Government Relations and Other News


Unintentional Firearms Fatalities Fall 17 Percent

New data from the National Safety Council show that the number of fatal firearms accidents dropped 17 percent from 2014 to 2015 to 489, the lowest total since record-keeping began in 1903. That’s about three-tenths of 1 percent of the 146,571 total accidental deaths from all other listed causes. The decrease came in a year that saw record firearms sales to many millions of Americans.



AG Emphasizes Enforcement of Current Laws

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has provided further assurance that NSSF was right for supporting his nomination and advocating for his confirmation to lead the Trump Administration’s Department of Justice. “Under my leadership at the Department of Justice …our agents and prosecutors will prioritize cases against the most violent offenders, and remove them from our streets so they can no longer do us harm,” Sessions has said. Read the blog post from the NSSF’s Larry Keane


Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act Picks Up Steam

Legislation designed to allow for concealed carry of firearms nationwide is gaining additional backers on Capitol Hill. More than a third of the House of Representatives signed on to co-sponsor H.R.38 Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, introduced Jan. 3 by Rep. Richard Hudson (R-N.C.), topping 176 bipartisan co-sponsors. The Senate version, S.446 Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, introduced by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) on Feb. 27, also has more than a third of the Senate’s support, with 36 co-sponsors.

Both bills would compel states to treat a concealed carry license in the same manner as a driving license. States would still maintain authority for permitting and for setting laws and regulations for carrying a concealed firearm. The legislation would eliminate the current confusion caused by a patchwork of state-by-state laws.


Hearing Protection Act Gains Support on the Hill

HPA suppressorThe Hearing Protection Act of 2017 is gathering momentum in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. The nearly-identical bills, supported by NSSF, picked up additional co-sponsors in recent weeks. The House version H.R.367, introduced Jan. 9 by Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) now has 121 co-sponsors and the Senate version, S.59 introduced Jan. 9 by Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) gained 11 co-sponsors.

Both bills
would remove suppressors from the 1934 National Firearms Act, reduce the backlog of paperwork associated with purchasing a suppressor and redundant background checks. Instead, suppressors, an accessory that is essentially the same technology as a muffler, would be subject to a National Instant Criminal Background Check.


Omnibus Pro-Gun Bill on the Move in Iowa

The Iowa House Judiciary Committee recently gave its approval to HSB 133, an omnibus bill containing many pro-gun reforms. Among these reforms is language to strengthen the state’s firearms preemption law. Additionally, HSB 133 would allow Iowa youths to learn handgun safety while under the direct supervision of a parents or other responsible adult. Current law prohibits anyone under the age of 14 from handling a handgun.



Court Upholds Blogger’s Right to Post Legislators’ Information

A federal court this week upheld on First Amendment grounds the right of an anonymous blogger known as “Doe Publius” to post addresses and home phone numbers of 40 California state legislators who supported a state law requiring ammunition purchase reporting.  The July 2016 post was picked up by another gun rights blog.  Afterward, several of the named lawmakers reported receiving threatening phone calls and social media messages.
California’s legislative counsel responded by ordering the blogging platform WordPress to remove the post, citing a state law that restricts publication of government officials’ personal information. WordPress took down the post, but on Monday, a federal court ruled that the so-called “tyrant registry” was protected speech. Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California said the post and its republishing were “a form of political protest.” The state has until March 10 to decide how it wants to proceed.


Recently, an anti-gun legislator, state Senator Jeff Hayden, introduced two bills, Senate File 1263 and House File 1678, as companion bills which would allow $200,000 to be appropriated from the general fund of the commissioner of human services to provide grants to anti-gun organizations.  Minnesota residents do not pay taxes so their elected officials can use it to push their own anti-gun political agendas.  Please contact your Minnesota state Senator and state Representative and urge them to OPPOSE these bills! 


Stay tuned to your email inbox and for further updates on these bills.