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Gun Control in Congress
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The following firearms-related bills may be debated and voted on during the first session of the 107th U.S. Congress which convenes on Jan. 3, 2001.

S. 906 Instant Check Gun Tax Repeal and Gun Owner Privacy Act of 2001 (Sponsored by Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyoming)

CRS Summary: (Not yet prepared by Congressional Research Service) The bill amends the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act by requiring the destruction of records of qualified gun buyers generated during background checks. The bill also prohibits the imposition of any fees or taxes in relationship to performing Brady Act gun buyer background checks. {See: Gun Buyers' Rights Bill Introduced]

Current Status: Referred to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary.

S. 767 Gun Show Background Check Act of 2001 - A bill to extend the Brady background checks to gun shows, and for other purposes. (Sponsored by Sen. Jack Reed, D-Rhode Island)

CRS Summary: (Not yet prepared by Congressional Research Service) The bill amends the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act to prevent persons with criminal backgrounds now prohibited from buying firearms in stores from doing so at guns shows, flea markets, and other organized events. [See: New Bill to Close ‘Gun Show Loophole’]

Current Status: Referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

S. 25 Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act of 2001 - A bill to provide for the implementation of a system of licensing for purchasers of certain firearms and for a record of sale system for those firearms. (Sponsored by Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA))

CRS Summary: Amends the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act to prohibit a person from possessing a firearm unless that person has been issued a firearm license under this Act or a State system certified under this Act and such license has not been invalidated or revoked. Prescribes license application, issuance, and renewal requirements.

Prohibits transferring or receiving a qualifying firearm unless the recipient presents a valid firearms license, the license is verified, and the dealer records a tracking authorization number. Prescribes firearms transfer reporting and record keeping requirements. Directs the Secretary to establish and maintain a Federal record of sale system.

Prohibits: (1) transferring a firearm to any person other than a licensee, unless the transfer is processed through a licensed dealer in accordance with national instant criminal background check system requirements, with exceptions; (2) a licensed manufacturer or dealer from failing to comply with reporting and record keeping requirements of this Act; (3) failing to report the loss or theft of the firearm to the Secretary within 72 hours; (4) failing to report to the Secretary an address change within 60 days; or (5) keeping a loaded firearm, or an unloaded firearm and ammunition for the firearm, knowing or recklessly disregarding the risk that a child is capable of gaining access, if a child uses the firearm and causes death or serious bodily injury.

Current Status: Referred to the Committee on the Judiciary on Jan. 22, 2001

S. 2099 A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to require the registration of handguns:

Amends chapter 53 (Machine Guns, Destructive Devices, and Certain Other Firearms) of the Internal Revenue Code to, among other things: 

  • require the registration of handguns in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record; 
  • provide for the sharing of registration information with Federal, State and local law enforcement agencies; 
  • provide for the imposition of the five dollar transfer tax on handguns and a $50 tax upon the making of each handgun.

Current Status: The has was referred to the Senate Finance Committee on Feb. 24, 2000

Prospects for Final Enactment: Very Poor -- President-Elect Bush has indicated the he supports stronger enforcement of existing firearms laws over enactment of sweeping new laws, such as S. 2099.

Clearly this is "the" bill to watch as it would establish a limited system of national firearms registration and tax gun ownership. However, there are some misconceptions about the law.

  • The law would not require handguns to be listed on income tax returns
  • The law would be enforced by the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, not the IRS
  • The law cannot be enacted by the Senate Finance Committee. It must be passed by both the Senate and the House and then signed by the president, just like any other bill.

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