BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO, FIREARMS, AND EXPLOSIVES (BATFE) MODERNIZATION AND REFORM ACT OF 2006 -- (House of Representatives - September 25, 2006)
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Mr. KING of New York. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in opposition to H.R. 5092 the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE).
We have been granted the right to bear arms; however, this right is granted to those who can operate safely and responsibly within the auspices of the law. Those who cannot operate within the law should not be given greater opportunities to obtain weapons. Rather than address this problem, this legislation actually weakens our current law, and makes it easier for dangerous weapons to get into the hands of criminals. Instead of weakening current law, we should be giving law enforcement better tools to combat gun trafficking.
According to a 2000 ATF report, corrupt gun dealers are the number one source of illegal firearm trafficking. With that information, we should be working to impose tighter measures and better law enforcement, so that we can protect innocent Americans who often fall victim to crimes caused by firearm abuse. Instead, H.R. 5092 does just the opposite by sympathizing with the gun dealer and adding obstacles to law enforcement.
Under current law, the ATF can punish gun dealers for illegal gun sales. H.R. 5092 makes punishment more difficult. In addition, this bill would prohibit the ATF from considering large amounts of ``lost'' firearms as a violation of law. It is this same type of ``lost inventory'' that armed the DC sniper.
It is important that we give our law enforcement agents the proper tools to end gun trafficking, not make it more difficult. It is unthinkable to me to support any type of legislation that favors the rights of criminals over the protection of our friends and family. Finally, I would like to commend Mayor Mike Bloomberg for his dedication to this issue and his opposition to this legislation. I also oppose H.R. 5092, and I encourage my colleagues to do the same.
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