< Back to H.R. 1996 (105th Congress, 1997–1998)

Text of the Handgun Control Act of 1997

This bill was introduced on June 19, 1997, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of Jun 19, 1997 (Introduced).

Source: GPO

HR 1996 IH

105th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 1996

To prohibit the importation, manufacture, sale, purchase, transfer, receipt, or transportation of handguns in any manner affecting interstate or foreign commerce, except for or by members of the Armed Forces, law enforcement officials, and, as authorized by the Secretary of the Treasury, licensed importers, manufacturers, and dealers, and pistol clubs.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

June 19, 1997

Mr. YATES introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary


A BILL

To prohibit the importation, manufacture, sale, purchase, transfer, receipt, or transportation of handguns in any manner affecting interstate or foreign commerce, except for or by members of the Armed Forces, law enforcement officials, and, as authorized by the Secretary of the Treasury, licensed importers, manufacturers, and dealers, and pistol clubs.

    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 ‘Handgun Control Act of 1997’.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND DECLARATIONS.

    The Congress hereby finds and declares--

      (1) that the estimated total number of handguns in private hands has reached seventy-six million;

      (2) that handguns play a major role, and a role disproportionate to their number in comparison with long guns, in the commission of homicide, aggravated assault, and armed robbery, and that the percentage of violent crimes in which handguns are used is increasing;

      (3) that more than one-half of all handguns are acquired secondhand and that licensing and restrictions on sale of new handguns will not significantly reduce handgun crime and handgun violence;

      (4) that with few exceptions handguns are not used for sporting or recreational purposes and that such purposes do not require keeping of handguns in private homes;

      (5) that handguns in the home are of less value than is commonly thought in defending against intruders and that such defensive purposes can be adequately accomplished by other means;

      (6) that violent crimes perpetrated with handguns constitute a burden upon and interfere with interstate and foreign commerce and threaten the internal security and domestic tranquillity of the Nation; and

      (7) that a national firearms policy which restricts the availability of handguns for nonlaw enforcement and nonmilitary purposes will significantly reduce violent crime, reduce deaths from handguns, and reduce other handgun violence in the United States.

SEC. 3. HANDGUN CONTROLS.

    Title 18, United States Code, is amended by inserting after chapter 50 the following:

‘CHAPTER 50A--HANDGUNS

‘Sec.

      ‘1091. Unlawful acts.

      ‘1092. Licensing.

      ‘1093. Penalties.

      ‘1094. Exceptions.

      ‘1095. Voluntary delivery to law enforcement agency; reimbursement.

      ‘1096. Rules and regulations.

      ‘1097. Effect on State law.

      ‘1098. Definitions.

‘Sec. 1091. Unlawful acts

    ‘(a) Except as provided in section 1094 of this chapter and in subsection (b) of this section, it shall be unlawful for any person to import, manufacture, sell, buy, transfer, receive, or transport any handgun.

    ‘(b) The Secretary may, consistent with public safety and necessity, exempt from the operation of subsection (a) of this section such importation, manufacture, sale, purchase, transfer, receipt, or transportation of handguns by importers, manufacturers, or dealers, licensed under chapter 44 of this title, and by pistol clubs licensed under this chapter, as may in his judgment be required for the operation of such pistol clubs or for purposes described in section 1094 of this chapter.

‘Sec. 1092. Licensing

    ‘(a) A pistol club desiring to be licensed under this chapter shall file an application for such license with the Secretary. The application shall be in such form and contain such information as the Secretary shall by regulation prescribe. The fee for such license shall be $25 per year.

    ‘(b) Any importer, manufacturer, or dealer desiring to be licensed under this chapter shall apply as provided in chapter 44 of this title.

    ‘(c) Any application submitted under subsection (a) shall be approved if--

      ‘(1) all members of the pistol club are twenty-one years of age or older;

      ‘(2) no member of the pistol club is prohibited from transporting, shipping, or receiving firearms or ammunition in interstate or foreign commerce under section 922(g) or (h) of this title or under the law of the State in which the club will be located or of the State in which the member is domiciled;

      ‘(3) no member of the pistol club has willfully violated any of the provisions of this chapter or of chapter 44 of this title or any regulations issued thereunder;

      ‘(4) the pistol club has not willfully failed to disclose any material information required, or has not made any false statement as to any material fact, in connection with his application; and

      ‘(5) the pistol club has premises from which it operates and--

        ‘(A) maintains possession and control of the handguns used by its members, and

        ‘(B) has procedures and facilities for keeping such handguns in a secure place, under the control of the club’s chief officer, at all times when they are not being used for target shooting or other sporting or recreational purposes.

    ‘(d)(1) The Secretary must approve or deny an application for a license within the forty-five-day period beginning on the date it is received. If the Secretary fails to act within such period, the applicant may file an action under section 1361 of title 28 to compel the Secretary to act. If the Secretary approves an applicant’s application, such applicant shall be issued a license upon payment of the prescribed fee.

    ‘(2) The Secretary may, after notice and opportunity for hearing, revoke any license issued under this section if the holder of such license has violated any provision of this chapter or of chapter 44 of this title or any rule or regulation prescribed by the Secretary under such chapters. The Secretary’s action under this paragraph may be reviewed only as provided in subsection (e) of this section.

    ‘(e)(1) Any person whose application for a license is denied and any holder of a license which is revoked shall receive a written notice from the Secretary stating specifically the grounds upon which the application was denied or upon which the license was revoked. Any notice of revocation of a license shall be given to the holder of such license before the effective date of the revocation.

    ‘(2) If the Secretary denies an application for, or revokes, a license, he shall, upon request by the aggrieved party, promptly hold a hearing to review his denial or revocation. In the case of a revocation of a license, the Secretary shall upon the request of the holder of the license stay the effective date of the revocation. A hearing held under this paragraph shall be held at a location convenient to the aggrieved party.

    ‘(3) If after a hearing held under paragraph (2) the Secretary decides not to reverse his decision to deny an application or revoke a license, the Secretary shall give notice of his decision to the aggrieved party. The aggrieved party may at any time within sixty days after the date notice was given under this paragraph file a petition with the United States District Court for the district in which he resides or has his principal place of business for a judicial review of such denial or revocation. In a proceeding conducted under this subsection, the court may consider any evidence submitted by the parties to the proceeding. If the court decides that the Secretary was not authorized to deny the application or to revoke the license, the court shall order the Secretary to take such action as may be necessary to comply with the judgment of the court.

    ‘(f) Each licensed pistol club shall maintain such records of receipt, sale, or other disposition, of handguns at such place, for such period, and in such form as the Secretary may by regulations prescribe. Such pistol clubs shall make such records available for inspection at all reasonable times, and shall submit to the Secretary such reports and information with respect to such records and the contents thereof as he shall by regulations prescribe. The Secretary may enter at reasonable times the premises (including places of storage) of any pistol club for the purpose of inspecting or examining (1) any records of documents required to be kept by such pistol club under the provisions of this chapter or chapter 44 of this title and regulations issued under such chapters, and (2) any handguns or ammunition kept or stored by such pistol club at such premises. Upon the request of any State or any political subdivision thereof, the Secretary may make available to such State or any political subdivision thereof any information which he may obtain by reason of the provisions of this chapter with respect to the identification of persons who are members of pistol clubs within such State or political subdivision thereof, together with a description of the handguns included in such pistol club’s license.

    ‘(g) Licenses issued under the provisions of subsection (c) of this section shall be kept posted and kept available for inspection on the premises covered by the license.

‘Sec. 1093. Penalties

    ‘(a) Whoever violates any provision of this chapter or knowingly makes any false statement or representation with respect to the information required by the provisions of this chapter to be kept in the records of a pistol club licensed under this chapter, or in applying for any license under the provisions of this chapter, shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.

    ‘(b) Any handgun involved or used in, or intended to be used in, any violation of the provisions of this chapter or chapter 44 of this title or any rule or regulation

promulgated thereunder, or any violation of any other criminal law of the United States, shall be subject to seizure and forfeiture and all provisions of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 relating to the seizure, forfeiture, and disposition of firearms shall, so far as applicable, extend to seizures and forfeitures under the provisions of this chapter.

‘Sec. 1094. Exceptions

    ‘(a) The provisions of this chapter shall not apply with respect to the importation, manufacture, sale, purchase, transfer, receipt, or transportation of any handgun which the Secretary determines is being imported or manufactured for, sold, or transferred to, purchased, received, or transported by, or issued for the use of, the United States or any department or agency thereof or any State or any department, agency, or political subdivision thereof.

    ‘(b) The provisions of this chapter shall not apply with respect to the importation, manufacture, sale, purchase, transfer, receipt, or transportation of a handgun which the Secretary determines is unserviceable, not restorable to firing condition, and intended for use as a curio, museum piece, or collectors’ item.

‘Sec. 1095. Voluntary delivery to law enforcement agency; reimbursement

    ‘(a) A person may at any time deliver to any Federal, State, or local law enforcement agency designated by the Secretary a handgun owned or possessed by such person. The Secretary shall arrange with each agency designated to receive handguns for the transfer, destruction, or other disposition of all handguns delivered under this section.

    ‘(b) Upon proof of lawful acquisition and ownership by a person delivering a handgun to a law enforcement agency under this section, the owner of the handgun shall be entitled to receive from the United States a payment equal to the fair market value of the handgun or $25, whichever is more. The Secretary shall provide for the payment, directly or indirectly, through Federal, State, and local law enforcement agencies, of the amounts to which owners of handguns delivered under this section are entitled.

    ‘(c) The amounts authorized in subsection (b) of this section shall be paid out of the fees collected under section 1092(a) of this chapter to the extent that such fees are sufficient for this purpose. The remainder of amounts authorized in subsection (b) of this section shall be paid out of general revenues.

‘Sec. 1096. Rules and regulations

    ‘(a) The Secretary may prescribe such rules and regulations as he deems necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter, including--

      ‘(1) regulations providing that a person licensed under this chapter, when dealing with another person so licensed or with a person licensed under chapter 44 of this title, shall provide such other licensed person a certified copy of his license; and

      ‘(2) regulations providing for the issuance, at a reasonable cost, to a person licensed under this chapter, of certified copies of his license for use as provided under regulations issued under paragraph (1) of this subsection.

    ‘(b) The Secretary shall give reasonable public notice, and afford to interested parties opportunity for hearing, prior to prescribing rules and regulations authorized by this section.

‘Sec. 1097. Effect on State law

    ‘No provision of this chapter shall be construed as indicating an intent on the part of the Congress to occupy the field in which such provision operates to the exclusion of the law of any State on the same subject, unless there is a direct and positive conflict between such provision and

the law of the State so that the two cannot be reconciled or consistently stand together.

‘Sec. 1098. Definitions

    ‘As used in this chapter:

      ‘(1) The term ‘person’ and the term ‘whoever’ include any individual, corporation, company, association, firm, partnership, club, society, or joint-stock company.

      ‘(2) The term ‘importer’ means any person engaged in the business of importing or bringing handguns into the United States for purposes of sale or distribution; and the term ‘licensed importer’ means any such person licensed under the provisions of chapter 44 of this title.

      ‘(3) The term ‘manufacturer’ means any person engaged in the manufacture or assembly of handguns for the purposes of sale or distribution; and the term ‘licensed manufacturer’ means any such person licensed under the provisions of chapter 44 of this title.

      ‘(4) The term ‘dealer’ means (A) any person engaged in the business of selling handguns at wholesale or retail, (B) any person engaged in the business of repairing handguns or of making or fitting special barrels, or trigger mechanisms to handguns, or (C) any person who is a pawnbroker. The term ‘licensed dealer’ means any dealer who is licensed under the provisions of chapter 44 of this title.

      ‘(5) The term ‘collector’ means any person who acquires, holds, or disposes of handguns as curios, or relics, as the Secretary shall by regulation define, and the term ‘licensed collector’ means any such person licensed under the provisions of chapter 44 of this title.

      ‘(6) The term ‘Secretary’ or ‘Secretary of the Treasury’ means the Secretary of the Treasury or his delegate.

      ‘(7) The term ‘handgun’ means any weapon--

        ‘(A) designed or redesigned, or made, or remade, and intended to be fired while held in one hand;

        ‘(B) having a barrel less than ten inches in length; and

        ‘(C) designed or redesigned, or made or remade, to use the energy of an explosive to expel a projectile or projectiles through a smooth or rifled bore.

      ‘(8) The term ‘pistol club’ means a club organized for target shooting with handguns or to use handguns for sporting or other recreational purposes and which--

        ‘(A) maintains possession and control of the handguns used by its members, and

        ‘(B) has procedures and facilities for keeping such handguns in a secure place, under the control of the club’s chief officer, at all times when they are not being used for target shooting, sporting, or other recreational purposes.

      The term ‘licensed pistol club’ means any pistol club which is licensed under this chapter.’.

SEC. 4. ENFORCEMENT AND ADMINISTRATION.

    The enforcement and administration of the amendment made by this Act shall be vested in the Secretary of the Treasury.

SEC. 5. EFFECT ON OTHER FEDERAL LAW.

    Nothing in this Act or the amendment made by this Act shall be construed as modifying or affecting any provision of--

      (1) the National Firearms Act (chapter 53 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986);

      (2) section 414 of the Mutual Security Act of 1954 (22 U.S.C. 1934), relating to munitions control; or

      (3) section 1715 of title 18, United States Code, relating to nonmailable firearms.

SEC. 6. EFFECTIVE DATE.

    The provisions of this Act shall take effect one year after the date of the enactment of this Act.