Senate Consideration of the House Bill & Passage of S.2414

Congressional Record - Senate

Proceedings and Debates of the 99th Congress, Second Session

Tuesday, May 6, 1986

[Begin 132 Cong. Record p. 9556]

FIREARMS OWNERS' PROTECTION ACT

The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. GORTON) laid before the Senate the following message from the House of Representatives:

Resolved, That the bill from the Senate (S. 49) entitled An Act to protect firearms owners' constitutional rights, civil liberties, and rights to privacy, do pass with the following Amendments:

Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert:

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, 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 combination of parts, designed or redesigned, and intended for use in assembling or fabricating a firearm silencer or firearm muffler, and any part intended only for use in such assembly or fabrication..

 

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 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),;

(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));;

 

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(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 or ammunition; or to receive any firearm or ammunition which has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce.;

(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.;

(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.; and

(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..

 

SEC. 103. AMENDMENTS TO SECTION 923.

 

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 of 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 twelve-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 twelve-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 dis-

 

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poses 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 alternate 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, competitive 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 retained 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 paragraph (2) of this subsection, subsection (b) or (c) of 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 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 ten 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 twenty 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, manufacture, or importation of any controlled substance (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802)).

(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.;

(3) by amending subsection (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 or 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 extent provided in advance by appropriation Acts.

(3) The offenses referred to in paragraphs (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;

 

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(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 transferor 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

(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 less than fifteen 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 punishable 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 offense..

(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 Firearms 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 ninety 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:

s 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..

SEC. 108. AMENDMENTS TO SECTION 929.

 

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) 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.

 

(a) 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 designed and intended solely and exclusively, or combination of parts designed and intended, for use in converting a weapon into a machinegun,.

(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 18, United States Code);.

 

SEC. 110. EFFECTIVE DATE.

 

(a) IN GENERAL.-The amendments made by this Act shall become effective one hundred and eighty 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.

(c) MACHINEGUN PROHIBITION.-Section 102(9) shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act.

 

Amend the title so as to read: An Act to amend chapter 44 (relating to firearms) of title 18, United States Code, and for other purposes..

 

Mr. DOLE. Mr. President, let me also indicate that it is still my hope that we can reach some time agreement on this bill. If that is the case, I am perfectly willing to set aside the matter now pending.

I also understand that the Senator from California could move to displace it, but that would present a dilemma for many of our colleagues who do not want to be displacing this particular piece of legislation. So I hope we can work out a time agreement. Since I cannot have any assurance of that. I am proceeding in this fashion.

Mr. CRANSTON. Mr. President, will the majority leader yield?

Mr. DOLE. Yes, Mr. President.

Mr. CRANSTON. Is there any particular time compulsion with regard to the gun bill, like the clock we have running

 

[Begin 132 Cong. Record p. 9560]

 

on the expedited procedures on the Saudi arms sale?

Mr. DOLE. Mr. President, I am not asking for an iron-tight agreement, only some assurance that we could complete it in a day or a day and a half and finish it this week. I think we can work it out-actually, it would be quite close-then set this aside.

Mr. CRANSTON. Mr. President, I would be delighted if we could work it out. The problem from my point of view is that it is desirable for the Senate to act first. The House is going to act tomorrow on the Saudi arms sale, as is scheduled. So I have a need to try to get action today.

 

[End 132 Cong. Record p. 9560]

[132 Cong. Record 9586 to 9596 are here, in pdf. The first pages are mostly debates about scheduling, and the latter pages are largely multi-page charts comparing present law, the Senate version of FOPA, and the House version. The charts are useful in research, but impossible to present meaningfully in text].

[Begin 132 Cong. Record p. 9589]

 

FIREARMS OWNERS' PROTECTION ACT

Mr. HATCH. Mr. President, there is a great desire on the part of all people on the floor at this time to try to resolve these difficulties. But let us be honest about it: The firearms owners' protection bill has had days on the floor of the U.S. Senate, days on the floor of the House. It has been thoroughly scrutinized. It has been 8 years in coming, at least as far as I know. These issues have been fought ever since the 1968 gun control bill. Sports people all over this country have been abused by interpretations of that gun control bill of 1968.

This is not some inconsequential bill, Mr. President; this is an important bill and it has preference on the calendar.

The majority leader has called it up. This is the reason for that preference. That is because an overwhelming number of Members of Congress in both the Senate and the House have approved this bill. It has come back here after House amendments which are acceptable to the managers of the bill in the Senate. We are trying to work out this other matter as well. There will be a good-faith effort to do so. 

I shall be absolutely honest about it, Mr. President: We are going to fight any attempt to amend the Firearms Owners' Protection Act on the floor at this time. The reason we are going to fight is that we know that those who want to amend it at this time, though there is sincerity behind some of their amendments, want to do so to delay it further in the hope that they can kill it either in conference or through further amendments or through any other type of delay, filibuster or otherwise. We know this is a critical time. There has been a massive effort by everybody concerned on both sides of this issue and we are going to resolve it

I also recognize that the other issue is extremely important as well and there is no reason why we cannot get to that if we spend a reasonable time on this firearms bill at this time. We are going to make an effort to see if we can resolve these matters. The distinguished Senator from South Carolina, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Mr. THURMOND, has filed another bill today that may resolve some of the problems in the minds of some of our colleagues with regard to gun control, gun ownership, interstate

 

[Begin 132 Cong. Record p. 9590]

 

transportation, and so forth. We are willing to work on that language, willing to see what can be done, but not before the Firearms Owners' Protection Act which is before the Senate at this time. There will be a good-faith effort made and let us understand it: There is no reason in this world for this particular bill at this time to take 4 or 5 days or even 2 days. This is a bill that can be disposed of in a matter of 2 hours, at the most 6 hours, if we take all amendments that the Senator from Ohio has mentioned.

It is tough to get these bills to the floor, tough to resolve these matters. This is the time to resolve this very, very important matter.

Mr. President, on July 9 of last year, the Senate approved, by the decisive margin of 79-15 the Federal Firearms Owners' Protection Act. This bill simultaneously strengthens Federal law against violent firearms crimes and strengthens protections for the rights of law-abiding gun owners. The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee greeted the bill with the prediction that it would be dead on arrival when it arrived in the House. These were the identical words used last Congress by another House leader to predict that the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984 that we worked so hard on in the Senate would be buried. The 1984 Crime Act was resurrected to become Public Law 98-473 and is the most sweeping crime control bill of this century. That was because some of us just would not be bullied or pushed around with regard to passing that bill. It is already doing much to deter criminal activities throughout our country. It is my hope that my colleagues will acknowledge the House's approval of S. 49 by helping to make it a public law as well. This approval of S. 49 would send a signal that America has become more serious about fighting violent crime.

Reminiscent of the 1984 crime control bill, opponents have undertaken to manufacture objections to this gun crime control bill. S. 49 has been accused of making it easier for escaping criminals, felons, and even terrorists to get a gun. In fact, S. 49 strengthens the Federal law banning dangerous persons from getting firearms. This bill makes it a felony for any person, not just a licensed firearm dealer, to sell knowingly a firearm to a fugitive, felon, drug abuser, or mental incompetent.

Critics of this anticrime legislation have also accused S. 49 of encouraging circumvention of State restrictions on firearms by permitting interstate firearm sales. Once again, the accusation does not match the provisions of the bill. S. 49 expressly states that a licensed dealer may sell no firearm whatsoever to an out-of-State buyer unless the sale complies with the law of both the buyer's and seller's State. Moreover any sale must take place face-to-face at the dealers business premises and records must be kept to ensure that law enforcement officers can trace weapons. State restrictions on gun sales are expressly preserved by the Senate bill; a violation of this rule is a Federal felony. Moreover, an amendment adopted in the House has retained current law on interstate sales of handguns.

Finally, critics stoop to suggesting the bill will allow mail-order sales of firearms. At least three provisions of current law prohibit mail-order sales. None of these provisions is altered by the bill, which in fact reaffirms the bans on purchase of firearms through the mail.

What the bill establishes are strict additional penalties for felonious use of a firearm. S. 49 even rules out probation, suspended sentences, paroles, or furloughs for offenders who employ a firearm in the commission of a violent crime. The Senate bill also consolidates and clarifies conflicting provisions of Federal law prohibiting felons, fugitives, drug abusers, mental incompetents, and other potentially dangerous individuals from obtaining firearms. S. 49 bans the importation of handgun frames, receivers, and barrels that are not suitable for sporting purposes, which amounts to a limit on importation of handgun barrels of 3 inches or less. The Senate bill explicitly codifies regulations permitting tracing of firearms used in crimes.

A primary benefit of the Senate antigun crime bill focuses Federal law enforcement efforts on violent crime, rather than on minor technical violations or infractions of the regulatory aspects of Federal law. Unfortunately, Federal enforcement has become mired down in enforcing inadvertent recordkeeping mistakes, rather than significant violent crime. An occasional firearm sale from a dealer's private collection has given rise to major felony prosecutions. Warrantless searches have unnecessarily harassed law-abiding firearms owners and honest dealers. The absence of legal definitions for terms like engaging in the business has subjected casual hobbyists or collectors to Federal prosecutions for dealing in firearms without a license. The lack of any criminal state of mind requirements or scienter as we refer to it in the law, has resulted in severe penalties for unintentional missteps.

In short, Federal officers have spent more time checking confusing paperwork than chasing murderers, thugs, and gun runners. S. 49 corrects those problems and frees the Federal officer to go after the violent criminal, which explains why the Nation's leading law enforcement agencies-the Departments of Justice and Treasury-were joined by the American Federation of Police, the AFL-CIO Police union, and other law enforcement groups in endorsing the Senate bill.

Indeed S. 49 will ensure that the 1968 Gun Control Act better meets its two primary intents: To provide support to . . . law enforcement officials in their fight against crime and violence and to avoid Any undue or unnecessary Federal restrictions or burdens on law-abiding citizens with respect to the acquisition, possession, or use of firearms. S. 49 's success in reinforcing those principles is the reason for its resounding victory in the Senate of the United States. For this same reason, not only America's sportsmen, hobbyists, collectors, honest firearm dealers, and over 65 million firearm owners, but also every other American interested in furthering our fight against violent crime will welcome approval of S. 49.

At this particular point, Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to include in the RECORD a comparison of the Senate and House versions of S. 49. We quote existing law. Then we cite the Senate version and then the House version.

There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in the RECORD, as follows:

 

[Omitted]

 

[End 132 Cong. Record p. 9590]

 

[Begin 132 Cong. Record p. 9595]

Mr. KENNEDY addressed the Chair.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Massachusetts.

Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, we will have an opportunity to speak at greater length on the gun control bill which is before us now, S. 49, but I for one cannot permit the general description of the legislation that has been made by my good friend from Utah to remain unresponded to here on the floor of the Senate 

I think all Americans are very much aware of the tragedies which have taken place, not only in this country but abroad, because of the acts of terrorism. All Americans are very aware that this phenomenon that has developed in recent times, and something that we have heard about from Tokyo the past several hours, may very well be focused on the United States in a very dramatic and important and significant way

But, Mr. President, we already terrorists in the cities of this country. The inner cities of this country are free fires zones, because of the massive proliferation of the small, concealable handguns which are used time and time again in crimes of violence.

There were important changes made in the House of Representatives to the legislation that passed here last July. They addressed some of the most egregious aspects of the bill that we passed. I was one of the 15 or so who voted against the Senate bill. Many of us applaud the work that was done by the House of Representatives

The fact remains, Mr. President, that this legislation is still a retreat from necessary handgun control. It is not really going to help hunters. It is going to help dealers. What it is going to do is make it more complex, more difficult for law enforcement officials, who are attempting to deal with one of the great cancers of our society, and that is handgun violence in our country, perhaps even around the world. It is going to make their job more difficult. That is why the representatives of the 10 police associations, those men and women who are on the front line of violence every single day, in the inner cities, in rural communities-trying to ensure that our homes are going to be safe and secure-they believe this bill is seriously flawed and that some amendments ought to be accepted. They are not unreasonable amendments, and we shouldn't allow this bill to move forward without them. Evidently, we will have the opportunity to address those issues this afternoon.

Mr. President, it is tragic that at the very time when many are making statements and pronouncements and issuing press releases about violence in our society, about crime in our communities, about how we are going to face new threats of terrorism, we are seeing, by the various provisions of this bill, a pattern of weakening of legitimate law enforcement officials to deal with handgun violence and the proliferation of handguns in our society.

That is why virtually all the law enforcement organizations that, as I said, are doing such an outstanding job for the citizens of this Nation feel that several amendments are essential and why they basically oppose this bill.

I look forward to having an opportunity to talk about this at greater length and to review them in greater detail with our colleagues later in the afternoon. But I wanted to make these remarks at this time, and to ask unanimous consent that the text of the letter to all Senators from leaders of every major law enforcement and police group in this Nation be printed at this point in the RECORD.

There being no objection, the letter was ordered to be printed in the RECORD, as follows:

LAW ENFORCEMENT STEERING

COMMITTEE AGAINST S. 49,

April 21, 1986.

DEAR SENATOR: At a time when our nation is fighting terrorists overseas, Congress soon may greatly increase the opportunities at home for terrorists and other criminals to obtain untraceable firearms, including concealable handguns, and transport them across state lines.

But the Senate can prevent the potential escalation in gun violence and thus help to safeguard the lives of law enforcement officers and the citizens they are sworn to protect.

This is because you will be able to vote with law enforcement on several key amendments to S. 49, gun legislation that is pending in the Senate after having been modified and passed by the House of Representatives.

 

[Begin 132 Cong. Record p. 9596]

 

The Law Enforcement Steering Committee Against S. 49, made up of the nation's 12 principal law enforcement organizations, urges you to support amendments to the pending legislation that will:

Maintain the right of states to control the transport of firearms within their borders, without interfering with the ability of individuals to transport across state lines unloaded, inaccessible firearms for sporting purposes;

Close a loophole in House-passed legislation that would facilitate unrecorded distribution of weapons by and to terrorists and other criminals;

Retain current law that requires gun dealers to keep records on all firearms sales, thus preserving law enforcement's ability to trace firearms used in crime.

These amendments represent bottom-line needs of law enforcement in its fight to forestall gun crimes and deal with violent offenders.

I. The gun lobby says that current federal gun legislation needlessly obstructs the legitimate interests of sportsmen by keeping them from transporting firearms across state lines for hunting, shooting competitions, and other sporting events. The Law Enforcement Steering Committee proposes to respond to that problem while retaining the rights of the states to regulate the transport of firearms across their lines. The Steering Committee's amendment would permit a resident of a state who lawfully possesses and carries a firearm in his home state to transport that firearm to another state here he may lawfully possess and carry it if:

The transport of the firearm is for a lawful sporting purpose;

The firearm is consistently transported in a way that it is not readily accessible (handguns must be in locked containers); and

Ammunition being transported for the firearm is kept in locked compartment.

In sum, the Steering Committee's amendment would keep intact the states' ability to enforce concealed weapons laws with respect to their own residents and to control the flow of firearms within their borders, except when those firearms were transported interstate for clearly defined, legitimate sporting purposes.

II. The second LESC amendment would close a loophole in the Houe bill that would facilitate unrecorded distribution of weapons by terrorists. According to a February 10, 1986 memo prepared by the director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, S.49 contains too narrow a definition of persons engaged in the business of dealing in firearms. Consequently, according to the BATF memo, some criminal activity that may be prosecuted under existing law for engaging in firearms business without a license may not be prosecutable under S.49. For example, an individual who on several occasions disposed of firearms at cost to terrorists for the purpose of facilitating their crimes may not be held to be 'engaging in the business.'

The Steering Committee amendment makes clarifying changes in the House bill's definition of a dealer to make certain that the definition of a dealer covers individuals who dispose of firearms to terrorist groups.

III. A final LESC amendment would retain current law that requires that dealers keep records of all sales. Without such requirements, law enforcement would face a flood of untraceable firearms used in crimes. The amendment simply assures that firearms dealers continue to be required to take a few minutes to record sales of firearms.

We urge your support for law enforcement's amendments and for public safety when S.49 comes up for a vote on the Senate floor.

Sincerely,

Robert E. Van Etten, President, Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association; Richard A. Boyd, National President, Grand Lodge, Fraternal Order of Police; Jerald R. Vaughn, Executive Director, International Association of Chiefs of Police; Kenneth T. Lyons, National President, International Brotherhood of Police Officers; William Kolender, President, Major Cities Police Chiefs; Robert T. Scully, President, National Association of Police Organizations; Marty M. Tapscott, President, National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives; L. Cary Bittick, Executive Director, National Sheriffs' Association; Thomas J. Iskrzycki, Chairman, National Troopers' Coalition; Cornelius J. Behan, President, Police Executive Research Forum; Hubert Williams, President, Police Foundation; E. Roberta Lesh, Executive Director, Police Management Association.

Mr. HATCH. Mr. President, I have heard the remarks of the distinguished Senator from Massachusetts, but let us be honest about it. All these matters have been discussed; all of them have been debated ad infinitum.

The purpose of this reconsideration by the Senate at this time is because the House has passed our bill, added amendments to it, and we intend to pass the House bill.

There is no question that there will always be some discontent with any bill passed here that has any controversy to it. This is a law and order bill. It protects sportsmen from the type of officious meddling that has come from overbureaucratization in our society, and it has been long overdue. It is almost 20 years overdue. I think it is time we start doing what is right for the sports people and at the same time tighten up our criminal laws.

 

[End 132 Cong. Record p. 9596]

 


[Begin 132 Cong. Record p. 9598]

 

FIREARMS OWNERS' PROTECTION ACT

Mr. DOLE. Mr. President, I believe we are about ready to make things happen here. It may not appear that way from the previous 4 or 5 hours, but we believe we now have S. 49 and the accompanying legislation with reference to firearms protection worked out. We can do both of those matters by voice vote with very limited debate-and I underscore limited 

Then I shall move to the Calendar No. 633, Senate Joint Resolution 361, the Saudi arms sale. Hopefully, we will get an agreement of 1 hour on that matter and dispose of that yet this evening. I assume there will be a rollcall vote

Mr. BYRD. Mr. President, will the distinguished majority leader yield?

Mr. DOLE. Yes, Mr. President.

Mr. BYRD. I did not hear his last statement. Would he repeat it, please?

Mr. DOLE. After we dispose of the two firearms bills-S. 49 and the accompanying gun bill-I shall ask unanimous consent to proceed to Calendar No. 633, Senate Joint Resolution 361, the Saudi arms sale resolution. If we can get consent, we will move to that and hopefully dispose of that with a time agreement of an hour equally divided and hope to dispose of that this evening.

Mr. BYRD. And that will be it?

Mr. DOLE. I hope it will be it.

Mr. CRANSTON. If the Senator can include in his motion that there be only 1 hour, that will be part of the motion. Then it does not need unanimous consent.

Mr. DOLE. I shall do that.

Mr. METZENBAUM. Mr. President, before the Senator makes the unanimous-consent request, I want first to express my appreciation for the cooperation of the majority leader and the chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee <Mr. MCCLURE> and the chairman of the Committee on the Judiciary <Mr. THURMOND>, as well as the chairman of the Labor and Human Relations Committee < Mr. HATCH>. We have had some very extensive negotiations this afternoon and we have been able finally to work out an understanding that the McClure-Volkmer bill that some of us continue to oppose-certainly the votes are here to pass it-will be passed on a voice vote 

Immediately thereafter, it is my understanding that the Senator from South Carolina will call up his bill, which will be modified with certain amendments having to do with the same bill, the McClure-Volkmer bill, or the same subject. That bill will also then be passed on a voice vote.

In doing that, I want to inquire of my colleague from Utah <Mr. HATCH> whether I am correct in my understanding that the Thurmond bill, when it goes over to the House, will not be opposed by the National Rifle Association and will not be opposed by the principal supporter of S. 49, Mr. VOLKMER; and that the best of his understanding and knowledge is that that bill will be able to move forward with dispatch over there, although it is fair to point out that the National Rifle Association is not supporting it, but they will not oppose it. Am I correct in my understanding?

Mr. HATCH. Let me reply to the distinguished Senator from Ohio, it is true that this agreement has been run by the representatives of all of the people he has talked about including the National Rifle Association representatives, and it is true that although they do not support the Thurmond bill that will be called up immediately following S. 49 's passage by voice vote and will be passed by voice vote, the National Rifle Association will not oppose the Thurmond bill in the House. It is also equally true that the distinguished principal sponsor of the bill in the House, Mr. VOLKMER, will not oppose the bill. I personally talked with the distinguished Member of the House, Mr. DINGELL, who has been a very key player on this bill, and he has agreed to not oppose it. So I believe that the Senator is correct in his assertion here today, and I would like to just move as quickly as we can to resolve this.

Mr. METZENBAUM. I have no problem about moving as quickly as possible, but I think we ought to have the understanding that we all expect the end result will be that the McClure-Volkmer bill will be finalized and that the Thurmond bill will be not only passed by the Senate but that there is every absolute likelihood that it will be passed through the House without any impediments.

Mr. HATCH. The distinguished Senator from Ohio is correct. We expect there not to be opposition by the leading spokesmen for S. 49, which will pass there today by voice vote, and we expect the distinguished Senator from South Carolina to immediately call up his bill, which, as we view it, does not compromise the body of S. 49; it only clarifies several ambiguities in the

 

[Begin 132 Cong. Record p. 9599]

 

eyes of those who have worked on it. Indeed, this was the original intent of our provisions in S. 49 when we passed it the first time in the Senate, so we believe that it will resolve some problems. I personally thank the distinguished Senator from Ohio and others for their efforts in helping to bring about the clarification of some of these ambiguities.

Mr. METZENBAUM. I thank the Senator from Utah. I think that clarifies the situation.

Mr. HATCH. In bringing this to pass today there have been many players and many people who have worked very hard on this including law enforcement officials, Members of the House, and Members of the Senate, but I particularly pay special tribute to Senator DOLE, who has made it possible for S. 49 to come to the Senate floor. He has been a principal sponsor of the amendment, not only when he was on the Judiciary Committee but this year off the Judiciary Committee and of course as majority leader and without him there is no question we would not be at this point.

Mr. METZENBAUM. I now see the principal sponsor of the McClure-Volkmer bill on the floor. I want to point out to him that there has been a representation made by the Senator from Utah indicating that he expects and anticipates that both of these bills will be passed by voice vote this evening and that there will be no special impediment or any impediments put in the way of passing the Thurmond bill when it goes over to the House.

Mr. McCLURE. Will the Senator yield?

Mr. METZENBAUM. I certainly will.

Mr. McCLURE. I will be pleased to respond to the Senator. As the principal sponsor of the bill, I had authorized the Senator to make that representation on my behalf, but I am pleased to be able to be here and do it personally as well.

I have talked to the principal sponsor in the House, Congressman VOLKMER, and I think I am authorized by him to state that while he is less than enthusiastic, he will not object and will not oppose the Thurmond bill when it comes over to the House. And certainly it is my expectation that the Senate will pass it. I have talked to officials of the National Rifle Association, and again I think it is fair to say that they are less than enthusiastic but they are not going to mount any effort to destroy this opportunity for passage of both bills today in the Senate and the passage of the second bill in the House when it arrives there.

Now, I think in fairness we also ought to add one other thing, and that is if there is an attempt in the House of Representatives to amend the Thurmond bill to make it a much broader kind of a vehicle, that would be opposed.

Mr. METZENBAUM. I understand the Senator.

Mr. MCCLURE. If it completely changed the Senate version of the bill.

Mr. METZENBAUM. We are discussing the bill as it passes the Senate.

Mr. MCCLURE. The Senator is correct.

Mr. METZENBAUM. We understand. I understand if it becomes a different bill, that, of course, all understandings would be off.

Mr. KENNEDY. Will the floor manager yield?

Mr. HATCH. I yield to the Senator from Massachusetts.

Mr. KENNEDY. I wish to express my appreciation to the floor managers of the bill, the Senator from Utah <Mr. HATCH> and also Senator MCCLURE and Senator THURMOND, for working out a satisfactory procedure, and of course, Senator METZENBAUM who worked so effectively in representing our side 

I think this is a very reasonable request. I think it has demonstrated the interest of all Members in learning the legitimate concerns of the law enforcement officers of this country. I think it is a tribute to them for their constancy in following this issue. I know, from my own conversations with them, they are interested in not interfering with the legitimate interests of the sportsmen but also in their very deep, continuing and abiding concern about violence in our society

I believe that the procedures which have now been outlined demonstrate the sensitivity to those very deep concerns. I welcome the opportunity to join with the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Senator THURMOND, and others in cosponsoring his compromise bill. It is a very constructive and positive outcome for the Senate on these issues. So I express my appreciation for the time and effort that has gone into permitting us to get to this point in the deliberations.

Mr. HATCH addressed the Chair 

The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Utah.

Mr. HATCH. I thank my good colleague from Massachusetts for his kind and gracious remarks. I would also like to state finally that the principal sponsor of this bill, Senator MCCLURE, has worked long and hard for many, many years to bring this to this point and he has worked long and hard today. Without him this bill, frankly, would not be in the position that it is right now, so I personally express my deep regard and affection for him.

Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that a colloquy between Senator DOLE and myself be placed in the RECORD at this point.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

MACHINEGUN COLLOQUY

Mr. DOLE. At the close of the debate on S. 49 in the House of Representatives, the House adopted an amendment dealing with automatic weapons. That amendment is quite brief. It states 

(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 the subsection takes effect.

This language raises many questions which I would like to explore with my colleague, the Senator from Utah, who is also the floor manager of S. 49. In the first place, I would like to confirm my own understanding of the second exception to the general ban on possession and transfer of machineguns. This appears to be a grandfather clause which covers all machineguns that are lawfully possessed at the time of enactment of S. 49. Is that correct?

Mr. HATCH. The Senator is correct. This language means that any automatic weapon registered in compliance with the National Firearms Act prior to the date this bill is enacted would continue to be governed solely by the 1934 law. In other words, any machinegun or parts of a machinegun that constitute a machinegun which is currently in compliance with the national act may be transferred and possessed without regard to section 102 of this act.

Mr. DOLE. This raises a further question. What about weapons currently in the inventory of automatic weapons manufacturers?

Mr. HATCH. Automatic weapons currently in the inventory of manufacturers, or in the inventory of a manufacturer or licensed dealer anytime before the date of enactment, would clearly be covered by the section 102(o)(2)(B) exemption. These weapons would be lawfully possessed before the date this subsection takes effect and thus would be eligible for further lawful transfers to purchasers or others who comply with the requirements of the 1934 Act.

Mr. DOLE. What about weapons for which an application to manufacture has been filed before the date of enactment?

Mr. HATCH. These weapons would also be grandfathered, meaning that they would be covered solely by the requirements of the NFA. Let me explain why: Under title 26, the definition of machineguns, which is not altered by this amendment, includes parts of machineguns. Thus, once a

 

[Begin 132 Cong. Record p. 9600]

 

manufacturing permit has been issued, the manufacturing process is officially underway. This means that the machinegun or its parts are at that time in the lawful possession of the manufacturer. It would be impossible to trace whether a particular set of parts was sufficiently assembled to constitute a machinegun and since the parts constitute a machinegun anyway, it only makes sense to consider a manufacturing application as sufficient to grandfather the entire weapon.

In other words, the parts or partly manufactured weapon is defined as a machinegun and because the application to BATF would occur before the date of enactment, this would constitute lawful possession of the machinegun in accord with section 102 (o)(2)(B). The manufacturer then could lawfully transfer the automatic weapon under this second exemption.

Mr. DOLE. I thank the Senator. This was my understanding as well. Another question on this issue: Would applications to register the frame or receiver as a machinegun be treated any differently than you have just described? 

Mr. HATCH. No; applications to register the frame or receiver should be treated just as I have described. They would be grandfathered for the reasons I have just stated.

Mr. DOLE. I can foresee another problem. Would these applications need to be approved by BATF prior to the date of enactment or would it be sufficient for them to be postmarked prior to the date of enactment?

Mr. HATCH. The language of this amendment does not address this point, but simple fairness would dictate that applications postmarked prior to the date of enactment should be completed and approved in accord with existing law. It would be unfair to deny some applications simply because they were mailed from farther away or were ensnarled in BATF processes and not yet finally approved.

Mr. DOLE. May I suggest that we move next to the first exemption of this new section 102 dealing with transfer * * * or possession * * * under the authority of the United States * * * or a State. * * * This is somewhat ambiguous language. I would like to ask my colleague a few questions. Let us start with the easy questions. Would this section affect domestic machinegun manufacturers and dealers with respect to sales for military or police use?

Mr. HATCH. Clearly not. In the case of the military, the manufacturer would be transferring to the United States or a department-in this case the Defense Department-the machinegun would be possessed by the United States, and these sales and other transactions would clearly take place under the authority of the United States. Transactions involving the military would fit under section 102(o)(2)(A) in at least these three senses 

The same is true of States and their departments with respect to transactions involving State or local police. Any local police would be specifically covered by the language in this provision permitting the transactions and possession to or by or under the authority of a subdivision of a State.

Mr. DOLE. Would a manufacturer or dealer be allowed to inventory or stockpile machineguns for sale to military or police organizations?

Mr. HATCH. The language of section 102 should also be read to permit a manufacturer to possess or inventory machineguns for sale to military or police. Automatic weapons in this category would be possessed with the intent to transfer to . . . the United States or any department or agency thereof or a State . . . and so forth. A manufacturer or dealer may possess machineguns if the purpose of such possession is for transfer in accord with this provision.

Mr. DOLE. That leads to the next question. Can a manufacturer transfer to duly licensed dealers for resale to domestic and qualified military and law enforcement forces in accord with this provision?

Mr. HATCH. Yes; on the same principle just mentioned, a manufacturer should be permitted to transfer to a dealer as long as the purpose of the transfer is to supply the military or police forces or to make other qualified sales and transfers to the United States * * * a State * * * and so forth. The critical test to ascertain whether possession or transfers will fall under the existing national act requirements rather than this new section 102 should be the intent to retransfer only as authorized by this exemption in section 102.

On the basis of this test, it would seem logical that manufacturers could also issue sales samples to dealers as long as the objective of this marketing device is sales or transfers for military or police purposes.

Mr. DOLE. This brings us to my next hypothetical example. What about a defense contractor authorized by the Government to make weapons systems?

Mr. HATCH. This section should not be read to restrict or prohibit sales to defense contractors authorized to make weapons systems. For instance, a machinegun may be sold by a manufacturer to a defense contractor for installation on a tank. In that case the transfer would be taking place under the authority of the United States because the defense contractor is authorized to make tanks for the military. It would be a transfer under the authority of the United States and with intent to transfer to the United States as specified by the language of this provision. This provision certainly was not intended to disrupt in the slightest the current processes for supply of weaponry to our military or police forces. This amendment was designed to deal with crime guns, not weapons used to fight crime on a domestic or international scale.

Mr. DOLE. That states very well my own reading of this provision. How does this provision affect sales of weaponry to foreign allies, foreign police forces, or other exports permitted by the Department of State

Mr. HATCH. Once again, these should be considered transfers under the authority of the United States. The United States itself, through a department or agency thereof-the State Department-would be authorizing this transfer. It would fit within the terms of section 102(o)(2)(A). It simply is not the intent of this language to disrupt the U.S. weapons industry or sensitive foreign sales and international arms arrangements. Because the State Department would issue an export license, these transactions would occur under the authority of the United States. These sales might also be construed to be transfers by the United States under export license which would be a further allowance of this type of transaction under the language of this provision.

Mr. DOLE. This means possession or transfer of machineguns for export would fall within the exemption and not be affected by the prohibition of section 102. Is that correct?

Mr. HATCH. That is correct.

Mr. DOLE. Let me ask a related question. Would private researchers, such as Carbine Williams, Garrand and Stoner-all of whom made significant contributions to the development of modern military arms-be prohibited from engaging in research and from manufacturing prototypes?

Mr. HATCH. Once again, this type of activity would appear to fall within the exemption of section 102(o)(2)(A) because the intent of this possession would be for military or law enforcement purposes 

Mr. DOLE. At this point, I would just like to tie down a few odds and ends. I have been very satisfied with the floor manager's answers to these questions. They confirm my own understanding of this provision, but I think it is very important to make this understanding public in advance of a final vote on S. 49. Many Senators have had these same questions. They should be pleased with the answers offered by the Senator from Utah. To make it clear, there are no changes in the statutory requirements for individuals wishing to purchase, possess, or transfer national act weapons. Is that correct?

Mr. HATCH. That is correct. That is the meaning of section 102(O)(2)(B).

 

[Begin 132 Cong. Record p. 9601]

 

Mr. DOLE. Are there any changes in the requirements for obtaining a dealer's license 

Mr. HATCH. No. None whatsoever.

Mr. DOLE. Can an amnesty period be declared administratively by the Secretary of Treasury under current law?

Mr. HATCH. Absolutely. Moreover it would be in the interest of law enforcement to do so in light of this provision in section 102.

Mr. DOLE. The language of this new section intends that a machinegun may be transferred under the authority of a State or a subdivision thereof. The House purposely did not choose to use the language on behalf of such an agency or subdivision, which is language contained in other provisions of current gun law. Could this be read to permit a State or local police force to authorize its officers to purchase for themselves a machinegun which they might use in the line of their law enforcement work but which would be owned by the officer, not the police force itself?

Mr. HATCH. The Senator makes a good point. Some police forces with financial difficulties have authorized their officers to purchase and register automatic weapons to prevent themselves from being outgunned if they should ever confront well-armed drug dealers or organized criminals. This language appears to encompass that practice. It seems to me, however, that under these circumstances regulations would be necessary to govern disposition of those weapons in the event the officer leaves the police force. In other words, possession or transfer of those weapons would cease to enjoy the authorization of the State agency or subdivision when the officer was no longer on the police force. The police force would then have to exercise its authority to guarantee that the machinegun was transferred to another entity authorized by the State or the United States to possess such weaponry.

Mr. DOLE. During the 1968 amendments, Congress specifically authorized the transfer of unservicable firearms without payment of the transfer tax under the National Act. Nonetheless the Treasury Department refused to recognize many dewats, or nonfunctioning war trophies with a steel plug welded into the barrel, as incapable of being readily restored to a firing condition. Would it be appropriate in the Senator's mind for Treasury to take a fresh look at these unservicable firearms to allow such war trophies to be deactivated and registered?

Mr. HATCH. It certainly would be appropriate. Moreover because these unserviceable firearms are not readily restorable to shooting condition and because they constitute a separate category from the live machineguns on which the transfer tax must be paid, these may not even be machineguns and may be eligible for registration at anytime with the Treasury Department in accordance with regulations that they may promulgate

Mr. DOLE. I thank the Senator for his clear legal reading of this provision. On behalf of many of his colleagues who have asked me similar questions, I should like to commend him for taking the time and making the effort to understand and explain in understandable terms these complex provisions.

Mr. HATCH. I thank my colleague and restate my appreciation for all he has done to make S. 49 a reality.

Mr. DOLE. I thank the Senator.

Mr. METZENBAUM. Will the Senator from Utah yield for just one moment?

Mr. HATCH. I am delighted to yield.

Mr. METZENBAUM. Since we have been very sensitive about the language of the legislation and since we oftentimes know that colloquys in some instances provide interpretations that were not originally intended, will the Senator from Utah be good enough to tell us whether there is anything in that colloquy that would in any way change the language of either the McClure-Volkmer bill or the Thurmond-I think it is Thurmond-Metzenbaum-Kennedy bill, as I understand it?

Mr. HATCH. It does not change the language of the bill.

Mr. METZENBAUM. Will the Senator tell us what the colloquy is about?

Mr. HATCH. The colloquy is with regard to the question of machine guns.

Mr. METZENBAUM. Of what?

Mr. HATCH. With regard to the question of machine guns.

Mr. METZENBAUM. Machine guns? And what does the colloquy indicate, if I may ask, since we are now

Mr. HATCH. It is a rather lengthy colloquy.

Mr. METZENBAUM. I am a little bit concerned about that. I want to make it very clear for the RECORD that this colloquy is between yourself and whom?

Mr. HATCH. Senator DOLE, the majority leader.

Mr. METZENBAUM. I want to make it very clear that this is a colloquy between two of the proponents, and I do not believe that it should be interpreted as speaking for the rest of us in the Senate since the rest of the Senate has not had a chance to hear it. I see that my colleague from Massachusetts is running through it at the moment, but I just want to make clear in the RECORD that that colloquy is not to serve any purpose as to changing the intent or the purpose or any aspect whatsoever of the legislation.

Mr. MCCLURE. Will the Senator yield?

Mr. METZENBAUM. I certainly yield.

Mr. HATCH. I would be happy to yield. I have the floor

Mr. MCCLURE. I appreciate the Senator yielding. The reason I intervene at this point is there is a colloquy between myself and the distinguished floor manager of the bill, Mr. HATCH, that deals also with the question of machinegun parts.

I have a colloquy between myself and my distinguished junior colleague from Idaho <Mr. SYMMS> with respect to the same subject. I ask unanimous consent that it appear at this point in the RECORD.

Mr. METZENBAUM. Mr. President, reserving the right to object, and I do not intend to object, I want to make it as clear as I can that we have not been dealing with machineguns or machinegun parts. We have not been negotiating or discussing that subject.

Certainly, I am not in a position to say to any two Senators that they cannot have a colloquy on the floor of the Senate-orally, or written and submitted for the RECORD.

However, having said that, I want to emphasize as strongly as I can that that colloquy represents the views of two Members of the Senate in one instance and two other Members of the Senate in another, but is not intended to reflect the intentions of the sponsors or the opponents or anyone other than those two Senators.

Mr. HATCH. Mr. President, I have to say that the colloquys that have been put in the RECORD as of now do reflect the intentions of the sponsors of the bill. There is no question about it. We think that they state basically what the bill is. Moreover many other Senators have asked the questions covered by this colloquy. They endorse these statements and are anxious to have their understanding made part of this RECORD.

Mr. MCCLURE. Mr. President, will the Senator yield?

Mr. HATCH. I yield.

Mr. MCCLURE. Mr. President, I know that the Senator from Ohio has interposed a reservation with respect to my request. I take this time only to say to the Senator from Ohio that this discussion is up at all because the other body injected some language at the very last minute, literally, of their debate, and there is no legislative history as to what that language means. There are a substantial number of House Members as well as other interested parties who have asked questions about what it means; and what we are trying to do is provide some legislative history as to our understanding of what the House provision means, since the House itself had no legislative history on that subject.

 

[Begin 132 Cong. Record p. 9602]

 

Mr. METZENBAUM. Mr. President, I yield to the Senator from Massachusetts in order that he may suggest

Mr. HATCH. Mr. President, I have the floor, but I yield to the Senator from Massachusetts.

Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, I will not object to the inclusion of the colloquy in the RECORD, so long as a colloquy can also be included in the RECORD between the Senator from Ohio and me related to the same subject matter.

Mr. HATCH. I have no objection.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

SYMMS-MCCLURE COLLOQUY

Mr. SYMMS. Mr. President, will the author of the bill yield for a question?

Mr. MCCLURE. I am delighted to yield.

Mr. SYMMS. A question has arisen recently regarding what constitutes being engaged in the business, regarding a person functioning as an agent or a broker. An example of the kind of activity in question would be a manufacturer's representative who has traditionally functioned without a Federal firearms license because he is not a dealer. Specifically a broker or an agent has no inventory, and firearms never pass through his possession during a transaction. Brokers and agents such as manufacturer's representatives find customers and put them in contact with sellers, but are not engaged in the actual dealer transfer during which time the BATF form 4473 is filled out by the seller and the buyer. Does the definition of dealer and being engaged in the business in this bill make it clear that brokers and agents do not need Federal firearms licenses?

Mr. MCCLURE. The definition of dealer says that one is involved in the repetitive purchase and resale of firearms. Clearly, the actual sale is the one made by the dealer. If the firearms actually pass into the possession of a third party, then the form 4473 would have to be filled out by the seller and such a middleman. The middleman would then fill out the form 4473 with the ultimate buyer. But as long as an agent or a broker is acting on behalf of a seller without ever having possession, the agent or broker would clearly not be a dealer, and would not need to have a Federal firearms license, nor has the definition of dealer ever been interpreted to include those persons who have been involved in firearms sales or transactions but who have not at any time been in physical possession of the firearms such as agents, brokers or consultants.

METZENBAUM-KENNEDY COLLOQUY

Mr. METZENBAUM. Mr. President, I thank the Senator from Massachusetts <Mr. KENNEDY> for his suggestion that we comment on some of the points raised by our colleagues here on some implications of S. 49, especially as they relate to the machinegun amendments adopted by the House 

We have heard it said that there was little debate on this issue in the House and therefore little legislative history. But I believe my friend from Massachusetts <Mr. KENNEDY> has been in touch with the sponsors of the provisions on machineguns, as I have, and I would like to see what your understanding is on a number of issues which have been raised.

First, the House version, which we are about to vote on here, has a very important improvement from the bill the Senate adopted last July, and that is to ban the transfer, possession of any machinegun not lawfully possessed on the date of enactment.

It has been suggested here that a manufacturer in possession of parts of machineguns could register and, therefore, grandfather those parts under the provisions of this bill. Is this the Senator's understanding?

Mr. KENNEDY. No, it certainly is not. From my conversations with the House committee, and with law enforcement officials tonight, it is clear that they consider the operative notice is filed subsequent to manufacture. Therefore, such parts-regardless of their intended use-not yet assembled, do not constitute a machinegun under the National Firearms Act unless the specific parts qualify as a machinegun as defined by that act.

I have been told by BATF officials that examples of such parts would include conversion kits and combinations of parts from which a machinegun can be assembled. Machinegun parts, in most instances, do not require registration, are not machineguns, and would not be covered by the act.

Mr. METZENBAUM. I thank the Senator, for that is my understanding from my discussions earlier in the day with the police groups.

Another question has been over granting amnesty to people who now possess machineguns outside of the law. As the Senator knows, this was one of the proposals offered this afternoon as part of this compromise package, but it was rejected by us, and strongly by the law enforcement agencies.

Do you believe that an amnesty period can be administratively declared by the Secretary of the Treasury by the enactment of this bill?

Mr. KENNEDY. Yes, I am aware of the discussions earlier today on the question of amnesty, and I joined the Senator in rejecting any such proposal.

There is nothing in this bill that gives such an authority, and there is clearly no valid law enforcement goal to be achieved by such an open-ended amnesty.

The only thing that has changed about the machinegun situation since the 1968 act, and the limited amnesty granted then, is that machineguns have become a far more serious law enforcement problem.

So, I see no new legislative authority or law enforcement purpose that would be served by such an amnesty-and that is the strongly held view of all the law enforcement groups, including the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association.

Mr. METZENBAUM. Finally, I would like to discuss with the Senator another provision of the House bill-which I know that he and I support-and that is the amendment which maintained existing law on the interstate sale of handguns.

I know that was an issue the Senator from Massachusetts raised time and time again during the Judiciary Committee's consideration of this legislation during the last two Congresses, and when we considered it here on the Senate floor last July. Although we couldn't get support for it here, at least the NRA was not able to roll the House of Representatives. They listened to the police groups and followed their plea to keep existing laws on the interstate sale of handguns.

Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, I appreciate the Senator's comments, and he is correct that the House action represented a fundamental step in keeping this bill from completely gutting the intent of the 1968 act.

The House version also accomplishes what I tried to do here in the Senate-and that is to draw a distinction between how we deal with handguns versus rifles and long guns. In 1983 I offered the basic compromise that I would be willing to go along with steps to ease controls on long guns and other sporting weapons, if we would only maintain, if not strengthen, controls on handguns.

I am gratified that the House version of the bill-which will be the bill that reaches the President's desk-rejects the NRA's attempt to weaken existing controls on handgun sales. It makes the distinction we repeatedly tried to make here, that there is a great difference between easing paperwork and other controls on sporting weapons, but absolutely no legitimate sporting purpose to ease them on handguns-especially the snubbies and Saturday Night Specials which have now legitimate sporting purpose.

Mr. METZENBAUM. Mr. President, I thank the Senator, and join in his comments.

Mr. HATCH. Mr. President, before I cast my vote in favor of this bill, I have a further question which concerns the definition of parts for a machinegun. The language of the bill is clear, but a member of my staff has pointed out that the description of this provision on the floor of the other body could cause it to be misinterpreted, with potentially serious cones-

 

[Begin 132 Cong. Record p. 9603]

 

quence to those who own semiautomatic firearms which contain machinegun parts, or those who own legally registered machineguns and possesses parts for use in repair or maintenance.

Section 109 of the bill adds to the present definition of a machinegun, which includes as a registerable item any combination of parts designated and intended for use in converting a weapon into a machinegun. The new language of the bill adds: any part designed and intended solely and exclusively * * * for use in converting a weapon into a machinegun.

Clearly the operative words are for use in converting. The only reason I mention this is that the maker of the motion in the other body described it somewhat ambiguously as including a 'part' that is intended solely and exclusively for a machinegun. That is not what the bill says, and it is of great importance to many law abiding citizens that it be interpreted exactly and so clearly and unambiguously written.

Those citizens who own and shoot legal machineguns have complied with the most rigorous firearms laws imaginable. They have obtained permission of the Federal Government, and have undergone a thorough background check that usually requires a waiting period of several months. They have paid a $200 transfer tax to the Federal Government and they have registered both themselves and their firearms with the Federal Government and often the State government. In short, they comply with a set of laws and regulations as restrictive as any gun law in the world.

It is virtually unheard of for such a law abiding citizen to use his or her machinegun in any kind of violent criminal offense, and it is my understanding that there is not a single instance on record of a legally possessed machinegun having been used in a predatory street crime.

Persons who legally own and shoot machineguns normally possess a maintenance kit containing replacement parts, for machineguns are notorious for breaking or wearing out certain critical parts. While such parts are obviously machinegun parts, they are not parts designed and intended solely and exclusively * * * for use in converting a weapon into a machinegun, as described by the bill. Am I correct in my understanding?

Mr. McCLURE. The Senator is correct. There is no ambiguity in the bill. Certainly it is not this Senator's intention that possessors of legal machineguns should be required to pay an additional registration tax upon replacement parts, nor would that be the effect of the statute.

Mr. HATCH. In other words, the mere fact of possession of a single part designed for a machinegun would not require registration and payment of the transfer tax unless that single part would of itself be capable of converting a weapon to a machinegun?

Mr. McCLURE. The Senator is correct. Only if an individual possessed a single part or combination of parts with which conversion could be accomplished with the part or parts would part or parts be subject to the transfer tax. The transfer tax would not apply even then to a maintenance parts kit for a legally owned machinegun since no conversion would be involved.

Mr. HATCH. I thank the Senator for confirming my understanding.

Mr. McCLURE. Mr. President, will the Senator yield?

Mr. HATCH. I yield.

Mr. MCCLURE. Mr. President, make no mistake. I believe that the second amendment means exactly what it says. I believe that our forefathers intended for all honest citizens to be able to arm themselves. This is not a privilege meted out by the Government-it is a sovereign right, belonging to the people themselves.

I also believe that attempts to control violent crime by nibbling away at this right are doomed to fail.

The Gun Control Act of 1968 was more than a nibble-it was a big bite. This may come as a surprise to many, but I share the intention of Congress in passing that law. All of us want to wipe out violent crime. Unfortunately, the 1968 act did not achieve that goal. This is not surprising. Crime cannot be controlled by attacking an inanimate tool.

The Firearm Owners Protection Act is a complicated bill-it amends a complicated law. This is part of the problem. In an attempt to control the possession, transportation and sale of firearms, Congress and the enforcing agency developed a tangle of redtape. The end result has been the entrapment of otherwise honest people into violations that neither hurt anyone, nor contribute to violent crime. The aim of the Firearm Owners Protection Act is to redirect law enforcement toward the kind of transaction most likely to be a factor in violent firearms crime. In other words, we have to stop going after the guy who transposes a number in a zip code, and go after the dealer who is knowingly selling stolen guns, or knowingly selling to prohibited persons.

Briefly, the following are the main points of the bill.

Define engaging in the business to clarify when dealers, gunsmiths, makers of ammunition, and importers must have a license.

Permit out of State purchase of rifles and shotguns if the sale and possession are legal both in the State of purchase and in the purchaser's State of residence.

Mandate an element of criminal intention for prosecution and conviction of Federal firearms law violations.

Clarify procedures for dealer sales of firearms from his private collection.

Permit inspection of dealer's records for reasonable cause.

Require mandatory penalties for the use of a firearm during a Federal crime. Our colleagues in the House have added additional mandatory penalties for the use of a firearm in a drug trafficking crime, and for the use of a machinegun or a silence in a violent Federal felony.

Limit seizure of firearms only to those specifically involved in a criminal transaction.

Provide for the return of seized firearms, and grant attorney's fees in spiteful or frivolous suits.

Allow the Secretary to grant relief from disability, and provide for judicial review of certain cases.

Remove requirement for affidavit for purchase of less than 50 pounds of black powder for sporting purposes.

Allow the interstate transportation of unloaded, inaccessible firearms.

Under present law, there is no legal way for a person to transport firearms through some States. For example, a hunter from South Carolina has no way of getting through the State of New York to go moose hunting in Maine. The Firearm Owners Protection Act would allow an individual to transport a firearm through the State if the firearm is unloaded and not easily accessible. The possession of the firearm must be legal both in the State of residence and in the State of final destination. Obviously, this right does not apply to individuals who are prohibited from owning firearms, or to stolen or otherwise illegal firearms. This right of transportation does not hinder a State from enacting laws concerning intrastate transportation.

It has been suggested that this transportation be limited to long guns. There is no point in imposing such a limitation. Each year thousands of law abiding citizens travel on interstate trips with firearms for hunting purposes, competitions, matches, moving residences, and personal protection upon arrival. There must be some way for law-abiding Americans to exercise their right to interstate travel with personally owned firearms. Criminals simply ignore the laws.

The Treasury Department touched on this issue in a June, 1984 letter to Senator HATCH:

Limit preemption provision to long guns. Language in S. 49 would provide that persons transporting weapons unloaded and not readily accessible would be protected from restrictive local and State laws. The administration supports such a provision, since the transport of weapons to hunts, target matches and other legitimate activities are seldom involved in crime.

 

[Begin 132 Cong. Record p. 9604]

 

Section 104 of the McClure-Volkmer bill tightens the penalties for use of a firearm during and in relation to any crime of violence. Current law provides a mandatory minimum 5-year sentence for this type of activity. But the McClure-Volkmer bill goes further, prohibiting probation, parole, or concurrent sentencing for a criminal subject to the 5-year mandatory minimum sentence. The language of the bill does not apply to firearms owners whose possession of a firearm is unrelated to the commission of a crime of violence, because to do so would be to place a gratuitous penalty on gun ownership itself. But it does overturn the Simpson case, thereby allowing the imposition of the mandatory minimum penalty, even if the underlying crime itself contains enhanced penalties for the use of a firearm.

Mr. President, I can understand the desire to curb violent crime. I share that desire. Those who use firearms to rob and murder give the vast majority of honest, careful firearms owners a bad name. We need to see that criminals are punished for their crimes. We need to clarify existing law to ensure the punishment of the real villains. The Firearm Owners Protection Act would do that.

Mr. DOLE. Mr. President, after 7 long years of debate and deliberation, Congress is finally completing action on S. 49, the Firearms Owners Protection Act. Last summer, the Senate debated and passed this important legislation-this was the first time it had been considered by the full Senate since its original introduction in 1979. And as a long time supporter and cosponsor of the bill, I was pleased to be in a position to facilitate it being brought up and passed.

The Firearms Owners Protection Act would correct various abuses which have occurred under the Gun Control Act of 1968. The 1968 law was passed during an emotional period, when the Nation was reacting to two political assassinations. The national judgment at that time was to take away rights enjoyed by many in order to prevent a recurrence of the outrageous abuses of a few. Each year's experience under the law brought with it new evidence that Congress had gone too far. Hunters, Sportsmen, hobbyists, and collectors were being prosecuted for technical violations, diverting limited law enforcement resources from the pursuit of those guilty of truly criminal firearms use.

S. 49 is the culmination of 7 years of painstaking debate and analysis over the deficiencies in the 1968 law and how they can be best corrected. I believe the legislation represents a good effort to balance the rights of law abiding gun owners with the needs of law enforcement. Some law enforcement groups have raised additional concerns about the bill which were not at issue during the Senate's consideration of the bill last summer. I am glad that Senators MCCLURE and METZENBAUM, with the help and support of Senators THURMOND and HATCH, have been able to agree on a package of technical amendments which are designed to allay these concerns. Over the years, a number of refinements have been made to S. 49 in response to law enforcement concerns, consistent with the intent of the proponents not to undermine the 1968 act's provisions as they apply to criminal firearms use 

Mr. President, it has been suggested by some that this legislation has been steam rolled through the Congress with PAC contributions and political strong arm tactics. The fact of the matter is, bills do not pass by a margin of 79-15 in the Senate and 292-130 in the House without a strong base of popular support and strong arguments on the merits. The Firearms Owners Protection Act passed by such overwhelming margins because of its vast base of active constituent support.

In concluding, let me pay tribute to the Members of the Senate who have worked so long and hard on this bill to finally bring us to the point where we are today. Credit should go to JIM MCCLURE, the bill's principal sponsor and a tireless advocate for gun owners' rights. Credit should also go to Senator HATCH for his many excellent contributions to this legislation as the bill's chief proponent in the Senate Judiciary Committee and as the floor manager. Senator THURMOND should also be commended for his strong leadership as chairman of the Judiciary Committee on this issue.

I would also like to mention a number of staff members who have done an outstanding job on this bill: Randy Rader, with Senator HATCH; Mike Hammond with the steering committee; Nancy Norrell with Senator MCCLURE; and Terry Wooten and Diana Waterman with Senator THURMOND. On the Democratic side, I believe mention should also be made of Eddie Correia with Senator METZENBAUM; Jerry Tinker, with Senator KENNEDY; and Scott Green, with Senator BIDEN.

Mr. MOYNIHAN. Mr. President, I rise today to oppose the House message on S. 49, the Firearms Owners Protection Act, which would undermine significantly the Nation's ability to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals, and contribute to the dangers that members of the law enforcement community face every day in patrolling our streets and protecting us from violent crime 

I am also pleased to cosponsor legislation introduced today by the distinguished chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Senator THURMOND, to address several problems created by S. 49 as modified and passed by the House. Senator THURMOND's legislation is also cosponsored by the Senator from Ohio < Mr. METZENBAUM>, the Senator from Massachusetts <Senator KENNEDY>, and the Senator from Delaware <Mr. BIDEN>.

S. 49 as amended by the House of Representatives contains several provisions that would pose particularly grave dangers to law enforcement officers around the country. For example, this legislation would exempt the transport of firearms in interstate commerce from any State or local laws that might otherwise make such transport illegal, thereby overriding States' rights to regulate gun carrying across their borders, and allowing criminals the opportunity to transport their weapons across State lines with impunity. 

Another particularly disturbing provision restricts unannounced Federal inspections of gun dealers to one per year. Under current law, Federal inspectors are permitted an unlimited number of surprise inspections of gun dealerships, ensuring that the law is obeyed.

An internal memorandum prepared by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms <BATF> provides hard evidence of the effectiveness and desirability of maintaining the current arrangement, noting that:

(a) The prohibition against unannounced inspections would enable unscrupulous licensees to conceal violations of the law; (b) limiting compliance inspections to a single, annual inspection would have the same result and would be too infrequent to ensure compliance . . .

I am also concerned about a provision in the bill that would allow gun dealers to transfer guns from their business inventories to their personal collections, and later sell these guns without keeping records. The same BATF memorandum notes that this provision:

Would enable unscrupulous licensees to easily (sic) circumvent the recordkeeping requirements. Moreover, it would hamper law enforcement's ability to trace firearms and, hence, solve crimes . . .

Clearly, this is a sufficiently compelling reason to object to this provision.

As amended by the House, S. 49 defines a gun dealer according to whether the individual sells firearms as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood or profit through repetitive purchase and resale of firearms.

According to the BATF, this language would allow an individual to procure and distribute weapons without keeping records of their distribution as long as the distribution was not profit-motivated. Thus, individuals who supplied terrorist groups-in other words, persons possibly motivated by ideology, not profit-would be excluded from the provision.

 

[Begin 132 Cong. Record p. 9605]

 

The problems posed by the legislation are clear. And so is the evidence why we must continue to make it difficult for criminals to obtain firearms while protecting the right of law-abiding individuals to bear arms. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, in 1984 handguns were used in 44 percent of all homicides. And, since 1980, on the average over 20,000 people are killed annually by firearms in the United States. These figures include 10,000 handgun murders, 1,200 accidental handgun deaths, and 10,000 suicides.

The figures for law enforcement officers are even more troubling. According to the FBI's preliminary statistics, in 1985 there were 79 police officers killed in the line of duty. Handguns were used in 70 of these murders; shotguns were used in 9; rifles, 3.

With this sort of slaughter of innocent and courageous Americans under our present gun laws it is not surprising that the Nation's 12 major law enforcement organizations have joined to oppose the measure before us. These groups include: the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, the Fraternal Order of Police, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the International Brotherhood of Police Officers, the Major Cities Police Chiefs, the National Association of Police Organizations, the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, the National Sheriffs' Association, the National Troopers' Coalition, the Police Executive Research Forum, the Police Foundation, and the Police Management Association.

I know these organizations quite well. Indeed, since 1982 I have worked closely with many of them to enact a ban on the manufacture, sale, and importation of armor-piercing ammunition, legislation I first introduced in the 97th Congress, but that the Senate did not act favorably upon until this March, when it passed this measure by a vote of 97 to 1.

The legislation introduced by the distinguished chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Senator THURMOND, addresses three of our concerns. First, it would permit persons who lawfully possess and carry firearms to transport their firearms as long as they are unloaded, and neither the firearms nor any ammunition is accessible from the passenger compartment of the vehicle.

Second, this legislation would redefine the term engaged in business so that an individual who purchases and disposes of firearms for criminal or terrorist purposes would be covered under the provisions of S. 49 as passed by the House.

Finally, this measure would require gun dealers who sell guns from their personal collections to register their firearms in a bound volume, and include vital information, thereby preserving the integrity of the BATF's ability to trace illegal firearms.

I am pleased that the distinguished Senator from South Carolina <Mr. THURMOND> has introduced this legislation today. For the American people and for the law enforcement community, it is a piece of good news on a day when the Senate is considering a bill that would bring further violence to our streets.

Mr. LAUTENBERG. Mr. President, I would like to take a moment to explain my position on the House-passed version of S. 49, the Firearms Owners Protection Act, and the Thurmond bill containing three amendments to S. 49. I oppose S. 49 and support the Thurmond bill.

Last summer, when S. 49 was before the Senate, I voted against final passage. I believed that the Senate version of the bill went too far in easing restriction on the sale of guns that have been in place since 1968. The availability of handguns must be restricted in our violence prone society. Too many people are killed each year through the use of handguns. S. 49 did nothing to curb that tide.

I weighed my concerns about the availability of handguns with the legitimate interests of sportsmen and hunters, who are troubled by unnecessary restrictions and regulations on the purchase of rifles and shotguns. The use of long guns for hunting and sporting purposes has a valid place in our society.

The House-passed version improves on the Senate bill in some respects. It retains the restriction on the interstate sale of handguns, although it permits such sale of rifles and shotguns under certain circumstances. It bars future sales and possession of machineguns by private citizens. But, the House version also contains provisions which are opposed by many leading law enforcement organizations. On balance, S. 49 remains a bill which will make it difficult for law enforcement agencies to respond to the use of handguns in violent crimes.

The amendments included in the Thurmond bill will redress some, but not all, of the deficiencies in S. 49. I particularly am pleased that the provisions dealing with the interstate transportation of guns is strengthened by the new bill. I support the package of amendments.

Mr. President, the adverse effect on law enforcement that will be caused by passage of S. 49 is very disturbing to me. I think it is important for Federal legislation to work toward the goal of preventing crime and facilitating the swift punishment of criminals. The bill before us today does not advance either goal. For these reasons, I must oppose S. 49. I do, however, support the Thurmond bill and hope that it can quickly pass both the Senate and House of Representatives.

Mr. DURENBERGER. Mr. President, I am voting in favor of the Federal Firearms Owners Protection Act as passed by the House of Representatives on April 10, 1986. Although it is not perfect, the House version of S. 49 contains necessary, long overdue changes to Gun Control Act to 1968.

Through procedural reforms, this bill will advance a more even balance between the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens, and the legitimate law enforcement practices of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms < BATF> and individual States. It will protect the rights of dealers by specifically defining a manufacturer and his activities and by relaxing Federal regulations with regard to innocent errors in recordkeeping. Finally, S. 49 will enhance the freedom of the many sportsmen who enjoy traveling to Minnesota for recreational purposes by allowing them to transport unloaded, inaccessible long guns across State lines and by allowing the interstate purchase of long guns.

 Despite my concern over two of the amendments adopted in the other body-one to ban the interstate sale of handguns-I urge my colleagues to pass S. 49 as it appears before us today. Congress had debated the matter at length. The bill has passed both Chambers by an overwhelming majority. And, I believe that further amendments to the legislation will only serve to jeopardize its enactment 

I am pleased that my colleagues, the distinguished Senator from Kansas <Mr. DOLE> and the distinguished Senator from Utah <Mr. HATCH> have clarified a very important issue surrounding the amendment to ban the future sale and possession of machineguns. I do not believe that this amendment is intended to disrupt the exportation of American manufactured machineguns. Rather, it is intended to regulate the ownership and use of machineguns within the United States.

Without a statement of clarification, however, those U.S. companies which currently purchase machine guns from licensed manufacturers for exportation would be severly harmed. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms when drafting implementing regulations must allow for the continuation of export sales which are licensed by the Office of Munitions Control in the Department of State. These transactions fall under the statutory authority of the Arms Export Control Act, and I do not believe that Congress should expand the jurisdiction of S. 49 into an area that is already sufficiently regulated by the Arms Export Control Act 

Mr. President, the Federal Firearms Owners Protection Act is necessary and long overdue. S. 49 will protect the rights of law-abiding citizens, strengthen penalties for those who

 

[Begin 132 Cong. Record p. 9606]

 

violate the law, and ensure fair, efficient enforcement of the 1968 Gun Control Act. As an original cosponsor, I would like to thank my distinguished colleague from Idaho <Mr. MCCLURE> for his years of hard work and his dedication to the passage of this legislation.

I also rise today in support of the legislation offered by the distinguished chairman of the Judiciary Committee (Mr. THURMOND). S. 2414 makes important technical corrections to S. 49. These corrections are noncontroversial and will enhance the law enforcement efforts of those who risk their lives for our protection every day.

Mr. MATHIAS. Mr. President, the issue of gun control involves strong, often conflicting interests that need to be considered and weighed carefully. On the one hand, I can well understand many of our citizens' concerns for self-defense at a time of unacceptably high crime rates, as well as the need to protect the legitimate rights of sportsmen. At the same time, I am aware of the obvious need for protection against the lawless use of easily obtainable and concealable handguns that all too often are used in the commission of violent crimes.

For the past 25 years, I have tried to help shape a coherent, fair, and effective Federal policy in this sensitive area to advance the effort to curb violent crime, without imposing unduly burdensome and bureaucratic procedures on law-abiding Americans.

The bill before the Senate today is not identical to the one passed by this body last summer. The House has made several improvements in the original Senate bill. It has deleted the provision included in the Senate package that would have permitted the interstate sale of pistols. The House also adopted a provision, similar to an amendment I offered when this legislation was before the Senate, to permit compliance inspections of gun dealers without advanced warning. However, despite these improvements, the bill remains flawed. S. 49 would unnecessarily tilt the balance against local law enforcement officials and local crime prevention efforts

This legislation could create serious problems for local law enforcement personnel, thus increasing the hazards of an already too hazardous profession. At the same time, this bill offers very little benefit to the sportsman and no benefit whatever to the citizen who possesses a gun for personal defense in the home

Since I was first elected to Congress, I have consistently opposed legislation to require the registration of firearms owners, or to ban the possession of handguns by law abiding citizens. I shall continue to oppose such proposals. But the major thrust of this bill is to make it easier for dealers to sell guns to nonresidents and to make it more difficult to bring the law to bear against dealers who violate it. These goals have no place in Federal firearms policy.

S. 49 does not, as some would assert, pit the sportsman or other lawful gun owners against those who would ban guns. It pits those few who are willing to sell guns for profit to anyone with the money to purchase, against law enforcement officers and agencies who are concerned with the safety of their own officers and the general public.

I would like to commend the distinguished chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Mr. THURMOND and the distinguished Senator from Ohio, Mr. METZENBAUM and other Members on both sides of the aisle for working to bring about some needed improvements in this legislation. As a result of negotiations among these and other Members, as well as representatives of the interest groups most concerned with this issue, the Senate will consider another bill today on this subject. S. 2414 introduced by Senator THURMOND, embodies three important amendments that were proposed to S. 49. These amendments limit the loopholes created by S. 49 with respect to the interstate transportation of weapons and sales from personal collections, and clarify the requirements imposed on gun dealers. Taken together these amendments significantly limit the difficulties that will be experienced by law-enforcement officers when S. 49 becomes law. I fully support S. 2414 and commend the Senator from South Carolina for introducing it. I hope the House of Representatives will give this legislation prompt and favorable consideration. Even though I remain opposed to the passage of S. 49, and would vote no on that bill if there were a rollcall vote, I commend my colleagues for their efforts to address the concerns of the law enforcement community by passage of the Thurmond bill.

Mr. HATCH. Mr. President, at this point, I would like to express my deep appreciation for those Senators and staff who have contributed so much to this historic achievement. I have already commended the majority leader, but I would be remiss to overlook the enormous contribution made by Sheila Bair of his staff. She has made the difference on numerous occasions. I have commended Senator MCCLURE, but wish to not overlook Nancy Norell and Mike Hammond. Mike brought many legal skills and Nancy brought studied dedication to this effort.

Senator THURMOND, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, was as always an unparalleled leader in this effort. Diana Waterman and Terry Wooten deserve credit for their contributions to today's climactic negotiations

On the other side of the aisle, I commend Senators METZENBAUM and KENNEDY whose untiring advocacy and diligence made this bill possible. On Senator METZENBAUM's staff, I would like to commend the efforts of Eddie Corea whose legal talents helped achieve our agreement. Jerry Tinker with Senator KENNEDY has dealt with this bill for over 6 years and deserves extraordinary commendation for his contribution.

In conclusion, I thank my own chief counsel, Randall Rader. I deeply appreciate the legal skill he brings to this and every other issue on our crowded judiciary agenda. Besides his lawyerly skills, I am grateful for his friendship and am grateful for his years of dedication to this and other issues.

Mr. ABDNOR. Mr. President, I rise in strong support of the Firearm Owners Protection Act, S. 49. It is indeed a memorable day when we can see final passage of this legislation that does so much to restore the rights of law-abiding citizens in their ownership and use of firearms for lawful purposes. It has not been an easy task as it has required more than 8 years of effort for those who have been committed to secure passage of the legislation. We must all be grateful for the great leadership of our good friends and colleagues, the senior Senator from Idaho, whose name is indelibly associated with the measure, the Senator from Utah, who stood fast in support of the legislation, and the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, who so capably held the package together 

It has been a long road but one most important for us to have been traveling on. We share the same desire to see enactment of this legislation that will guard the constitutional freedoms of honest American gunowners, and redirect Federal firearms law enforcement toward the type of criminal activity that is most likely to lead to violent firearms crime.

Mr. HATCH. Mr. President, I move that the Senate concur in the House amendments.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question is on agreeing to the motion.

The motion was agreed to.

Mr. HATCH. Mr. President, I move to reconsider the vote by which the motion was agreed to.

Mr. McCLURE. I move to lay that motion on the table.

The motion to lay on the table was agreed to.

Mr. HATCH. Mr. President, I thank everybody concerned.

Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, I want the RECORD to show my vote in favor of the Thurmond proposal, but opposed to S. 49.

Mr. METZENBAUM. The same with respect to the Senator from Ohio.

 

[Begin 132 Cong. Record p. 9607]

 

AMENDMENTS TO TITLE 18, U.S. CODE-INSTERSTATE TRANSPORTATION OF FIREARMS

Mr. THURMOND. Mr. President, I send a bill to the desk and ask that it be reported 

The PRESIDING OFFICER. The bill will be stated by title.

The legislative clerk read as follows:

A bill (S. 2414) to amend Title 18, United States Code 

The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from South Carolina.

Mr. THURMOND. Mr. President, I want to take this opportunity to thank the able majority leader for his outstanding leadership with respect to this legislation and for his fine cooperation and patience in helping to work out this important matter. I believe his efforts have enabled us to avoid several days of debate that would have been consumed otherwise. I also thank his staff member, Shelia Bair, for her work.

I also thank the able Senator from Idaho <Mr. MCCLURE>, one of the authors of the original gun control bill, and his staff member, Mr. Mike Hammond, for their cooperation in this matter.

I express my appreciation to Senator HATCH and his staff member, Randy Rader, for the work they did in this matter.

We have all been working in the Office of the President pro tempore for several hours. It is wonderful that we could come forward here with legislation in this matter.

I want to add the able Senator from Delaware <Mr. BIDEN> as a cosponsor of the bill I just sent to the desk.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, so ordered.

Mr. THURMOND. Mr. President, there are others I wish to thank for their assistance. I want to commend the able Senator from Ohio <Mr. METZENBAUM> for his fine interest in this matter and all he has done to help bring it to a conclusion. I also thank Eddie Correia, his staff member, who assisted in this matter.

I also thank Terry Wooten and Diana Waterman of my staff.

I also want to commend the able Senator from West Virginia <Mr. BYRD> for his help in this matter.

Mr. President, this is one of the most pleasant moments I have had since I have been in the Senate. We worked on this bill for several hours. We have an agreement to pass S. 49, a bill on gun control which has come from the House, sponsored by Senator MCCLURE and Representative VOLKMER.

We also have an agreement with respect to the bill I have just sent to the desk, with certain important amendments, that has taken several hours of time of the players earlier mentioned. We are very pleased that it has been worked out. The discussions have been had on the floor as to the representations on both sides of the issue. We feel now that this legislation can be disposed of in a proper way which will take care of all those interested in gun control matters and will take care of law enforcement. I think this bill has come to very fine fruition.

I now ask unanimous consent that the bill be brought up for consideration.

Mr. METZENBAUM. Mr. President, I have no objection to the unanimous-consent request.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

Mr. METZENBAUM. Mr. President, earlier today it appeared that there would be a confrontation in connection with this measure, and the confrontation also rolled over into a matter that the distinguished Senator from California and I have been attempting to bring to the floor, having to do with the Saudi Arabia arms sale. We discussed the subject with the majority leader. He understood the problem and gave us adequate time in order to negotiate, which we have been doing all afternoon.

I do not think those negotiations would have resulted in the conclusion they did, had it not been for the fact that the President pro tempore of the Senate made it quite clear from the inception that he was intent upon bringing about a compromise and bringing the issue to the floor and having it resolved. I think that he and his staff and the staff of the Senator from Utah and the staff of the Senator from Idaho did superb work in the negotiations, which took about 5 hours.

However, I cannot sit down without expressing appreciation to my own staff member, Eddie Correia, who just last week was in the hospital and left the hospital to be here with us this week. I know this has been a very grueling and difficult task for him in his recuperative period, but I do not think there would have been an agreement if he had not been in those negotiations, and I want to publicly tell him how much I appreciate what he has done. I thank all the other staff members as well

Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, I, too, want to commend the distinguished chairman of the Judiciary Committee <Mr. THURMOND>, for working with Senator METZENBAUM and me and, most importantly, the police groups, in reaching this compromise.

I am delighted to join in cosponsoring this bill and hope the House will move expeditiously to enact it, so these technical, but strengthening amendments to S. 49 will also be signed into law.

Finally, Mr. President, I would just like to note that in the compromise reached on the interstate transportation provisions of the bill, it is the clear intent of the Senate that State and local laws governing the transportation of firearms are only affected if-first, an individual is transporting a firearm that is not directly accessible from the passenger compartment of a vehicle. That means it cannot be in the glove compartment, under the seat, or otherwise within reach. The only exception to this is when a vehicle does not have a trunk or other compartment separate from the passenger area. The weapon must be contained in a locked container other than the glove compartment or console.

Second, any ammunition being transported must be similarly secured.

In addition, Mr. President, the Senate language makes it clear that a State or locality's right to regulate the carrying of firearms by its residents is not affected in any way by the provisions of this bill.

Again, I thank the Senator.

Mr. DOLE. Mr. President, I wish to extend my appreciation to all Senators who have been working the last 2 or 3 days on this matter, particularly the distinguished chairman of the Judiciary Committee, who proposed the amendments early on today as a way to end this impasse, and that has been accomplished.

We are going to complete action very quickly on the bill, when things looked rather bleak as recently as 4 or 5 hours ago.

I want to thank all Senators: The distinguished author of this legislation, Senator MCCLURE; the floor manager, Senator HATCH; and their staffs.

I also thank Sheila Bair of my staff for her tireless efforts, not just today and yesterday, but the last several months.

The distinguished chairman of the Judiciary Committee has pointed out that it has been a cooperative effort among those who opposed and those who supported the legislation. Once there was a determination made that we would work together, it really did not take that much time.

So, my thanks to the distinguished Senator from Ohio <Mr. METZENBAUM>, the distinguished Senator from Massachusetts <Mr. KENNEDY>, and the distinguished minority leader, Senator BYRD, who has been tolerant as we were trying to work out all these problems. I also thank the Senator from California <Mr. CRANSTON>, who, while he had an interest in this matter, had an overriding interest in a matter we will dispose of this evening, the Saudi arms sale.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. The bill is open to amendment. If there be no amendment to be proposed, the question is on the engrossment and third reading of the bill.

 

[Begin 132 Cong. Record p. 9608]

 

The bill was ordered to be engrossed for a third reading, was read the third time, and passed, as follows 

S. 2414

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

Strike out section 926 A of title 18, United States Code, and insert in lieu thereof the following new section:

926A. Interstate transportation of firearms

Notwithstanding any other provision of any law or any rule or regulation of a State or any political subdivision thereof, any person who is not otherwise prohibited by this chapter from transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm shall be entitled to transport a firearm for any lawful purpose from any place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm to any other place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearms if, during such transportation the firearm is unloaded, and neither the firearm nor any ammunition being transported is readily accessible or is directly accessible from the passenger compartment of such transporting vehicle, provided that in the case of a vehicle without a compartment separate from the driver's compartment the firearm or ammunition shall be contained in a locked container other than the glove compartment or console."


Section 921(a)(22) of Title 18, United States Code, is amended by inserting before the period at the end thereof the following: 

, Provided that proof of profit shall not be required as to a person who engages in the regular and repetitive purchase and disposition of firearms for criminal purposes or terrorism. For purposes of this paragraph, the term terrorism means activity, directed against United States persons, which-

(A) is committed by an individual who is not a national or permanent resident alien of the United States;

(B) involves violent acts or acts dangerous to human life which would be a criminal violation if committed within the jurisdiction of the United States; and

(C) is intended-

(i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;

(ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or

(iii) to affect the conduct of a government by assassination or kidnapping;

 

Section 923(c) of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding before the period at the end thereof the following: , except that any licensed manufacturer, importer, or dealer who has maintained a firearm as part of a personal collection for one year and who sells or otherwise disposes of such firearm shall record the description of the firearm in a bound volume, containing the name and place of residence and date of birth of the transferee if the transferee is an individual, or the identity and principal and local places of business of the transferee if the transferee is a corporation or other business entity provided that no other recordkeeping shall be required.

Mr. THURMOND. Mr. President, I move to reconsider the vote by which the bill was passed.

Mr. HATCH. I move to lay that motion on the table.

The motion to lay on the table was agreed to.

[End 132 Cong. Record p. 9608]

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