Wayne the Baptist "comes to Jesus" on the evils of "sporting purposes."
Readers may well recall the contretemps at the time of the NRA national meeting when David Codrea and I broke the following story: SSI Exclusive: Negotiating Rights Away. Cynical Secret "Deal With The Devil" Confirmed. NRA, ATF& bi-partisan group of politicians agree to save ATF from itself and widen the definition of "sporting purposes." "A hole big enough to drive Diane Feinstein's limousine through."
We now have confirmation of a sort, both from the NRA and the NSSF, that SOMETHING along those lines was certainly happening at the time, Chris Cox's categorical denials notwithstanding. From the NSSF: Federal bill would revise Gun Control Act of 1968, prevent rifle ammo from being banned.
The legislation would reform federal laws in the following essential areas:Eliminate ATF’s authority to reclassify popular rifle ammunition as “armor piercing ammunition.” Federal law regulating armor-piercing ammunition was intended by Congress to regulate handgun projectiles, but recently the law was used to attempt to ban popular rifle ammunition, notably M855/SS109 5.56×45 ammunition.Eliminate restrictions on importation of non-National Firearms Act firearm or ammunition that may otherwise be lawfully possessed and sold within the United States. Based on the “sporting purposes” test, firearms that would be legal to manufacture, sell and possess in the United States have been banned from importation.Protect shotguns, shotgun shells, and large-caliber rifles from arbitrary classification as “destructive devices.” When classified as a “destructive device,” a firearm falls under the National Firearms Act and is subjected to registration and taxes, and, in some states, cannot be possessed.Broaden the temporary interstate transfer provision to allow temporary transfers for all lawful purposes rather than just for “sporting purposes.”“This is one of the most important pieces of reform legislation that the firearms and ammunition industry has seen come before Congress in recent years,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel. “We applaud Rep. Bishop for his support of this legislation and of the Second Amendment, and we urge other members of Congress to co-sponsor this bill.”
So, the the subject of "sporting purposes" language in conjunction with the ATF's attempt to declare pistol grip shotguns as destructive devices was certainly being discussed, according to both the NSSF and the NRA's own announcement. This didn't just spring up last week like Topsy. (The NRA announcement is here: NRA Backs Federal Bill to Limit Arbitrary Federal Gun and Ammo Classifications)
As a faithful reader who is well-experienced in these matters wrote when forwarding the links above: "I think the language tracks fairly well with yours and David's story. Sporting purpose revision? Check! Destructive Devices revision? Check!"
For the record, our sources still stand behind their initial reports and we still stand by our stories at the time. What is evident is that whatever the NRA's motivations were, and whatever the GOP politicians intended with their negotiations with anti-firearm Democrats eager to save their bastard step-child ATF from another M855 disaster, our stories disrupted any deal which would have widened the "sporting purposes" language as the Democrats wanted. And now the NRA has had its come-to-Jesus moment and decided to reverse the play. This from folks who never evinced the least interest in attacking the "sporting purposes" language in the past. (Remember, too, that the NRA signed off on the "magnificent compromise" at the time that was the Gun Control Act of 1968 which brought us "sporting purposes" into American gun rights lexicon for the first time.)
Here's the NRA text from the newly-baptized and still dripping wet NRA:
Fairfax, Va. –The National Rifle Association today announced support for H.R. 2710, federal legislation aimed at limiting the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) from using executive overreach to undermine the Second Amendment. H.R. 2710 was introduced by United States Representative Rob Bishop (UT-1)."This important legislation would prevent arbitrary ammunition bans like the one attempted earlier this year by the Obama Administration," said Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA's Institute for Legislative Action. "With the support of America's law-abiding gun owners, the NRA was able to beat back Obama's attempt to ban ammunition used by millions of law-abiding Americans every day for target shooting, hunting, and self-defense. This legislation would fix the law to protect us from similar government overreach in the future."H.R. 2710, which is commonly referred to as the "Lawful Purpose in Self Defense Act," would:eliminate ATF's authority to reclassify popular rifle ammunition as "armor piercing ammunition;provide for the lawful importation of any non-National Firearms Act firearm or ammunition that may otherwise be lawfully possessed and sold within the United States;protect shotguns, shotgun shells, and larger caliber rifles from arbitrary classification as "destructive devices" which under federal law subjects them to onerous registration and taxation provisions and creates a ban on possession of the firearm in some states;broaden the temporary interstate transfer provision to allow temporary transfers for all lawful purposes rather than just for "sporting purposes.""On behalf of the NRA's five-million members, I want to thank Representative Bishop for his leadership in protecting our Second Amendment rights," added Cox. "Rob Bishop understands this is about freedom and protecting us from government overreach and intrusion."
So much for categorical denials, eh Chris?