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Originally published as 17 Cumb. For educational use only. The printed edition remains canonical. For citational use please obtain a back issue from William S.
The Amendments to the Gun Control Act were the result of a nearly-unparalleled legislative battle. A thorough understanding of the amendments is critical to a comprehension of Federal firearms laws as they now exist, since they effectively overruled decades of caselaw which construed the Act.
Among the changes were elevations of the intent which must be proven to establish a violation pp. By expressly exempting interstate transportation of firearms from the reach of many state firearm laws,  it affects state proceedings as well. A detailed comprehension of FOPA is thus essential to an understanding of both federal and state firearm laws.
FOPA reflects not a simple, single legislative decision, but a complex series of compromises, many of which are only partially reflected in the record.
The House bill that ultimately became FOPA is supported by a report, but the report explains not why FOPA should have been adopted, but rather, why it ought to have been rejected. Accordingly, the Article first examines the framework of federal firearm legislation as it evolved prior to FOPA.
Then, the seven-year evolution of FOPA itself is analyzed. Finally, this Article evaluates the nature of the more significant changes embodied in this controversial enactment.
Pre Federal Firearms Laws A.
Nationalization of Firearm Regulation: The National Firearms Act of and Federal Firearms Act of Firearms and weapons control statutes are by no means a legislative novelty. The first American handgun ban was enacted in restrictions on sale or carrying of handguns were commonplace by the turn of the century,  and the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws spent seven years in the s preparing a uniform state act on the subject.
The resulting quest for law enforcement solutions approached the incredible. The constitutional basis for federal intervention, very much an issue in was resolved by patterning the firearm legislation after the Narcotic Drug Act of As the Narcotic Drug Act had survived legal challenge, albeit narrowly,  it was consciously employed as a model for the new firearm legislation.
Absent payment of the tax, a firearm could not be shipped in interstate commerce; moreover, knowing possession of a firearm transferred in violation of these requirements was itself a crime. During committee consideration, a substitute bill was prepared by the Justice Department.
The substitute sought to fill a major gap in the original bill, which consistent with its excise theme would have applied only to firearms sold after its enactment. When ultimately reported out as H.
Copeland introduced a bill proposing a "Federal Firearms Act. Copeland permitted an ad hoc committee of staff, National Rifle Association representatives, and Department of Justice representatives to prepare an improved draft.
The license could be revoked upon criminal conviction for any violation of the bill. Licensed dealers were required to keep records of sales and were forbidden to ship firearms in interstate commerce to persons under indictment for or convicted of a crime of violence, or who lacked any permit required by the laws of the state of destination.
The Department of Justice objected to this last provision, and it was deleted in committee. Copeland reintroduced the measure, incorporating the Senate floor amendments, in the Seventy-fifth Congress, once again as S. Expansion of National Firearms Laws: The byzantine origins of the Gun Control Act are foreshadowed by the career of its prime sponsor, Senator Thomas Dodd.
A staunch conservative  who kept a pistol in his desk and once tried to carry it onto the Senate floor,  Dodd came from a state that was the center of the American firearms industry.
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Domestic arms manufacturers saw their sporting markets undercut and began pressing for protective measures. Protests to the State and Defense Departments over issuance of surplus import licenses yielded little result.
On the one hand, Dodd was no longer in real control, as censure proceedings steadily undermined his standing. These provisions were, in the main, borrowed from the Federal Firearms Act, which, however, applied this bar only to sales in interstate commerce.
The latter provision was taken from a amendment to the Federal Firearms Act,  sponsored by Dodd to deal with the problems of a firearms manufacturer.Law & Legal Issues Questions including "Is there a support group for parents with pregnant teens" and "Can you be prosecuted for a returned check if you did not authorize the person to make it out.
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