H.R. 538: PLEA Act

113th Congress, 2013–2015. Text as of Feb 06, 2013 (Introduced).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO and Cato Institute Deepbills

I

113th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 538

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

February 6, 2013

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

A BILL

To protect the Nation’s law enforcement officers by banning the Five-seveN Pistol and 5.7 x 28mm SS190, SS192, SS195LF, SS196, and SS197 cartridges, testing handguns and ammunition for capability to penetrate body armor, and prohibiting the manufacture, importation, sale, or purchase of such handguns or ammunition by civilians.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Protect Law Enforcement Armor Act or the PLEA Act .

2.

Findings and purpose

(a)

Findings

Congress finds the following:

(1)

Law enforcement is facing a threat from handguns and accompanying ammunition, which are designed to penetrate police body armor, being marketed and sold to civilians.

(2)

A Five-seveN Pistol and accompanying ammunition, manufactured by FN Herstal of Belgium as the 5.7 x 28 mm System, has recently been recovered by law enforcement on the streets. The Five-seveN Pistol is legally available for purchase by civilians under current law.

(3)

The Five-seveN Pistol is capable of penetrating level IIA armor. The manufacturer advertises that ammunition fired from the Five-seveN will perforate 48 layers of Kevlar up to 200 meters and that the ammunition travels at 2,100 feet per second.

(4)

The Five-seveN Pistol, and similar handguns designed to use ammunition capable of penetrating body armor, pose a devastating threat to law enforcement.

(b)

Purpose

The purpose of this Act is to protect the Nation’s law enforcement officers by—

(1)

testing handguns and ammunition for capability to penetrate body armor; and

(2)

prohibiting the manufacture, importation, sale, or purchase by civilians of the Five-seveN Pistol, ammunition for such pistol, or any other handgun that uses ammunition found to be capable of penetrating body armor.

3.

Armor piercing ammunition

(a)

Expansion of definition of armor piercing ammunition

Section 921(a)(17)(B) of title 18, United States Code, is amended—

(1)

in clause (i), by striking or at the end;

(2)

in clause (ii), by striking the period at the end and inserting ; and; and

(3)

by adding at the end the following:

(iii)

a projectile that—

(I)

may be used in a handgun; and

(II)

the Attorney General determines, pursuant to section 926(d), to be capable of penetrating body armor.

.

(b)

Determination of capability of projectiles To penetrate body armor

Section 926 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

(d)
(1)

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this subsection, the Attorney General shall promulgate standards for the uniform testing of projectiles against Body Armor Exemplar.

(2)

The standards promulgated pursuant to paragraph (1) shall take into account, among other factors, variations in performance that are related to the type of handgun used, the length of the barrel of the handgun, the amount and kind of powder used to propel the projectile, and the design of the projectile.

(3)

As used in paragraph (1), the term Body Armor Exemplar means body armor that the Attorney General determines meets minimum standards for the protection of law enforcement officers.

.

4.

Armor piercing handguns and ammunition

(a)

In general

Section 922 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

(aa)

Five-seveN Pistol

(1)

In general

It shall be unlawful for any person to manufacture, import, market, sell, ship, deliver, possess, transfer, or receive—

(A)

the Fabrique Nationale Herstal Five-seveN Pistol;

(B)

5.7 x 28mm SS190, SS192, SS195LF, SS196, or SS197 cartridges; or

(C)

any other handgun that uses armor piercing ammunition.

(2)

Exceptions

This subsection shall not apply to—

(A)

any firearm or armor piercing ammunition manufactured for, and sold exclusively to, military, law enforcement, or intelligence agencies of the United States; and

(B)

the manufacture, possession, transfer, receipt, shipment, or delivery of a firearm or armor piercing ammunition by a licensed manufacturer, or any person acting pursuant to a contract with a licensed manufacturer, for the purpose of examining and testing such firearm or ammunition to determine whether paragraph (1) applies to such firearm.

.

(b)

Penalties

Section 924(a)(1)(B) of title 18, United States Code, is amended by striking or (q) and inserting (q), or (aa) .