June 8, 2015
MEDIA CONTACT: Samantha Friedman, West End Strategy Team,, Office: (202) 776-7700, Cell: (202) 215-9260

Washington, DC−This week, as the Senate Appropriations Committee prepares to mark up the FY 2016 Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations bill, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV) is encouraging committee members to reject a series of amendments that would sharply limit the ability of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to enforce our nation’s gun laws.

Several amendments were approved by the House of Representatives on Wednesday after it considered its own version of the FY 2016 Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations bill, H.R. 2578. These amendments would affect gun law enforcement adversely by:

  • Preventing the ATF from finalizing a proposed rule that would require those attempting to obtain a fully automatic weapon by using a mechanism know as a “gun trust” be certified by local law enforcement (in order to ensure that applicants present no threat to public safety).
  • Forcing the ATF to reinstate a costly and dangerous federal program to restore gun ownership/purchasing rights to felons. This program was originally defunded in the 1990s after it was revealed that several individuals who had their rights restored had gone on to commit additional violent crimes.
  • Terminating a rule that requires gun dealers on the Southwest border to report when they have sold multiple, military-style rifles to a single customer within a period of five business days, a strong indicator of illegal gun trafficking.
  • Prohibiting the ATF from banning certain armor-piercing ammunition under the 1986 Law Enforcement Officer Protection Act (LEOPA) in order to protect law enforcement.

CSGV executive director Josh Horwitz said, “For decades, the gun lobby has instructed us to ‘enforce the laws on the books’ as opposed to enacting new gun laws. But no one is a bigger impediment to enforcing our laws than the National Rifle Association and its allies in Congress. We call on Senate appropriators to reject these riders that are dangerous and geared solely to making it harder for law enforcement agencies to do their jobs.”

Added CSGV Legislative Director Christian Heyne, “In recent years, the Senate Appropriations Committee has demonstrated bipartisan leadership and kept this appropriations bill free of unnecessary, politically-motivated riders. For the sake of our brave partners in law enforcement, we hope that under Senator Thad Cochran’s chairmanship, this practice will again hold this year.”

The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV) seeks to secure freedom from gun violence through research, strategic engagement and effective policy advocacy. CSGV can be found on Facebook and Twitter.

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