Skip to comments.Veterans' Heritage Firearms Act of 2005, H.R. 2088
Posted on 05/07/2005 12:40:33 PM PDT by Richard-SIA
Veterans' Heritage Firearms Act of 2005 (Introduced in House) HR 2088 IH
109th CONGRESS 1st Session H. R. 2088
To provide an amnesty period during which veterans and their family members can register certain firearms in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record, and for other purposes.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
May 4, 2005
Mr. GIBBONS (for himself, Mr. OTTER, Mr. KENNEDY of Minnesota, Mr. SESSIONS, Mr. JONES of North Carolina, Mr. MILLER of Florida, Mr. CANNON, Mr. BURTON of Indiana, Mr. GOODE, Mr. KINGSTON, Mr. BRADLEY of New Hampshire, Mr. TERRY, Mr. BAKER, Mr. WHITFIELD, Mr. BARRETT of South Carolina, Mr. BACHUS, Mr. BOOZMAN, Mr. TIBERI, Mr. BISHOP of Utah, Mr. WILSON of South Carolina, Mr. BARTON of Texas, Mr. DUNCAN, Mr. SHUSTER, Mr. HOSTETTLER, Mr. MCCOTTER, Mr. HEFLEY, Mr. ISSA, Mr. SIMPSON, Mr. TANCREDO, Mr. SHIMKUS, Mr. PEARCE, Mr. KING of Iowa, Mr. PETERSON of Pennsylvania, Mr. SALAZAR, Mr. KUHL of New York, Mr. HALL, Mr. MOLLOHAN, Mr. FRANKS of Arizona, Mr. SOUDER, Mr. ROGERS of Alabama, Mr. AKIN, Mr. BURGESS, Mr. CRAMER, Mr. CUNNINGHAM, Mr. BARTLETT of Maryland, Mr. ROSS, Mrs. EMERSON, Mr. HUNTER, Mr. TAYLOR of Mississippi, Mr. DEAL of Georgia, Mr. HERGER, Mr. FEENEY, Mr. LEWIS of Kentucky, and Mr. CALVERT) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, and in addition to the Committee on Ways and Means, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned
To provide an amnesty period during which veterans and their family members can register certain firearms in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record, and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the `Veterans' Heritage Firearms Act of 2005'. SEC. 2. AMNESTY PERIOD FOR VETERANS TO REGISTER QUALIFYING FIREARMS.
(a) Registration- Subject to such regulations as the Attorney General may prescribe, the applicable veteran or a member of such a veteran's family, who owns and possesses a qualifying firearm, may register such firearm in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record (described in section 5841 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986) during the amnesty period.
(b) Qualifying Firearm-
(1) IN GENERAL- For purposes of this section, the term `qualifying firearm' means any firearm which was acquired--
(A) before October 31, 1968; and
(B) by a veteran, while such veteran was a member of the Armed Forces and was stationed outside the continental United States.
(2) PRESUMPTION OF VALIDITY- With respect to any firearm, in the absence of clear and convincing evidence to the contrary the Attorney General shall accept as true and accurate any affidavit, document, or other evidence submitted by an individual to establish that such firearm meets the requirements of paragraph (1).
(c) Hearings- If the Attorney General determines that any individual may not register a firearm under subsection (a) during the amnesty period, the Attorney General, upon the request of such individual, shall--
(1) provide such individual any evidence on which the Attorney General's decision is based; and
(2) promptly hold a hearing to review such determination. (d) Limited Immunity-
(1) CRIMINAL LIABILITY UNDER TITLE 18- Any individual who registers a firearm under subsection (a)--
(A) shall be treated, for purposes of subsections (a)(3) and (o) of section 922 of title 18, United States Code, as having lawfully acquired and possessed the firearm before the date of the enactment of chapter 44 of such title and each of such chapter's provisions; and
(B) shall not be liable under chapter 44 of title 18, United States Code, for any violation of such chapter which--
(i) is based solely on such individual's ownership, possession, transportation, importation, or alteration of such firearm; and
(ii) occurred before or concurrent with such registration.
(2) CRIMINAL LIABILITY UNDER INTERNAL REVENUE CODE- Except as provided in paragraph (3), any individual who registers a firearm under subsection (a) shall not be liable under chapter 53 or 75 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 for any violation of such chapters which relates to such firearm and which occurred before or concurrent with such registration.
(3) TRANSFER TAX LIABILITY- Paragraph (2) shall not affect the liability of any individual for any transfer tax imposed under section 5811 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.
(4) ATTEMPTS TO REGISTER- In the case of an applicable veteran or a member of such a veteran's family who attempts to register a qualifying firearm in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record at a time other than during the amnesty period, paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) shall apply with respect to such individual if such individual surrenders such firearm to a law enforcement agency not later than 30 days after notification by the Attorney General of potential criminal liability for continued possession of the firearm.
(e) Forfeiture- Any firearm registered under subsection (a) shall not be subject to seizure or forfeiture under chapter 53 or 75 of the Internal Revenue Code or chapter 44 of title 18, United States Code, for any violation of such chapters which relates to such firearm and which occurred before or concurrent with such registration.
(f) Notice; Forms; Mailbox Rule-
(1) NOTICE OF AMNESTY PERIOD- The Attorney General shall provide clear printed notices providing information regarding the amnesty period and registering a firearm during such period. To the extent feasible, the Attorney General shall ensure that such notices are posted in post offices, law enforcement buildings, buildings of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and in the businesses of licensed firearms dealers.
(2) FORMS- The Attorney General shall make available any forms necessary for registering a firearm in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record. To the extent feasible, the Attorney General shall make such forms available in the locations referred to in paragraph (1) and through the website for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.
(3) MAILBOX RULE- For purposes of this section, the Attorney General shall treat any form that is postmarked during the amnesty period as received during the amnesty period.
(g) Definitions- For purposes of this section:
(1) AMNESTY PERIOD- The term `amnesty period' means the 90-day period beginning on the date that is 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.
(2) FIREARM- The term `firearm' has the meaning given such term in section 5845 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, except that such term does not include--
(A) any device described in subsection (f)(1) of such section; or
(B) any combination of parts--
(i) designed or intended for use in converting any device into a device described in subparagraph (A); or
(ii) from which a device described in subparagraph (A) may be readily assembled.
(3) APPLICABLE VETERAN- With respect to any firearm, the term `applicable veteran' means the veteran described in subsection (b)(1)(B).
(4) VETERAN- The term `veteran' has the meaning given such term in section 101(2) of title 38, United States Code.
(5) FAMILY- The term `family' means, with respect to a veteran, the grandparents of such veteran, the grandparents of such veteran's spouse, the lineal descendants of such grandparents, and any spouse of such a lineal descendant. A spouse of an individual who is legally separated from such individual under a decree of divorce or separate maintenance shall be treated as such individual's spouse for purposes of this paragraph. Individuals related by the half blood or by legal adoption shall be treated as if they were related by the whole blood for purposes of this paragraph.
(6) CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES- The term `continental United States' means the several States and the District of Columbia, but does not include Alaska or Hawaii.
SEC. 3. TRANSFER OF FIREARMS TO MUSEUMS.
(a) Transfer of Forfeited Firearms to Museums-
(1) IN GENERAL- The Attorney General shall transfer each firearm which has been forfeited to the United States to the first qualified museum that submits a request for such firearm in such form and manner as the Attorney General may specify.
(2) DESTRUCTION OF FORFEITED FIREARMS PROHIBITED- The Attorney General shall not destroy any firearm which has been forfeited to the United States until the end of the 5-year period beginning on the date of such forfeiture.
(3) CATALOGUE OF FIREARMS- With respect to each firearm which is available to be transferred to a museum under paragraph (1), the Attorney General shall, not later than 60 days after the forfeiture of such firearm, publish information which identifies such firearm (including a picture) on the web page of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. Such information shall be available to the public without cost and without restriction.
(4) REGISTRATION OF FIREARMS- Any firearm transferred under paragraph (1) to a qualified museum shall be registered to the transferee in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record (described in section 5841 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986).
(5) FIREARM- For purposes of this subsection, the term `firearm' means any firearm (as defined in section 2(g)(2)) which is treated as a curio or relic under chapter 44 of title 18, United States Code.
(6) QUALIFIED MUSEUM- For purposes of this subsection, the term `qualified museum' means--
(A) any museum owned or operated by a unit of Federal, State, or local government; and
(B) any museum which--
(i) is open to the public;
(ii) is incorporated as not-for-profit corporation under applicable state law;
(iii) may possess a firearm in the collection of the museum under the laws of the State in which the collection of the museum is displayed;
(iv) holds a license under chapter 44 of title 18, United States Code, as a collector of curios or relics; and
(v) certifies to the Attorney General that--
(I) the museum is not engaged in the trade or business of buying or selling firearms,
(II) with respect to the transfer of any firearm under paragraph (1), the museum is not requesting the transfer of such firearm for purpose of sale, and
(III) the museum shall, not later than 90 days after the date on which such museum ceases operations, file an application pursuant to chapter 53 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to transfer any machinegun transferred to the museum under paragraph (1) to an entity or person who may lawfully possess such machinegun under section 922(o) of title 18, United States Code, or abandon such machinegun to Federal, State, or local law enforcement authorities.
(b) Transfer of Machineguns to Museums- Section 922(o)(2) of title 18, United States Code, is amended--
(1) in subparagraph (A), by striking `or' at the end;
(2) by redesignating subparagraph (B) as subparagraph (C); and
(3) by inserting after subparagraph (A) the following new subparagraph:
`(B) a transfer to or by, or possession by, a museum which is open to the public and incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation under applicable State law; or'.
If your rep. is listed PLEASE call or fax them with your thanks, even if this is the only time they have ever done the "right" thing for us.
It is as important to reward our reps when they do support us as it is to punish them when they do not.
If they are NOT on the above list please call or fax them with your request that they become a bill supporter ASAP.
Civility is a MUST, even if they respond in a negative manner. Asking for a written reply helps to ensure your request will actually be considered and not ignored.
Additional back round on this issue is posted to the NFAOA site under "Bills in congress". More hints on effective lobbying are available on the NFAOA site under "Activism".
I had a hard time formatting this post for some reason, you may find it easier to read at NFAOA.
Are you saying this is a good bill?
How is registering anything good?
I can't force myself to wade through the legaleze today... is this a good idea or no?
BAD idea, as it starts a gun registry of any firearms that veterans may have brought home from war.
That way, tehy can 'oops' teh amnesty and confiscate the EEEee-vil 'assault weapons', regardless of them being old WWII vintage 7 or 8 shot bangers.
I thought the RKBA supporting denizens of this board would be much more familiar with the VHFA, the sorry state of ATFE's existing registration records (NFRTR), and the plight of our veterans in regards to their War Trophy firearms.
This is an EXCELLENT bill, in fact it's passage may be critical to preserving our RKBA and reforming ATFE abuses of law abiding citizens in the long run.
The ONLY guns to be registered under this bill are real MACHINE GUNS that our veterans who have served overseas brought back as war trophies.
It has no effect on standard Title 1 guns or politically defined "assault weapons".
Many veterans think their trophies are already registered, but ATFE has been very inconsistent on recognizing the War Trophy papers as legal NFA registration documents.
This legislation would allow for re-registration, and registration of previously unregistered trophies, removing any doubt as to the veterans (or heirs) legal ownership of very valuable personal property.
As a dealer in full-auto arms I frequently get request for appraisals of such guns.
It is sickening to have to tell a seriously ill veteran that without proof that his trophy is registered with ATFE I cannot so much as touch it, much less appraise or broker it for him.
These guys risked everything to defend America, now most of them are elderly and ill, yet ATFE continues to seek them out for the purpose of taking their valuable property from them for destruction, and possible prosecution of the veteran.
Perhaps the back round on this issue is too complex for full discussion here.
I suggest visiting the NFAOA site and perusing the many post there for more information.
Bottom line, this is an EXCELLENT bill that will be a great service to our veterans and their heirs, while also making badly needed corrections to the records of ATFE. It would also allow the veterans to 'cash in' on their valuable war trophies, they could buy medical treatment, pay for their kids college tuition, buy a new car, etc, etc.
So it would even help our economy, as collectors would put some of their hoarded cash back into circulation.
It is an EXCELLENT bill.
Unregistered NFA items subject the owner to a fine of $250,000 and ten years in prison.
The veterans or heirs who have these NFA items did no overt criminal acts.
They are risking fines and prison merely for having War Trophy guns they or their husbands and fathers brought back from previous conflicts around the world.
Prior to the emergence of PC anti-gun hysteria our soldiers were encouraged to destroy the enemy, and allowed to keep captured weapons as souvenirs.
These souvenirs have become very valuable, and ATFE now denies that many of them which WERE registered via any of several past means are recorded in the NFRTR data-base.
This bill will allow a short "amnesty" to ensure that the veterans or heirs have an opportunity to register their war trophies, thus preventing their unfair prosecution and seizure of their valuable guns.
Yep, Bad Idea the way I read it. Looks like anyone owning any firearm for which a federal purchase record cannot be located is in possession of an illegal firearm. Veterans (+heirs)appear to be the only ones who can legally "register" firearms acquired outside the US (or for which proof of purchase within the US cannot be produced, as in most private sales) and only if they do so in the 90 day amnesty period. This puppy smells so fishy it should be DOA and clearly impinges on 2A which contains no mention of where firearms must be acquired before being kept and borne. Neither does it limit itself to the "machine-gun" denominations which are subject to transfer tax and registration.
Qualifying Firearm- (1) IN GENERAL- For purposes of this section, the term `qualifying firearm' means any firearm which was acquired-- (A) before October 31, 1968; and (B) by a veteran, while such veteran was a member of the Armed Forces and was stationed outside the continental United States.
The system in place is an ugly dog, but this doesn't read any better.
I read it and ID'd at least three ways it can be interpreted to be confiscatory.
It sounds like the brain child idea of banning center fire ammunition in as much as the same lame 'thinking' is behind it.
There's at least three ways it can be interpreted to justify confiscations and worse for legally owned firearms.
This is a bad idea.
I'm also willing to bet that the 'amnesty' isn't.
Good bill, it gives veterans/heirs the chance to legally keep something of value that is otherwise illegal. Their option, to register or not.
It creates a registry, which is a bad idea.
Then they know who has the 'eeee-vil' assault weapons and where to find them.
I'm willing to bet that it'll be reinterpreted every time the gun grabbers feel like confiscating something.
And, there are firearms that are legally owned that this would require registration on.
The term 'any firearm' is always a tipoff to a broader interpretation in the future, and bad intent.
I'd have to agree with darksheare. With the expiration of the assault weapons ban, the most pernicious gun laws are found on the state and local level. Most that I'm aware of have grandfather clauses, which the 1968 acquisition date might help with, but there's nothing to prevent grandfathering from being repealed. In Chicago, for example, handguns are legal only if owned prior to the enactment of their ban, 1982 I believe, and registered with the city. I presume an unregistered handgun registered under this act would become legal, but there's nothing preventing Mayor Daley from repealing the grandfather clause, in which case I suspect you'd get a letter followed by a knock on the door. This isn't a bad thing, but I don't see it as much of a positive. I'd guess the owner of an "assault weapon" in California would be "legal" on a federal level, which he was anyway, and illegal state. It might aid owners of fully auto weapons in states where they're allowed, presuming the get the federal licensing and pay the annual fee, but that's about all.
Yeah, it just has way too much wiggle room for the gun grabbers.
I think it's the database they want. In Chicago they've attempted to get the federal list of multiple handgun (that's 2) purchasers within a week, which the government can legally maintain in order to crosscheck for Chicago purchasers. Would they go after this list to check for federal registrants who hadn't registered with the city, and are thus subject to confiscation and charges? IMO, in a heartbeat. I see little or no upside for gunowners in this.
That's all I have to say..
" Cold, Dead, Fingers "...
From my cold and .............
Title one arms are not required to be registered in the NFRTR, NFA Weapons are.
The bill's intent is to register NFA arms.
So machine guns, DD shotguns, AOW's, etc. would be registered under the bill, allowing their ownership to become fully legal.
By example, a P-08 Luger semi-auto pistol brought back from Europe does not require any registration, with or without this bill.
But a Thompson or MP-40 already does per the NFA-34 act.
I realize that the NFA world is not familiar to many Americans, but it is the area ATFE likes to abuse most as an excuse for their continued existence.
I never said the language is perfect, but in order to be amended with improvements it has to get out of committee. Our support can give it a fair hearing and allow the necessary adjustments before passage.
Any database is a bad idea.
They've been trying for such a thing for years, and the intent has been obvious from the start on that.
This bill seems tailor made to at the very least poot the foot in the door for the creation of just such an intrusive database.
But the way it reads leaves me to believe that it refers to such a database.