< Back to H.R. 3895 (105th Congress, 1997–1998)

Text of the 21st Century Firearm Technology and Safety Act of 1998

This bill was introduced on May 19, 1998, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of May 19, 1998 (Introduced).

Source: GPO

HR 3895 IH

105th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 3895

To provide grants to improve firearms safety, and to provide for the study of the effects of developing firearms technology on firearms safety.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

May 19, 1998

Mrs. KENNELLY of Connecticut introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary


A BILL

To provide grants to improve firearms safety, and to provide for the study of the effects of developing firearms technology on firearms safety.

    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 ‘21st Century Firearm Technology and Safety Act of 1998’.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    The Congress finds that--

      (1) the National Institute of Justice Science and Technology program has played a critical role in improving law enforcement technology;

      (2) the National Institute of Justice Science and Technology program has successfully developed standards for soft body armor which have been critical to saving the lives of law enforcement personnel;

      (3) the National Institute of Justice Science and Technology program is assisting in the successful development of personalized firearms to improve firearms safety; and

      (4) the National Institute of Justice should continue to focus its resources on improving technology to assist law enforcement in reducing crime, and on making technological improvements in the safety of firearms.

SEC. 3. GRANTS TO IMPROVE GUN SAFETY.

    (a) IN GENERAL- The Director of the National Institute of Justice, in consultation with appropriate personnel of the National Institute of Justice who are involved in firearms technology and weapons technology matters, shall make grants to reduce firearms violence through improvements in firearms safety technology, weapons detection technology, and other technology.

    (b) 3-YEAR GRANTS- A grant awarded under this section shall be paid over a period not exceeding 3 years.

    (c) LIMITATIONS ON AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS- For grants under this section, there are authorized to be appropriated not more than $20,000,000 for each of fiscal years 1998 through 2002.

SEC. 4. INDEPENDENT PANEL ON FIREARMS SAFETY.

    (a) ESTABLISHMENT- There is established in the Department of Justice the Independent Panel on Firearms Safety (in this section referred to as the ‘Panel’).

    (b) DUTIES-

      (1) IN GENERAL- The Panel shall--

        (A) research how technology can be used in the area of weapons safety improvements to reduce violence; and

        (B) direct, oversee, and review the work of the Technical Study Group on Firearms Safety.

      (2) REPORTS-

        (A) REPORT TO CONGRESS ON THE FINDINGS OF THE TECHNICAL STUDY GROUP ON FIREARMS SAFETY- Within 90 days after receipt of the report submitted pursuant to section 5(b)(2), the Panel shall submit to the Congress a report on the findings of the Technical Study Group on Firearms Safety. If the report submitted pursuant to such section contains a recommendation for standards governing the design of firearm safety locks, the Panel shall forward the recommendation to the National Institute of Justice.

        (B) ANNUAL REPORTS- Within 1 year after the Panel is duly organized and annually thereafter, the Panel shall submit to the Congress a written report detailing the findings of the Panel and making recommendations on such firearms safety improvements as the Panel considers appropriate.

    (c) MEMBERSHIP- The Director of the National Institute of Justice, in consultation with the Attorney General, shall appoint to the Panel at least 1 individual from each of the following categories:

      (1) Representatives from the National Institute of Justice.

      (2) Law enforcement experts.

      (3) Representatives from consumer product safety organizations.

      (4) Representatives of firearms manufacturers.

      (5) Injury prevention specialists.

      (6) Firearms technology experts.

      (7) Experts in other relevant areas.

    (d) TERMS-

      (1) IN GENERAL- Each Panel member shall be appointed for the life of the Panel.

      (2) VACANCIES- A vacancy in the Panel shall be filled in the manner in which the original appointment was made.

    (e) COMPENSATION-

      (1) RATES OF BASIC PAY- Panel members shall serve without pay.

      (2) PROHIBITION OF COMPENSATION OF FEDERAL EMPLOYEES- Members of the Panel who are full-time officers or employees of the United States may not receive additional pay, allowances, or benefits by reason of their service on the Panel.

      (3) TRAVEL EXPENSES- Notwithstanding paragraphs (1) and (2), each Panel member shall receive travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, in accordance with sections 5702 and 5703 of title 5, United States Code.

    (f) PROCEDURE-

      (1) CHAIRPERSON- The Director of the National Institute of Justice shall designate a Panel member who is a representative of the National Institute of Justice to be the Chairperson of the Panel (in this Act referred to as the ‘Chairperson’).

      (2) ACTING CHAIRPERSON- The Panel members, by majority vote, shall select a Panel member to serve as the acting Chairperson when the Chairperson is unable to so serve.

      (3) MEETINGS- The Panel shall meet at the call of the Chairperson.

      (4) QUORUM- A majority of Panel members of the Panel shall constitute a quorum but a lesser number may hold hearings.

    (g) PROFESSIONAL, ADMINISTRATIVE, AND TECHNICAL SUPPORT- The Attorney General shall provide the Panel with the administrative, professional, and technical support required by the Panel to carry out the duties of the Panel under this Act.

    (h) POWERS-

      (1) HEARINGS AND SESSIONS- For the purpose of carrying out this section, the Panel may, with the advice and consent of the Attorney General and the Director of the National Institute of Justice, hold such hearings, sit and act at such times and places, take such testimony, and receive such evidence as the Panel considers appropriate.

      (2) OBTAINING OFFICIAL DATA- Subject to other law, the Panel may secure directly from any department or agency of the United States information necessary to enable it to carry out this Act. On request of the Chairperson, the head of that department or agency shall furnish that information to the Panel.

      (3) MAILS- The Panel may use the United States mails in the same manner and under the same conditions as other departments and agencies of the United States.

    (i) PRESERVATION OF CONFIDENTIALITY- Section 6 of the Cigarette Safety Act of 1984 shall apply to information provided to the Panel in the same manner in which such section applies to information provided to the Interagency Committee on Cigarette and Little Cigar Fire Safety.

    (j) TERMINATION-

      (1) IN GENERAL- The Panel shall terminate 5 years after the date the Panel is duly organized.

      (2) INAPPLICABILITY OF TERMINATION RULE IN THE FEDERAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE ACT- Section 14(a)(2)(B) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.; relating to the termination of advisory committees) shall not apply to the Panel.

SEC. 5. TECHNICAL STUDY GROUP ON FIREARMS SAFETY.

    (a) ESTABLISHMENT- There is established in the Department of Justice the Technical Study Group on Firearms Safety (in this section referred to as the ‘Technical Study Group’).

    (b) DUTIES-

      (1) IN GENERAL- Subject to the oversight and review of the Independent Panel on Firearms Safety, the Technical Study Group shall undertake such studies and activities as the Technical Study Group considers necessary to determine the technical and commercial feasibility, economic impact, and other consequences of developing improvements in firearms safety technology. A main focus of the Technical Study Group shall be to reduce deaths and injuries resulting from the unintended or inappropriate discharge of firearms. The initial research conducted by the Technical Study Group should be a study of the reliability of firearm safety locks and a determination as to whether the locks prevent the unintended discharge of firearms.

      (2) REPORT- Within 9 months after the date the Technical Study Group is duly organized, the Technical Study Group shall submit to the Independent Panel on Firearms Safety a report on the findings of the Technical Study Group. If the Technical Study Group determines that firearm safety locks can prevent the unintended discharge of firearms, the report shall include a recommendation for standards governing the design of firearm safety locks.

    (c) MEMBERSHIP-

      (1) APPOINTMENT-

        (A) NIJ EXPERTS- The Director of the National Institute of Justice shall appoint to the Technical Study Group personnel and agents of the National Institute of Justice with technical or scientific expertise.

        (B) NIST EXPERTS- The Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology shall appoint to the Technical Study Group personnel of the National Institute of Standards and Technology with technical or scientific expertise.

        (C) BATF EXPERTS- The Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms shall appoint to the Technical Study Group personnel of the Bureau with technical or scientific expertise.

        (D) CPSC EXPERTS- The Director of the Consumer Product Safety Commission shall appoint to the Technical Study Group personnel of the Commission with technical or scientific expertise.

        (E) HHS EXPERTS- The Secretary of Health and Human Services shall appoint to the Technical Study Group personnel of the Department of Health and Human Services with technical or scientific expertise.

        (F) DOJ EXPERTS- The Attorney General, shall appoint to the Technical Study Group personnel of the Department of Justice with technical or scientific expertise.

        (G) INDEPENDENT EXPERTS- The Chairperson of the Independent Panel on Firearms Safety shall appoint to the Technical Study Group 4 individuals who are not officers or employees of any government, each of whom have scientific or technical expertise in law enforcement, firearms manufacturing, weapons detection technology, injury prevention, and consumer safety, respectively.

    (d) PROCEDURE- With the advice and consent of the Independent Panel on Firearms Safety, the Technical Study Group may designate, from among the Technical Study Group members, such persons to serve as team leaders, coordinators, or chairpersons, as the Technical Study Group deems necessary or appropriate to carry out the functions of the Technical Study Group.

    (e) PRESERVATION OF CONFIDENTIALITY- Section 6 of the Cigarette Safety Act of 1984 shall apply to information provided to the Technical Study Group in the same manner in which such section applies to information provided to the Technical Study Group on Cigarette and Little Cigar Fire Safety.

    (f) APPLICABILITY OF CERTAIN RULES GOVERNING THE INDEPENDENT PANEL ON FIREARMS SAFETY- Subsections (d), (e), (g), (h), and (j) of section 4 shall apply to the Technical Study Group in the same manner in which such subsections apply to the Independent Panel on Firearms Safety.