Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson today introduced legislation to prevent the U.S. Attorney General from arbitrarily blocking the importation of commonly owned and used firearms by American citizens. The “Firearm Importation Fairness Act of 2014” clarifies the standard required for the importation of sporting arms into the United States.
“For years Americans have been barred from importing ‘non-sporting purposes’ firearms—these firearms are already legal in the United States” Simpson said. “The Obama Administration has taken this a step further by drastically restricting these firearms. This bill would change that by allowing Americans to import the same type of firearms that are legal to manufacture and sell in the US. It also recognizes the fundamental right of self-defense and prevents discriminatory treatment of law-abiding citizens.”
The 1968 Gun Control Act authorizes the Attorney General to import firearms if he finds them “generally suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes.” However, there is no enumerated definition of a “sporting purpose” in U.S. law. This has impeded the importation of firearms that should be available for lawful purposes including hunting, self-defense, competitive shooting and plinking. This practice has also interfered with citizens’ constitutional rights, and diminished consumer choice. Moreover, these interpretations have prevented the importation of firearms that are legal to manufacture, sell, and own in the United States.
This legislation prohibits the Attorney General from arbitrarily determining what firearms can be imported into the U.S. and ensures that any guns that are legal to produce by U.S. manufacturers would also be legal for a U.S. citizen to import. Simpson’s legislation would not apply to National Firearms Act (NFA) firearms or undetectable firearms, which would remain excluded from the import standard.
Simpson’s legislation is supported by the National Rifle Association (NRA). “This is common-sense legislation that helps create a uniform standard for the import of firearms for sale to law-abiding gun owners. Under current law, the Attorney General can arbitrarily ban an entire class of commonly owned firearms, just because they were manufactured overseas—even when identical, domestically made counterparts to those firearms are legal for civilian ownership. On behalf of our 5 million members, I’d like to thank Congressman Simpson for his leadership on this issue and his steadfast commitment to our Second Amendment freedoms.” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action.