skip to main content

H.R. 2732 (114th): Handgun Purchaser Licensing Act

The text of the bill below is as of Jun 11, 2015 (Introduced). The bill was not enacted into law.



1st Session

H. R. 2732


June 11, 2015

(for himself, Ms. Esty, Ms. Kelly of Illinois, and Ms. DeLauro) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary


To provide for a grant program for handgun licensing programs, and for other purposes.


Short title

This Act may be cited as the Handgun Purchaser Licensing Act.



Congress finds as follows:


In 2013, almost 90 percent of the nearly 9,000 firearm homicides in the United States occurred with a handgun.


Recently published research by top national experts, notably on Missouri and Connecticut handgun purchaser licensing laws, have estimated that Missouri’s repeal of its handgun purchaser licensing law led to a 25 percent increase in firearm homicide rates while Connecticut’s adoption of its handgun purchaser licensing law led to a 40 percent decrease in firearm homicide rates.


In States which have had effective handgun purchaser licensing laws for decades, such as Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York, the vast majority of guns traced to crimes originated in other States, which supports the need for handgun purchaser licensing laws in every state.



In this Act, the terms Attorney General and handgun have the meanings given those terms in section 921(a) of title 18, United States Code.


Grant program authorized for handgun licensing


In general

The Attorney General is authorized to award grants to States, units of local government, and Indian tribes for the development, implementation, and evaluation of handgun purchaser licensing requirements.


Program authorized

From the amounts appropriated to carry out this Act and not later than 90 days after such amounts are appropriated, the Attorney General shall award grants, on a competitive basis, to eligible applicants whose applications are approved under subsection (c) to assist such applicants in implementing and improving handgun purchaser licensing programs.



To be eligible to receive a grant under this Act, a State, unit of local government, or Indian tribe shall submit to the Attorney General an application at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Attorney General may require, including—


a description of the law that the applicant has enacted to require a license for any purchase of a handgun including a description of any other exemptions to such law; and


a description of how the applicant will use the grant to carry out or improve its handgun purchaser licensing program.


Eligibility requirements

To be eligible for grants, an applicant must have in effect handgun purchaser licensing laws that include the following provisions:


An individual applying for a handgun license or permit must be at least 21 years old and be a national or lawful permanent resident of the United States.


Such an individual must apply for the handgun purchaser license or permit at a law enforcement agency in the State in which they reside.


Such an individual must reapply for the handgun purchaser license or permit after a period no longer than five years.


Such an individual must submit to a background investigation, and a criminal history check, in connection with their application, as established by the State.


Such an individual must submit fingerprints and photographs in connection with the application for the license or permit.


Such an individual must provide proof that the individual is legally present and lawfully resides in the United States, including a birth certificate, or valid passport. A lawful permanent resident must provide his or her alien registration number and 90-day proof of residency. A naturalized citizen must provide proof of citizenship.


Any individual who is prohibited from possessing a firearm under section 922(g) of title 18, United States Code, may not receive a license or permit.


Use of Funds

A grantee under this Act shall use such grant to improve handgun purchaser licensing programs of that grantee.


Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary to carry out this Act.