When Utah Congressman Rob Bishop introduced H.R. 2710 – the Lawful Purpose and Self-Defense Act of 2015 – he fired a political shot across the bow of an agency that has seemed to many to be out of control for years with law-abiding gun owners as the ultimate victims, and an administration that has not discouraged overreach when it comes to firearms regulation.
The measure quickly picked up co-sponsors, and got fast support from gun rights organizations including the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.
The legislation would strip the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives of the authority to ban popular ammunition for the AR-15 rifle, and also change the “sporting purposes” and “sporting use” standards on the importation of shotguns and ammunition that are used for self-defense.
CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb issued a statement reminding Congress that “There is no ‘sporting purpose’ stipulation in the Second Amendment, and there should not be one in federal law. The right to keep and bear arms is not just about hunting or target shooting.”
“It is long past the time for the ‘sporting purposes’ provision to cease to be the standard by which firearms and ammunition are judged,” he added. “That standard has allowed a bureaucracy to decide what are ‘good’ or ‘bad’ guns and ammunition, when there has never been any justification. Bishop’s measure is a great idea.”
Rep. Bishop spent 16 years in the Utah Legislature, including a term as Majority leader and as Speaker of the House. He also served two terms as chairman of the Utah State Republican Party and is a co-founder of the 10th Amendment Task Force in the U.S. House of Representatives
He chairs the House Committee on Natural Resources and serves on the Armed Services Committee and the Readiness Subcommittee. He also served on the House Rules committee and was instrumental in creating the 10th Amendment Task Force.
In a press release announcing his legislation, Bishop asserted that the ATF “has exploited vagaries present in federal gun law to chip away at basic rights. This legislation will slap the over-reaching hand of the federal government and restore some of the freedoms our grandparents enjoyed.”
“Congressman Bishop’s legislation represents a good step forward in the effort to expand Second Amendment rights and self-defense protections,” Gottlieb said. “The right to keep and bear arms may encompass hunting and competition, but that’s not why the Founders included it in the Bill of Rights.”