The past month has seen a lot of activity on legislation in many states that will impact the sale and distribution of firearms across the country. We continue to see movement on bills that restrict certain firearms (e.g., “assault weapons”) or firearm parts (e.g., bumpfire stocks, binary triggers, etc.), as well as bills that impact the process surrounding the retail sale of firearms, which ultimately affects distribution. This month we list bills that had action beyond committee hearings or assignments. Below we have listed many important pieces of legislation we are tracking, grouped by their status.
Legislation Signed by the Governor
- Nevada – Senate Bill 143
This Bill modifies the recently passed Background Check Act to clarify that licensees contact the State agency through which licensees conduct NICS checks. It also prohibits the State agency from collecting a fee from licensees for contacting them to perform the background checks. The legislation takes effect January 2, 2020.
- New Mexico – Senate Bill 8
The Firearm Sale Background Act implements a system of universal background checks (with the typical exemptions). The Act takes effect July 1, 2019.
- Ohio – House Bill 86
- South Dakota – House Bill 1056
HB 1056 is a state preemption statute. This means that local municipalities and counties cannot pass ordinances with respect to the legality of certain firearms or impose restrictions on the firearm sale process beyond what the state does. This removes the chance that citizens have to comply with a confusing array of conflicting local laws within a single state.
- Washington – Senate Bill 5954
SB 5954 creates a State-run buyback program for its residents (including FFLs) who are forced to surrender their bumpfire stocks and allows for collection of $150 for up to 5 bumpfire stocks that are surrendered. The measure went into effect March 14, 2019.
Legislation Passing One or Both Houses of Legislature
- Hawaii – House Bill 720 (Passed House, with Senate)
HB 720 would require FFLs to report to (whom?) the attempted unlawful purchase of a firearm by a consumer (e.g., if the customer failed a NICS check).
- Hawaii – Senate Bill 621 (Passed Senate, with House)
SB 621 would require persons – including FFLs – to report the theft, loss, or destruction of their firearms to their local county police department within 24 hours. This would create a penalty of a petty misdemeanor for the first offence, a misdemeanor for the second offense or later offense. Upon a third or additional offense, the person can have all firearm registrations revoked, be made to surrender all firearms, and be prohibited from owning, possessing, or registering any firearms.
- Maryland – House Bill 740 (Passed House, with Senate)
HB 740 in Maryland also creates an additional State crime for something already unlawful under federal law; dealing in firearms manufactured after 1968 that is not engraved with a serial number. A violation could carry 5 years in prison, a fine up to $5,000, or both.
- Maryland – House Bill 786 (Passed House, with Senate)
HB 786 would implement universal background checks for all firearm types in Maryland and allow for dealers to obtain a reasonable fee for processing the transaction.
- North Dakota – 1308 (Passed House, with Senate)
If passed, 1308 clarifies that under State law binary triggers are not considered “machine guns.”
- New York – Senate Bill 2374 (Passed Both Chambers, Returned to Senate)
SB 2374 will extend the current 3 day waiting period after not receiving a proceed or denied response from NICS to 30 days. If NICS responds with a “proceed” response, the licensee may transfer the firearm at any time.
- New York – Senate Bill 2450 (Passed Both Chambers, Returned to Senate)
SB 2450 would impose upon FFLs transferring firearms to unlicensed individuals the duty to provide notice to purchasers via a posting at the business premises of the need to use gun locking devices and otherwise secure firearms away from children or others not permitted to possess them.
- Utah – House Bill 17 (Passed by Both Chambers, Delivered to Governor)
HB 17 requires dealers to provide cable style gun locks to transferees purchasing any firearm for which federal law does not require a lock to be provided. The locks will be provided by the State under the Suicide Prevention Education Program.
- Washington – House Bill 1465 (Passed House, with Senate)
This bill would remove the capability of licensees to transfer a handgun to purchasers without a background check if they present a concealed carry license.
- Congress – House Resolution 8 (Passed House, with Senate)
The “Bipartisan Background Check Act of 2019” would require universal background checks nationwide for all gun sales.
Legislation Defeated or Withdrawn
- Illinois – House Bill 2543 (Tabled (Tabling removes a bill, resolution, or amendment from consideration))
HB 2543 would have imposed a 1% surcharge on all ammunition sales in the state of Illinois.
- Maryland – Senate Bill 8 (Withdrawn)
SB 8, which would have banned 3D printed firearms, received an unfavorable report from committee and was subsequently withdrawn.
- Utah – House Bill 331 (Placed in the House File for Bills Not Passed)
HB 331 would have implemented a prohibition on “firearm modification devices.”
- Utah – House Bill 418 (Placed in the House File for Bills Not Passed)
HB 418 would have implemented universal background checks in Utah.
- Washington – Senate Bill 5062 (Placed in the Senate Rules X File)
SB 5062 was an attempt at passing a high capacity magazine bill to limit firearm magazines to 10 round capacity.
Orchid Advisors provides ATF and ITAR compliance services to manufacturing, distribution and retail FFLs. The firm offers FFL and Export licensing, deep record inspections, e4473 / NFA eForms, Electronic Bound Book software and delivers the largest online ATF and ITAR compliance training platform available. Together with its partners, Orchid delivers the only integrated firearm compliance, technology and legal solution.