec. p. 6881]


some of the restrictions they place on handguns. But federalism does mean you have a right to be wrong. Otherwise, there is no federalism.

 

We have tried to say: Is there a need, a legitimate need, presented by sportsmen for long guns, that is, rifles and shotguns? And we all agree that is true. This does not affect it whatsoever. Most of the sportsmen who come to me in my district have said, That's what we want relief on.

 

Well, this amendment allows it. It just says we will not go forward, in terms of handguns.

 

Now, I know some feel very, very strongly that they ought to have the right to carry their handgun in every particular jurisdiction in America. And if that is true, then they should vote against the Hughes substitute. But it seems to me we ought to recognize that is what we are doing, and we ought to also recognize that the police associations, who, in my memory, have never supported overall handgun control, have said this is the most worrisome part of the bill that is before us, the Volkmer substitute.

 

Now, I do not agree with the police officers groups on every occasion. But it seems to me on this particular concern we ought to give them at least the benefit of the doubt. And that is all we are doing, it seems to me, by this particular amendment.

 

In the letter signed by the Nation's 12 principal law enforcement organizations in support of this particular amendment, they say: We are relying on your dedication to public safety when you vote April 9. Don't fail us. Don't legalize the interstate sale and transport of handguns.

 

Now, I have stood on this floor supporting tough Federal legislation dealing with law enforcement. But at the same time I have always said that, as much as we can do, most of crime is taken care of on the local level, most of law enforcement is on the State and local level. And these are the State and local law-enforcement people coming to us and saying, Don't supersede us on this point. They are willing to allow a lot of changes. In fact, they support a lot of the changes that are part and parcel of the Volkmer substitute. But they are saying to us, they are literally begging us, Don't make this one change with respect to handguns because that puts us at risk. It is awfully easy for us to sit here and say, Yes, let the police officers go out there and try and defend the country, let them take the shots-and I mean the real shots out there-and we will put in money for armor that they can wear.

 

But at the same time, when they come to us and say, This is not a labor-union question, this isn't a question of money, this isn't a question of something like that; this is an essential question of our lives on the line, we say, Well, they are entitled to their opinion, but, really, it is not that important.

 

All I am saying is: recognize that with the amendment before us, we are making substantial changes in the 1968 law, and I think we ought to make substantial changes. We are reaching the concerns that most people have given us in terms of sporting, in terms of hunting, and so forth. In this one area, let us not go too far. I would just ask my colleagues to look seriously at this amendment and support this amendment in favor of law enforcement and the legitimate needs of hunters and sportsmen.

 

Mr. SMITH of Florida. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words.

 

Mr. Chairman, I want to thank my colleague, the gentleman from California < Mr. LUNGREN>, who just spoke, who is also a member of the subcommittee, for quite honestly being right upfront about the issue, and that really is where we should be on all of these things. There has been a lot of heated debate, there will be a lot more before we are finished. But the reality is that it is really a clearcut case.

 

Are there, in fact, some parts of the 1968 Gun Control Act that can be, need to be, and can effectively be changed for the better?

 

The answer to that question is yes.

 

Has the Volkmer substitute addressed some of those problems?

 

The answer is Yes.

 

Are there parts of the 1968 Gun Control Act that should not be changed, that cannot be effectively controlled, that will open, as the gentleman from New York said, Pandora's box, the floodgate for terrorists, for criminals and for the proliferation of untraceable, unlicensed handguns?

 

The answer to that question is Yes.

 

Now, we are faced with a dilemma. We have substitute that says more than many of us think it ought to, to address the legitimate concerns of people in this country. What do you do about it? You, like Mr. HUGHES, the chairman of the subcommittee, tried to strike those portions which do not-do not aid law enforcement, aid average Americans or really aid gun owners and, at the same time, keep the provisions which will make the changes that even the NRA wants. The NRA is not wrong on every single one of their issues. And we have tried to recognize that at the subcommittee and full committee level. This is not our fight against the NRA issue by Issue. It is our fight to make the law better and more effective and to make the law more enforceable.

 

Now, let me go over quickly the Hughes package. It takes out from the Volkmer substitute the allowability of the interstate sale of handguns. That is all it does. It takes out of the package and returns to current law interstate sale and transmission, transportation of handguns.

 

It does not wipe out State and local handgun laws with reference to transportation, like the Volkmer bill does, by taking it out of the Volkmer bill.

 

It does not allow for major loopholes for illegal and untraceable trafficking in firearms, which would be the case if the Volkmer substitute is passed in its present form, because currently anyone who deals in firearms must be licensed and keep records so that weapons used in crimes can be traced. The single most important issue for tracing crimes where a weapon is used is the traceability, the tracking for those handguns.

 

Every prosecutor in this House has acknowledged that. And there are a lot of former prosecutors.

 

The Volkmer bill makes it a change in the law that dealers, marginal dealers, who do not operate for profit, which is the standard that they put in their bill, do not have to keep records. It is precisely these dealers who sell guns out of their garages and their trunks, not the legitimate storefront, every-day arms dealer gun shop that you and I would go to, who commit most dealer violations. These are the people we want to get out, and these are the people that the Volkmer bill would give more freedom to.

 

It provides no backdoor sales by gun dealers because the Volkmer bill would allow a licensed dealer to transfer guns from his business inventory to a personal collection and then later sell them without recordkeeping or compliance.

 

No privileged class status for gun dealers.

 

The NRA and the Volkmer bill puts the gun dealer in special privileged status because it makes it harder to convict them for most offenses.

 

The CHAIRMAN. The time of the gentleman from Florida <Mr. SMITH> has expired.

 

(By unanimous consent, Mr. SMITH of Florida was allowed to proceed for 3 additional minutes.)

 

Mr. SMITH of Florida. Mr. Chairman, under current law it is now a crime for a dealer to sell a gun to anyone he has good reason to believe is a convicted felon.

 

Under the Volkmer substitute that would be changed. The bill would require proof that the dealer willfully broke the law.

 

So that not only do you have reasonable grounds to believe that the person is a convicted felon, but now you must have an additional element of proof-and every prosecutor knows


[Begin 132 Cong. Rec. p. 6882]


every additional element is going to make it harder to convict-that they willfully sold that gun, and that is a very difficult burden of proof, willfulness. Why change the law when there has been no showing that the law in its current form has brought any undue hardship to gun dealers?

 

Mr. HUGHES talked about it, Mr. LUNGREN talked about silencers. And I agree with Mr. LUNGREN. Name me one good reason why any law-abiding American citizen must have a silencer. The Volkmer bill allows it. The Hughes amendment brings it back to current law.

 

Conversion parts for machineguns. Our bill would make it more difficult to legally convert semiautomatic weapons to fully automatic. The Volkmer bill creates loopholes for people who convert semiautomatic weapons into machineguns because it amends the existing controls on machinegun conversion kits to decontrol the kits unless-and they add these words-they are intended solely and exclusively for converting semiautomatic weapons. You do not buy a kit to sweep your garage floor with. You buy it to convert a semiautomatic to a full machinegun. And ask any Member from Florida about machineguns. The Volkmer bill prevents unannounced inspections of dealers and criminal investigations.

 

There are 90 BATF agents in the employ of the U.S. Government. There are 225,000 licensed gun dealers. The law of averages is that each dealer is reached once every 25 years.

 

There have been no complaints made to the subcommittee, to the full committee, to the Senate committee, or to BATF, about harassment of dealers. Yet they want to change the law. It is not a good idea. The Hughes amendment makes sure that unannounced inspections still can happen, and more than one inspection is allowed per year.

 

And, finally, the Hughes amendment removes what is a particular sticking point for all Americans, but certainly for law enforcement.

 

In the Volkmer substitute, armor-piercing ammunition is decontrolled. We worked for years to get armor-piercing ammunition banned for sale. There is no legitimate sporting purpose.

 

The CHAIRMAN. The time of the gentleman from Florida <Mr. SMITH> has again expired.

 

(By unanimous consent, Mr. SMITH of Florida was allowed to proceed for 1 additional minute.)

 

Mr. SMITH of Florida. Mr. Chairman, this amendment, the Hughes amendment, would allow for maintaining current law that ammunition be sold only by licensees and that they keep records of armor-piercing ammunition sales and transaction of large amounts.

 

There is nothing that I have here in front of me about the Hughes amendment, which I have just gone through, that any sportsman, any hunter, any gun collector, any gun fancier or any licensed dealer, should or could object to. And yet it makes the Volkmer substitute much better when added on. It protects the police, it protects the average citizen and protects the interests of the Federal Government in making sure that we have in place the controls that are necessary to prevent crime, the responsibility of the Congress of the United States.

 

It is all right here, when laid on top of the Volkmer bill. This is the crux of it, ladies and gentlemen. This is the nub, the heart, the kernel, whatever word you want to use. If you vote for the Hughes bill, the Volkmer bill becomes a better bill, and you can vote for it. That is it, plain and simple.

 

Mr. FISH. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words.

 

Mr. Chairman, we have before us a package of nine controversial amendments, matters that I would personally prefer that we deal with separately. On some of these issues I would agree with the sponsor of the amendment and on some we disagree. While I plan to oppose the amendment as presented. I am concerned that time permit us to consider these matters separately. I think the law-enforcement community deserves our consideration of these important issues. We are restricted, as we know, by a rule in our consideration of amendments, and I would hope that the gentleman from New Jersey would agree to setting a limit on further consideration of the pending amendment, the time to be equally divided between the proponents and the opponents. On our side, I understand, there are only two more Members who would like to speak, and it would seem to me that a limit of 20 minutes would certainly accommodate the wishes of the Members.

 

Mr. HUGHES. If the gentleman will yield, I share the gentleman's concern, but I am not prepared to accept any such limitation. It is an important amendment. Mr. FISH. It is an important amendment.

 

Mr. HUGHES. It should be fully aired. I do not concede that we have any more Members on this side of the aisle either. Let us see how it goes.

 

Mr. FISH. May I ask how many Members on the gentleman's side?

 

Mr. HUGHES. I think we have maybe one or two more.

 

Mr. FISH. All right, but I certainly will renew my request after two or three more colleagues have spoken. I cannot see the fact that there are four Members of Congress who have not spoken is a reason for failing to set a time limit.

 

Mr. MARLENEE. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words.

 

Mr. Chairman, we have heard a lot of rhetoric here and it seems to be getting heavier and hotter and the debate seems to be carrying on with issues that are not relevant to the legislation at hand.

 

There are 225,000 licensed gun dealers, for instance. This is one statement that I have heard. Has anybody ever thought that perhaps the reason that we have 225,000 licensed gun dealers is because of the harassment of the BATF and the requirements that are placed on them? You cannot polish a gun. You cannot clean a gun hardly without having a license. That is the situation we find ourselves in. That is the reason we are at the point of changing it in the U.S. Government. Are you fighting the NRA? This has been portrayed, the Volkmer substitute has been portrayed as the NRA bill. Is that really the case? No. It has been pointed out that the National Wildlife Federation supports this.

 

You know, conversely, we could say is the Hughes bill or the committee bill really the Coalition to Ban Handguns bill? Is that their bill?

 

I do not think the portrayal of this bill as the NRA bill is a fair portrayal whatsoever.

 

We have not portrayed your bill as the Coalition to Ban Handguns bill and that is not a responsible organization in my opinion, but we have not castigated it totally and loudly. We could. We could say that those full-page ads that they have run in the paper were misleading. We could say that their goal and the bill's goal is to totally ban handguns altogether.

 

And when they portray them as six handguns and a policeman or five handguns and a policeman, there is no other objective.

 

Now, I would like to pose a question to the author of the substitute, the gentleman from Missouri <Mr. VOLKMER>.

 

Mr. VOLKMER. Yes.

 

Mr. MARLENEE. We have heard a lot about the question of this committee bill will allow the transportation of shotguns and rifles to anywhere in the United States, that the sportsman, the hunting enthusiast is going to be able to travel anywhere in the United States if we pass the committee bill.

 

Now, if we look on page 16, it says that notwithstanding any provision of State law or of any published ordinance to the contrary, any individual may transport any secured shotgun or secured rifle from such individual place of origin to any destination State if-and here come the qualifiers-if such transport is, first, incident to the change of the individual's State of residence, or second, for the purpose of lawful participation in or returning from lawful participation in

[Begin 132 Cong. Rec. p. 6883]

hunting, a shooting match or contest or any other lawful sporting activity.

 

Now, suppose that I am on the way to a trap shoot from the State of Montana on the way to a trap shoot in Florida and I have my shotgun. That is a lawful participation in a sporting event, but suppose I decide to take my rifle along, to carry my rifle along in case that I want to hunt. Is it legal for me to do that, I would ask under the committee bill.

 

I yield to the gentleman from Missouri.

 

Mr. VOLKMER. Well, I would say that under the committee bill that if the gentleman did not go hunting with his rifle, that he is in violation of the law. He had better not take it along unless he is going to go hunting.

 

Mr. MARLENEE. That is the interpretation I got, that this really does not allow such transportation.

 

Mr. VOLKMER. That is right.

 

Mr. MARLENEE. That it is not as wide open as they would like to portray it as being.

 

Mr. SMITH of Florida. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?

 

Mr. MARLENEE. I am happy to yield just briefly.

 

Mr. SMITH of Florida. As a member of the committee, I can tell the gentleman that it was never the intention of the committee, and I do not think that the language even brings that intention perceptibly up, to limit that interpretation that the gentleman is making to the language of the bill.

 

Mr. MARLENEE. Reclaiming my time, Mr. Chairman, I am not going to a sporting event. I have got my rifle along just in case that I might.

 

Mr. SMITH of Florida. Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent that the gentleman may have 1 additional minute.

 

The CHAIRMAN. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from Florida?

 

There was no objection.

 

Mr. SMITH of Florida. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield further?

 

Mr. MARLENEE. I yield.

 

Mr. SMITH of Florida. We intended it to cover any situation where a person who owns those, a hunter, if he is going to a trap shoot in Florida and may want to hunt in North Carolina thereafter, is not barred from carrying that weapon. That is a lawful purpose under the law. There is nothing in the language of this bill that would say that you have only a primary purpose in going to shoot in Florida with a shotgun, and therefore you could not carry your rifle if you intended possibly to go hunting elsewhere. That strains the credibility. It is the lawful purpose that is the most important.

 

Mr. DINGELL. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?

 

Mr. MARLENEE. I yield to the gentleman from Michigan.

 

Mr. DINGELL. Mr. Chairman, there has been a great deal of discussion on this and I have got to observe that not an awful lot of it relates to fact.

 

The hard fact of the matter is the Hughes amendment regarding the interstate transportation of firearms is not the type of improvement I expect in the 1968 Gun Control Act. The 1968 Gun Control Act says that you may transport firearms only where it is permitted by State law. That is what it says.

 

Now, the hard fact is what that does to a law-abiding citizen. Let us take a citizen of Maryland or Virginia who wants to go bear hunting in Maine.

 

The CHAIRMAN. The time of the gentleman from Montana has expired.


(At the request of Mr. DINGELL, and by unanimous consent, Mr. MARLENEE was allowed to proceed for 2 additional minutes.)

 

Mr. DINGELL. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield further?

 

Mr. MARLENEE. I yield.

 

Mr. DINGELL. Under current law, a citizen of Maryland or Virginia cannot go through New Jersey, cannot drive up the New Jersey Turnpike, because it is presumably illegal for him to have a firearm or handgun in that State. As he passes through from the State where possession of firearms is lawful into the State where he is going to go hunting, or where he is going to engage in a sporting activity, he violates the law in the State of New Jersey by innocently passing through that State, probably unaware of any violation of law of which he might be guilty. If that sportsman decides to transport a handgun, the Hughes amendment and existing law makes criminals everyday out of law-abiding sportsmen and citizens. It does not stop the Mafia or criminals from trafficking in New Jersey with enormous diligence. What we are talking about here would correct that abuse.

 

Mr. LUNGREN. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?

 

Mr. MARLENEE. I am happy to yield to the gentleman from California.

 

Mr. LUNGREN. Mr. Chairman, the Hughes amendment would change the law as it presently exists so that if you were carrying a long gun, a rifle or a shotgun, for the various purposes mentioned, including sporting or hunting, you would be allowed to do that. It would supersede that law in New Jersey. It would not supersede the law with respect to the handgun. That is the basic objection.

 

Mr. MARLENEE. Regaining my time, Mr. Chairman, there are stipulations in the law under which you can transport those firearms, long gun or shotgun. If I am going with my rifle and I am carrying a shotgun maybe just because I feel comfortable having a shotgun along, I could well be arrested in the State of New Jersey.

 

Mr. LUNGREN. Well, if the gentleman will yield further, those purposes are articulated in the bill, for hunting, shooting match or contest or any other lawful sporting activity. I think that covers it.

 

Mr. MARLENEE. Well, my shotgun is not for lawful sporting activity or a shooting event. I have it along in case that I may at some point.

 

Mr. LUNGREN. Well, that is a lawful sporting activity.

 

Mr. DINGELL. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?

 

Mr. MARLENEE. I am happy to yield to the gentleman form Michigan.

 

Mr. DINGELL. As a matter of fact, Mr. Chairman, there is a rather celebrated case where an innocent citizen of a southern State was going to Maine to hunt bear, passing innocently through that State, was arrested and convicted. His firearms were seized and stolen from him under process of law by law enforcement authorities. That situation would be continued under the Hughes amendment or the Hughes bill.

 

The CHAIRMAN. The time of the gentleman from Montana has again expired.

 

(At the request of Mr. SMITH of Florida, and by unanimous consent, Mr. MARLENEE was allowed to proceed for 1 additional minute.)

 

Mr. SMITH of Florida. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?

 

Mr. MARLENEE. I am happy to yield to the gentleman from Florida.

 

Mr. SMITH of Florida. Mr. Chairman, the gentleman from Michigan unfortunately has I think out of a matter of omission not understood what the Hughes amendment would do. That case would be no longer illegal, I say to the gentleman from Michigan <Mr. DINGELL>, under the provisions of the Hughes amendment when attached to the Volkmer substitute.

 

Then the argument of the gentleman from Montana <Mr. MARLENEE> about the language, whether he could carry a rifle if your main purpose was going to Florida to shoot with a shotgun, might come into play.

 

The reality is that I do not believe that this committee nor any of the members had any intention of denying the transport for any lawful purpose, so long as it was in connection with the use of that weapon for which it was made or intended and that is to be used in a lawful sporting way. No one had ever intended anything but that.

 

Mr. SHAW. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words.

 

Mr. Chairman, I did not intend to rise, but I think there has been some confusion in this House as to what the language of the committee bill does.

[Begin 132 Cong. Rec. p. 6884]

The committee bill plainly sets forth an easing of the existing restrictions. The gentleman from Michigan <Mr. DINGELL> rightly pointed out some inequities in existing law, but both the Volkmer bill and the committee bill correct that. The difference between the committee bill, the primary difference between the committee bill and the Volkmer bill is that the Volkmer bill would include in interstate commerce and carrying of pistols. The committee bill clearly does not. That is the primary distinction and the distinction that I think that people should have in mind when they are voting; but the committee bill which has been referred to as the Hughes bill corrects that inequity and it does allow the movement of long guns, that is your rifles and your shotguns, for lawful sporting purposes. I think the Committee should keep this in mind.

 

Mr. ROEMER. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?

 

Mr. SHAW. I yield to the gentleman from Louisiana.

 

Mr. ROEMER. Mr. Chairman, let me make sure I understand what the gentleman just said. The gentleman is telling us that the debate, that included the gentleman from Michigan <Mr. DINGELL>, was a fact in error, that the Hughes amendment does not in fact put the kind of restrictions on legitimate transport that the gentleman from Michigan <Mr. DINGELL> was complaining about. Mr. SHAW. Well, if I might regain my time, Mr. Chairman, I am certainly not going to go as far as to say the gentleman from Michigan <Mr. DINGELL> is in error, but I think that the Committee may have misunderstood the gentleman from Michigan <Mr. DINGELL> when he made the point with regard to someone being arrested for carrying a gun between States.

 

The existing law does provide for that and the States can make it a felony, as I believe the District of Columbia has.

 

I think someone right now under existing law going from Virginia through the District of Columbia over to Maryland to go goose hunting is violating the laws of the District of Columbia by having a shotgun or a rifle or any other firearm in his car. The Hughes bill corrects that. The Volkmer bill corrects that, but the Volkmer bill goes further than the Hughes bill.

 

Mr. FIELDS. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?

 

Mr. SHAW. I yield to the gentleman from Texas.

 

Mr. FIELDS. Mr. Chairman, the question I was going to ask, if we would use the example of the gentleman from Michigan <Mr. DINGELL>, but instead of talking about a long gun, if we talk about a pistol, carrying a pistol from Maryland to Maine to hunt bear, some of us hunt with pistols; as I understand the law, we are still talking about gun control in regard to that particular pistol.

 

Mr. SHAW. We are talking about the right of States to regulate your going through their State carrying pistols. Of course, being in Texas, it may be that a pistol is a long gun.

 

Mr. FIELDS. Mr. Chairman, if the gentleman will continue to yield, I think the answer to the question is, under the example of the gentleman from Michigan <Mr. DINGELL>, if you are carrying a pistol, it is still regulated.

 

Mr. SHAW. Under the committee bill, that is absolutely correct.

 

Mr. DINGELL. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?

 

Mr. SHAW. I yield to the gentleman from Michigan, whose name has been used at great length.

 

Mr. DINGELL. Mr. Chairman, I thank my friend for yielding. Is it not true that the interstate transport of a firearm under the bill of the gentleman from New Jersey <Mr. HUGHES> must be done in consonance with the law of the State across which one travels, which means that if one then travels across New Jersey

 

Mr. SHAW. No, let me reclaim my time.

 

Mr. DINGELL. Under the existing law or under the Hughes amendment it would appear that a sportsman transporting firearms through several States can be in violation of law.

 

The Volkmer amendment would correct that. It would correct it with both long guns and handguns. The Hughes amendment would not in any event correct it with regard to pistols.

 

Mr. SHAW. Mr. Chairman, if I may regain my time, that is not what the Hughes bill or the committee bill says. The committee bill says that you can carry it if it is for participation in hunting, a shooting match or contest, or any other lawful sporting activity; so if he is carrying it for that purpose, he is OK.

 

Mr. HUGHES. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield to me?

 

Mr. SHAW. I am glad to yield to the gentleman from New Jersey.

 

Mr. HUGHES. Mr. Chairman, the language is extremely clear. It says that notwithstanding any provision of State law or any published ordinance to the contrary, any individual may transport any secured handgun or secured rifle, and goes on with the standards.

 

Now, the gentleman is correct when he says that it has to be for any sporting purpose, but the gentleman's hypothetical, which I happened to hear, would be covered by the language of the bill.

 

The subcommittee crafted this so that we would take care of the gentleman's concern and the gentleman would be able to transport his weapon for trap shooting and a weapon for hunting and not be in violation of the law of the particular State.

 

Mr. ROEMER. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?

 

Mr. SHAW. I yield to the gentleman from Louisiana.

 

Mr. ROEMER. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for yielding again.

 

Just to try to make it as clear as possible, because some of us need that clarity, it seems in reading the bill and listening to the debate, that the examples previously used that relate to long guns are not applicable, either under Hughes or Volkmer, and the difference relates to handguns only; and by the way, if you are hunting bears with handguns, see me after this meeting.

 

Mr. RODINO. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words.

 

(Mr. RODINO asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

 

Mr. RODINO. Mr. Chairman, I shall not take the 5 minutes, but I think it is important to point out that there has been confusion. First of all, let us state unequivocally that all of us now recognize that the Hughes amendment as well as the Volkmer amendment both would relax present restrictions which deal with sportsmen and hunters. However, the difference that exists now between the Volkmer substitute and the Hughes law enforcement package amendment is that the Volkmer substitute weakens present law and makes it easier for licensed dealers to be able to avoid some of the restrictions that are presently there so that one would have to prove willfulness if a licensed dealer turned over or transferred a gun to someone. That is absolutely important for us to consider.

 

When we consider, as one gentleman stated here so eloquently, and stated it in very simple language that it comes down to a question of inconvenience versus a question of lives. We are now confronted with weighing whether we come down on the side of the individuals who are concerned with protecting the life and safety of citizens and protecting police themselves or somewhat inconveniencing sportsmen.

 

The Hughes amendment will insure that we do not have silencers, that we are not able to convert parts for machineguns, and that the BATF may be able to make the kinds of inspections that it is required to protect the safety and the lives of people-people who may be killed, who will die, as a result of our failure to say, Yes, we are going to come down on the side of strengthening the law a little bit, while we have taken care of and accommodated the hunters and the sportsmen.

 

I think that is a very, very simple decision to make.  When we consider that over 200,000 people have been killed in the last decade, and 750 police officers

[Begin 132 Cong. Rec. p. 6885]

in line of duty-not counting the many people who have been maimed for life, not counting the Jim Bradys-I do not think that, Mr. Chairman, we ought to find if difficult. Notwithstanding what side one may have been on before, when we get it down to this basic argument, we have to come down on the side of saying, I am going to inconvenience a little bit in order to assure that more lives will be saved.

 

Mr. FIELDS. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words.

 

(Mr. FIELDS asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

 

Mr. FIELDS. Mr. Chairman, I am a member of the National Rifle Association, and I feel that I am representative of over 3 million people in this country who are legitimate hunters and gun enthusiasts.

 

I think the focus of our debate today is wrong; that instead of debating ways to limit my rights as a gun owner, we should be talking about mandatory death penalties for those who commit murder with firearms and mandatory sentences for those who commit other crimes with firearms, and I understand there is some language in the bill in that particular direction.

 

But instead, it appears that we are debating whether Congress can pass a law to inhibit, to limit, or to prohibit criminal activity using firearms; in other words, whether we can do something by passing a gun control bill. I do not believe such a law can be conceived to accomplish that particular purpose, and I think all we are doing here is hindering and limiting my rights as an average American gun owner.

 

I think it is important to go back and look at exactly what the Volkmer substitute does and what the Hughes amendment will do. The Volkmer substitute lets sportsmen know when they need a Federal firearms license and when they do not. The Treasury Department has written a very clear definition and it is contained in the Volkmer substitute.

 

The Hughes amendment provides a nightmare definition that gun owners would have to live under. The Treasury Department and Justice Department think it is clearly unworkable and would basically require anyone who sells more than two firearms a year to obtain a Federal firearms license. The end result could be 20 million Federal firearms licenses, all with the ability to do mail order sales.

 

The definition is not only unworkable; it is much worse than our current situation.

 

Also, the Volkmer substitute does something I think is very important, personal to me. It allows a passthrough provision. Each year thousands of citizens must travel on interstate trips with firearms for hunting purposes, for competitions, for matches, moving residences, and personal protection upon arrival. There should be some way for law-abiding Americans to exercise their right to interstate travel with personally owned firearms. Criminals simply ignore the laws.

 

 The Hughes amendment does not solve the problem honest citizens have in interstate travel. It clearly eliminates any reason for traveling with a handgun, and it is important to remember that 37 States allow handgun hunting. To respond to the gentleman from Louisiana just a moment ago who questioned whether you could actually have a handgun hunt with a bear, using a handgun. I did, and I used it as my primary weapon. I have also used a handgun as a backup when hunting other dangerous game, so a handgun is a legitimate weapon to use when hunting.

 

But going further, the Hughes amendment prohibits interstate sale of handguns. The Volkmer substitute simply says that the matter should be a State decision and there should be no overriding Federal ban. Under the Volkmer substitute, only face-to-face sale, with records kept and all State laws upheld, would  be allowed.


The Volkmer substitute would prohibit mail order sales. In summary, and I think one could sum up this way, the Hughes amendment is simply an attempt by some to gut the major provisions of the McClure-Volkmer bill intended to help clarify the law for honest American sportsmen and firearm owners. I think that is the best summary.

 

To me, the Hughes amendment limits law-abiding sportsmen, and the heart of the problem that we are talking about today is criminal use of firearms, which will not be solved with gun control but can only be satisfied by strong and mandatory criminal penalties, stronger than those contained in the bills that we face today. Unfortunately, that is not what we are talking about here.

 

Mr. MARLENEE. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?

 

Mr. FIELDS. If I have any time left, I would be glad to yield to the gentleman from Montana.

 

Mr. MARLENEE. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

 

Mr. Chairman, I congratulate the gentleman on his statement and want to associate myself with his remarks. Further, I know that the gentleman has traveled great distances to hunt, and where the carrying of a handgun is essential for the safety of the hunter, in addition to the rifle. I know the gentleman has hunted in Africa. Under the committee bill, if you travel to Newark, NJ, to disembark for the continent of Africa and you have your revolver with you, would you be subject to arrest?

 

Mr. FIELDS. As I understand the debate that has taken place earlier, yes, I would be subject to arrest.

 

Mr. MARLENEE. And under the Volkmer substitute, would you be subject to arrest?

 

Mr. FIELDS. No, I would not.

 

Mr. MARLENEE. I thank the gentleman.

 

Mr. HUGHES. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?

 

Mr. FIELDS. If I have any time left, I yield to the gentleman from New Jersey.

 

Mr. HUGHES. I thank the gentleman for yielding. Mr. Chairman, everybody around here seems to be discussing New Jersey law inaccurately. In the first place, if you were heading for Africa and you needed a handgun for that purpose, you could transport that handgun for that purpose under New Jersey law, provided the handgun is uncased, not readily accessible, you are traveling a direct route; in fact, on your trip to Newark you did not find yourself in Havre de Grace, MD. If you were going the direct route, you would be all right under New Jersey law.

 

Let me just also make a couple of other points.

 

The CHAIRMAN. The time of the gentleman from Texas <Mr. FIELDS> has expired.

 

(On request of Mr. HUGHES and by unanimous consent, Mr. FIELDS was allowed to proceed for 1 additional minute.)

 

Mr. HUGHES. The gentleman indicated, if he would yield to me, that under the Hughes amendment that we created a whole new definition of dealer that would be unworkable. I think the gentleman said the BATF said it was unworkable.

 

It is interesting. We oversee the BATF, and we have never heard that before. The definition we use is the definition already ruled on by the courts. It was taken from the Fifth Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals decision. It requires in order to be a dealer that one devote time, attention and labor in dealing with guns on a recurring basis, and for that purpose maintain inventory or represent to the public that they can secure weapons for sale.

 

So it is not accurate to suggest that it is unworkable, because it is presently being workable.

 

Mr. FIELDS. If I can reclaim my time for just a moment, what I said was that the Treasury Department and the Justice Department said that it was clearly unworkable.

 

Mr. HUGHES. It is the law of the land today, the law of the land today. Insofar as handguns in your State, the Judiciary Committee does not change State law.

 

There is some misunderstanding about that. What the Volkmer bill

[Begin 132 Cong. Rec. p. 6886]

would do would be to change State law. We are not changing existing law with regard to handguns. The laws that presently exist with regard to handguns remain the same. Under the Volkmer bill, that changes the law with regard to handguns, and that is where the police officers of this country are so upset about it. The CHAIRMAN. The time of the gentleman from Texas <Mr. FIELDS> has again expired.

 

(By unanimous consent, Mr. FIELDS was allowed to proceed for 1 additional minute.)

 

Mr. FIELDS. Mr. Chairman, I would like to ask a question of the gentleman from New Jersey <Mr. HUGHES> because I want to make sure I have a clear understanding. I have hunted with handguns in this country. Are there some States that would preclude my ability to transport handguns through their particular jurisdiction under your piece of legislation? Mr. HUGHES. No, not under my piece of legislation. We do not change any existing law. We change existing law with regard to the long guns. We say notwithstanding any other laws within the United States, but that is the overriding law with regard to long guns, and we are not changing the law with regard to handguns.

 

Mr. FIELDS. There are certain States that would preclude me from transporting a firearm through that particular State?

 

Mr. HUGHES. Yes.

 

Mr. FIELDS. And we do not change it?

 

Mr. HUGHES. No. I find it interesting that folks around here talk about federalism all of the time and leave it to all of the States to regulate firearms. Now all of a sudden we are going to overrule all of those laws, and that is what I find very interesting.

 

Mr. MARLENEE. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield? Mr. FIELDS. I yield to the gentleman from Montana.

 

Mr. MARLENEE. Mr. Chairman, that gets back to the basic point. Yes, perhaps you could go through Newark in transporting that handgun to protect yourself in Africa. But if they changed the law and said that it was unlawful to have a handgun in your possession, you could not do it. You could not do it in the District of Columbia. Mr. ROBINSON. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words.

 

(Mr. ROBINSON asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

 

Mr. ROBINSON. Mr. Chairman, I have followed this debate very closely over the last several hours, and I must say that I am dissappointed that some Members of this great body have, probably not intentionally, but they have misrepresented certain facts on both sides. So what I would like to do for my few minutes this afternoon is present some facts and hopefully focus that debate back on the real issue, and that is whether or not the 1968 Gun Control Act has deterred homicides in this country, and whether or not relaxing those standards will cause the crime rate to either go up or down.

 

Let us look at pre-1968 gun control crime statistics. I use the years 1952 to 1968. The rate of homocides increased in the United States by 28 percent. That is pre-1968 Gun Control Act.

 

Now let us look at post-Gun Control Act, 1968 to 1980. The homicide rate did not go down after we passed the 1968 Gun Control Act. It has increased by 50 percent. Bear in mind pre-1968, the homicide rate went up by 28 percent. After we passed this, it went up by 50 percent.

 

Mr. HUGHES. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield to me, just briefly on that point?

 

Mr. ROBINSON. I yield to the gentleman from New Jersey.

 

Mr. HUGHES. Mr. Chairman, it is interesting that our Subcommittee on Crime passed a forfeiture bill, major new initiatives in dealing with drug traffickers, I mean, a whole host of new initiatives, new wiretap authority in some areas, and you know the crime rate went up. Does that mean that the tools are not working?

 

Mr. ROBINSON. Mr. Chairman, that is not germane to what I am talking about.

 Furthermore, in a recent study commissioned by the U.S. Department of Justice, we found among convicted felons incarcerated in our penitentiaries around this country that 88 percent of those criminals surveyed throught that the 1968 gun control laws only applied to law-abiding citizens. They did not think that law applied to them because they were criminals. The reason they thought that was simple. They do not buy guns at the local sporting gun stores. Statistics will prove that they steal guns or buy them on the black market.

 

But please listen to this statistic from that survey. The criminal's fear of an armed victim was pronounced. In States with less restrictive gun control laws, criminals are less likely to attack citizens because of the possibility that they might be armed.

 

Furthermore, the Hughes amendment, in my opinion, like the 1968 Gun Control Act, could cause the arrest of every police officer that traveled to the District of Columbia, the U.S. Capitol, to lobby us because they are not allowed to transport their pistol across State lines unless they were going up here to hunt us, and in one sense, they were hunting us, but for different purposes. The Gun Control Act of 1968, in my opinion, has not worked. The Hughes amendment is an overreaction to the 218 signatures on the petition of discharge. That is the real issue.

 

This body spoke, 218 of us said enough is enough. We sent a message to the chairman of the Judiciary Committee that we were tired of that committee being a graveyard of bills that citizens want debated on this floor. In fact, if you will look at the track record of this committee, in the 96th Congress, they only reported out 8 percent of the bills referred to that committee; in the 97th, 6 percent; in the 98th, 9 percent; and in this Congress, 4 percent.

 

I ask all 218 of you to think about two things. First, you can demonstrate that the Members still rule this great body. But second, and most importantly, think about the Constitution of the United States of America. Our citizens have a constitutional right to bear arms, to buy weapons, and to travel interstate with those weapons. This is not a law enforcement bill. This is a citizen-killing bill. It is taking constitutional rights away from our citizens.

 

I ask you to vote against the Hughes amendment and vote for the Volkmer substitute.

 

Mr. MORRISON of Connecticut. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words.

 

(Mr. MORRISON of Connecticut asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)


Mr. MORRISON of Connecticut. Mr. Chairman, there has been an extensive debate on this amendment. But I think it is time to focus attention down to the merits of what is to be decided on the Hughes amendment. I think a moment should be taken in defense of the work of the Crime Subcommittee in bringing this amendment and the bill that is the underlying vehicle here to the floor. Some people have spoken of graveyards and the like. That is popular rhetoric here on the floor. But the truth is that the Crime Subcommittee, of which I am proud to be a member, and under the leadership of our chairman, the gentleman from New Jersey <Mr. HUGHES> and the ranking member, the gentleman from Florida <Mr. MCCOLLUM> that subcommittee, I think, has been diligent with respect to several law enforcement issues. And I think that that committee, our committee has credibility on that subject. Whatever might be said about other judiciary issues and how people feel about them, and where they want them to go, the committee has worked these issues hard. And on this bill, and on bringing this bill to the floor, extensive hearings and hard work and a 35-to-0 vote reporting the bill out and bringing it to the floor. So let us not have this issue decided on some notion of whether the Judiciary Committee has covered all of the bases or done all of the things that need doing. This subcommittee has considered this legislation responsibly and it has been brought to the floor in a responsible bipartisan fashion, and I hope the action with respect to this amendment

[Begin 132 Cong. Rec. p. 6887]

will get the same consideration and bipartisan decision on the merits as the subcommittee and the committee gave it during the consideration this spring.

 

It seems clear to me that there are specific issues that are at stake on this amendment. This is not some generalized debate about gun control or no gun control. We are all agreed that there are things that need to be modified and improved in the 1968 act. We are all agreed that there are certain impositions on dealers and on hunters that can be modified without doing any damage to the law enforcement interest that we have in the gun control area.

 

But it seems to me that there are specific things in the Hughes amendment that are critical and that ought to persuade a majority of Members here in this body that it is necessary to pass this amendment. They have been discussed. Interstate sale of handguns, something that we do not need to relax. The interests of hunters is accommodated with the relaxation of interstate sales of long guns, and that ought to be sufficient to accommodate the real needs that are being addressed. We hear a lot in this body about States' rights and the need for States to determine their own local laws. This legislation, as amended by the Hughes amendment, will respect the right of States to make their determinations on local gun laws.

 

The Volkmer bill will override those decisions.

 

Some people have objections to the laws of some states about interstate transport. But that is not the point. The point is that the Hughes amendment maintains the existing rights of States to make that local determination, and it does not federalize that decision.

 

Silencers. Silencers have been debated and discussed, and I have not yet heard one reason why it would be that silencers need to be legalized. Silencers should be illegal. It is a very strong and an appropriate law enforcement tool that is in the amendment offered by the gentleman from New Jersey.

 

Machinegun parts once again, we do not need people with machineguns. Hunters are not hunting with machineguns. There is no sporting interest, and the conversion parts for machineguns, which are banned under this amendment, ought to be banned.

 

We also have preservation of the enforcement possibilities against dealers, both with respect to unannounced inspections and with respect to a reasonable, sensible definition of what a dealer is. The fact is that we are talking about modifying, improving, making more effective the 1968 act, taking away impositions that may exist without doing any damage to the proper law enforcement interests.

 

Striking that balance means a yes vote for the Hughes amendment. As so modified, the Volkmer bill is not perfect, but it is something that moves in a sensible and a supportable and a reasonable direction, and I hope this body will support the Hughes amendment.

 

Mr. HUGHES. Mr. Chairman, I rise to determine how many additional Members want to be heard on this particular amendment because we have been on this now for almost 2 1/2 hours. There are a number of Members that have noticed amendments, and it would be unfair for us not to give them adequate time. I would propose that we cease all debate on this amendment in 15 minutes.

 

Mr. MCCOLLUM. If the gentleman would yield, would he mind shortening that, if the Members would agree, to 10 minutes? Would the gentleman yield to that suggestion?

 

Mr. HUGHES. The gentleman from Missouri <Mr. VOLKMER> needs at least 5 minutes. Is there objection to 10?

 

Mr. VOLKMER. I would object to 10 minutes, because a lot has been said here.

 

Mr. HUGHES. Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent that all debate on this amendment cease in 15 minutes.

 

The CHAIRMAN. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from New Jersey?

 

There was no objection.

 

The CHAIRMAN. Members standing at the time the unanimous-consent request was agreed to will be recognized for 2 1/2 minutes each.

 

The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Ohio <Mr. TRAFICANT>.


(Mr. TRAFICANT asked and was given permission to revise and entend his remarks.)

 

Mr. TRAFICANT. Mr. Chairman, I want to commend Mr. HUGHES, and his leadership of the Subcommittee on Crime, and the efforts he has made; and that is not a derogatory statement toward the gentleman from Missouri who has also worked very hard and his intentions are very honorable.

 

However, we just heard a litany of an awful lot of statistics. One of the things that we are dealing with today, I think, is more than just the gun issue; I think we are dealing with the lobby issue today as well. We are dealing with a commonsense issue.

 

If anybody is endangering, limiting the rights of Americans to have guns, it will be the overzealous that continue to try to hold to laws that are not only outdated but make the use of guns the most dangerous thing in our society.

 

We, in here today, are making a decision on whether or not a lobby in this country sets the policy for the use of guns, or the Representatives duly elected by the people. That decision, I think, is quite clear today. If anybody here can tell me what a silencer has to do with a hunter, what a machinegun has to do with a hunter, what a cop-killer bullet has to do with a hunter, my God, we have taken that rationale and beat it like a dead horse to try to continue to maximize some argument to keep lenient laws that have literally caused havoc in this country. It is time for us to do the responsible thing. It is time for us all now to vote for what is best for America; and the vote that is best for America will be to tighten this thing up, and it will protect the people's right to bear arms, and it will preserve that constitutional right.

 

Believe me, do not let the American people suffer some major tragedy and react by demanding our scalps for letting this business of guns go unattended and unabated by the responsible people elected to handle it.

 

That is our job today. This is a bunch of rhetoric, and we have loosened it up too much. I would appreciate it if the Members would consider that when they come to vote. I had seen the former FBI agent from Ohio up here, and his comments were very, very relevant; and I appreciated them, Mr. OXLEY, and I believe many others have.

 

Let us take emotion out of this, let us forget the PAC's, let us forget the lobbies, let us vote our conscience, and let us look at what is best for the country today. This is a very important vote; maybe one of the most important of this session.

 

The CHAIRMAN. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from New York <Mr. SCHEUER>.

 

(Mr. SCHEUER asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

 

Mr. SCHEUER. Mr. Chairman, we heard a few minutes ago the proposition that since crime rates went up after the 1968 Firearms Act was passed that the law does not do much good.

 

Well, Mr. Chairman, we have a crisis problem on our hands. Nobody around the world can understand why America is bathed in its own blood. An average of four to six people are killed every year by handguns in Australia. About eight people a year die in Great Britain and in Canada. Sweden averages about 18 people a year, while Israel averages about 25 people a year, and that is a country where virtually every adult citizen is armed to the teeth to protect themselves against terrorism.

 

Mr. Chairman, I regret to say that our figure, for our country, is 50; but it is not 50 a year, it is 50 a day. It is 20,000 deaths caused by sidearms each year-200,000 in the last decade. Our rate is 600 times higher than Great Britain's, 300 times higher than Australia's, 250 times higher than Canada's, 14 times higher than Israel.


We have talked about the bizarre, the absurd, the almost monstrous idea of this Congress sitting seriously and talking about protecting the right of sportsmen to use silencers, sportsmen to use machineguns, sportsmen

[Begin 132 Cong. Rec. p. 6888]

to use plastic sidearms that go through metal detectors without being detected. The dream of the terrorist world, the dream of Mu'ammar Qadhafi is that we would pass a bill that makes it possible for terrorists and the other madmen of the world to overrun our country with guns that cannot be detected, but can kill helpless citizens. We have an opportunity here today to pass a bill that will help to protect the lives and safety of our citizens and our law enforcement officers, while providing sportsmen with reasonable and responsible benefits.

 

The bill sponsored by our distinguished colleague from New Jersey <Mr. HUGHES> and reported out unanimously by the Judiciary Committee continues to prohibit the interstate sale of handguns.

 

It also insures that those who use firearms in the commission of a crime or those who possess vicious instruments of death such as machineguns and silencers will face mandatory penalties.

 

Handguns are a serious and deadly problem in our country.

 

This House cannot let a small group of armed zealots succeed in diluting Federal firearms laws and make our local, State, and Federal police officers targets for every guntoting thug in America.

 

A number of responsible and reputable organizations, including: The Fraternal Order of Police; the National Sheriffs' Association; the International Brotherhood of Police Officers; the International Association of Police Chiefs; the National Troopers' Coalition; and the National Conference of Mayors, have endorsed the Judiciary Committee bill.

 

In addition, New York City Mayor Koch and law enforcement representatives of the New York-New Jersey Port Authority have urged me to support the Hughes bill. I have no gripes with hunters and gun collectors who use firearms in a responsible manner-and they should realize that the Hughes bill will not hinder their pursuit of their sport or hobby.

 

What the bill will do is make it a little harder for drug addicts, muggers, deranged individuals, and other criminal elements to procure handguns.

 

Mr. Chairman, I hope this body will go one step further and vote in favor of amendments that will ban the newly developed plastic handguns and require a waiting period for those who wish to purchase handguns.

 

We are a civilized society.

 

Let us represent that civilized society in this House and vote for the safety of our police officers, our public officials, and every other citizen who fears that someday he or she may be looking down the barrel of a handgun.

 

The CHAIRMAN. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from New Jersey <Mr. TORRICELLI>.

 

Mr. TORRICELLI. Mr. Chairman, today debate arms control; not the kind of arms control discussed in Geneva that may or may not ever bring harm to the American people, but the real threat of arms, the spiraling growth of arms in America, 100 million guns in the streets and the homes of the United States.

 

The threat is real; an additional gun sold every 13 seconds in this country. Look at yourselves. One out of every five of you, in your lifetime, will be a victim of the misuse of a gun. One in eight of you have already been fired upon, held up, or had a gun pointed at you. That is the real threat.

 

What do we ask? Restrictions in silencers? What legitimate reason is there that an American wants to have a silencer in their home? Machineguns? What legitimate hunter wants to take a machinegun out for an afternoon?

 

Recordkeeping. So we know when a criminal tries to buy a gun, we can check the record, find out where they bought the gun, after the abuse has been committed. Mr. Chairman, reasonable controls work. The laws of my State of New Jersey have been at issue here. I tell you, I am proud of those laws and they have worked. The murder rate in my State, where we have reasonable controls, is half your rate, what it is in Texas. Next year, on a per capita basis, that means that 100 citizens of my State will live while 100 citizens of your State of Texas will die.

 

I ask that you join in the support of the Hughes amendment. Make this a victory today for the American people. Defeat this Hughes amendment: I tell you, there will be cheering among the drug dealers of Miami; there will be cheering among organized crime in New York and Chicago.

 

This is a victory you can give to the American people. Give America a new freedom, a freedom to be free in our homes and the fear of guns. Free to walk our streets, knowing that this proliferation of guns will stop.

 

The CHAIRMAN. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Michigan <Mr. DINGELL>.

 

(Mr. DINGELL asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

 

Mr. DINGELL. Mr. Chairman, I have listened to this debate for a goodly while. One of the reasons that we are here today under the strictures under which we labor is that the Judiciary Committee has opposed the consideration of this type of legislation for a long period of time. The committee has demonstrated its extraordinary opposition to any relief for sportsmen and other law-abiding citizens.

 

The Volkmer substitute does not make it easier for criminals to obtain guns; it simply eliminates those abuses which unfortunately afflict honest citizens. I observe that the late arrival of legislation from the Committee on the Judiciary carries with it all of the earmarks of being simply an attempt to derail something which 218 Members of the House have said is necessary. This legislation is supported by law-abiding honest citizens, by the International Union of Police Associations, by the National Wildlife Federation, by the National Rifle Association, and by scores of other organizations of law-abiding citizens inside and outside law enforcement. With regard to H.R. 4332, and the so-called Hughes law enforcement amendment, the Department of Justice and the administration have raised some critical points. They point out that the Hughes amendment does away with the distinction between willfulness and knowledge as a criminal intent standard for various violations of our firearms laws. Such a slurring of distinction throws honest citizens in with real criminals with regard to enforcement matters on subjects of intent.

 

The Hughes amendment provides a nightmare definition of engaged in the business which gun owners would have to live under. Such a definition could require anyone who buys or sells more than two guns a year, the duty to become a licensed firearms dealer.

 

The amendment also departs from the Volkmer substitute by requiring certain types of recordkeeping on ammunition. The Hughes amendment also would seriously impair the rights of law-abiding citizens and sportsmen to transport firearms from State to State in a law-abiding fashion, while permitting criminals to continue their nefarious practices.

 

In summary, the Hughes amendment is simply an amendment put forward to gut the major provisions of the Volkmer substitute, which is a well reasoned bill intended to help clarify the law for honest sportsmen and firearms owners.

 

The CHAIRMAN. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Missouri <Mr. VOLKMER> for 2 1/2 minutes.

 

Mr. HUGHES. Mr. Chairman, may I inquire how much time I have remaining?

 

The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from New Jersey <Mr. HUGHES> has 2 1/2 minutes remaining.

 

(By unanimous consent, Mr. HUGHES yielded 1 1/2 minutes to Mr. VOLKMER.)

 

The CHAIRMAN. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Missouri <Mr. VOLKMER>.

 

Mr. VOLKMER. Mr. Chairman, I yield to the gentleman from Georgia <Mr. THOMAS>.

 

(Mr. THOMAS of Georgia asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

 

Mr. THOMAS of Georgia. Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of the Volkmer substitute and in opposition to the Hughes amendment.

 

I am an avid outdoorsman, hunter, and sporting enthusiast, as well as a firm believer in the constitutional right of all citizens to keep and bear arms. After a very careful examination of the 1968 Gun Control Act, it is my firm belief that the Volkmer substitute addresses the need to ease existing restraints against

[Begin 132 Cong. Rec. p. 6889]

legitimate gun owners, collectors, and dealers. It does not, in my opinion, undermine the efforts of our law enforcement officers to apprehend known criminals or those persons who willfully violate existing law.

 

Unlike the committee bill, the Volkmer substitute would allow for the interstate sale of handguns, as well as long guns and rifles. The seller of these weapons must be a licensed dealer and both the buyer and the seller must be physically present at the time of the sale. Any sale must comply with applicable State and local laws in both the buyer's and the seller's State.

 

In my view, it is not valid to say that a citizen can buy a handgun in his own State, but not in a neighboring State. A criminal is not going to be more or less inclined to buy a handgun as a result of the Volkmer provision.

 

A criminal is going to steal his gun or buy it outside the legal retail trade. If he is inclined to use false identification or other subterfuge to buy a gun from a law-abiding dealer, he will certainly not be deterred by the committee bill. Only the legitimate purchaser will be inconvienced.

 

The Volkmer substitute clearly defines a licensed dealer as any person engaged in the business of gun dealing to mean persons selling guns primarily from a motive of monetary gain. Exchanges between collectors strictly for hobby purposes would be excluded from the definition. The substitute, like the committee bill, makes it illegal for anyone to sell or transfer a firearm to any person who they know or reasonably believe is a convicted felon, a fugitive from justice, a drug addict or user, a mental incompetent, a dishonorably discharged veteran, or who has renounced U.S. citizenship.

 

In my judgment, these provisions relating to interstate sales will only allow law-abiding citizens who are legally entitled to purchase firearms in their own States to do so in other States. State and local laws in the buyer's and the seller's State would have to be complied with, but no State and local laws could be usurped.

 

The substitute proposal provides for one unannounced dealer record compliance inspection per year by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Most recordkeeping related to the sale of ammunition, except armor-piercing ammunition, would be eliminated. The bill specifically exempts the transfer of firearms to and from a dealer's personal collection from any recordkeeping requirements.

 

One of the disturbing provisions of the committee bill is the requirement that all firearms dealers must give notice to law enforcement authorities in the purchaser's residence and the FBI at the time of the sale or transfer of handguns. The records of these purchases would have to be destroyed within 90 days of receipt unless the investigation of the purchaser's record indicates any illegal activity.

 

Law enforcement officials in my own State have told me that they do not have the manpower or financial resources to comply with these types of record checks. In addition, no criminal is likely to give his proper name and address at the time of purchase, so for all practical purposes this burdensome notice requirement will have little impact on criminals obtaining handguns. For these reasons, I strongly support the provision in the Volkmer substitute which does not require gun dealers to notify the police of handgun sales.

 

There is one final provision in the Volkmer substitute which I would like to address, and that provision guarantees individuals the right to travel in interstate commerce with a secured unloaded firearm, including a handgun, for legitimate purposes or to change residence. The committee bill, on the other hand, only authorizes the interstate transportation of secured handguns and rifles for sporting purposes or when moving. Thirty-seven States have laws which allow handguns to be used for hunting purposes, and it makes no sense to allow for the interstate transportation of shotguns and rifles, while denying that clearance for handguns which are used only for legitimate purposes. Existing protections against the transportation of firearms with the intent to commit a crime would remain in effect.

 

Let me summarize by stating that the Volkmer substitute is a balanced approach to meeting the concerns expressed by legitimate gun owners while still allowing our law enforcement personnel to do their job effectively. It will not result in increased criminal activity, but simply provides some needed revision and clarification of an 18-year-old statute that in some cases has placed burdensome requirements on legitimate gun collectors and dealers. I urge a yes vote on the Volkmer substitute.

 

Mr. VOLKMER. Mr. Chairman, I yield to the gentleman from Idaho <Mr. STALLINGS>.

 

(Mr. STALLINGS asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

 

Mr. STALLINGS. Mr. Chairman, I also rise in strong support of the Volkmer amendment.

 

Mr. Chairman, it is ironic that Mr. Volkmer's bill is the substitute when we all know which of the two bills came first and the circumstances under which the committee bill originated.


Nonetheless, I am pleased to have the chance finally to vote on legislation that will ease unnecessary Government restrictions on law-abiding gun owners. Over the past few months, I have had the privilege to work closely with Mr. VOLKMER on the discharge petition, and I would like to thank him now for his leadership on and commitment to this issue.

 

In addition, I would like to thank the many concerned and dedicated members in both parties who joined together to gather the signatures needed to free the Volkmer bill from committee. I am pleased to join this bipartisan group of supporters to endorse legislation which will protect our constitutional right to bear arms, and I value the relationships that I have gained.

 

Mr. Chairman, there has been much disinformation spread about this bill. The antigun lobby continues to claim that this legislation is opposed by every law enforcement agency. This is simply not true. I have received letters from six national law enforcement agencies who support the Firearms Owners Protection Act. Included among these was a letter from the AFL-CIO police association, which is the largest police organization in America. I have also received many letters from individual police officers who support this legislation. Gun ownership is a basic constitutional right in America. Responsible gun ownership is a right, not a crime, and it should be treated as such. A person who commits a crime while using a firearm should be punished, not law-abiding sportsmen.

 

Consequently, I urge all Members to support the Volkmer substitute.

 

Mr. VOLKMER. Mr. Chairman, I probably have about 3 minutes left which is not nearly enough to refute all of the allegations made here with regard to the Hughes amendment against the Volkmer substitute. We do have unannounced inspections provided in our bill. The definition of engaged in business in our bill has been written with and approved by both the Justice Department and Treasury-BATF. The definition that is in the Hughes amendment is defective. The BATF in discussing this with them yesterday admitted that their definition would probably require even hand loaders of ammunition to be licensed as ammunition manufacturers; it would require that persons who have traded a gun in their lifetime and want to recur and trade another one later on, honest citizens and sportsmen, would have to be licensed. That definition really guts this bill. If this amendment passes with this definition, you can forget the whole legislation in my opinion.

 

You have got to remember that the definition in the substitute was written in conjunction with those who are enforcing the gun control act. I would like to point out that we do provide for recordkeeping, for armor-piercing bullets, that we do provide the same definition with the McCollum technical amendment to ours which we will accept, the same definition on parts, conversion parts or kits for machine guns, which is identical to what is in the Hughes bill. So there is no difference in regard to that.


I would like to also state that the Hughes amendment basically is very defective, that it would basically gut the substitute bill, that the provisions with regard to what many people have said, silencers, there will be a later amendment on that, if you want to vote on that, you can have a separate amendment. The gentleman from Florida and the gentleman from California as I understand will be offering a separate amendment on the question of silencers. And on the matter of transportation of handguns, you have got to remember that we are not doing away with any State or local law. The State or local law is still there. All we are saying is that if you are

[Begin 132 Cong. Rec. p. 6880]

arrested and you have been doing it for a lawful purpose, if you are transporting for a lawful purpose, you can raise it as a defense. This is specifically set out in the Senate report; it is specifically the language in the bill. All it is is a defense to prosecution that you are transporting a handgun for a lawful purpose. It does not do away with New Jersey or New York law or any other law. The final thing that I would like to point out with the amendment is that it does not make any big major difference as far as, as I said, the machine gun parts. We are taking care of that. We will have the same definition. There will be no difference between our bills. We agree on the definition of conversion kits, and we are going to take care of it. So basically the amendment is one with a definition that we have would really do major harm to all the firearms owners of this country. Basically it leads to registration of everybody that owns a gun in the United States, he is really going to have to end up and be registered.

 

The CHAIRMAN. Does the gentleman from Florida <Mr. MCCOLLUM> seek recognition?

 

Mr. McCOLLUM. I do not, Mr. Chairman, seek recognition.

 

Mr. HUGHES. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman from Florida yield his time to me?

 

Mr. McCOLLUM. What would the gentleman like yielded to him?

 

Mr. HUGHES. Two and one-half minutes.

 

(By unanimous consent, Mr. MCCOLLUM yielded his time to Mr. HUGHES.)

 

The CHAIRMAN. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from New Jersey <Mr. HUGHES> to conclude debate.

 

Mr. HUGHES. Mr. Chairman, I yield to the gentlewoman from Illinois <Mrs. COLLINS>.

 

(Mrs. COLLINS asked and was given permission to revise and extend her remarks.)

 

Mrs. COLLINS. Mr. Chairman, I rise in vehement opposition to the Volkmer substitute to H.R. 4332. I have always worked vigorously for effective gun control legislation. This year I have introduced two such measures. One of my bills, H.R. 299, provides for mandatory registration of handguns. I have been invited to testify on this legislation before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime. My second bill H.R. 306, creates an additional tax on handguns, and uses the proceeds of the tax to establish a program to compensate victims of handgun crime. In addition, I have cosponsored H.R. 2861, which bans the import, manufacture, sale, and transfer of small concealable handguns. These measures respond to the clear evidence that there is a need for strong gun control legislation.

 

Given the shocking statistics on handgun crime, we must continue to press for their passage, as well as for State and local efforts to control firearms. We simply cannot ignore the fact that we live in a country where over 20,000 die annually in handgun related deaths. As the FBI's 1984 report Crime In the United States shows, handguns were used in nearly half of all the murders in this country. Moreover, according to the 1984 Uniform Crime Report, 60 percent of the murderers in this country were not unknown criminal intruders or assailants, but were instead either family, friends, or acquaintances of their victims. This is further justification that there is a need for strong gun control legislation.

 

A survey by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms indicated that handguns are used in about 75 percent of all crimes in which weapons could be traced. Perhaps most shocking of all are estimates that 30 people are murdered every day with a handgun. This data convincingly shows that there is a need for strong gun control legislation.

 

Importantly, the 1984 Uniform Crime Report has shown that gun control regulations work. Regions of the country with strict handgun regulations have significantly lower murder rates than regions having lax or no gun control regulations. Accordingly, we can conclude that the strong regulations in my home State of Illinois, in such towns and cities as Oak Park, Morton Grove, Evanston, and Chicago, are saving lives. Clearly this demonstrates that there is a need for strong gun control legislation.

 

Despite all this evidence crying out for stronger gun control measures, the Volkmer substitute would foolishly water down existing gun control laws. Specifically the measure would permit the interstate sale of both rifles and handguns, make it easier to travel between States with rifle and hanguns, and ease restrictions on gun dealers. This is a measure that ignores a plague of gun-related misery, of assassinations, of suffering. This is a measure that must be soundly defeated. Please join me in sending a message throughout the Nation: There is a need, a vital need, for strong gun control legislation. Mr. HUGHES. You know, I sit here and get confused by some of the debate because I hear charges and countercharges. There are so many distortions it is just unfortunate. First of all make no mistake if Volkmer carries there will be a preemption, a preemption of New Jersey law, and a series of other laws that will not permit people to carry handguns in their cars.


There is no mistake about that, that will be a preemption. Now there has been a lot said about the Judiciary Committee. I want to tell you serving on the Judiciary Committee is a frustrating experience, not just for members on that side of the aisle, but for this side of the aisle.

 

I am proud of my 5 years of leadership of the Crime Subcommittee. I have had two great ranking Republicans. We have worked together and we got a lot of things done. Hal Sawyer of Michigan was a fine ranking Republican and BILL MCCOLLUM is a fine ranking Republican and we work in a bipartisan fashion.


The Congressional Quarterly described my subcommittee as a mill. We passed out in the last two Congresses, and I will just mention a few: child pornography, career criminal, forfeiture bills, trademark counterfeiting, justice assistance, drug diversion, the drug czar, computer-crime legislation, antiterrorism legislation, credit cards, pharmacy robbery, antiterrorism, money-laundering, I could go on and on. We have turned out about 40 pieces of legislation in the last 5 years in the Subcommittee on Crime. You have given that subcommittee on many instances unanimous support. Those bills carried on this floor unanimously. It was the nucleus of that subcommittee that worked on this bill. We started from scratch and the bill that we developed in the Subcommittee on Crime on firearms legislation is a subcommittee that you have supported for the last several Congresses. It was a rational approach, thoughtful approach. We went through issue by issue, ask any member on either side of the aisle and they will tell you the same thing. That is why we ended up with a 10-to-zip vote and a 35-to-0 vote on firearms legislation.


Now on the full committee, as I said before, we have those who want to pass out bazookas at one extreme and those who want to take all handguns and everything else away, on the other extreme; and they are both wrong. We charted a rational course. What we

[Begin 132 Cong. Rec. p. 6891]

have in this amendment, this law enforcement package is the bottom line. It is what the police officers of this country believe they need to maintain, first of all, to secure their lives. You know, we ought to think about that for just a minute. You and I can debate about this but it is the police officer up there, out there on the streets throughout this country on the highways and byways, who are the people who stop the cars day in and day out and they are the ones who are faced with these handguns. Believe me when I tell you we are going to take a giant step backwards if we pass the Volkmer bill without this law-enforcement-amendment package in it.

 

Mr. Chairman, I urge my colleagues to support it.

 

The CHAIRMAN. All time has expired.

 

The question is on the amendments offered by the gentleman from New Jersey < Mr. HUGHES> to the amendment, as amended, offered by the gentleman from Missouri <Mr. VOLKMER> as a substitute for the Judiciary Committee amendment in the nature of a substitute, as amended.

 

The question was taken, and on a division (demanded by Mr. VOLKMER) there were-ayes 20, noes 23.

 

RECORDED VOTE

 

Mr. HUGHES. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote. A recorded vote was ordered.

 

The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were-ayes 176, noes 248, not voting 10, as follows:

 

<Roll No. 70>

 

 AYES-176

 

 Ackerman Akaka Anderson Annunzio Anthony Applegate Aspin Atkins Barnes Bateman Bates Bedell Beilenson Bennett Berman Biaggi Boland Bonior (MI) Bonker Borski Boxer Broomfield Brown (CA) Burton (CA) Carper Clay Coelho Coleman (MO) Collins Conte Conyers Coughlin Courter Coyne Crockett Dellums DeWine Dicks Dixon Donnelly Downey Durbin Dwyer Dymally Early Eckart (OH) Edgar Edwards (CA) Evans (IL) Fascell Fawell Fazio Feighan Florio Foglietta Ford (TN) Frank Frenzel Frost Garcia Gejdenson Gephardt Gibbons Gonzalez Gradison Gray (PA) Green Guarini Hall (OH) Hatcher Hawkins Hayes Henry Hertel Hillis Howard Hoyer Hughes Hyde Jacobs Jeffords Johnson Kaptur Kastenmeier Kennelly Kildee Kleczka Kostmayer LaFalce Lantos Leach (IA) Lehman (CA) Lehman (FL) Leland Lent Levin (MI) Levine (CA) Lipinski Lowry (WA) Lundine Lungren Manton Markey Martin (IL) Matsui Mavroules Mazzoli McGrath McHugh McKinney Meyers Mica Mikulski Miller (CA) Miller (WA) Mineta Mitchell Moakley Molinari Moody Morrison (CT) Mrazek Nowak Oakar Owens Oxley Panetta Parris Pease Pepper Porter Pursell Rangel Rinaldo Rodino Roe Rostenkowski Roukema Roybal Russo Sabo Savage Saxton Scheuer Schneider Schroeder Schumer Seiberling Slaughter Smith (FL) Smith (NJ) Solarz St Germain Stark Stenholm Stratton Studds Synar Tauke Torricelli Towns Traficant Vento Visclosky Walgren Waxman Weiss Wheat Whitehurst Wirth Wolf Wolpe Wright Wylie Yates Zschau

 

 

 

NOES-248

 

 Alexander Andrews Archer Armey AuCoin Badham Barnard Bartlett Barton Bentley Bereuter Bevill Bilirakis Bliley Boehlert Boggs Boner (TN) Bosco Boucher Boulter Breaux Brooks Brown (CO) Broyhill Bruce Bryant Burton (IN) Bustamante Byron Callahan Campbell Carney Carr Chandler Chapman Chappell Chappie Cheney Clinger Coats Cobey Coble Coleman (TX) Combest Cooper Craig Crane Daniel Dannemeyer Darden Daschle Daub Davis de la Garza DeLay Derrick Dickinson Dingell DioGuardi Dorgan (ND) Dornan (CA) Dowdy Dreier Duncan Dyson Eckert (NY) Emerson English Erdreich Evans (IA) Fiedler Fields Fish Flippo Foley Ford (MI) Fowler Franklin Fuqua Gallo Gaydos Gekas Gilman Gingrich Glickman Goodling Gordon Gray (IL) Gregg Gunderson Hall, Ralph Hamilton Hammerschmidt Hansen Hartnett Hefner Hendon Hiler Holt Hopkins Horton Hubbard Huckaby Hunter Hutto Ireland Jenkins Jones (NC) Jones (OK) Jones (TN) Kanjorski Kasich Kemp Kindness Kolbe Kolter Kramer Lagomarsino Latta Leath (TX) Lewis (CA) Lewis (FL) Lightfoot Livingston Lloyd Loeffler Long Lott Lowery (CA) Luken Mack MacKay Madigan Marlenee Martin (NY) McCain McCandless McCloskey McCollum McCurdy McDade McEwen McKernan McMillan Michel Miller (OH) Mollohan Monson Montgomery Moore Moorhead Morrison (WA) Murphy Murtha Myers Natcher Neal Nelson Nielson Oberstar Obey Olin Ortiz Packard Pashayan Penny Perkins Petri Pickle Price Quillen Rahall Ray Regula Reid Richardson Ridge Ritter Roberts Robinson Roemer Rogers Rose Roth Rowland (CT) Rowland (GA) Rudd Schaefer Schuette Schulze Sensenbrenner Sharp Shaw Shelby Shumway Shuster Sikorski Siljander Sisisky Skeen Skelton Slattery Smith (IA) Smith (NE) Smith, Denny (OR) Smith, Robert (NH) Smith, Robert (OR) Snowe Snyder Solomon Spence Spratt Staggers Stallings Stangeland Strang Stump Sundquist Sweeney Swift Swindall Tallon Tauzin Taylor Thomas (CA) Thomas (GA) Traxler Udall Valentine Vander Jagt Volkmer Vucanovich Walker Watkins Weaver Weber Whitley Whittaker Whitten Williams Wilson Wise Wortley Wyden Yatron Young (AK) Young (FL) Young (MO)

 

 NOT VOTING-10

 

 Addabbo Edwards (OK) Grotberg Heftel Lujan Martinez Nichols O'Brien Stokes Torres

 

Mr. TAUZIN and Mr. BARNARD changed their votes from aye to no.

 

So the amendments to the amendment, as amended, offered as a substitute for the Judiciary Committee amendment in the nature of a substitute, as amended, was rejected.

 

The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.

 

AMENDMENT OFFERED BY MR. MCCOLLUM TO THE AMENDMENT, AS AMENDED, OFFERED BY MR. VOLKMER AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR THE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE AMENDMENT IN THE NATURE OF A SUBSTITUTE, AS AMENDED

 

Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment to the amendment offered as a substitute for the Judiciary Committee amendment in the nature of a substitute. The Clerk read as follows:

 

Amendment offered by Mr. MCCOLLUM to the amendment, as amended, offered by Mr. VOLKMER as a substitute for the Judiciary Committee amendment in the nature of a substitute, as amended:

 

Page 7, strike out line 22 and all that follows through firearms) on line 2 on page 8 and insert in lieu thereof accomplish the transfer or to negotiate the transfer. Page 19, line 2, strike out this section and insert paragraph (2) of this subsection, subsection (b) or (c) of this section, in lieu thereof.

 

Page 27, beginning in line 23, strike out part and all that follows through exclusively in line 1 on page 28 and insert in lieu thereof part designed and intended solely and exclusively, or combination of parts designed and intended,.

 

Page 5, line 22, strike out part or.

 

Page 5, line 23, strike out intended only and insert and intended in lieu thereof.

 

Page 5, line 25, after muffler insert , and any part intended only for use in such assembly or fabrication.

 

Page 22, line 24, strike out not more and insert not less in lieu thereof.

 

Page 23, line 1, strike out suspsend and insert suspend in lieu thereof.

 

Page 10, strike out line 5 and insert in lieu thereof the following:

 

(7) so that subsection (h) reads as follows: (h) it shall be unlawful for any individual, who to that individual's knowledge and while being employed for any person described in any paragraph of subsection (g) of this section, in the course of such employment- (1) to receive, possess, or transport any firearm or ammunition in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce; or (2) to receive any firearm or ammunition which has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce.; and

 [Begin 132 Cong. Rec. p. 6892]

Page 27, line 20, insert (a) before Section.

 

Page 28, after line 2, insert the following: (b) CONFORMING AMENDMENT.-Section 5845(a)(7) of the National Firearms Act (26 U.S.C. 5845(a)(7)) is amended to read (7) any silencer (as defined in section 921 of title `8, United States Code.

 

Mr. MCCOLLUM (during the reading). Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent that the amendment be considered as read and printed in the RECORD.

 

The CHAIRMAN. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from Florida?

 

There was no objection.

 

Mr. MCCOLLUM. Mr. Chairman, the amendment I am offering is in response to a six-part request from the Department of Treasury for amendments to the Volkmer substitute. I have worked carefully with Mr. VOLKMER and others to address the Department of Treasury concerns in a manner that I believe is noncontroversial. Most of this amendment is technical. Other parts merely maintain existing law.

 

First, my amendment would delete a provision in the Volkmer substitute that would permit a dealer to mail firearms to a purchaser after an interstate sale that complies with the requirements of the substitute. Without this language, the interstate sale provision in the Volkmer bill will parallel the language in S. 49. The administration supports that provision of S. 49 which allows only shipment of firearms by a licensee to a nonlicensee. This portion of my amendment is taken from an amendment previously published by Mr. CRAIG. Second, my amendment merely clarifies the intent of Mr. VOLKMER to apply a knowing standard of intent to sections 924(b) and 924(c) of title 18 of the United States Code. Under current law, both section 924(b), which prohibits the interstate receipt, shipment or transport of firearms with intent to commit a felony, and section 924(c), which creates a mandatory minimum sentence for the commission of a violent Federal felony, have a knowing standard. The word knowing does not appear in the language of these sections, but that clearly is the congressional intent and the manner in which these sections have been interpreted. It was Mr. VOLKMER's intent that the knowing standard be maintained in his substitute for sections 924(b) and 924(c) and this amendment merely clarifies that intent. It is based on another amendment published earlier by Mr. CRAIG.

 

Third, my amendment, again, incorporates language put forward by Mr. CRAIG as well as others including Chairman HUGHES. This section would clarify that the current law defining machinegun parts or combination of parts as machineguns themselves is maintained. This is accomplished by removing the language requiring that these parts or combination of parts be designed solely and exclusively for machineguns. This amendment also clarifies that the definition of machine-guns includes a part that is intended solely and exclusively for a machinegun. This is not intended to alter current law regarding parts or the combination of machinegun parts or the intent in the Volkmer substitute.

 

The fourth part of my amendment incorporates language in the silencer definition to address a problem similar to the machinegun definition that I just discussed. Put simply, this portion of the amendment maintains the existing definition of silencer to include the parts or combination of silencer parts. The amendment also includes in the silencer definition any part intended only for use in such assembly of fabrication. This amendment is not intended to alter the current law regarding parts or combination of silencer parts or the intent of the Volkmer substitute.

 

The fifth part of this amendment is taken from an amendment published by Mr. CRAIG to maintain the current mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years for career criminals. The Volkmer substitute inadvertently changed this current law and my amendment reasserts current law in a manner consistent with the committee bill and S. 49.

 

Finally, the sixth part of my amendment maintains current law in a section referred to as the body guard amendment or the Mafia hit-man amendment. This provision is in existing law, the committee bill, and S. 49. It is inadvertently absent from the Volkmer substitute. This amendment maintains current law to prevent a convicted felon or other person prohibited from owning firearms from hiring another to carry a firearm solely for the benefit of the prohibited person.

 

One spelling error is corrected.

 

These amendments are presented at the request of the Department of the Treasury and are supported by the sponsor of the substitute, Mr. VOLKMER, and by the sponsor of other amendments on which much of this amendment is based, Mr. CRAIG. I believe this amendment improves the bill from a technical standpoint and from a law enforcement perspective. I urge its adoption.

 

Mr. Chairman, I believe the gentleman from Missouri <Mr. VOLKMER> would like to engage in a colloquy, and I yield to the gentleman for that purpose.

 

Mr. VOLKMER. Yes. Mr. Chairman, I do support the technical amendment offered by the gentleman from Florida. I would like to engage in a colloquy in regard to one part of it, and that is on the hit-man part of a felon. If the gentleman would be willing, I would like to discuss this part of the amendment.

 

Mr. MCCOLLUM. Please proceed.

 

Mr. VOLKMER. The amendment would, in part, maintain existing law that is inadvertently missing from the Volkmer substitute. The language I am referring to, however, is included in S. 49 and in the Judiciary Committee bill, H.R. 4332. The purpose of this language is to make it a crime for the employee of a felon to ship, transport, or possess a firearm in the course of his employment. Is this correct?

 

Mr. MCCOLLUM. That is how I read this provision and the current law. It is my intent by offering this amendment to maintain existing law.

 

Mr. VOLKMER. As I read this amendment, the employee would have to know that his employer is a felon. Is that correct?

 

Mr. MCCOLLUM. Yes, that is correct.

 

Mr. VOLKMER. As I read this amendment, the employee would have to ship, transport, or possess the firearm in the course of his employment. Would this amendment prohibit the employee from owning firearms as a collector, a hunter, or for any other personal reason?

The CHAIRMAN. The time of the gentleman from Florida <Mr. MCCOLLUM> has expired.

 

(By unanimous consent, Mr. MCCOLLUM was allowed to proceed for 1 additional minute.)

 

Mr. MCCOLLUM. Mr. Chairman. This amendment would not affect the employee's right to possess, ship, or transport firearms for any non-work-related reason. So long as the employee's attachment to the firearm is not for the benefit of the employer with a previous felony conviction, the employee is free to ship, transport, or possess firearms.

 

Mr. VOLKMER. Do you then believe that this amendment would not prohibit a garage mechanic, whose boss was previously convicted of a felony, from otherwise lawfully possessing his target pistol at the garage so that the mechanic could leave straight from work to attend his target shooting competition?

 

Mr. MCCOLLUM. The garage mechanic would not be in violation of this amendment or current law under the facts you have just expressed. This amendment is supported by the Department of Treasury.

 

Mr. VOLKMER. I thank the gentleman for that clarification of congressional intent.

 

Mr. LUNGREN. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words.

 

Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of this amendment. I think it is a noncontroversial amendment. I think

[Begin 132 Cong. Rec. p. 6893]

it helps the bill. I think it is technical in nature.

 

I would also like to enter into a brief colloquy with the gentleman from Missouri regarding the references in his substitute to the U.S. Parole Commission. Would the gentleman discuss this issue with me briefly?

 

Mr. VOLKMER. Certainly. I would be more than happy to discuss the question of the gentleman from California. Mr. LUNGREN. Section 104 of the Volkmer substitute sets forth both felony and misdemeanor penalties. On page 19 and 20 of the substitute, following these sentences is the language and shall become eligible for parole as the Parole Commission shall determine.

 

In the sentencing provisions of the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984, which we passed, we set forth a timetable to abolish parole for all cases occurring subsequent to the issuance of sentencing guidelines by the U.S. Sentencing Commission. The Parole Commission is scheduled to be abolished in 1991.

 

Is the gentleman's intent in referring to the Parole Commission in his substitute to comply with the existing treatment of parole in the Comprehensive Crime Control Act or to somehow exempt these gun crimes from our planned sentencing system?

 

Mr. VOLKMER. It is my intent to work within the framework set forth in the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984, and I want to thank the gentleman from California for getting that legislation through. Thus, persons convicted under these sections will be subject to the sentencing guidelines like all other convicted persons. This language will become obsolete at the time that parole is no longer available to persons convicted of violating Federal criminal laws.

 

Mr. LUNGREN. I thank the gentleman for that clarification of congressional intent. I think it is an important point. Under that explanation, does the gentleman believe that we need an amendment to delete the reference to the Parole Commission?

 

Mr. VOLKMER. I do not think such an amendment is necessary since the language will not interfere with the current sentencing process. However, I have no strong objection to the gentleman's amendment since I do not believe it changes the impact of the substitute.

 

Mr. LUNGREN. Well, I thank the gentleman for his explanation.

 

I will not offer the amendment at this time because I agree with the gentleman's interpretation and his intent of the language in the substitute. We do not intend to change the life of the parole commission by reference to the parole commission in the substitute and it would only be with reference to those things that would take place prior to the scheduled expiration of the parole commission.

 

I thank the gentleman.

 

Mr. SHAW. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words. I rise in support of the amendment of the gentleman from Florida.

 

Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of the amendment and urge its immediate passage.

 

The CHAIRMAN. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Florida <Mr. MCCOLLUM> to the amendment, as amended, offered by the gentleman from Missouri <Mr. VOLKMER>, as a substitute for the Judiciary Committee amendment in the nature of a substitute, as amended.

 

The amendment to the amendment, as amended, offered as a substitute for the Judiciary Committee amendment in the nature of a substitute, as amended, was agreed to.

 

AMENDMENT OFFERED BY MR. HUGHES TO THE AMENDMENT, AS AMENDED, OFFERED BY MR. VOLKMER AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR THE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE AMENDMENT IN THE NATURE OF A SUBSTITUTE, AS AMENDED

 

Mr. HUGHES. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment to the amendment offered as a substitute for the Judiciary Committee amendment in the nature of a substitute. The Clerk read as follows:

 

Amendment offered by Mr. HUGHES to the amendment, as amended, offered by Mr. VOLKMER as a substitute for the Judiciary Committee amendment in the nature of a substitute, as amended: Page 26, strike out line 16 and all that follows through the matter immediately following line 5 on page 27 and insert in lieu thereof the following:

 

SEC. 108. INTERSTATE TRANSPORT OF RIFLES AND SHOTGUNS.

 

Section 927 of title 18, United States Code, is amended-

 

(1) by inserting (a) before No; and

 

(2) by adding at the end the following:

 

(b) Notwithstanding any provision of State or local law to the contrary, any individual may transport any secured shotgun or secured rifle from such individual's place of origin to any destination State if-

 

(1) such transport is-

 

(A) incident to the change of the individual's State of residence; or

 

(B) for the purpose of lawful participation in, or returning from lawful participation in-

 

(i) hunting;

 

(ii) a shooting match or contest; or

 

(iii) any other lawful sporting activity; and

 

(2) the individual may lawfully transport and possess such shotgun or rifle-

 

(A) in the individual's place of origin, the destination State, and the destination political subdivision of the destination State; and

 

(B) under Federal law.

 

(c) For purposes of subsection (b)-

 

(1) a rifle or shotgun is secured if the rifle or shotgun- (A) is enclosed or cased;

 

(B) is not readily accessible; and

 

(C) is not loaded with ammunition; and

 

(2) the term 'place of origin' means-

 

(A) in the case of a change of residence, the State and political subdivision thereof from which residence is changed; and

 

(B) in any other case, the State and political subdivision thereof in which the possession or transport of the rifle or shotfun begins..

 

Mr. HUGHES (during the reading). Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent that the amendment be considered as read and printed in the RECORD.

 

The CHAIRMAN. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from New Jersey?

 

There was no objection.

 

The CHAIRMAN. The Chair would inquire of the gentleman, is the amendment printed in the RECORD? Mr. HUGHES. It is printed in the RECORD, Mr. Chairman. The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from New Jersey <Mr. HUGHES> is recognized for 5 minutes in support of his amendment.

 

(Mr. HUGHES asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

 

Mr. HUGHES. Mr. Chairman, I know it has been a long day. I will say to my colleagues that if we can just settle down a little bit, I think we can get over a series of amendments.

 

The amendment I offer deals with the preemption of State and local handgun laws and the transportation of handguns across State lines.

 

In my view, this is one of the most objectionable provisions of the Volkmer bill. It certainly is a provision that concerns the policy greatly. I believe we must strike out the provisions of the Volkmer bill which undermine hundreds, if not thousands of State and local restrictions against the possession and carrying of handguns.


These laws were wiped out because under the Volkmer bill it says that if you are legal under Federal law and if you are traveling in interstate commerce, Federal law now says that you can thumb your nose really at State and local laws.

 

Some of us may think this is merely the hunter's exception, a special rule to allow hunters to take their guns when they hunt in another State. Unfortunately, it is not limited to hunting or sporting purposes and it is not even limited to crossing State lines. A person could carry a handgun for any reason he chooses, or none at all, so long as he had a claim to be in interstate commerce. Any motorist stopped on an interstate highway could claim to be headed out of the State. Unlike the Judiciary Committee bill, the Volkmer bill would preempt even the laws of the home State and locality of such a person. It could also make it legal to carry a gun from a State where it is illegal into another State where it is illegal.


For example, in New Jersey it is illegal under most circumstances to transport a handgun without a permit. In New York, one must have a license, yet a person regardless of whether they were New Yorkers or New Jerseyites or Floridians could travel legally through or into any State.

 [Begin 132 Cong. Rec. p. 6894]

We are told not to worry about the provision, because the handguns have to be unloaded and not readily accessible; however, one in a very few seconds can pull a pistol from its position of inaccessibility in an automobile glove compartment or other part of the car, take an ammunition clip from their coat pockets and insert it into the pistol and be ready for a fight to take it out on a police officer, or whatever.

 

I appeal to my colleagues, it just does not make sense to put firearms in the possession of individuals in their automobiles. We have enough incidents on highways. Police officers stop cars day in and day out on the highways and byways and they are killed by people carrying weapons in their automobiles.

 

If this amendment is not taken out of the Volkmer substitute, it means that police officers will see a proliferation, a tremendous proliferation of weapons and handguns in the automobiles of people carrying them around for any purpose whatsoever.

 

Now, I say that does not make sense. I am not going to prolong the debate. We have debated this and a number of other issues as part of the law enforcement package. This is one of the most serious concerns of the law enforcement community.

 

I would urge my colleagues to support the amendment. We do not need to put more handguns into automobiles, and it is as simple as that.

 

Mr. VOLKMER. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the amendment.

 

I would like to point out to the members of the committee that when the language that is in the Volkmer substitute was offered in the other body, by a Senator in the other body, there was an explanation and colloquy in regard to it.

 

I quite agree with the language that is presently in the substitute because it is taken verbatim from the language of the amendment to S. 49 in the Senate. There one of the sponsors of the amendment stated that the purpose of this amendment is to make clear that it is the intention of Congress that state and local statutes and regulations shall remain in effect, except that in certain narrow circumstances involving travel through one or more states other than the State of residence, a defense is available to prosecutions under State and local gun control laws.

 

We do not by the language in the substitute do away with or void any State or local ordinances in regard to transportation of handguns, rifles, and shotguns. We only say that if you do as a hunter and if you are arrested for going through that state without a permit, some States require permits, if you are arrested then you have a defense to a prosecution if you can prove that you have a legal right to own the gun, that you comply with Federal laws and that you are on a lawful purpose. You would have to prove it.

 

Therefore, it does not mean that State police, local police or anybody else, cannot stop somebody that has a gun in their car and arrest them. They can still do it even with our language. We do not change the local law.

 

Mr. CRAIG. Mr. Chairman, will my colleague yield?

 

Mr. VOLKMER. Yes.

 

Mr. CRAIG. Mr. Chairman, has not the problem in the past been a question of defense for being an innocent transporter through a State?

 

Mr. VOLKMER. Right.

 

Mr. CRAIG. And in no way does our substitute override State law; it simply says that in these instances where this kind of proof can be substantiated that this individual has that type of flexibility.

 

Mr. VOLKMER. Yes. He would have a defense to a prosecution if he can prove to the satisfaction of a judge or a jury that it was for a lawful purpose. He would have to prove that and therefore we are not letting it wide open for any criminals or crooks or anybody else to drive through states that they cannot drive through now with guns in their cars, because if they do they can be arrested. They have no legitimate purpose. They can be fined or jailed for doing it, just like they can now.

 

Mr. CRAIG. Mr. Chairman, I thank my colleague.

 

Mr. VOLKMER. Mr. Chairman, I just would like to reiterate so that we have it on record in regard to the language that is in here that it is provided in the CONGRESSIONAL RECORD during the debate last July, on July 9 in the Senate, it says:

 

Many firearms owners currently travel through Massachusetts or some localities like New York City local laws may forbid possession of firearms that may be used to arrest interstate travelers in commerce.

 

That is not unforiegn. I was just out in my district in the last Easter recess, Mr. Chairman, and I had a constituent of mine who pointed out, as was earlier talked about, going to Africa and going hunting. He had gone to Africa and he came back through Kennedy, and that is in New York. He has his rifles and handguns. He was illegal while he was in Kennedy going through. He could have been arrested if they knew about it and he could have gone to jail and been prosecuted for just traveling through and going back to Missouri.

 

This would not permit that. They could still arrest him, but he would have a defense that he was lawfully traveling for a lawful purpose and therefore they would probably not arrest him after they found out the circumstances, but they could still make the initial arrest under our bill.

 

Now, I admit perhaps the problem that has come about in interpretation is the result of the original language that was in S. 49 and in H.R. 945 that would have voided, actually voided State and local laws to the contrary. We eliminated that language. It is no longer in the bill. We only provide that the law is still there, but that it gives a defense to the people.

 

Therefore I speak in strong opposition to the amendment of the gentleman from New Jersey.

 

The CHAIRMAN. The time of the gentleman from Missouri has expired.

 

(At the request of Mr. HUGHES, and by unanimous consent, Mr. VOLKMER was allowed to proceed for 1 additional minute.)

 

Mr. HUGHES. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield to me?

 

MR. VOLKMER. Yes; I yield.

 

Mr. HUGHES. Mr. Chairman, let me ask the gentleman, is this language still in the Volkmer substitute: Any person not prohibited by this chapter from transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm shall be entitled to transport an unloaded, not readily accessible firearm in interstate commerce notwithstanding any provision of any legislation enacted, or any rule or regulation prescribed by any State or political subdivision thereof..

 

MR. VOLKMER. That is correct.

 

Mr. HUGHES. Well, I ask my colleague, is that not a direct preemption of State and local law?

 

MR. VOLKMER. No; it is not.

 

Mr. HUGHES. What does this mean, then; notwithstanding any provision of any legislation enacted or any rule or regulation prescibed by a State or political subdivision?

 

Mr. VOLKMER. That means that you have a defense to a prosecution in the event that you are charged, if you can prove that the things are not for an unlawful purpose.

 

Mr. HUGHES. If the gentleman will yield further, that is not what it says.

 

Mr. VOLKMER. Yes, it does.

 

Mr. HUGHES. It says notwithstanding any provision of any legislation enacted. That is a preemption pure and simple.

 

Mr. MCCOLLUM. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words.

 

Mr. Chairman, I rise very briefly and very reluctantly to oppose this amendment. It is the critical amendment that I unfortunately opposed that the chairman had in the previous vote that we had on his omnibus amendment. I do not happen to personally agree with the views that he has with regard to the dangers and concerns over the provisions in the Volkmer substitute regarding the interstate transportation of handguns. I hope that this debate can be limited very briefly. I am not going to extend it

[Begin 132 Cong. Rec. p. 6895]

to any extent, but I would very much like the opportunity to vote for some of the other amendments which the gentleman has out of his omnibus package, hopefully to offer here shortly.

 

Unfortunately, as I said, I must oppose the amendment.

 

Mr. FISH. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?

 

Mr. MCCOLLUM. I yield to the gentleman from New York.

 

Mr. FISH. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

 

Mr. Chairman, what we are talking about here is the transport of inaccessible and unloaded handguns from State to State. It is my opinion that the Volkmer substitute adequately addresses this issue.

 

I think it is important for the Members to understand that the word inaccessible under both case law and in the report of the other body means locked in a car trunk or a glove compartment. I see no need to frustrate honest, law-abiding citizens in the pursuit of a lawful activity, which is the transport of a handgun on an interstate basis to facilitate legitimate sporting purposes.

 

Mr. LUNGREN. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words.

 

Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of this amendment. This is a crucial amendment. It really comes down to what we want to do. As I say, in my particular district, the sportsmen have said to me, Please give us an opportunity to transport our long guns for purposes of sporting.

 

We have heard on the floor here that that ought to be extended to handguns. That is the argument, whether you think that is necessary for legitimate sportsmen's purposes or whether, in this case, you would resolve doubt in favor of the law enforcement organizations that have asked us, in fact have pleaded with us, not to go this far.

 

Maybe they are in error. Maybe I am in error. Maybe after we make this change in the 1968 firearms law with respect to long guns, we will have a reconsideration and find down the line that this does not provide the problem for law enforcement that they think it is. But it just seems to me that when we have the law enforcement organizations, literally tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of people who serve us every day of every year, who put their lives on the line every day of every year, we ought to owe them something more than lipservice when they come to us and say, We understand the legitimate needs of sportsmen. At the same time, we think this goes too far.

 

Inaccessible, yes; inaccessible weapons, handguns we are talking about, inaccessible in most cases probably means concealed. In many jurisdictions, we have a law against concealed handguns being carried in a car, even if unloaded. You may disagree with that. You may disagree with your local school district making a law. You may disagree with your local county making a law. You may disagree with your local State legislature making a law. But if federalism means anything, it means that we should tread very, very lightly when we are superseding local and State laws.

 

Despite what the gentleman from Missouri might say, this supersedes, this preempts State and local law. There are no two ways about it. The language says, notwithstanding any local ordinance or State law. If that is not superseding, superseding has no meaning in the English language. This precisely means we are going to supersede, we are going to preempt State law and local law with respect to carrying handguns, inaccessible, yes; concealed, yes, in our cars.

 

I happen to think when the police in my area say to me, On this question, be very, very careful. We happen to think it goes too far. We ask you, we plead with you, to keep us in mind, then I think we might tip the scales in their favor. That is what it is.

 

We had the omnibus bill. There are a lot of things in there some people wanted to pick and choose. This is the one, single question on interstate transport of single type of weapons, that is, handguns. It has nothing to do with long guns. A simple question: Do you think we ought to supersede, ought to preempt local law, State law, with respect to handguns being transported in your car. Police officers are very worried about it. I would hope that we would at least give them the benefit of the doubt here, recognizing that with all of our fury and all of our thunder in passing tough law enforcement legislation, most of the tough law enforcement comes to bear on local jurisdictions, with local police officers and State police. They are asking us. Let us at least give a nod to them in terms of their experience.

 

Mr. SMITH of Florida. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words.

 

Mr. Chairman, the gentleman from California once again has done a very capable job of following up what the chairman of the subcommittee, the gentleman from New Jersey <Mr. HUGHES> has said with reference to this amendment.

 

Please, let me take 2 minutes of your time. There has been debate here about whether or not the heads of these police organizations really speak for the rank and file. We know that many members of police agencies also belong to the NRA. We appreciate the fact that they enjoy handguns to use in relaxing sport-type activities, hunting and the like. They use long guns. they use shotguns. Many Americans do.

 

But in Florida, there is also a move to take away the right of individual municipalities to make restrictions on handguns. So Florida International University did a poll only of rank and file police officers. Florida is a rather big State when it comes to the use of sporting weapons. There are a lot of handguns in Florida, as you know. There are a lot of rifles and shotguns. Florida is a place where there is a lot of sports activity. They did a poll only of rank and file police officers.

 

Ninety-two percent of the rank and file police officers responded to the poll by saying that they believe their lives would be placed in much greater jeopardy if there was a law which removed restrictions on the movement of handguns inside the State. We are talking about nationally. We are talking about the 50 States. We are talking about a major change in the law.

 

Ladies and gentlemen, my colleagues, where is the problem? Who has come to you individually and asked you for this? Has there been a hue and cry since you have been in Congress to change this law? Have you gotten thousands of letters, like you did on withholding tax on income savings, to change the interstate transportation of handguns? Has the Government come to you and said, We have a major problem. We need to change the law?

 

You have not gotten it. I have not gotten it. There has not been that problem. There is not that problem now. The Volkmer substitute will allow for the free flow of the long guns and the shotguns.

 

Please, I beg you, do not change what is not a problem law. There does not need to be any redress. There is no problem to redress. Allow the Hughes amendment to pass. Make the Volkmer substitute have some reasonable relation to curing real problems. That is what we ask at this stage. It would be only fair. As the gentleman from California <Mr. LUNGREN> said: It would certainly be right for the safety of the police in this country.

 

The CHAIRMAN. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from New Jersey <Mr. HUGHES> to the amendment as amended, offered by the gentleman from Missouri <Mr. VOLKMER> as a substitute for the Judiciary Committee amendment in the nature of a substitute, as amended.

 

The question was taken; and on a division (demanded by Mr. VOLKMER), there were-ayes 20, noes 24.

 

Mr. HUGHES. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.


A recorded vote was ordered.

 

The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were-ayes 177, noes 242, not voting 15, as follows:

 [Begin 132 Cong. Rec. p. 6896]

 <Roll No. 71>

 

 AYES-177

 

 Ackerman Akaka Anderson Annunzio Anthony Applegate Aspin Atkins Barnes Bateman Bates Bedell Beilenson Bennett Bereuter Berman Biaggi Boggs Boland Bonior (MI) Bonker Borski Boxer Broomfield Brown (CA) Burton (CA) Carper Chandler Clay Coleman (MO) Collins Conte Conyers Courter Coyne Crockett Dellums Dicks DioGuardi Dixon Donnelly Downey Dwyer Dymally Early Edgar Edwards (CA) Evans (IL) Fascell Fawell Fazio Feighan Florio Foglietta Ford (MI) Ford (TN) Fowler Frank Frenzel Frost Garcia Gejdenson Gibbons Gonzalez Goodling Gradison Gray (PA) Green Guarini Hall (OH) Hatcher Hawkins Hayes Hertel Hillis Howard Hughes Hutto Jacobs Johnson Jones (NC) Kaptur Kastenmeier Kennelly Kildee Kleczka LaFalce Lantos Leach (IA) Lehman (CA) Lehman (FL) Leland Lent Levin (MI) Levine (CA) Lipinski Lowry (WA) Lungren Madigan Manton Markey Matsui Mavroules Mazzoli McGrath McHugh McKinney Meyers Mica Mikulski Miller (CA) Miller (WA) Mineta Mitchell Moakley Molinari Moody Morrison (CT) Mrazek Nowak Oakar Owens Oxley Panetta Pease Pepper Pickle Porter Price Pursell Rangel Ridge Rinaldo Rodino Roe Rose Rostenkowski Roukema Rowland (CT) Roybal Russo Sabo Savage Saxton Scheuer Schneider Schroeder Schumer Seiberling Slaughter Smith (FL) Smith (NJ) Solarz Spratt St Germain Stark Stratton Studds Torricelli Towns Traficant Udall Vento Visclosky Walgren Waxman Weiss Wheat Whitehurst Wirth Wolf Wolpe Wright Wylie Yates Young (FL) Zschau

 

 NOES-242

 

 Alexander Andrews Archer Armey AuCoin Badham Barnard Bartlett Barton Bentley Bevill Bilirakis Bliley Boehlert Boner (TN) Bosco Boucher Boulter Breaux Brooks Brown (CO) Broyhill Bruce Bryant Burton (IN) Byron Callahan Campbell Carney Carr Chapman Chappell Chappie Cheney Clinger Coats Cobey Coble Coelho Coleman (TX) Combest Cooper Coughlin Craig Crane Daniel Dannemeyer Darden Daschle Daub Davis de la Garza DeLay Derrick DeWine Dickinson Dingell Dorgan (ND) Dornan (CA) Dowdy Dreier Duncan Durbin Dyson Eckart (OH) Eckert (NY) Emerson English Erdreich Evans (IA) Fiedler Fields Fish Flippo Foley Franklin Fuqua Gallo Gaydos Gekas Gilman Gingrich Glickman Gordon Gray (IL) Gregg Gunderson Hall, Ralph Hamilton Hammerschmidt Hansen Hartnett Hefner Hendon Henry Hiler Holt Hopkins Horton Hubbard Huckaby Hunter Hyde Ireland Jeffords Jenkins Jones (OK) Jones (TN) Kanjorski Kasich Kemp Kindness Kolbe Kolter Kostmayer Kramer Lagomarsino Latta Leath (TX) Lewis (CA) Lewis (FL) Lightfoot Livingston Lloyd Loeffler Long Lott Lowery (CA) Luken Lundine Mack MacKay Marlenee McCain McCandless McCloskey McCollum McCurdy McDade McEwen McKernan McMillan Michel Miller (OH) Mollohan Monson Montgomery Moore Moorhead Morrison (WA) Murphy Murtha Myers Natcher Neal Nelson Nielson Oberstar Obey Olin Ortiz Packard Parris Pashayan Penny Perkins Petri Quillen Rahall Ray Regula Reid Richardson Ritter Roberts Robinson Roemer Rogers Roth Rowland (GA) Rudd Schaefer Schuette Schulze Sensenbrenner Sharp Shaw Shelby Shumway Shuster Sikorski Siljander Sisisky Skeen Skelton Slattery Smith (IA) Smith (NE) Smith, Denny (OR) Smith, Robert (NH) Smith, Robert (OR) Snowe Snyder Solomon Spence Staggers Stallings Stangeland Stenholm Strang Stump Sundquist Sweeney Swift Swindall Synar Tallon Tauke Tauzin Taylor Thomas (CA) Thomas (GA) Traxler Valentine Vander Jagt Volkmer Vucanovich Walker Watkins Weaver Weber Whitley Whittaker Whitten Williams Wilson Wise Wortley Wyden Yatron Young (AK) Young (MO)

 

 NOT VOTING-15

 

 Addabbo Bustamante Edwards (OK) Gephardt Grotberg Heftel Hoyer Lujan Martin (IL) Martin (NY) Martinez Nichols O'Brien Stokes Torres

 

Messrs. TAUKE, LUNDINE, SYNAR, KOSTMAYER, COUGHLIN, DURBIN, and STENHOLM changed their votes from aye to no.

 

So the amendment to the amendment, as amended, offered as a substitute for the Judiciary Committee Amendment in the nature of a substitute, as amended, was rejected.

 

The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.

 

 AMENDMENT OFFERED BY MR. HUGHES TO THE AMENDMENT, AS AMENDED, OFFERED BY MR. VOLKMER AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR THE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE AMENDMENT IN THE NATURE OF A SUBSTITUTE, AS AMENDED

 

Mr. HUGHES. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment to the amendment offered as a substitute for the committee amendment in the nature of a substitute.

 

The Clerk read as follows:

 

Amendment offered by Mr. HUGHES to the amendment, as amended, offered by Mr. VOLKMER as a substitute for the Judiciary Committee amendment in the nature of a substitute, as amended: Page 7, line 10, strike out shall not apply and all that follows through firearms) in line 2 on page 8, and insert in lieu thereof the following: shall not apply to the sale or delivery of any rifle or shotgun to a resident of a State other than a State in which the licensee's place of business is located if the transferee meets in person with the transferor to accomplish the transfer, and the sale, delivery, and receipt fully comply with the legal conditions of sale in both such States (and any licensed manufacturer, importer or dealer shall be presumed, for purposes of this subparagraph, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, to have had actual knowledge of the State laws and published ordinances of both States).

 

Mr. HUGHES (during the reading). Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent that the amendment be considered as read and printed in the RECORD.

 

The CHAIRMAN. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from New Jersey?

 

There was no objection.

 

(Mr. HUGHES asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

 

Mr. HUGHES. Mr. Chairman, I understand the leadership wants the Committee to rise after this amendment. This will not take very long; so if the membership will bear with me.

 

Mr. VOLKMER. Mr. Chairman, if the gentleman will yield on that, I would address a question to the Chair. I just discussed it with the Parliamentarian, and I have been informed that at 7:16 we quit on all amendments, we go to a vote on my substitute, and then the Committee will rise.

 

Mr. HUGHES. I say to my colleague I did not yield to my colleague, and I say to my colleague that I do not set the schedule around here.

 

Mr. O'NEILL. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?

 

Mr. HUGHES. I yield to the Speaker.

 

Mr. O'NEILL. Mr. Chairman, a very interesting thing has happened. I have been asked by the Sergeant at Arms, Can we close the Capitol on Saturdays and Sundays? Why? Because we are running out of money; there is no money for protection and police and things of that nature, because of Gramm-Rudman.

 

The fact is that we are running every night after a certain hour, we are taking so much of the time because we have to have overtime, and there is a police officer at every one of these doors that is open in the Chamber. In view of the fact that we have no legislative business tomorrow, there is a possibility, at 7:16 when we close, that we could have seven rollcalls. I have just taken this up with the Parliamentarian, and there is the possibility that there could be seven rollcalls.

 

There is no business for tomorrow. I do not see why the Committee cannot rise now and come in at 10 o'clock tomorrow, and, in an orderly way,

[Begin 132 Cong. Rec. p. 6897]

finish the business. I think we ought to start expediting the business around here, and we have got to start watching the pennies as we go along, because we do not even have franking money out there.

 

Mr. HUGHES. Mr. Chairman, I yield the balance of my time, and move that the Committee do now rise.

 

The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman yields back the balance of his time and moves that the Committee rise.

 

PARLIAMENTARY INQUIRY

 

Mr. VOLKMER. Mr. Chairman, during all that, do we have an amendment pending?

 

The CHAIRMAN. The Hughes amendment is pending.

 

Mr. VOLKMER. Mr. Chairman, I did not even hear it read during all of that.

 

I move to strike the last word.

 

The CHAIRMAN. The reading of the Hughes amendment was dispensed with by unanimous consent.

 

The gentleman, then, instead of speaking to the amendment, has yielded back the balance of his time and moved that the Committee rise.

 

The question is on the motion offered by the gentleman from New Jersey <Mr. HUGHES> that the Committee do now rise.

 

PARLIAMENTARY INQUIRIES

 

Mr. ROEMER. Mr. Chairman, I have a parlimanentary inquiry.

 

Mr. CHAIRMAN. The gentleman will state it.

 

Mr. ROEMER. Is it the position of the House, Mr. Chairman, that when we rise and meet tomorrow, the Hughes amendment pending now would begin the debate?

 

Mr. CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Louisiana is exactly correct.

 

Mr. VOLKMER. Mr. Chairman, I have a parliamentary inquiry.

 

Mr. CHAIRMAN. The gentleman will state it.

 

Mr. VOLKMER. When we come in tomorrow and the Committee begins to act on the bill, we will have only the time left under the 5 hours for amendments, is that not correct?

 

Mr. CHAIRMAN. The gentleman is correct.

 

Mr. VOLKMER. Which right now is approximately 1 hour?

 

Mr. CHAIRMAN. The gentleman is correct.

 

Mr. VOLKMER. And then the rest of the amendments, are they cut off? Or do we go ahead for those that are in the RECORD and vote on them after 5 minutes each?

 

Mr. CHAIRMAN. There will not be any amendments that would be in order after the conclusion of the 5-hour consideration.

 

Mr. VOLKMER. In other words, really we could finish this up tonight in 1 hour and we would be hour of here. So tomorrow morning we are going to come in for 1 hour and then we are going to vote?

 

Mr. CHAIRMAN. The Committee of the Whole could conclude the work but there could be votes, in both the Committee and in the House which could certainly go beyond the 1 hour.

 

The question is on the motion offered by the gentleman from New Jersey <Mr. HUGHES> that the Committee do now rise.

 

The motion was agreed to.

 

Accordingly the Committee rose; and the Speaker having resumed the chair, Mr. RANGEL, Chairman of the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union, reported that that Committee, having had under consideration the bill (H.R. 4332) to amend chapter 44 (relating to firearms) of title 18, United States Code, and for other purposes, had come to no resolution thereon.

 

[end p. 6897, April 9, 1986]

 

[begin 132 Cong. Record p. 7075, April 10, 1986]

 

FEDERAL FIREARMS LAW REFORM ACT OF 1986

 

The SPEAKER. Pursuant to House Resolution 403 and rule XXIII, the Chair declares the House in the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union for the further consideration of the bill, H.R. 4332.

 

 IN THE COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE

 

Accordingly the House resolved itself into the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union for the further consideration of the bill (H.R. 4332) to amend chapter 44-relating to firearms-of title 18, United States Code, and for other purposes, with Mr. RANGEL in the chair.

 

The Clerk read the title of the bill.

 

The CHAIRMAN. When the Committee of the Whole rose on Wednesday, April 9, 1986, pending was the Judiciary Committee amendment in the nature of a substitute, the substitute by the gentleman from Missouri <Mr. VOLKMER> and an amendment to the substitute by the gentleman from New Jersey <Mr. HUGHES>.

 

One hour of consideration for amendments under the 5-minute rule remains.

 

The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from New Jersey < Mr. HUGHES>.

 

For what purpose does the gentleman from Missouri <Mr. VOLKMER> rise?

 

Mr. VOLKMER. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the amendment.

 

The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Missouri is recognized for 5 minutes.


Mr. VOLKMER. Mr. Chairman, the allegations from the opponents of the substitute in regard to the interstate sale of handguns is that it would allow massive interstate sales of guns.

 

First, I would like to address that point because it is erroneous. It is a misrepresentation.

 

Under the substitute, an interstate sale must comply with all the laws of both States and with Federal laws.

 

Second, only a licensed gun dealer is allowed to make an interstate sale of a gun. Thus, all interstate sales are carried on dealers' books showing the serial number, the buyer's identity and residence and the buyer's drivers license or other ID number.

 

Third, as far as the claim that truckloads of guns could be bought goes, section 103 continues the existing requirement that a dealer selling more than one handgun to a person in any one week also must report the transaction to the BATF.

 

Thus, anyone buying a truckload of pistols or even two of them from a dealer has the name, address, and serial number promptly reported to the BATF. The objection is thus specious.

 

I know that back in 1982 when the then current bill would have allowed transfers by nondealers, Handgun Control, Inc., suggested that a limitation to dealers would make the interstate sales provision enforceable.

 

I want to point that out again, that back in 1982 when our language in our bill would have permitted transfers by nondealers, the strong opponents to anyone owning handguns, Handgun Control, Inc., suggested a limitation

[Begin 132 Cong. Rec. p. 7076]

to dealers would make the interstate sales provision enforceable, and that is what we have.

 

So even the Handgun Control, Inc., said in 1982 that this language in our bill was very enforceable. They even testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee that since dealers must undergo a Federal eligibility check before they are licensed, they are subject to continuing Federal oversight and are more familiar with actual laws and procedures, a system that relies on dealers for interstate transfers also helps to reduce the ultimate number of illegal sales.

 

Well, the substitute relies on dealers for interstate sales, so now they have had to manufacture contradictory nonsense to oppose it, and that is the reason for the amendment. It is specious. It really does not stop criminals from getting handguns. Criminals do not worry about whether it is an interstate purchase or a local purchase. They buy their guns from individuals and we try to prevent that with language in our bill by making it a felony for an individual to sell to a felon or a convicted felon or even an individual. Right now they can do that. We make that a crime, a Federal crime.

 

I would also like to point out that in the other body when this amendment was brought up, it was overwhelmingly defeated.

 

The amendment, such as the present Hughes amendment, was defeated by more than three to one in the Senate and, therefore, it is clear that the amendment does not really stop criminals from getting handguns. It only makes it harder for private individuals, honest citizens, to acquire handguns as well as rifles and shotguns.

 

The idea that has been put forward that the dealers will not know all State laws and stuff like that again is a specious argument, because even the Judiciary bill and even the amendment that we have before us would allow interstate sales of rifles and shotguns.

 

Now, in that the dealer is going to have to know what the laws of the other States are for rifles and shotguns. They have to admit that they know those and if they know those, they can know what the handgun laws are in other States, just as easily as you can rifles and shotguns; so that argument that the Judiciary Committee makes is also specious.

 

Mr. Chairman, I would just like to again voice my overwhelming opposition to this amendment, because it really does not prevent criminals from getting handguns. All it does is try to prevent law-abiding honest citizens from getting handguns.

 

Mr. MORRISON of Connecticut. Mr. Chairman, I rise to speak in favor of the amendment.

 

Mr. Chairman, there has been agreement in the House and there was agreement between the committee and the gentleman from Missouri <Mr. VOLKMER> that there should be a relaxation of interstate sales with respect to long guns, but we are not talking here about long guns. We are talking about handguns and it is in this context that this amendment is offered to remove from the Volkmer substitute the relaxation of interstate sales with respect to handguns.

 

Now, why is this important? First, gun dealers would have to find, know, and understand thousands of State and local laws. We know that is virtually impossible. What that means is that under this provision if it becomes law, the sale of handguns interstate to those with bad intentions will become more likely. There is no reason that we need to take this risk.

 

Second, the provision as it is is unenforceable and will remove from the States their ability to prosecute gun dealers who sell guns to citizens illegal as a practical matter. The burden would then be upon the Federal Government to pick up the investigation and prosecution in these cases.

 

This is a responsibility which the Federal Government just does not have the resources for. These are matters that can and should be enforced as local law, yet the passage of the Volkmer substitute, unamended, will make that an impossibility.

 

The requirement that fails willfully violates State and local laws makes it next to impossible that there be a conviction.

 

Finally, the Volkmer substitute, unmended, would open the door for the itinerant would-be assassins, like John Hinckley and Arthur Bremmer and other felons, to pick up guns as they travel around stalking their victims. Interstate sales will make it easier to buy guns with false ID's because dealers are not going to be familiar with the various forms of identification in other States.

 

The police have called this the cop killer provision. It should be stricken, and the amendment offered by the gentleman from New Jersey <Mr. HUGHES> should be adopted.

 

Mr. MCCOLLUM. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words, and I rise in support of the amendment offered by the gentleman from New Jersey <Mr. HUGHES>.

 

Mr. Chairman, I think this is a critical amendment, and perhaps it is the most critical amendment. Lots of people characterized some we voted on yesterday that way, but I think, personally, this one is.

 

We are talking about, in this legislation, removing restrictions and impediments on sportsmen, to be able to go out into the field, and carry their weapons through States without impediment, to be able to do things that we found in the course of the last few years, since the 1968 Gun Control Act was adopted, are not necessary to law enforcement and would be helpful if we changed the laws in order to allow sportsmen a better opportunity. That is what the thrust of the committee bill and really the thrust of the Volkmer substitute is all about. This amendment that the gentleman from New Jersey is offering now to maintain the present law with regard to the interstate sale of handguns is an amendment which is important for law enforcement, and is an amendment to a provision in the Volkmer substitute, which provision is not at all necessary for sportsmen to be able to go about their business in ways which they want to do.

 

I think it is essential that we come down on this amendment, on the ballot, in favor of law enforcement. Let us talk about that for a minute.

 

We talk about the question of the handgun sale and we talk about the question of the right to bear arms, and we talk about the question of the criminal's ability to get arms. We have to balance all of those considerations in the discussion.

 

When we talk about the criminal, most people, including this Member, will gladly accede to the face in the argument that most criminals will be able to obtain a handgun regardless of restrictions or prohibitions, the laws, the penalties, or anything else, especially the hardened criminal and the organized criminal.

 

Consequently, I have always opposed the ban proposals on sales of handguns. I have opposed the waiting periods, the cooling-off periods, because I think that impairs too much on the right to bear arms.

 

But the question I asked my police chief, several police chiefs in my district, What do you say in response to those who would charge that criminals can get handguns anyway, so why restrict the interstate sale of handguns, as the law now does?

 

They say, Bill, you are right. The criminal, especially the hardened criminals, or at least most of them, will be able to. But it is a question of making it easier for them to be able to. If you change the present law, you are going to make access that much easier for a criminal.

 

It is going to be next to impossible for every gun dealer in State X, Y, or Z, Minnesota, North Dakota, to keep up with, despite the regulations promulgated and sent to them, the laws of Florida, New Jersey, and so on. It is going to be easier for someone to come in with a driver's license that is forged that they do not recognize, to show identity, and so on, or whatever it may be.

[Begin 132 Cong. Rec. p. 7077]

It is going to be easier to get that handgun in a State where the dealer just is not that personally familiar with what it looks like, what the documents look like, just through who you are or where you are from.

 

Consequently, the safeguards that I know that the gentleman from Missouri < Mr. VOLKMER> has put into his substitute in hopes that he can protect this sale provision just simply, in my judgment, will not work. When I balance the interest involved and the concerns of our law enforcement community, I have to come down on the side of the Hughes amendment in this case. I happen to believe that it is absolutely essential for the future protection of society against the criminal that we have on the books the present laws that exist, and it is in no way an impediment to those who want to go hunting, or certainly a very minor inconvenience to have the laws the way they are with regard to the interstate sale of handguns.

 

I remind my colleagues that we have already changed the law in both of the proposals before us today with regard to long guns, shotguns, and rifles, so that that interstate purchase will be available, and so forth. I think it is essential, as I said, that we not change the law with regard to handguns, and I strongly urge my colleagues to vote yes, in favor of the amendment before us at the present time.

 

Mr. HUGHES. Mr. Chairman, we only have about 50 minutes left to debate, and I wonder if we can agree to limit debate on this amendment to not more than 5 more minutes, on this particular amendment, and to limit debate on each of the additional amendments to no more than 10 minutes.

 

Mr. MCCOLLUM. Mr. Chairman, if the gentleman would yield, I would be glad to do that. I think that would be a fair thing to do.

 

The CHAIRMAN. Does the gentleman from New Jersey have a unanimous-consent request?

 

Mr. HUGHES. Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent to limit debate on this amendment to 10 minutes, and on any additional amendments offered to 10 minutes, so that we can at least get to a number of the amendments that have been noticed by other Members.

 

The CHAIRMAN. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from New Jersey?

 

Mr. MCCOLLUM. Mr. Chairman, reserving the right to object, I would like to ask the chairman, it is the chairman's concern, as it is mine, I believe, in his request, that we only have a few minutes left, maybe 50 minutes or so altogether. There are any number of amendments that Members would like to offer besides the one now pending.

 

In all sense of fairness, some kind of time accord needs to be worked out.

 

Is that not the gentleman's objective in this proposal?

 

Mr. HUGHES. If the gentleman will yield, that is the purpose of it.

 

Mr. MCCOLLUM. I think it is fair.

 

Mr. HUGHES. I would hope that Members would not object.

 

Mr. ROEMER. I am constrained to object, Mr. Chairman.

 

Mr. HUGHES. Mr. Chairman, I withdraw my request.

 

The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman withdraws his request.

 

Mr. SHAW. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words, and I rise to speak in favor of the amendment offered by the gentleman from New Jersey <Mr. HUGHES>.

 

Mr. Chairman, yesterday I voted pretty consistently against the amendments that were offered by the gentleman from New Jersey <Mr. HUGHES>. In doing so, I recognized that I did not feel that they were that important as far as law and order were concerned, but I think we have come to a point now in the debate where the amendment that is before us is a very important amendment to law enforcement.

 

I would urge my colleagues, my colleague who voted along with the Volkmer substitute and tried to keep it pure yesterday, that they take another close look. This has got to be the key vote with regard to whether we want any controls whatsoever over the out-of-State sales of arms.

 

I do not believe and did not believe and still do not believe that the question of transporting handguns is really that important an amendment, and I thought it was really going to be more of an impairment to honest people than it was going to be a tool for law enforcement, but this is most important.

 

It is most important that we allow the States to keep their own laws for its own citizens, and those of us who do believe in States rights cooperate. I would urge all of my colleagues who went along with the NRA position yesterday, as I did, that this is the time to part company; that on this amendment, and at least one other regarding silencers, we have got to go back to some reasonable controls.

 

Mr. ROEMER. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?

 

Mr. SHAW. I yield to the gentleman from Louisiana.

 

Mr. ROEMER. I thank the gentleman both for his statement and for yielding to me.

 

Mr. Chairman, I agree with the gentleman's statement. There were many in this body yesterday who, torn between two broad-brush approaches to a difficult subject, came down on the side of Volkmer. But there were reservations within many of us who did that about this specific point in the law.

 

I agree with the gentleman from Florida that in terms of law enforcement, this is a key vote on this bill. What the Hughes amendment would do would be to keep the law as is in regard to interstate sales of handguns. Since 1968, we have had that prohibition in the law, and the basis of the prohibition, Mr. Chairman, was that handguns are difficult to find, easy to conceal, and are often dangerous. While they have legitimate uses in the world, they are different from long guns.

 

One of the things that we did in the law was require a local thread for the purchase of a handgun. That was the basis of the 1968 law. It is in force today, and we ought to stick with the gentleman from New Jersey <Mr. HUGHES> to make sure that when this body does its work today we keep the 1968 law the same with regard to interstate sales of handguns.

 

Point No. 2, if I could. I have heard no reason, no solid, substantive reason, as to why this law should be changed. Until I hear that, I stand with the gentleman from Florida and ask my colleagues who yesterday voted with the Volkmer broad brush to come back and clean it up on this targeted issue. Let us give law enforcement officers a chance. Let us hold the 1968 law on the interstate sale of handguns just like it is today.

 

Mr. SHAW. I thank the gentleman for a very fine statement.

 

Mr. Chairman, I would urge all of my colleagues to recognize that this is the key vote for law enforcement. This is the most important vote that we are going to have all day, and I would urge a yes vote on the Hughes amendment.

 

Mr. SMITH of Florida. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words, and I rise to speak in favor of the amendment offered by the gentleman from New Jersey <Mr. HUGHES>.

 

Mr. Chairman, there is near unanimity on that side and on this side on this amendment. Please, I urge my colleagues, it is an important amendment. Everything that has been said is all that is going to be said. There are other amendments. They have importance. Let us not beat a dead horse. We know the vote on this. We know where it is going. We know what the issue is. Let us stop. There are other amendments people have on important issues.

 

I would urge my colleagues to take a vote on this issue now.

 

Mr. FISH. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words.

 

(Mr. FISH asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

 

Mr. FISH. Mr. Chairman, I support this amendment to prohibit the interstate purchase of handguns for several reasons. The law enforcement community sees this particular provision of the Volkmer substitute as a serious threat to its

[Begin 132 Cong. Rec. p. 7078]

safety and its effectiveness in solving crime. Although I support the provisions in the Volkmer substitute that would, for the first time, permit the purchase of rifles and shotguns outside of a buyer's State if the purchase is legal in the State of the purchase and the purchaser's resident State, I cannot agree to the application of these provisions for handguns. First, the local laws are so varied with regard to handguns that compliance is doubtful even where dealers do their utmost to comply with the law. Second, handguns are more often used in crime, and the ability to trace these weapons to the criminal is jeopardized if the handguns are purchased anywhere in the United States. I urge the adoption of this amendment.

 

Mr. GEKAS. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?

 

Mr. FISH. I yield to the gentleman from Pennsylvania.

 

Mr. GEKAS. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for yielding.

 

I too want to urge support for this particular amendment. Let us face it, we gamble whatever we do on any of these amendments. It is a gamble, but here we are gambling on the side of at least protection that the 1968 law has thus far given. Maybe it is not perfect, but why change it? Why loosen it?

 

I am in favor of the amendment and I thank the gentleman for yielding.

 

Mr. CRAIG. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words and I rise in opposition to the amendment.

 

Mr. Chairman, a lot of people have said this is key to law enforcement. Others have said give us justification as to why we ought to change the 1968 law.

 

I guess the only justification I can give you is that State lines ought not serve as a barrier for the sale of firearms unless the laws of the State prohibit such sales. That is, I guess, a States right argument. But it is something that we have lived with, that does work, and the dealers can understand.

 

That is a chance, I think, and that is what we have changed in the Volkmer substitute. If the State or a community has enacted a restrictive firearm acquisition law, it would be respected and protected under the Volkmer substitute which could become Federal law. If a State has chosen not to enact such a law, then the Federal law no longer would impose. To limit interstate sales to long guns only is nothing but an unjustified Federal interference, in my opinion, in State affairs. The fact that it has been in place for 18 years does not necessarily make it acceptable. When you examine the facts of the law as they have been administered over those 18 years, I think it is very hard to argue that this is a panacea in law enforcement, because it simply is not the case.

 

Because of an overwhelming majority of interstate firearm sales, like all other interstate sales occur primarily in contiguous States, and we know of situations, border relationships within communities, across the river from another community, and it just so happens that one may be rural and the other may be metropolitan. That river may be the boundary, and that is where those rural people go to buy firearms if they so choose.

 

I think this is an interference at the Federal level, and we do not object, nor in any way do we object to State law, to local community law, to a city ordinance. And under present law, long guns may be purchased in contiguous States. For some reason, we have to believe that there is a firearm that is more dangerous than another firearm. Depending on who holds it and who uses it is the determiner of danger to the citizen out there, and we all know that.

 

I would simply believe that the Volkmer substitute offers a reasonable compromise and does not take Federal law and cram it down on the top of State law when it should not be necessary.

 

Mr. VOLKMER. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?

 

Mr. CRAIG. I yield to the gentleman from Missouri.

 

Mr. VOLKMER. The gentleman has pointed out something that I think is very important, and that is that the substitute bill, the language in that permits interstate sales of handguns and does not in any way change any local law or State law or ordinance. If any one State, if every State wished to ban interstate sale of handguns within their borders, all they have to do is pass a law that says no one but a resident of X State can buy a handgun in X State. That stops it, and this provision in our bill does not abrogate that in any way.

 

I would also like to point out that back in 1982 Ferris Lucas, who was speaking in behalf of the National Sheriffs Association before the Senate Judiciary Committee, said the entire existing Federal gun law makes it a felony for a private citizen, and they still do, to give or sell a firearm to a resident of a different State, even though this would violate the laws of neither State. And the present law does that, even though you may not violate the laws of either State. You still violate the Federal law.

 

If my brother, who lives in the State of Washington, was to come to visit me, and he would like to acquire a handgun and is qualified in both States-by the way, he just retired from the Federal Bureau of Corrections, so I do not think he is a crook in any way. He is a law-abiding citizen in every respect-he could not purchase that handgun in the State of Missouri, even though he qualified both in the State of Washington and in the State of Missouri. And you would make it difficult.

 

All you are trying to do is make it more difficult for that private citizen to acquire that handgun. You are not making it any more difficult for crooks to acquire handguns. You are not making it any more difficult because the crook is not going to go into that dealer and buy the handgun. He is going to go to the private individual, to the black market and get his handgun. That is where he gets all of them.

 

Mr. ROBINSON. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words.

 

(Mr. ROBINSON asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

 

Mr. ROBINSON. Mr. Chairman, I will be very brief this morning. I rise in opposition to the Hughes amendment, and in favor of the Volkmer substitute.

 

I have in my hand a book published by the U.S. Department of Justice, entitled Crime in the United States. I think all of my colleagues need to read this because clearly the U.S. Department of Justice does not consider firearm laws to be a crime factor. Nowhere in this book can one find where firearm laws are considered to be a crime-causing factor.

 

Furthermore, as I mentioned yesterday, in a recent survey commissioned by the U.S. Department of Justice, 69 percent of criminals surveyed did not carry firearms, but knives, razors, brass knuckles, et cetera. The truth of the matter is over 40 percent of the homicides committed in this country are committed with other objects and instruments other than firearms. For example, we know that in 40 percent of the homicides, the murder weapon was a knife, club, hammer, some object, poison, explosive, fire, narcotics, drowning, strangulation, and other factors.


The bottom line is simply this: Most criminals in this country do not abide by the Gun Control Act of 1968. In closing, I want to remind my colleagues that since the passage of the 1968 Gun Control Act, we have seen homicides go up over a period of time by 50 percent. I yield back the balance of my time.

 

Mr. HUGHES. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words.

 

The CHAIRMAN. Without objection, the gentleman is recognized for 5 minutes.

 

There was no objection.

 

Mr. HUGHES. Mr. Chairman, just briefly, I rise in strong support of the amendment. It is a key law enforcement amendment.

 

We have 200-some-odd-thousand dealers around this country. They cannot possibly know the laws of each State. We are just going to proliferate

[Begin 132 Cong. Rec. p. 7079]

the sale of handguns to disqualified individuals.

 

I urge my colleagues to support the amendment. The CHAIRMAN. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from New Jersey <Mr. HUGHES> to the amendment, as amended, offered by the gentleman from Missouri <Mr. VOLKMER> as a substitute for the Judiciary Committee amendment in the nature of a substitute, as amended.

 

The question was taken; and on a division (demanded by Mr. VOLKMER), there were-ayes 17, noes 15.

 

RECORDED VOTE

 

Mr. VOLKMER. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote. A recorded vote was ordered.

 

The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were-ayes 233, noes 184, not voting 17, as follows:

 

<Roll No. 72>

 

 AYES-233

 

 Ackerman Akaka Anderson Annunzio Anthony Applegate Aspin Atkins Barnard Barnes Bateman Bates Bedell Beilenson Bennett Bentley Bereuter Biaggi Boggs Boland Bonior (MI) Bonker Borski Bosco Boxer Broomfield Brown (CA) Burton (CA) Carper Carr Chandler Clay Coats Coelho Coleman (MO) Collins Conte Conyers Coughlin Courter Coyne Crockett de la Garza Dellums DeWine Dicks DioGuardi Dixon Donnelly Dorgan (ND) Downey Durbin Dwyer Dymally Early Eckart (OH) Edgar Edwards (CA) Edwards (OK) Evans (IA) Evans (IL) Fascell Fawell Fazio Feighan Fish Florio Foglietta Ford (MI) Fowler Frank Frenzel Frost Fuqua Gallo Garcia Gejdenson Gekas Gibbons Gilman Glickman Gonzalez Goodling Gradison Green Guarini Hall (OH) Hatcher Hawkins Hayes Henry Hertel Hiler Hillis Howard Hoyer Hughes Hutto Hyde Jacobs Jeffords Johnson Jones (NC) Kaptur Kasich Kastenmeier Kennelly Kildee Kindness Kleczka Kostmayer LaFalce Lantos Leach (IA) Lehman (CA) Lehman (FL) Leland Lent Levin (MI) Levine (CA) Lewis (FL) Lipinski Long Lowery (CA) Lowry (WA) Lundine Lungren MacKay Madigan Manton Markey Martin (IL) Martinez Matsui Mavroules Mazzoli McCandless McCollum McGrath McHugh McKinney Meyers Mica Michel Mikulski Miller (CA) Miller (WA) Mineta Mitchell Moakley Molinari Moody Morrison (CT) Morrison (WA) Mrazek Myers Neal Nelson Nielson Nowak Oakar Owens Oxley Panetta Parris Pease Pepper Petri Porter Price Pursell Rangel Ray Regula Ridge Rinaldo Ritter Rodino Roe Roemer Rose Rostenkowski Roukema Rowland (CT) Rowland (GA) Roybal Russo Sabo Savage Saxton Scheuer Schneider Schroeder Schumer Seiberling Sensenbrenner Shaw Slattery Slaughter Smith (FL) Smith (NJ) Solarz St Germain Stark Stenholm Stratton Studds Swift Synar Tauke Torres Torricelli Towns Traficant Udall Vento Visclosky Walgren Waxman Weiss Wheat Whitehurst Whittaker Wirth Wolf Wolpe Wright Wylie Yates Yatron Young (FL) Young (MO) Zschau

 

 NOES-184

 

 Alexander Andrews Archer Armey AuCoin Badham Bartlett Barton Bevill Bilirakis Bliley Boehlert Boner (TN) Boucher Breaux Brooks Brown (CO) Broyhill Bruce Bryant Burton (IN) Bustamante Byron Callahan Campbell Carney Chapman Chappell Chappie Cheney Clinger Cobey Coble Coleman (TX) Combest Cooper Craig Crane Daniel Dannemeyer Darden Daschle Daub Davis DeLay Derrick Dickinson Dingell Dornan (CA) Dowdy Dreier Duncan Dyson Eckert (NY) Emerson English Erdreich Fiedler Fields Flippo Foley Franklin Gaydos Gingrich Gordon Gregg Gunderson Hall, Ralph Hamilton Hammerschmidt Hansen Hartnett Hefner Hendon Holt Hopkins Horton Hubbard Huckaby Hunter Jenkins Jones (OK) Jones (TN) Kanjorski Kemp Kolbe Kolter Lagomarsino Latta Leath (TX) Lewis (CA) Lightfoot Livingston Lloyd Loeffler Lott Luken Mack Marlenee Martin (NY) McCain McCloskey McCurdy McDade McEwen McKernan McMillan Miller (OH) Mollohan Monson Montgomery Moore Moorhead Murphy Murtha Natcher Oberstar Obey Olin Ortiz Packard Pashayan Penny Perkins Pickle Quillen Rahall Reid Richardson Roberts Robinson Rogers Roth Rudd Schaefer Schuette Sharp Shelby Shumway Shuster Sikorski Siljander Sisisky Skeen Skelton Smith (IA) Smith (NE) Smith, Denny (OR) Smith, Robert (NH) Smith, Robert (OR) Snowe Snyder Solomon Spence Spratt Staggers Stallings Stangeland Strang Stump Sundquist Sweeney Swindall Tallon Tauzin Taylor Thomas (CA) Thomas (GA) Traxler Valentine Vander Jagt Volkmer Vucanovich Walker Watkins Weaver Weber Whitley Whitten Williams Wise Wortley Wyden Young (AK)

 

 NOT VOTING-17

 

 Addabbo Berman Boulter Ford (TN) Gephardt Gray (IL) Gray (PA) Grotberg Heftel Ireland Kramer Lujan Nichols O'Brien Schulze Stokes Wilson

 

The Clerk announced the following pairs:

 

On this vote:

 

Mr. Heftel, for, with Mr. Nichols against.

 

Mr. Gephardt, for, with Mr. Schulze against.

 

Mr. Stokes, for, with Mr. Gray of Illinios against.

 

Messrs. DANNEMEYER, NEAL, SCHAEFER, and GINGRICH, Mrs. BYRON, and Mrs. SMITH of Nebraska changed their votes from aye to no.

 

Messrs. CARR, ROSE, COELHO, and NEAL changed their votes from no to aye.

 

So the amendment to the amendment, as amended, offered as a substitute for the Judiciary Committee amendment in the nature of a substitute, as amended, was agreed to.

 

PARLIAMENTARY INQUIRY

 

Mr. ROEMER. Mr. Chairman, I have a parliamentary inquiry.

 

The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman will state it.

 

Mr. ROEMER. Mr. Chairman, how much time do we have left in the debate and what happens to amendments not debated?

 

The CHAIRMAN. There are 4 minutes remaining for consideration of all amendments to the bill and all amendments that have not been offered to the Volkmer substitute could not be offered.

 

Mr. ROEMER. Mr. Chairman, explain to me under the rules of the House and under this debate for amendments not able to be discussed within the next 240 seconds, what happens to those amendments? Do we have a chance to vote yes or no?

 

The CHAIRMAN. Under the special order under which the Committee is operating, the time expires for purposes of considering amendments to the bill in 4 minutes. So any amendments that have not been offered within the time allocated by the rule which has been voted on by the House will not be offered.

 

The CHAIRMAN. For what purpose does the gentleman from New Jersey rise, the chairman of the subcommittee?

 

Mr. HUGHES. Mr. Chairman, I would inquire of my colleague from Missouri if my colleague would agree to an additional hour of debate beyond the time permitted so that Members who have noticed amendments will have an opportunity to offer those amendments.

 

The CHAIRMAN. It is impossible for the Chair to recognize any Member for purposes of changing the rule adopted by the House. The Committee is restricted by the rule which has been voted on by the House.

 

The Committee is not authorized to change the rule in that way.

 

Mr. HUGHES. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.

 

Mr. Chairman, I yield to my colleague from Maryland <Mr. BARNES>.

 

(Mr. BARNES asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)


 [Begin 132 Cong. Rec. p. 7080]


Mr. BARNES. Mr. Chairman, I rise in strong opposition to weakening gun controls. We ought to be strengthening gun control laws in this country.

 

The CHAIRMAN. The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from Illinois <Mrs. COLLINS>.

 

(Mrs. COLLINS asked and was given permission to revise and extend her remarks.)

 

Mrs. COLLINS. Mr. Chairman, I rise to express my regret that, under the rule, I will not be allowed to offer my amendment to the Volkmer substitute. Had I had the opportunity, my amendment, which was printed in the CONGRESSIONAL RECORD prior to debate, would have strengthened gun control in a number of significant ways. First, the measure would require each State to establish a State handgun registration system. Second, each State would be responsible for imposing suitable penalties for noncompliance, including: First, mandatory imprisonment for a period of not less than 15 years imposed on persons who violate the registration provision; and second, fines of not more than $250,000. Moreover, under my amendment, no suspended sentences or probation would be allowed. In the event the States fail to adopt this gun registration program, the U.S. Attorney General shall be authorized to establish a Federal handgun registration program.

 

Thus, my amendment would have strengthened gun control in three important ways. First, the greatest value of the system of handgun registration is that it will enable law enforcement officers to trace weapons used in crimes. This is one major reason why police groups support handgun registration. Second, registration can be used as an additional weapon against suspects arrested with an unregistered handgun. Even while there is not enough evidence to support a conviction for a substantive crime, violation of the registration law will be enough for conviction. Third, registration also induces accountability on the part of handgun owners. Knowing there is an official record of ownership, they will act more responsibly in the care of their guns, promptly reporting any loss, theft, or sale.

 

I regret that I was prevented by the rule from introducing this important measure today. But I will continue to pursue handgun registration at every opportunity, including fighting for adoption of my handgun registration bill (H.R. 299). By mandating handgun registration, we will forge a double-edged sword for fighting violent crime. First, we will give State law enforcement officials-the people on the front lines in war on crime-an important weapon they need to solve crimes. Second, we will put in place a strong deterrent to violent crimes committed with handguns. Clearly, if we are serious about reducing handgun crime, we can do no less.

 

Mr. LEVINE of California. Mr. Chairman, I am strongly opposed to all efforts to weaken handgun controls because access to handguns significantly increases violent crime. Every year, handguns are used in the murders of over 10,000 Americans and last year in the murder of 58 police officers. We should respond to this carnage with laws aimed at saving lives and reducing crime. Instead, we are considering legislation which significantly erodes current laws under the guise of protecting the rights of hunters and sportsmen. Provisions in this amendment will enable criminals to travel to other States to purchase handguns, buy untraceable handguns from unregistered dealers, and transport their new weapons back to their home States. Law enforcement abhors this legislation because of the mayhem it will create on our streets and in our homes. If this language is passed, we will see more violent crimes, more crimes of passion, and more accidental shootings. This legislation goes far beyond the concerns of hunters and sportsmen by actually increasing the availability of handguns. These weapons have little sporting use, but can be easily concealed by criminals.

 

Under the Volkmer proposals individuals who cannot obtain handguns in their own locales can travel to other States for weapons. Although this legislation provides that the State and local laws of the buyer and seller are to be followed in handgun transactions, it then negates this provision by allowing dealers who break State and local laws to use ignorance of the law as a defense for their actions. Dealers will essentially be able to sell to anyone who walks in the door.

 

Further, this language overrides State and local laws regarding the transportation of handguns by allowing handguns to be carried for interstate commerce or for hunting or sporting purposes. This provision will drastically increase the number of handguns on the street, and further handicap law enforcement efforts to control handgun crime.

 

This legislation additionally weakens law enforcement efforts by relaxing dealer registration provisions and allowing unlicensed individuals to sell handguns without keeping records. Additionally, licensed dealers may transfer stock to their personal collections and then sell from these collections without the records. Essentially, this means that there will be more untraceable weapons on the streets for criminal use.

 

This is not a prosportsman bill. This is a procrime bill. We have a moral responsibility to protect the safety of the citizens of this country. Every year, 10,000 deaths result from handguns. These deaths often occur in the commission of senseless crimes. Some deaths occur in the passion of the moment, and additional tragic deaths occur accidently. But all have in common the easy access to handguns. We have a moral responsibility to fight this violence. To decrease the rate of violent crimes, halt the crime of passion, protect the innocent. The Volkmer legislation will not achieve any of these goals, and will impede what progress we have achieved.

 

I have heard from people from all walks of life who are deeply concerned about handgun violence and the impact of this legislation. Physicians, judges, clergy members, and citizens are calling for stronger and tougher laws. We should hear those voices and not further erode these laws.

 

Mr. WOLPE. Mr. Chairman, much has already been said about the gun control legislation that we are considering today. However, I feel compelled to share with my colleagues a letter that was recently presented to me by a group of local police chiefs in my congressional district who are strongly opposed to the Volkmer substitute. Like literally thousands of other law enforcement personnel across the country, the police in my district are concerned that the Volkmer substitute would add considerably more peril to their job than already exists, and that it would effectively undermine their already difficult fight against violent crime. A line from their letter perhaps best sums up their views on this issue: We can only be as effective as the law permits.

 

Mr. Chairman, I am pleased to insert the letter from the police in my district into the CONGRESSIONAL RECORD. I hope my colleagues will take their appeal to heart. In my mind, this is not only just a vote for the law enforcement community, but for the entire public interest.

 

KALAMAZOO COUNTY

 

SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT,

 

Kalamazoo, MI, April 2, 1986.

 

Hon. HOWARD WOLPE,

 

U.S. House of Representatives, Longworth House Office Building, Washington, DC.

 

DEAR REPRESENTATIVE WOLPE: We respectfully request your support on a current issue coming up for a House vote in early April; the Hughes Law Enforcement Amendment (H.R. 4332) to the McClure-Volkmer Gun Decontrol Act (S. 49 & H.R. 945).

 

We believe House approval of the Hughes Amendment will be a major contribution to continued reasonable and rational federal control on the sale, use and interstate commerce of firearms. This Amendment seeks to retain essential elements of law to help keep guns and the transport of guns out of the hands of the criminals as well as persons disposed to seek ready access to a gun for a single violent act.

 

As you know, crime continues to be a primary fear and concern of all law abiding Americans. We, like you, maintain a close communication with our constituents. We cannot believe the average American would agree with McClure-Volkmer bill or its amendment (H.R. 945) after having it explained in detail. In fact, what we hear in the community is why can't you get these people and their guns off the street before they commit more violence? As you know, we can only be as effective as the law permits. The citizens need your help.

 

Our second concern comes from the street police officers across the nation who must face guns either responding to crime scenes, or by happen-stance during a routine traffic stop. Police officers also need your help. The current Gun Control Act of 1968 provides for legitimate gun ownership and without unreasonable restraint. We believe S. 49 weakens the present law without amendment and we have unified to show our opposition. The bill's sponsors have recognized major points raised as being valid by introducing a substitute amendment (H.R. 945), however, it doesn't go far enough.


We need the Hughes Amendment and the American people need it. Please support the Hughes Amendment (H.R. 4332) and encourage your colleagues to support it. Thank you for your consideration in this matter. If we can provide any further assistance, please let us know. Respectfully,

 

John E. Ross, Chief of Public Safety, City of Kalamazoo; Richard Butler, Chief of Police, Kalamazoo Township; Thomas N. Edmonds, Sheriff, County of Kalamazoo; George VonBehren, Chief of Police, City of Portage; Lanny Wilde, Chief of Public Safety, Western Michigan University.

 [Begin 132 Cong. Rec. p. 7081]

Mr. FRENZEL. Mr. Chairman, a clear majority of this House, including myself, believes that the current law needs revision. The Volkmer proposal was a good start. The committee bill was also a useful proposal.

 

It had been my intention to support the Volkmer version until I listened to law enforcement officials in my district. The chiefs in my area, the sheriffs, the police and peace officers' groups, even the State bureau of criminal apprehension, have requested my support of the Hughes amendment to the Volkmer proposal.

 

The strong feelings expressed by these frontline troops in the war against crime, and the unanimity of all the law enforcement groups, was persuasive, and so I voted for the Hughes amendment yesterday. That nine-part amendment did not, in my judgment, do great violence to the general intent of the Volkmer proposal, but it failed to pass.

 

When the Hughes amendment to preserve current law with respect to interstate sales of handguns was passed, I supported it since it was the most important feature of the original nine-part Hughes amendment, and because of the support of the law enforcement groups. It did not disturb the Volkmer reform relaxing such sales of rifles and shotguns.

 

I then supported the Volkmer proposal, as amended by the interstate handgun and machinegun amendment against the original committee bill, and on final passage. I am disappointed that our local police officers did not get the changes they sought, but I am glad that needed changes were made in our nearly 20-year-old gun laws. The procedures, however, deserve strong criticism. First, the Judiciary Committee apparently tried to bury the Volkmer bill despite its strong support from a majority of Members. When a discharge petition was initiated, I told the subcommittee chairman that I would sign the petition if he could not bring a bill to the floor by May 1. The committee and the petition finished in a dead heat. It is always better to handle important legislation under regular procedures, so one must give the committee bad marks for delay.

 

The committee looks good, however, compared to the Rules Committee and the House leadership. The Rule was a ridiculous restraint on debate and amendments on an issue on which interest was obviously keen. The Speaker personally disrupted his own schedule at the last minute in a way that personally inconvenienced many Members. The confusion that accompanied the expiration of time in the Committee of the Whole was a disgrace, and the refusal of the Acting Speaker to recognize minority Members seeking to move amendments was a breach of the House's regular customs.

 

The result was satisfactory, but the procedures by which we achieved it were not. That procedure is one more bit of evidence that the leadership of this House is tired and needs change.

 

Mr. GALLO. Mr. Chairman, I want to thank my constituents in the 11th District of New Jersey who took time to contact me with their views on the gun legislation considered in the House of Representatives today. I am pleased that the House of Representatives reached a compromise that addresses the concerns of both law enforcement and law-abiding sportsmen and hunters. I want to take this opportunity to let my constituents know, of the reasons why I supported the Volkmer substitute legislation, which passed in the House of Representatives today by a vote of 292 to 130. For sportsmen, this bill permits the interstate sale of certain, but not all, firearms if the sale is made face to face between buyer and seller and only if the sale complies with laws of both States. It assures the rights of individuals to travel in and between States with a secured, unloaded, not readily accessible firearm for the purpose of participating in legal sporting activities or for changing their residence. While the bill permits the interstate sale of long guns and shotguns, this bill in no way permits the interstate sale of handguns. I specifically voted in favor of the amendment to prohibit the interstate sale of handguns.

 

For law enforcement, this bill provides an important new weapon against narcotics traffickers by mandating a 5-year mandatory prison sentence for any person who uses a firearm during commission of a drug trafficking crime; provides a mandatory prison term of 10 years for using a machinegun during commission of a crime; bans the use or sale of silencers; bans the importation of parts used to make Saturday night specials; bans parts used to convert guns into machineguns; and makes it a felony to transfer a firearm to another person knowing or having reason to believe that such person is unqualified.

 

For gun dealers, this bill requires a knowing state of mind for felony violations; reduces technical recordkeeping offenses to a misdemeanor; permits sales at gun shows; and limits unannounced inspections to one per year with other inspections requiring a warrant.

 

Again, let me state that this bill will not make it easier for criminals to obtain guns. Criminals already go outside the law to obtain guns. Purchasing a handgun in any State other than the person's residence is strictly prohibited. For shotguns and long guns, this bill will not allow someone to escape the jurisdiction of their State laws and purchase in a State with more lenient laws since all interstate sales must comply with State laws of both the owner and the seller. As my constituents know, New Jersey has very stringent gun control laws which will remain in effect under this bill.

 

In sum, this bill will aid law enforcement by simplifying the administration of the law, eliminating some ambiguities and, overall, will benefit law-abiding shooters, sportsmen, and other gun owners.

 

Mr. MILLER of Washington. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the McClure-Volkmer substitute, and in support of H.R. 4332, a bill by Representative HUGHES to improve the regulation of firearms in this country. Both bills make it easier for hunters and sportsmen to transport legally acquired rifles safely and securely across State lines. And rightly so. But McClure-Volkmer does and does not do some things that alarm me. McClure-Volkmer allows the interstate sale of handguns and of Saturday night specials, weapons that have contributed to thousands of homicides in our country.

 

Some refinements in current law may indeed be necessary to protect individual rights and to correct inequities. But, for heavens sake, while making these adjustments, let us not remove or weaken those very few requirements which provide the public and the police a minimum of protection.

 

The McClure-Volkmer substitute allows the interstate sale of silencers and plastic guns, and of automatic weapon assemblies-all weapons or weapon parts that are not used for any good. What sportsman would want to use a plastic gun? What hunter would want to use a silencer? In this debate Mr. Chairman, we should be very clear about one thing: The Hughes bill, not the McClure-Volkmer amendment, is the law and order bill. This may not be the opinion of the National Rifle Association, but it is the opinion of just about every major law enforcement and police organization in this country. Police officers around the Nation are pleading for our help to stem the flood of lethal handguns now engulfing our towns and cities. These officers support this bill. And I hope, I pray that we here today, heed their pleas, because they are pleading for our-and their-lives.

 

Let me say again, the Hughes bill is a law and order bill. It is not antihunter; this Hughes bill is not antitarget shooter. In fact, this bill contains key provisions which will protect the rights of hunters and target shooters who travel across State lines to shoot or who wish to buy rifles and shotguns in other than their home States. These are the same protections that are in the McClure-Volkmer substitute. This bill also contains added protections for gun dealers. It permits the sale of rifles and shotguns at gun shows and the bill clarifies several other provisions of the 1968 law which have proven cumbersome to dealers and unnecessary for effective law enforcement.

 

But, more importantly, the Hughes legislation gives our police the legal tools they need to protect themselves and us from machineguns and the justly infamous Saturday night special cheap handguns that so often find their way into the hand of the criminally sane and insane. This bill says if you deal drugs and use a gun, you go to jail for at least 5 years. If you use a machinegun in your criminal activities, you get 10 years in jail. And if you repeat the offense, you get another 20 years. At the President's request, this bill places tighter controls on the sale of parts used to convert semiautomatic weapons into machineguns. This bill bans the sale of silencers or silencer kits, a tool used almost exclusively in contract killings. And finally, this bill bans the importation of cheap handguns, the justly infamous Saturday night special.

 

I read a newspaper interview recently of Mrs. Sarah Brady. Mrs. Brady as we all know is the wife of Presidential Press Secretary James Brady, the same James Brady who was almost killed by a would-be Presidential assassin's bullet. The bullet came from  handgun, purchased from a pawn shop by a man with a history of mental illness. Now in this

[Begin 132 Cong. Rec. p. 7082]

interview, Mrs. Brady said she had to be careful and not become too emotional in her opposition to the effort to weaken controls on handgun sales. Mrs. Brady rightly feels that too much emotion about this issue, particularly on her part, would obscure the simple fact that thoughtful, careful controls on the sale of handguns will save lives. It will save the lives of policemen, preschoolers, and yes, Presidents.

 

Mr. WOLPE. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to final passage of the Volkmer substitute. I cannot in good conscience support a proposal that will significantly undermine our Nation's law enforcement community in their fight against violent crime.

 

Let's be clear about one thing in today's debate: This is not a discussion about the right to own firearms. Nor is it about preventing the legitimate use of firearms by hunters, sportsmen, and collectors. I have always supported the rights of hunters and sportsmen and will continue to do so. This is why I supported the Hughes amendment which, in my view, was both a responsible and balanced approach in reforming our Federal gun laws; it provided our Nation's police personnel with the necessary tools they need to effectively fight violent crime, while protecting the interests of hunters and sportsmen by allowing the interstate sale and transportation of rifles and shotguns for hunting purposes.

 

Mr. Chairman, it is no great secret that the Volkmer substitute is vehemently opposed by the 12 principal police organizations throughout the country. In fact, I have just returned from my congressional district where I personally met with a number of local police officials who expressed grave concerns about this proposal. The police officials whom I met with don't understand why we should add more danger to their jobs than already exists, and why we would seek to undermine their fight against violent crime. Specifically, they don't understand why we should provide loopholes for the interstate sale of handguns; for the sale of silencers and machineguns; and for cop-killer teflon-coated bullets that can penetrate bullet-proof vests. Furthermore, they don't understand why we would-of all things-support a plastic gun which terrorists can smuggle undetected through Federal aviation approved airport security systems, and why we would oppose a simple background check and waiting period for those persons who purchase handguns. And, quite frankly, they wonder why the national leadership of the NRA-who have traditionally been strong supporters of the law enforcement community-are now trying to make their jobs so much more difficult.

 

Mr. Chairman, let me take a moment to address a few of their concerns. I strongly believe there is a major difference between the extremist views of the national leadership of the NRA and the much more reasonable and responsible views of their rank and file members. The sportsmen in my district support vigorous and effective law enforcement. They resent the bum rap they are tagged with when reckless measures-like the Volkmer substitute-that would destroy effective law enforcement are advanced in their name. They know that machineguns and silencers are not used by sportsmen or responsible citizens. They know that handguns must be kept out of the hands of racketeers and professional killers. They understand that a background check and a reasonable waiting period for those persons who purchase handguns are necessary if we are serious about reducing violent crime. They know that roughly 10,000 Americans-more than 70 of them police officers-are killed by handgun wielding criminals every year. National polls are telling us that one of the most serious concerns of the American people is the problem of violent crime. This is not the time to retreat in our fight against violent crime. Rather, it is time to listen to the voices of reason on this issue. Listen to Sarah Brady-whose husband, Jim Brady, and Presidential Press Secretary, was seriosly wounded in the assassination attempt on President Reagan-who declared her support for finding ways to keep handguns out of the wrong hands * * *. The case of John Hinckley is a vivid reminder of how easy it is for a handgun to fall in the wrong hands. Listen to the 12 principal police organizations and to the police officials in my district who have warned the Volkmer substitute contains gravely dangerous provisions that pose an immediate threat to American citizens and the law enforcement officers sworn to protect them. Listen to sportsmen and hunters who are saying that they do not believe that the Volkmer substitute is in their best interests. And, finally, listen to Attorney General Ed Meese, who now expresses misgivings about the Volkmer substitute and calls Rodino-Hughes the kind of bill that I would feel comfortable with.

 

Mr. Chairman, we have an opportunity today to help our Nation's law enforcement community in their efforts to combat violent crime. I hope my colleagues will recognize this critical opportunity by rejecting the McClure-Volkmer substitute.

 

Mr. GUNDERSON. Mr. Chairman, in the minds of millions of Americans the Gun Control Act of 1968 was an unintentional overreaction to the increasing number of firearm related crimes in the United States. Since then there have been several attempts to modify the law. After 18 years, the House now has before it the legislation to accomplish this goal.

 

Both the Volkmer substitute and H.R. 4332 offer several provisions that would facilitate the purchase of sport and collectors' firearms by law-abiding citizens. They also bar the importation of Saturday night special barrels. They prohibit the transferring of firearms by nonlicensees to unqualified persons as well. Finally, they both expand mandatory penalties for using a firearm during a crime. Despite these similarities, it is my intent to support the Volkmer substitute because it provides greater freedom to gunowners that abide by the law, while at the same time, providing penalties for persons who violate that law.

 

The Volkmer substitute makes it lawful to transport all rifles, shotguns, or handguns as long as they are not readily accessible. It also allows the sale of any firearm to an out-of-State purchaser if that sale is in person and complies with the applicable laws of both the State of purchase and the buyer's residence. Representing the Third District of Wisconsin, which lies along the Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois borders. This is an important point because H.R. 4332 would prohibit my constituents from crossing a State line to purchase certain guns for their gun collection.

 

The Volkmer substitute also protects gunowners from having their entire collection or inventory of firearms confiscated or their dealer license revoked if they are found not guilty of criminal charges.

 

By including a definition of engaged in the business, the Volkmer substitute also removes an ambiguity in H.R. 4332. Specifically, this definition makes a distinction between persons who sell guns primarily for monetary gain and those who collect and trade guns as a hobby. It provides greater protection for those that trade and transfer guns as a hobby against the seizure of their collections.

 

Granted the Volkmer substitute is not a perfect bill. Yet, I believe its intent is to allow access to the purchase and transfer firearms that are used for sport and collection purposes.

 

While I recognize that many of my colleagues have serious and legitimate concerns in reference to the use of handguns in crimes, it seems to me that efforts to control handgun-related crimes by a complete prohibition on the sale and possession of handguns is akin to controlling drunk driving by prohibiting the sale and possession of automobiles. I don't believe this is the best way to deter violent crimes involving handguns.

 

It has made more sense to me to address handgun control crimes through sentencing procedures. Specifically, if a crime is committed while in the possession of a handgun, an additional period of time is tacked onto the sentence. Further, such additional jail time would be mandatory and not subject to commutation or parole. Finally, repeat offenders using handguns would be sentenced to life imprisonment without parole. I have cosponsored such legislation in the past and will do so in the future.

 

As I noted the Volkmer substitute is not perfect. It could more positively address waiting periods prior to the purchase of a handgun and the recordkeeping of firearm transfers.

 

Although waiting periods may be somewhat burdensome for purchasers, they provide a means to keep firearms out of the hands of people who intend to use them for violent crimes. That's why about 18 States have their own waiting period for handgun purchases.

 

Accurate recordkeeping of transfers is also important as it is often the only means that law enforcement officials have to trace a firearm that been used in a violent crime. Yet, on balance, the Volkmer substitute has much more good than bad in it. Afterall, no law ought to be immune from oversight and change. For too long, that's exactly what happened with the Gun Control Act of 1968.

 

I believe that the Volkmer substitute goes a long way in revising some of the problems in the current law.

 

Mr. MOLLOHAN. Mr. Chairman, I rise today in support of the substitute being offered by the gentleman from Missouri, and I want to commend him for his leadership on this legislation. The substitute being offered by my colleague truly protects the rights of law-abiding

[Begin 132 Cong. Rec. p. 7083]

citizens who wish to own a firearm for legitimate purposes. My colleague's substitute also addresses the concerns of law enforcement by providing them with clear language that effectively addresses the problem of criminal misuse of firearms.

 

A recent study commissioned by the Department of Justice uncovered statistics that will be useful to this body when considering the value of Mr. VOLKMER's substitute.

 

The study found that among convicted felons 69 percent did not carry firearms. The fear of stiffer sentences caused 79 percent of those respondents not to carry guns. Of the criminals questioned, 88 percent stated that gun laws only affect law-abiding citizens.

 

The Justice study also determined that criminals fear the armed citizen. In States with less restrictive gun control laws, criminals were less likely to victimize citizens because of the possibility they might be armed. These statistics bear out the need for stiff penalties for criminal misuse of guns. These penalties, along with the fair treatment for honest gun owners, are all found in my colleague's substitute.

 

Although the Gun Control Act of 1968 was touted as a measure to curb crime, it has not done so. This substitute, on the other hand, is a boon to law enforcement. It provides tough mandatory penalties for criminals who use a firearm in the commission of a crime. That's jail time on top of any other sentence the judge delivers. Probation, parole, and work furloughs are not an option. This substitute extends these same stiff penalties to drug traffickers as well. I'm sure my colleagues will agree that including drug traffickers under this sentencing provision adds real strength to the law and aids our Nation's law enforcement officers.

 

This substitute makes it a crime for any person to transfer a firearm to a criminal or other prohibited person. It further creates specific, uniform classes of prohibited persons, so law enforcement has a precise definition under the law of seven classes of persons who would be banned from all receipt, purchase, or possession of firearms.

 

The substitute also provides reasonable and efficient provisions for law enforcement officials in regard to tracing and criminal investigations.

 

Clearly, the gentleman from Missouri has offered a substitute that will benefit all of our Nation's citizens. By refocusing current law away from peaceful, honest citizens and toward violent criminals the valuable resources of our law enforcement community will be better served. As we all know, the vast majority of citizens in this country do not misuse firearms. Federal legislation should not deprive them of their ability to acquire and possess firearms for legitimate purposes. The safeguards in this substitute will certainly make it tough for the criminal element without restricting or abusing honest citizens.

 

Mr. MILLER of Washington. Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of the amendment to ban the manufacture and importation of plastic guns-an amendment on which the majority refuses to allow a vote.

 

I want to give my colleagues something to think about as we think about this amendment. You've got 5 minutes to catch a plane. The line at the airport metal detector is a block long, stalled by a fellow who is oh so slowly taking everything out of his pockets before he goes through the metal detector for a third try. As the seconds tick by your blood pressure is about to go through the roof-until you remember why those metal detectors are there. You think about the hijackings, the killings, the terrorists and suddenly you're awfully glad for those metal detectors. But what if the metal detector were blind? What if there were weapons the metal detector could not detect? Well, forget the what ifs because plastic explosives have already killed four people just this past week on board a commercial airliner. And, Mr. Chairman, plastic weapons are real and they are invisible to the x-ray machines and metal detectors at most airports. The Libyan Government has ordered 100 of these undetectable handguns from a manufacturer in Austria. The same Libyan Government that trained and harbored the terrorists responsible for murders around the world. They are among the first customers for these invisible weapons.

 

We must do everything we can now to stop the spread of this weapon. I urge you, in the strongest terms possible, to vote to prevent the importation and domestic manufacture of these weapons before it is too late.

 

Mr. LIGHTFOOT. Mr. Chairman, I rise today to support the Volkmer substitute to the Rodino-Hughes bill, H.R. 4332. The Volkmer substitute is a good compromise which makes much needed reforms in the Gun Control Act of 1968 while also addressing some of the concerns of the law-enforcement community and the Justice Department. It is a bill which also satisfies the concerns of sportsmen who have been subjected during the past several years to burdensome and confusing regulations. The Volkmer substitute is a prosportsmen bill; the Rodino-Hughes bill is not. The Volkmer substitute contains provisions which benefit sportsmen that the Rodino-Hughes bill does not contain. For example, hunters, particularly active hunters, often have several firearms and frequently trade up their guns. When they buy a new, more modern, or just a different firearm, these sportsmen frequently trade or sell an older gun. Under the Gun Control Act of 1968, with its nondefinition of engaged in the business, an activity like this risked prosecution. Under the proposed Hughes definition, such activities would probably either require most active hunters to acquire Federal firearms licenses-if they could-or become felons, or use licensed dealers for transfers, at a substantial loss of money each time they traded a firearm.

 

The Volkmer substitute, on the other hand, defines engaged in the business so that these occasional sales or trades would be allowed without turning our Nation's hunters into felons. We are not talking about risky sales of guns which may be used in crime or bought by criminals; we are talking about sportsmen and sportswomen selling or trading rifles and shotguns, and an occasional handgun, with their friends and hunting buddies. The sportsmen of this country should not be hindered or deemed suspect because of this activity. The Volkmer substitute clarifies and improves the law; the Hughes-Rodino measure considers hunters likely to be felons.

 

Another provision important to our Nation's sportsmen deals with the interstate transportation, or passthrough, provision. When sportsmen go hunting, they take what guns they need with them, and frequently must pass through a number of States, and countless cities and counties, to get where they want to go. Those guns may include rifles or shotguns, and may frequently include a handgun. Handguns are used by hunters and outdoorsmen for protection in the wilderness, as a means of signaling in an emergency, as a snake gun on trails, or for killing a wounded animal. There is no reason these persons should have to risk prosecution if they pass through some antihandgun jurisdiction with an unloaded handgun locked in the trunk.

 

For that matter, there is no reason that the only competitive shooters who will be allowed to pass through without risk are trap, skeet, and riflemen. I would remind my colleagues that pistol shooting is an Olympic event, accounting for 30 percent of the medals offered in Olympic shooting competition. In addition to international-rule pistol shooting competitions, practical or action pistol competition and silhouette hunter's pistol competition are becoming increasingly popular. And, of course, there is police pistol combat competition. Unlike the Volkmer substitute, the Hughes-Rodino bill would not even guarantee the ability of law-enforcement officers to pass through restrictive States, cities, and counties, to reach places like Des Moines to compete with their service arms. And finally, our Nation's sportsmen, as exemplified by the National Wildlife Federation, are interested in allowing law-abiding citizens to buy firearms of all kinds in whatever State they happen to be in so long as the purchase is in compliance with the laws of both the dealer's and the purchaser's States. Current law only allows for replacement of lost, stolen, or damaged rifles and shotguns while on hunting trips, and with considerable inconvenience. The Rodino-Hughes bill would improve the situation somewhat by allowing the purchase of rifles and shotguns in other States so long as the laws of both States allow the sale.

 

Again, however, I want to remind my colleagues that sportsmen, hunters, and target shooters, use handguns as well as rifles and shotguns in their legitimate sport. And there is no reason they should not be allowed-in full compliance with the laws of their home State and in full compliance with the laws where they are making the purchase, and only through a federally licensed dealer-to purchase handguns either because their gun was damaged or because they found one that they wanted to add to their collection.

 

A myth that needs to be dispelled among nongun owners is that hunters, target shooters, and outsdoorsmen and outdoorswomen do not own or use handguns. That misconception is not held by those who use guns in their sport, such as the over 4 million members of the National Wildlife Federation, the over 3 million members of the National Rifle Association, and the over 16 million

[Begin 132 Cong. Rec. p. 7084]

licensed hunters in this Nation. These law-abiding citizens use handguns for legitimate sporting purposes and prefer the Volkmer language dealing with the interstate sale and interstate transport of firearms.

 

In conclusion, I urge my colleagues to support our Nation's sportsmen and sportswomen and conservationists by adopting the language on interstate sales and transportation, and engaged in the business of the Volkmer substitute to the Rodino-Hughes gun bill.

 

Mr. BORSKI. Mr. Chairman, I rise in strong opposition to the Volkmer substitute and urge my colleagues to join me in defeating this antilaw enforcement legislation. I support the efforts of Congressman WILLIAM HUGHES and the Judiciary Committee to develop a compromise bill, H.R. 4332, which represents a bipartisan, balanced, and reasonable effort to strengthen the 1968 Gun Control Act and relieve sportsmen and dealers of excessive burdens without compromising the safety of law enforcement officers.

 

Despite what the NRA claims, the Judiciary bill has nothing to do with the right of hunters or law-abiding citizens to bear arms. What we're talking about is criminals and convicted murderers getting a hold of concealable weapons that kill innocent citizens and police officers. Unfortunately, the strongarm tactics of the NRA have undermined the efforts of Congress to aid law enforcement in a responsible manner.

 

Every law enforcement group in the country opposes McClure-Volkmer. The job of police officers is difficult enough without approving a bill that they clearly view as life threatening. There is little Congress can do to help law enforcement; but it can vote against weakening necessary and effective gun control laws.

 

The changes offered by McClure-Volkmer pose an immediate and unwarranted threat to the law enforcement community. Police officers are particularly concerned about easing recordkeeping and licensing requirements because the changes mandated by McClure-Volkmer would make it harder to trace weapons and would undercut State and local laws. McClure-Volkmer will make it easier for criminals to do their work and harder for police to do theirs.

 

Just 10 days ago, the Philadelphia Police Department and the people of Philadelphia were hit with a glaring reminder of why tough gun control laws are needed. Sgt. Ralph Galdi, a 20-year veteran of the Philadelphia Police Force, was fatally struck down by a convicted felon with a .357 magnum handgun.

 

Galdi and his partner had been driving back to headquarters when they came upon a car whose driver had caused a series of automobile accidents in a crowded Philadelphia commercial neighborhood. When the driver attempted to flee, Galdi jumped out of his car and apprehended the man. As Galdi was about to frisk the suspect, the man turned and shot him twice in the chest and abdomen. Sergeant Galdi died on a hospital operating table after surgeons battled for more than 2 hours to save his life.

 

The man charged with firing the shots that killed Sergeant Galdi, Pedro Vega, was a fugitive with a pending bench warrant for his arrest issued in June 1985, after he failed to appear in court on drug charges. Previously, Vega had been prosecuted in New Jersey on two separate charges of receiving stolen cars and was sentenced to 1 year in jail and 3 year's probation. If there had been a background check when Vega bought his gun, Sergeant Galdi would be alive today. Instead, a dedicated 20-year veteran of the Philadelphia Police Force is dead today because our laws did not protect him. The violent handgun death of Sergeant Galdi illustrates the urgent need for stronger laws to protect our police and citizens. In fact, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Kevin Tucker called for stiffer standards for gun permits to reduce the danger of citizens being hurt when large numbers of weapons are easily available. In Pennsyvlania, once a permit is issued, the license holder has the right to carry any type and number of weapons. Commissioner Tucker is concerned that rather than being used to stop crime, the weapons would end up being used improperly or lead to shootings injuring or killing innocent people.

 

This is not the time to weaken handgun sales restrictions. Passage of the McClure-Volkmer bill permitting interstate sales of handguns poses a serious threat to law-abiding citizens and to law enforcement officers by making it easier for criminals to obtain handguns, by loosening gun dealer recordkeeping requirements and by making it almost impossible to verify the legality of sales involving out-of-State residents.

 

The McClure-Volkmer bill completely guts the only handgun law we have, and allows the interstate sale of handguns without any restrictions, regulations, or background checks. That means that convicted murderers back out on our streets will have even easier access to guns than they have now.

 

Today's vote is really very simple: you're either for police officers and law-abiding citizens or you are against them.

 

 AMENDMENT OFFERED BY MR. HUGHES TO THE AMENDMENT, AS AMENDED, OFFERED BY MR. VOLKMER AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR THE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE AMENDMENT IN THE NATURE OF A SUBSTITUTE, AS AMENDED

 

Mr. HUGHES. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment to the amendment offered as a substitute for the committee amendment in the nature of a substitute.

 

PARLIAMENTARY INQUIRY

 

Mr. VOLKMER. Mr. Chairman, I have a parliamentary inquiry.

 

The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman will state it.

 

Mr. VOLKMER. Mr. Chairman, before the amendment is read, I would like to know if the amendment was one of those printed in the RECORD prior to today.

 

The CHAIRMAN. The Chair will so inquire of the gentleman from New Jersey whether his amendment has been printed in the RECORD?

 

Mr. HUGHES. It has been printed in the RECORD, Mr. Chairman.

 

The CHAIRMAN. The Clerk will read.

 

Mr. VOLKMER. Mr. Chairman, has it been printed in the RECORD by Mr. HUGHES?

 

The CHAIRMAN. Under the rule, it is not required that the sponsor of the amendment have it printed in the RECORD.

 

The Clerk will report the amendment.

 

The Clerk read as follows:

 

Amendment offered by Mr. HUGHES to the amendment as amended, offered by Mr. VOLKMER as a substitute for the Judiciary

[Begin 132 Cong. Rec. p. 7085]

Committee amendment in the nature of a substitute, as amended:

 

Section 102 of the matter proposed to be inserted is amended-

 

(1) in paragraph (7), by striking out and;

 

(2) in paragraph (8), by striking out the period at the end and inserting in lieu thereof ; and; and

 

(3) by adding at the end the following:

 

(9) by inserting after the subsection added by paragraph (8) of this section the following:

 

(o)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), it shall be unlawful for any person to transfer or possess a machinegun.

 

(2) This subsection does not apply with respect to-

 

(A) a transfer to or by, or possession by or under the authority of, the United States or any department or agency thereof or a State, or a department, agency, or political subdivision thereof; or

 

(B) any lawful transfer or lawful possession of a machinegun that was lawfully possessed before the date this subsection takes effect..


Section 110 of the matter proposed to be inserted is amended by adding at the end the following:

 

(c) MACHINEGUN PROHIBITION.-Section 102(9) shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act.

 

Mr. HUGHES (during the reading). Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent that the amendment be considered as read and printed in the RECORD.

 

The CHAIRMAN. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from New Jersey?

 

Mr. WALKER. Mr. Chairman, I object.

 

The CHAIRMAN. Objection is heard.


The Clerk continued the reading of the amendment.

 

Mr. HUGHES (during the reading). Mr. Chairman, I renew my request that the amendment be considerd as read and printed in the RECORD. I ask my colleagues, in all fairness and rationality-we only have 3 minutes left-to give me an opportunity to explain why machineguns should be banned.

 

Mr. WALKER. Mr. Chairman, regular order and reserving the right to object

 

The CHAIRMAN. The Clerk will read.

 

The Clerk continued the reading of the amendment.

 

Mr. HUGHES (during the reading). Mr. Chairman, I renew my request for a waiver of the reading of the amendment.

 

The CHAIRMAN. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from New Jersey?

 

Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Chairman, I object.

 

The CHAIRMAN. The Clerk will read.

 

The Clerk continued the reading of the amendment. Mr. HUGHES (during the reading). Mr. Chairman, I renew my request for a waiver of the reading of the amendment. I do not know why anyone would object to the banning of machineguns.

 

The CHAIRMAN. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from New Jersey?

 

Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Chairman, I object.

 

The CHAIRMAN. Objection is heard.

 

The Clerk concluded the reading of the amendment.

 

Mr. HUGHES. Mr. Chairman, I move that the Committee do now rise.

 

Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.

 

The CHAIRMAN. Is it the Chair's understanding that the gentleman from New Jersey moves that the Committee do now rise?

 

Mr. HUGHES. That is my motion, Mr. Chairman. I move that the Committee do now rise.

 

The CHAIRMAN. The question is on the motion offered by the gentleman from New Jersey <Mr. HUGHES>.

 

The question was taken; and the Chairman announced that the ayes appeared to have it.

 

RECORDED VOTE

 

Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote. A recorded vote was ordered.

 

The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were-ayes 124, noes 298, not voting 12, as follows:

 

<Roll No. 73>

 

 AYES-124

 

 Ackerman Akaka Anderson Annunzio Anthony Aspin Atkins Barnes Bates Beilenson Bennett Berman Biaggi Boland Bonior (MI) Borski Boxer Broomfield Burton (CA) Carper Clay Collins Conyers Cooper Coyne Crockett Dellums Dixon Donnelly Downey Durbin Dwyer Dymally Early Edgar Edwards (CA) Evans (IL) Fascell Fawell Fazio Feighan Foglietta Ford (TN) Frank Garcia Gejdenson Gibbons Gonzalez Gordon Gray (PA) Green Guarini Hawkins Hayes Henry Hertel Howard Hoyer Hughes Jacobs Kaptur Kastenmeier Kennelly Kildee Kleczka LaFalce Lehman (CA) Lehman (FL) Leland Levin (MI) Levine (CA) Lipinski Lowry (WA) Manton Markey Martinez Matsui Mavroules McKinney Mikulski Miller (CA) Miller (WA) Mineta Moakley Moody Morrison (CT) Mrazek Oakar Owens Porter Price Rangel Rodino Roe Rostenkowski Roybal Russo Sabo Savage Scheuer Schroeder Schumer Seiberling Smith (FL) Solarz Spratt St Germain Stark Stratton Studds Torres Torricelli Towns Traficant Udall Vento Visclosky Walgren Waxman Weiss Wheat Whitehurst Wolpe Yates

 

 NOES-298

 

 Alexander Andrews Applegate Archer Armey AuCoin Badham Barnard Bartlett Barton Bateman Bedell Bentley Bereuter Bevill Bilirakis Bliley Boehlert Boggs Boner (TN) Bonker Bosco Boucher Breaux Brooks Brown (CA) Brown (CO) Broyhill Bruce Bryant Burton (IN) Bustamante Byron Callahan Campbell Carney Carr Chandler Chapman Chappell Chappie Cheney Clinger Coats Cobey Coble Coelho Coleman (MO) Coleman (TX) Combest Conte Coughlin Courter Craig Crane Daniel Dannemeyer Darden Daschle Daub Davis de la Garza DeLay Derrick DeWine Dickinson Dicks Dingell DioGuardi Dorgan (ND) Dornan (CA) Dowdy Dreier Duncan Dyson Eckart (OH) Eckert (NY) Edwards (OK) Emerson English Erdreich Evans (IA) Fiedler Fields Fish Flippo Florio Foley Ford (MI) Fowler Franklin Frenzel Frost Fuqua Gallo Gaydos Gekas Gilman Gingrich Glickman Goodling Gradison Gray (IL) Gregg Gunderson Hall (OH) Hall, Ralph Hamilton Hammerschmidt Hansen Hartnett Hatcher Hefner Hendon Hiler Hillis Holt Hopkins Horton Hubbard Huckaby Hunter Hutto Hyde Jeffords Jenkins Johnson Jones (NC) Jones (OK) Jones (TN) Kanjorski Kasich Kemp Kindness Kolbe Kolter Kostmayer Kramer Lagomarsino Lantos Latta Leach (IA) Leath (TX) Lent Lewis (CA) Lewis (FL) Lightfoot Livingston Lloyd Loeffler Long Lott Lowery (CA) Luken Lundine Lungren Mack MacKay Madigan Marlenee Martin (IL) Martin (NY) Mazzoli McCain McCandless McCloskey McCollum McCurdy McDade McEwen McGrath McHugh McKernan McMillan Meyers Mica Michel Miller (OH) Mitchell Molinari Mollohan Monson Montgomery Moore Moorhead Morrison (WA) Murphy Murtha Myers Natcher Neal Nelson Nielson Nowak Oberstar Obey Olin Ortiz Oxley Packard Panetta Parris Pashayan Pease Penny Pepper Perkins Petri Pickle Pursell Quillen Rahall Ray Regula Reid Richardson Ridge Rinaldo Ritter Roberts Robinson Roemer Rogers Rose Roth Roukema Rowland (CT) Rowland (GA) Rudd Saxton Schaefer Schneider Schuette Sensenbrenner Sharp Shaw Shelby Shumway Shuster Sikorski Siljander Sisisky Skeen Skelton Slattery Slaughter Smith (IA) Smith (NE) Smith (NJ) Smith, Denny (OR) Smith, Robert (NH) Smith, Robert (OR) Snowe Snyder Solomon Spence Staggers Stallings Stangeland Stenholm Strang Stump

[Begin 132 Cong. Rec. p. 7086]

Sundquist Sweeney Swift Swindall Synar Tallon Tauke Tauzin Taylor Thomas (CA) Thomas (GA) Traxler Valentine Vander Jagt Volkmer Vucanovich Walker Watkins Weaver Weber Whitley Whittaker Whitten Williams Wilson Wirth Wise Wolf Wortley Wyden Wylie Yatron Young (AK) Young (FL) Young (MO) Zschau

 

 NOT VOTING-12

 

 Addabbo Boulter Gephardt Grotberg Heftel Ireland Lujan Nichols O'Brien Schulze Stokes Wright

 

Mr. RITTER and Mr. RINALDO changed their votes from aye to no.

 

Mr. LELAND and Mr. HOYER changed their votes from no to aye.

 

So the motion was rejected.

 

The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.

 

Mr. WEISS. Mr. Chairman, on April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King was assassinated in Memphis, TN. I find it bitterly ironic that 18 years later almost to the day, this body is gutting the 1968 Gun Control Act, the law that was put in place to stop exactly this kind of senseless violence. In fact, it seems that most Members have completely forgotten the reason why we have gun control laws in the first place.

 

Eighteen years ago, our country was shocked by the brutal assassinations of two of its most brilliant young leaders-Reverend King, the man who revolutionized civil rights laws in this country and became the youngest person ever to win the Nobel Peace Prize, and Robert Kennedy, our great New York Senator, former Attorney General, and brother of the President who himself was slain.

 

In the wake of these tragic events, this Nation came to its senses and realized that laws were needed to keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of dangerous individuals. And Americans realized that any small inconvenience to gun dealers and hunters that resulted from minimal gun control laws would be vastly outweighed by the benefits of keeping the wrong guns out of the wrong hands.

 

If anything, the events of the last few years show the need to strengthen, not dilute our gun control laws. Despite the controls enacted earlier, we have again been witness to a series of shocking handgun crimes, including the assassination of one of our dear friends and distinguished colleague, Allard Lowenstein, and of course, the assassination attempt on President Reagan. It is revealing that John Hinckley, the man who shot President Reagan and Jim Brady, was found by the courts to be insane, and hence, not guilty. But nothing in the law kept him from getting a handgun. Even the Attorney General's Task Force on Violent Crime called for tightening gun control laws, and instituting a waiting period before the purchase of handguns, to allow time for background record checks.

 

Congress, at the behest of the NRA, has committeed a national disgrace by eviscerating our Nation's gun control laws. The memories of Dr. King, of Senator Robert Kennedy, and of President Kennedy deserve much, much better.

 

The CHAIRMAN. All time has expired for consideration of the Hughes amendment to the Volkmer substitute. For what purpose does the gentleman from New Jersey <Mr. HUGHES> rise?

 

Mr. HUGHES. Mr. Chairman, I have a unanimous-consent request.

 

Mr. Chairman, I made the motion to rise so that I could get additional time for the Rules Committee to finish debate on a number of amendments that were noticed, have not been reached and will not be heard, and that is unfortunate. It is an important matter.

 

My unanimous-consent request is that I have 5 minutes to explain this vote.

 

Mr. SENSENBRENNER. A point of order. Mr. Chairman, that is not a proper inquiry.


Mr. DINGELL. Mr. Chairman, a point of order. Regular order.

 

The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman will state his unanimous-consent request.

 

Mr. HUGHES. Mr. Chairman, my unanimous request is that I have 5 minutes to explain this vote on machinegun bans.

 

The CHAIRMAN. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from New Jersey?

 

Mr. MCCOLLUM. Reserving the right to object, Mr. Chairman, would the gentleman explain why he wants that 5 minutes?

 

Mr. HUGHES. So we can explain what is pending before the House.

 

Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Chairman, I withdraw my reservation of objection.

 

The CHAIRMAN. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from New Jersey <Mr. HUGHES>?

 

Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Chairman, I object.

 

The CHAIRMAN. Objection is heard.

 

The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from New Jersey < Mr. HUGHES> to the amendment, as amended, offered by the gentleman from Missouri <Mr. VOLKMER> as a substitute for the Judiciary Committee amendment in the nature of a substitute, as amended.

 

The amendment to the amendment, as amended, offered as a substitute for the Judiciary Committee amendment in the nature of a substitute, as amended, was agreed to. The CHAIRMAN. The question is on the amendment, as amended, offered by the gentleman from Missouri <Mr. VOLKMER>, as a substitute for the Judiciary Committee amendment in the nature of a substitute, as amended. The question was taken; and the Chairman announced that the noes appeared to have it.

 

RECORDED VOTE

 

Mr. VOLKMER. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote. A recorded vote was ordered.

 

The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were-ayes 286, noes 136, not voting 12, as follows:

 

<Roll No. 74>

 

 AYES-286

 

 Alexander Anderson Andrews Anthony Applegate Archer Armey Aspin AuCoin Badham Barnard Bartlett Barton Bateman Bentley Bereuter Bevill Bilirakis Bliley Boehlert Boner (TN) Bonker Bosco Boucher Breaux Brooks Brown (CO) Broyhill Bruce Bryant Burton (IN) Bustamante Byron Callahan Campbell Carney Carr Chandler Chapman Chappell Chappie Cheney Clinger Coats Cobey Coble Coelho Coleman (MO) Coleman (TX) Combest Cooper Courter Craig Crane Daniel Dannemeyer Darden Daschle Daub Davis de la Garza DeLay Derrick DeWine Dickinson Dicks Dingell Dorgan (ND) Dornan (CA) Dowdy Dreier Duncan Dyson Eckart (OH) Eckert (NY) Edwards (OK) Emerson English Erdreich Evans (IA) Fiedler Fields Fish Flippo Foley Ford (MI) Ford (TN) Fowler Franklin Frenzel Fuqua Gallo Gaydos Gekas Gilman Gingrich Glickman Goodling Gordon Gray (IL) Gregg Gunderson Hall, Ralph Hamilton Hammerschmidt Hansen Hartnett Hatcher Hefner Hendon Hiler Holt Hopkins Horton Hubbard Huckaby Hunter Hutto Hyde Jeffords Jenkins Johnson Jones (NC) Jones (OK) Jones (TN) Kanjorski Kasich Kemp Kindness Kleczka Kolbe Kolter Kostmayer Kramer Lagomarsino Latta Leach (IA) Leath (TX) Lehman (CA) Lent Lewis (CA) Lewis (FL) Lightfoot Livingston Lloyd Loeffler Long Lott Lowery (CA) Luken Lundine Lungren Mack MacKay Madigan Marlenee Martin (IL) Martin (NY) McCain McCandless McCloskey McCollum McCurdy McDade McEwen McGrath McKernan McMillan Meyers Michel Miller (OH) Molinari Mollohan Monson Montgomery Moody Moore Moorhead Morrison (WA) Murphy Murtha Myers Natcher Neal Nelson Nielson Oberstar Obey Olin Ortiz Oxley Packard Parris Pashayan Pease Penny Perkins Petri Pickle Price Quillen Rahall Ray Regula Reid Richardson Ridge Ritter Roberts Robinson Roemer Rogers Rose Roth Rowland (CT) Rowland (GA) Rudd Saxton Schaefer Schuette Sensenbrenner Sharp Shaw Shelby Shumway Shuster Sikorski Siljander Sisisky Skeen Skelton Slattery Slaughter Smith (IA) Smith (NE) Smith (NJ) Smith, Denny (OR) Smith, Robert (NH) Smith, Robert (OR) Snowe Snyder Solomon Spence Spratt Staggers Stallings Stangeland 

[Begin 132 Cong. Rec. p. 7087]

Stenholm Strang Stump Sundquist Sweeney Swift Swindall Synar Tallon Tauke Tauzin Taylor Thomas (CA) Thomas (GA) Traxler Udall Valentine Vander Jagt Volkmer Vucanovich Walker Watkins Weaver Weber Whitley Whittaker Whitten Williams Wilson Wirth Wise Wolf Wortley Wyden Yatron Young (AK) Young (FL) Young (MO) Zschau

 

 NOES-136

 

 Ackerman Akaka Annunzio Atkins Barnes Bates Bedell Beilenson Bennett Berman Biaggi Boland Bonior (MI) Borski Boxer Broomfield Brown (CA) Burton (CA) Carper Clay Collins Conte Conyers Coughlin Coyne Crockett Dellums DioGuardi Dixon Donnelly Downey Durbin Dwyer Dymally Early Edgar Edwards (CA) Evans (IL) Fascell Fawell Fazio Feighan Florio Foglietta Frank Frost Garcia Gejdenson Gibbons Gonzalez Gradison Gray (PA) Green Guarini Hall (OH) Hawkins Hayes Henry Hertel Hillis Howard Hoyer Hughes Jacobs Kaptur Kastenmeier Kennelly Kildee LaFalce Lantos Lehman (FL) Leland Levin (MI) Levine (CA) Lipinski Lowry (WA) Manton Markey Martinez Matsui Mavroules Mazzoli McHugh McKinney Mica Mikulski Miller (CA) Miller (WA) Mineta Mitchell Moakley Morrison (CT) Mrazek Nowak Oakar Owens Panetta Pepper Porter Pursell Rangel Rinaldo Rodino Roe Rostenkowski Roukema Roybal Russo Sabo Savage Scheuer Schneider Schroeder Schumer Seiberling Smith (FL) Solarz St Germain Stark Stratton Studds Torres Torricelli Towns Traficant Vento Visclosky Walgren Waxman Weiss Wheat Whitehurst Wolpe Wright Wylie Yates

 

 NOT VOTING-12

 

 Addabbo Boggs Boulter Gephardt Grotberg Heftel Ireland Lujan Nichols O'Brien Schulze Stokes

 

 The Clerk announced the following pairs: On this vote:

 

Mr. Nichols for, with Mr. Heftel of Hawaii against.

 

Mr. Schulze for, with Mr. Gephardt against.

 

Mr. Ireland for, with Mr. Stokes against.

 

Mr. MAZZOLI and Mr. ANNUNZIO changed their votes from aye to no.

 

Messrs. TAUZIN, KLECZKA, and WIRTH changed their votes from no to aye.

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