Posts Tagged sporting purposes

The Second Amendment and “Sporting Purposes”


In May, I discussed the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ varying interpretations of the phrase “sporting purposes” in federal gun control law. We had just fought the agency to a standstill over its plan to ban the manufacture and importation of the M855 cartridge, the second most common variety of ammunition for America’s most popular rifle, the AR-15. B. Todd Jones, then director of BATFE, resigned in the aftermath of that debacle, but not before telling a Senate Appropriations Committee that with pistol platforms for the cartridge available, “any 5.56 round, it’s a challenge for officer safety, public safety.”

While the NRA has no problem with sports, or the sporting use of arms, that phrase misses the point when it comes to heart of the Second Amendment.  By making undefined “sporting purposes” the test for legality under numerous federal firearms laws, Congress not only delegated too much discretion to BATFE, it deemphasized the primary reason Americans own firearms and the primary purpose of their constitutional protection. That reason is self-defense. The M855 episode is just the latest example of why the current congressional scheme, administered by the highly-politicized BATFE, has become untenable. With your help, and the help of Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah), the NRA intends to see this problem fixed for good.


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ATF “Tweaking” “Sporting” Definition For Ammo

From Gun Rights Examiner:

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ classification of pistol grip only firearms with 14” barrels that fire shotgun shells and are over 26” in overall length as neither “shotguns” nor National Firearms Act “Destructive Devices” or “Any Other Weapons” has created a situation wherein the agency must either quietly save face or have it exposed that untold numbers of good faith gun owners currently legally possess firearms problematic for the government to allow. In order for that status quo to continue, ATF, in conjunction with certain members of Congress and lobbying interests, is working at “tweaking” its definition of the arbitrary “sporting use” term, insider sources tell Gun RightsExaminer. And with that will come a push to expand definitions to allow for further importation bans on certain types of presently legal ammunition.


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