JPFO has mentioned the "Fairness in Firearms
Testing Act" before. Introduced back in 2005
by Rep. Phil Gingrey of Georgia, the act would require
all firearms testing performed by the BATFE to be
videotaped, and to make copies of the unedited recording
available to owners of the tested items and defendants
in cases involving those items. You can read more
about this act, which was directly inspired by the
JPFO documentary _BATFE Fails the Test_ at
The bill died in the House Judiciary Committee, chaired
by that great "friend" of gun owners, Rep.
James Sensenbrenner. You can read more about Sensenbrenner
and here: www.jpfo.org/alerts/alert20050329.htm
(you can also view our latest handbill mocking Rep.
Sensenbrenner at www.jpfo.org/images02/handbillsensenbrenner.jpg
Recently Rep. Gingrey attached an amendment to H.R. 3093, an Appropriations
bill for the Department of Justice. The amendment stated, "Sec.
701. None of the funds appropriated by this Act may be used by the
Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
to pay the compensation of employees of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco,
Firearms and Explosives to test and examine firearms without written
and published testing standards."
In other words, if you don't test fairly, you don't get paid. That's
reasonable, isn't it?
Apparently the Appropriations Committee disagreed.
On July 25, the amendment to H.R. 3093 was "debated". You
can read the full text of both the amendment and the debate here:
The debate can be paraphrased as follows:
Rep Gingrey: Here's my amendment; let's discuss it.
Appropriations Committee: We don't want to talk about that right now.
Rep Gingrey: Okay, I'll remove the amendment.
What do you suppose is the likelihood that the Appropriations
Committee will actually discuss this amendment further?
We'd guess it's pretty slim. Compare this to the Real
ID act, which was attached to a similar spending bill.
It was passed unanimously, with no discussion, and
without even reading the bill! (read more about that
travesty here: www.jpfo.org/alerts/alert20050511.htm
In his efforts to get the amendment discussed, Rep. Gingrey pleaded
with the committee,
"[W]ithout written and uniform standards, gun manufacturers
are left guessing about which agent will inspect the firearm this
week, whether or not they will be able to ship a product out to
potential customers, and whether or not BATFE agents might even
prosecute someone because of a shipping mistake or a firearm malfunction.
[W]ithout written procedures, BATFE has literally a free rein to
mistreat manufacturers, change their mind after the fact, and leave
both manufacturers and customers at a legal and financial disadvantage.
In fact, BATFE regulations are so inconsistent that some manufacturers
have been threatened with prosecution after receiving written approval
for their products from other BATFE personnel.
"Since 2002, 85 percent of American firearm manufacturers
have been forced to close their doors. Let me repeat that, Mr. Chairman.
Since 2002, 85 percent of American firearm manufacturers have been
forced to close their doors. Moreover, with the increase in number
of imported firearms purchased by civilians and law enforcement
alike, our Nation is at a strategic defensive disadvantage."
Your friends in congress did not give a damn.
- The Liberty Crew