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September 12, 2006

With "Friends" Like These ...
We're in Trouble

The US House of Representatives will soon vote on HR 5092 ( ), the "Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE) Modernization and Reform Act of 2006". Many are hailing this bill as a positive step toward reform of the BATFE.

But is it really?

- Unlike HR 1603 -- which is bottled up in committee -- HR 5092 does not require the videotaping of BATFE firearm tests, which would ensure these tests are conducted fairly and competently.

- HR 5092 does not require the BATFE to establish standardized, written procedures on how firearms are tested

- HR 5092 does not address the BATFE's policy of arbitrarily reclassifying firearms or firearm accessories as illegal ( ), nor require the BATFE to give notice of such reclassification

- HR 5092 does not address the situation of gun owners who may have been unfairly convicted through faulty firearms testing or arbitrary firearms reclassification

For legislation entitled "BATFE Modernization and Reform Act", HR 5092 seems to be conspicuously lacking in any meaningful reform of the BATFE. Indeed, nine of the 13 pages of this bill address potential _FFL_ violations and punishments! And the highly-lauded guidelines for BATFE investigations as related to gun shows? HR 5092 requires that the Department of Justice review the BATFE's current procedures and submit a report to Congress. That's right -- the bill does NOT establish ANY changes in the current procedures; it merely requests a report on them.

Like all previous attempts at "reforming" the BATFE, HR 5092 appears to be nothing more than window-dressing. Since the bill itself contains no significant reforms to the BATFE, any "pro-gun" changes in BATFE procedures resulting from HR 5092 will merely be a re-interpretation of current law. This means it can be changed again at the whim of whatever administration is in power.

JPFO cannot and does not take a stand on any particular piece of legislation. We are an educational, not a political, organization. But we hope every reader will think very carefully about this particular bill.

Reforming the BATFE has not worked in the past and won't work now. This agency has been out of control since the 1970s, and no administration has been able to contain its abuses (if, indeed, any administration has legitimately attempted to do so). Gun owners MUST stop falling for the smoke and mirrors of our political "friends" and those who have a vested interest in the status quo.

The ONLY solution is complete and total abolishment of the BATFE; in fact, there's a growing sentiment that ALL federal regulation of firearms should be eliminated. Go to or for more information on how you can help us destroy this rogue outfit.

- The Liberty Crew

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