Text: H.R.4903 — 103rd Congress (1993-1994)All Information (Except Text)

There is one version of the bill.

Text available as:

  • TXT
  • PDF (PDF provides a complete and accurate display of this text.) Tip?

Shown Here:
Introduced in House (08/04/1994)

 
[Congressional Bills 103th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 4903 Introduced in House (IH)]

103d CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                H. R. 4903

To expand the powers of the Secretary of the Treasury and the Bureau of 
      Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to regulate the manufacture, 
 distribution, and sale of firearms and ammunition, and to expand the 
 jurisdiction of the Bureau to include firearm products and non-powder 
                               firearms.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                             August 4, 1994

  Mr. Owens introduced the following bill; which was referred to the 
                       Committee on the Judiciary

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
To expand the powers of the Secretary of the Treasury and the Bureau of 
      Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to regulate the manufacture, 
 distribution, and sale of firearms and ammunition, and to expand the 
 jurisdiction of the Bureau to include firearm products and non-powder 
                               firearms.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

    (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Firearms Safety 
and Violence Prevention Act''.
    (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents of this Act is as 
follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.
Sec. 2. Purposes.
                TITLE I--REGULATION OF FIREARM PRODUCTS

Sec. 101. Regulatory authority.
Sec. 102. Orders; inspections.
                         TITLE II--PROHIBITIONS

Sec. 201. Prohibitions.
Sec. 202. Inapplicability to governmental authorities.
                         TITLE III--ENFORCEMENT

                     Subtitle A--Civil Enforcement

Sec. 301. Civil penalties.
Sec. 302. Injunctive enforcement and seizure.
Sec. 303. Imminently hazardous firearms.
Sec. 304. Private cause of action.
Sec. 305. Private enforcement of this Act.
Sec. 306. Effect on private remedies.
                    Subtitle B--Criminal Enforcement

Sec. 351. Criminal penalties.
                  TITLE IV--ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS

Sec. 401. Firearms violence information and research.
Sec. 402. Annual reports to the Congress.
                   TITLE V--RELATIONSHIP TO OTHER LAW

Sec. 501. Subordination to the Arms Export Control Act.
Sec. 502. Effect on State law.
                         TITLE VI--DEFINITIONS

Sec. 601. Definitions.
                       TITLE VII--EFFECTIVE DATE

Sec. 701. Effective date.

SEC. 2. PURPOSES.

    The purposes of this Act are--
            (1) to protect the public against unreasonable risk of 
        injury and death associated with firearms and related products;
            (2) to develop safety standards for firearms and related 
        products;
            (3) to assist consumers in evaluating the comparative 
        safety of firearms and related products;
            (4) to promote research and investigation into the causes 
        and prevention of firearm-related deaths and injuries;
            (5) to restrict the availability of weapons that pose an 
        unreasonable risk of death or injury; and
            (6) to restrict development of weapons that pose a threat 
        to public safety.

                TITLE I--REGULATION OF FIREARM PRODUCTS

SEC. 101. REGULATORY AUTHORITY.

    (a) In General.--The Secretary shall prescribe such regulations 
governing the design, manufacture, and performance of, and commerce in, 
firearm products, consistent with this Act, as are reasonably necessary 
to reduce or prevent unreasonable risk of injury resulting from the use 
of such products.
    (b) Maximum Interval Between Issuance of Proposed and Final 
Regulation.--Within 120 days after the Secretary issues a proposed 
regulation under subsection (a) with respect to a matter, the Secretary 
shall issue a regulation in final form with respect to the matter.
    (c) Petitions.--
            (1) In general.--Any person may petition the Secretary to--
                    (A) issue, amend, or repeal a regulation prescribed 
                under subsection (a) of this section; or
                    (B) require the recall, repair, or replacement of a 
                firearm product, or the issuance of refunds with 
                respect to a firearm product.
            (2) Deadline for action on petition.--Within 120 days after 
        receipt of a petition referred to in paragraph (1), the 
        Secretary shall--
                    (A) grant, in whole or in part, or deny the 
                petition; and
                    (B) provide the petitioner with the reasons for 
                granting or denying the petition.

SEC. 102. ORDERS; INSPECTIONS.

    (a) Authority to Prohibit Manufacture, Sale, or Transfer of Firearm 
Products Made, Imported, Transferred, or Distributed in Violation of 
Regulation.--The Secretary may issue an order prohibiting the 
manufacture, sale, or transfer of a firearm product which the Secretary 
finds has been manufactured, or has been or is intended to be imported, 
transferred, or distributed in violation of a regulation prescribed 
under this Act.
    (b) Authority to Require the Recall, Repair, or Replacement of, or 
the Provision of Refunds With Respect to Firearm Products.--The 
Secretary may issue an order requiring the manufacturer of, and any 
dealer in, a firearm product which the Secretary determines poses an 
unreasonable risk of injury to the public, is not in compliance with a 
regulation prescribed under this Act, or is defective, to--
            (1) provide notice of the risks associated with the 
        product, and of how to avoid or reduce the risks, to--
                    (A) the public;
                    (B) in the case of the manufacturer of the product, 
                each dealer in the product; and
                    (C) in the case of a dealer in the product, the 
                manufacturer of the product and the other persons known 
                to the dealer as dealers in the product;
            (2) bring the product into conformity with the regulations 
        prescribed under this Act;
            (3) repair the product;
            (4) replace the product with a like or equivalent product 
        which is in compliance with such regulations;
            (5) refund the purchase price of the product, or, if the 
        product is more than 1 year old, a lesser amount based on the 
        value of the product after reasonable use;
            (6) recall the product from the stream of commerce; or
            (7) submit to the Secretary a satisfactory plan for 
        implementation of any action required under this subsection.
    (c) Authority to Prohibit Manufacture, Importation, Transfer, 
Distribution, or Export of Unreasonably Risky Firearm Products.--The 
Secretary may issue an order prohibiting the manufacture, importation, 
transfer, distribution, or export of a firearm product if the Secretary 
determines that the exercise of other authority under this Act would 
not be sufficient to prevent the product from posing an unreasonable 
risk of injury to the public.
    (d) Inspections.--In order to ascertain compliance with this Act 
and the regulations and orders issued under this Act, the Secretary 
may, at reasonable times--
            (1) enter any place in which firearm products are 
        manufactured, stored, or held, for distribution in commerce, 
        and inspect those areas where the products are manufactured, 
        stored, or held; and
            (2) enter and inspect any conveyance being used to 
        transport a firearm product.

                         TITLE II--PROHIBITIONS

SEC. 201. PROHIBITIONS.

    (a) Failure of Manufacturer to Test and Certify Firearm Products.--
It shall be unlawful for the manufacturer of a firearm product to 
transfer, distribute, or export a firearm product unless--
            (1) the manufacturer has tested the product in order to 
        ascertain whether the product is in conformity with the 
        regulations prescribed under section 101;
            (2) the product is in conformity with such regulations; and
            (3) the manufacturer has included in the packaging of the 
        product, and furnished to each person to whom the product is 
        distributed, a certificate stating that the product is in 
        conformity with such regulations.
    (b) Failure of Manufacturer to Provide Notice of New Types of 
Firearm Products.--It shall be unlawful for the manufacturer of a new 
type of firearm product to manufacture the product, unless the 
manufacturer has provided the Secretary with--
            (1) notice of the intent of the manufacturer to manufacture 
        the product; and
            (2) a description of the product.
    (c) Failure of Manufacturer or Dealer to Label Firearm Products.--
It shall be unlawful for a manufacturer of or dealer in firearms to 
transfer, distribute, or export a firearm product unless the product is 
accompanied by a label that contains--
            (1) the name and address of the manufacturer of the 
        product;
            (2) the name and address of any importer of the product;
            (3) a specification of the regulations prescribed under 
        this Act that apply to the product; and
            (4) the certificate required by subsection (a)(3) with 
        respect to the product.
    (d) Failure to Maintain or Permit Inspection of Records.--It shall 
be unlawful for an importer of, manufacturer of, or dealer in a firearm 
product to fail to--
            (1) maintain such records, and supply such information, as 
        the Secretary may require in order to ascertain compliance with 
        this Act and the regulations and orders issued under this Act; 
        and
            (2) permit the Secretary to inspect and copy such records 
        at reasonable times.
    (e) Importation and Exportation of Uncertified Firearm Products.--
It shall be unlawful for any person to import into the United States or 
export a firearm product that is not accompanied by the certificate 
required by subsection (a)(3).
    (f) Commerce in Firearm Products in Violation of Order Issued or 
Regulation Prescribed Under This Act.--It shall be unlawful for any 
person to manufacture, offer for sale, distribute in commerce, import 
into the United States, or export a firearm product--
            (1) that is not in conformity with the regulations 
        prescribed under this Act; or
            (2) in violation of an order issued under this Act.
    (g) Stockpiling.--It shall be unlawful for any person to 
manufacture, purchase, or import a firearm product, after the date a 
regulation is prescribed under this Act with respect to the product and 
before the date the regulation takes effect, at a rate that is 
significantly greater than the rate at which the person manufactured, 
purchased, or imported the product during a base period (prescribed by 
the Secretary in regulations) ending before the date the regulation is 
so prescribed.

SEC. 202. INAPPLICABILITY TO GOVERNMENTAL AUTHORITIES.

    Section 201 shall not apply to any department or agency of the 
United States, of a State, or of a political subdivision of a State, or 
to any official conduct of any officer or employee of such a department 
or agency.

                         TITLE III--ENFORCEMENT

                     Subtitle A--Civil Enforcement

SEC. 301. CIVIL PENALTIES.

    (a) Authority to Impose Fines.--
            (1) In general.--The Secretary shall impose upon any person 
        who violates section 201 a civil fine in an amount that does 
        not exceed the applicable amount.
            (2) Scope of offense.--Each violation of section 201 (other 
        than of subsection (a)(3) or (d) of such section) shall 
        constitute a separate offense with respect to each firearm 
        product involved.
    (b) Applicable Amount.--
            (1) First 5-year period.--The applicable amount for the 5-
        year period described in subsection (f)(1) is $5,000.
            (2) Thereafter.--The applicable amount for any 5-year 
        period described in subsection (f)(2) is the dollar amount in 
        effect under this section for the 5-year period, rounded in 
        accordance with subsection (e).
    (c) Dollar Amount in Effect Under This Section.--The dollar amount 
in effect under this section for a 5-year period--
            (1) $5,000; multiplied by
            (2) the applicable inflation percentage.
    (d) Applicable Inflation Percentage.--
            (1) First 5-year period.--The applicable inflation 
        percentage for 5-year period described in subsection (f)(1) is 
        1.00.
            (2) Thereafter.--The applicable inflation percentage for 
        any 5-year period described in subsection (f)(2) is the 
        percentage (if any) by which--
                    (A) the average of the Consumer Price Index (as 
                defined in section 1(f)(5) of the Internal Revenue Code 
                of 1986) for the 5-year period ending on June 30 of the 
                5th year of the immediately preceding 5-year period 
                described in subsection (f); exceeds
                    (B) the average of the Consumer Price Index (as so 
                defined) ending on June 30, 1995.
    (e) Rounding Rules.--

If the dollar amount in effect      The dollar amount is rounded to the 
        under this section for a 5-         nearest multiple of:
        year period is:
    Over $1,000 but not over $10,000..............              $1,000.
    Over $10,000 but not over $100,000............              $5,000.
    Over $100,000 but not over $200,000...........             $10,000.
    Over $200,000.................................             $25,000.
    (f) 5-Year Periods.--A 5-year period is described in this 
subsection if the period is--
            (1) the 5-year period that begins on January 1, 1996; or
            (2) a 5-year period that begins at the end of a 5-year 
        period described in this subsection.
    (g) Publication in Federal Register.--Not later than December 1, 
1995, and every 5 years thereafter, the Secretary shall prescribe and 
publish in the Federal Register the schedule of maximum authorized 
penalties that will apply for violations referred to in subsection (a) 
that occur during the 5-year period that begins on the next January 1.

SEC. 302. INJUNCTIVE ENFORCEMENT AND SEIZURE.

    (a) Injunctive Enforcement.--Upon request of the Secretary, the 
Attorney General of the United States may bring an action to restrain 
any violation of section 201 in the United States district court for 
any district in which the violation has occurred, or in which the 
defendant is found or transacts business.
    (b) Condemnation.--
            (1) In general.--Upon request of the Secretary, the 
        Attorney General of the United States may bring an action in 
        rem for condemnation of a qualified firearm product in the 
        United States district court for any district in which the 
        Secretary has found and seized for confiscation the product.
            (2) Qualified firearm product defined.--As used in 
        paragraph (1), the term ``qualified firearm product'' means a 
        firearm product--
                    (A) that is being transported or having been 
                transported remains unsold, is sold or offered for 
                sale, is imported, or is to be exported; and
                    (B)(i) that is not in compliance with a regulation 
                prescribed or an order issued under this Act; or
                    (ii) with respect to which relief has been granted 
                under section 303.

SEC. 303. IMMINENTLY HAZARDOUS FIREARMS.

    (a) In General.--Notwithstanding the pendency of any other 
proceeding in a court of the United States, the Secretary may bring an 
action in a United States district court to restrain any person who is 
a manufacturer of, or dealer in, an imminently hazardous firearm 
product from manufacturing, distributing, transferring, importing, or 
exporting the product.
    (b) Imminently Hazardous Firearm Product.--As used in subsection 
(a), the term ``imminently hazardous firearm product'' means any 
firearm product with respect to which the Secretary determines that--
            (1) the product poses an unreasonable risk of injury to the 
        public; and
            (2) time is of the essence in protecting the public from 
        the risks posed by the product.
    (c) Relief.--In an action brought under subsection (a), the court 
may grant such temporary or permanent relief as may be necessary to 
protect the public from the risks posed by the firearm product, 
including--
            (1) seizure of the product; and
            (2) an order requiring--
                    (A) the purchasers of the product to be notified of 
                the risks posed by the product;
                    (B) the public to be notified of the risks posed by 
                the product; or
                    (C) the defendant to recall, repair, or replace the 
                product, or refund the purchase price of the product 
                (or, if the product is more than 1 year old, a lesser 
                amount based on the value of the product after 
                reasonable use).
    (d) Venue.--An action under subsection (a)(2) may be brought in the 
United States district court for the District of Columbia or for any 
district in which any defendant is found or transacts business.

SEC. 304. PRIVATE CAUSE OF ACTION.

    (a) In General.--Any person aggrieved by any violation of this Act 
or of any regulation prescribed or order issued under this Act by 
another person may bring an action against such other person in any 
United States district court for damages, including consequential 
damages. In any action under this section, the court, in its 
discretion, may award to a prevailing plaintiff a reasonable attorney's 
fee as part of the costs.
    (b) Rule of Interpretation.--The remedy provided for in subsection 
(a) shall be in addition to any other remedy provided by common law or 
under Federal or State law.

SEC. 305. PRIVATE ENFORCEMENT OF THIS ACT.

    Any interested person may bring an action in any United States 
district court to enforce this Act, or restrain any violation of this 
Act or of any regulation prescribed or order issued under this Act. In 
any action under this section, the court, in its discretion, may award 
to a prevailing plaintiff a reasonable attorney's fee as part of the 
costs.

SEC. 306. EFFECT ON PRIVATE REMEDIES.

    (a) Irrelevancy of Compliance With This Act.--Compliance with this 
Act or any order issued or regulation prescribed under this Act shall 
not relieve any person from liability to any person under common law or 
State statutory law.
    (b) Irrelevancy of Failure to Take Action Under This Act.--The 
failure of the Secretary to take any action authorized under this Act 
shall not be admissible in litigation relating to the product under 
common law or State statutory law.

                    Subtitle B--Criminal Enforcement

SEC. 351. CRIMINAL PENALTIES.

    Any person who has received from the Secretary a notice that the 
person has violated a provision of this Act or of a regulation 
prescribed under this Act with respect to a firearm product and 
knowingly violates such provision with respect to the product shall be 
fined under title 18, United States Code, imprisoned not more than 2 
years, or both.

                  TITLE IV--ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS

SEC. 401. FIREARMS VIOLENCE INFORMATION AND RESEARCH.

    (a) In General.--The Secretary shall--
            (1) maintain a Firearms Violence Information Clearinghouse 
        to collect, investigate, analyze, and disseminate data and 
        information relating to the causes and prevention of death and 
        injury associated with firearms;
            (2) conduct continuing studies and investigations of 
        firearm-related deaths and injuries and the resulting economic 
        costs and losses;
            (3) compile an annual report detailing each case of 
        criminal misuse of machineguns registered under the National 
        Firearms Act that is known to the Secretary;
            (4) collect and maintain current production and sales 
        figures for each person registered as a manufacturer under the 
        Gun Control Act;
            (5) conduct research on, studies of, and investigation into 
        the safety of firearm products and improving the safety of 
        firearm products; and
            (6) develop firearm safety testing methods and testing 
        devices.
    (b) Availability of Information.--On a regular basis, but not less 
frequently than annually, the Secretary shall make available to the 
public the results of the activities of the Secretary under paragraphs 
(1), (2), (3) and (4) of subsection (a).

SEC. 402. ANNUAL REPORTS TO THE CONGRESS.

    The Secretary shall prepare and submit to the President and the 
Congress at the beginning of each regular session of the Congress, a 
comprehensive report on the administration of this Act for the most 
recently completed fiscal year. The report shall include--
            (1) a thorough appraisal, including statistical analyses 
        and projections, of the incidence of injury and death and 
        effects on the population resulting from firearm products, with 
        a breakdown, as practicable, among the various types of such 
        products associated with the injuries and deaths;
            (2) a list of firearm safety regulations prescribed that 
        year;
            (3) an evaluation of the degree of compliance with firearm 
        safety regulations, including a list of enforcement actions, 
        court decisions, and settlements of alleged violations, by name 
        and location of the violator or alleged violator, as the case 
        may be;
            (4) a summary of the outstanding problems hindering 
        enforcement of this Act, in the order of priority; and
            (5) a log and summary of meetings between the Secretary or 
        employees of the Secretary and representatives of industry, 
        interested groups, or other interested parties.

                   TITLE V--RELATIONSHIP TO OTHER LAW

SEC. 501. SUBORDINATION TO ARMS EXPORT CONTROL ACT.

    In the event of any conflict between any provision of this Act and 
any provision of the Arms Export Control Act, the provision of the Arms 
Export Control Act shall control.

SEC. 502. EFFECT ON STATE LAW.

    This Act shall not be construed to preempt any provision of the law 
of any State or political subdivision thereof, or prevent a State or 
political subdivision thereof from enacting any provision of law 
regulating or prohibiting conduct with respect to a firearm product, 
except to the extent that such provision of law is inconsistent with 
any provision of this Act, and then only to the extent of the 
inconsistency. A provision of State law is not inconsistent with this 
Act if the provision imposes a regulation or prohibition of greater 
scope or a penalty of greater severity than any prohibition or penalty 
imposed by this Act.

                         TITLE VI--DEFINITIONS

SEC. 601. DEFINITIONS.

    (a) Specific Terms.--As used in this Act:
            (1) Firearms dealer.--The term ``firearms dealer'' means--
                    (A) any person engaged in the business (as defined 
                in section 921(a)(21)(C) of title 18, United States 
                Code) of dealing in firearms at wholesale or retail;
                    (B) any person engaged in the business (as defined 
                in section 921(a)(21)(D) of title 18, United States 
                Code) of repairing firearms or of making or fitting 
                special barrels, stocks, or trigger mechanisms to 
                firearms; and
                    (C) any person who is a pawnbroker.
            (2) Firearm part.--The term ``firearm part'' means--
                    (A) any part or component of a firearm as 
                originally manufactured;
                    (B) any good manufactured or sold--
                            (i) for replacement or improvement of a 
                        firearm; or
                            (ii) as any accessory or addition to the 
                        firearm; and
                    (C) any good that is not a part or component of a 
                firearm and is manufactured, sold, delivered, offered, 
                or intended for use exclusively to safeguard 
                individuals from injury by a firearm.
            (3) Firearm product.--The term ``firearm product'' means a 
        firearm, firearm part, nonpowder firearm, and ammunition.
            (4) Firearm safety regulation.--The term ``firearm safety 
        regulation'' means a regulation prescribed under this Act.
            (5) Firearm safety standard.--The term ``firearm safety 
        standard'' means a standard promulgated under this Act.
            (6) Machinegun.--The term ``machinegun'' means--
                    (A) any weapon which shoots, is designed to shoot, 
                or can be readily restored to shoot, automatically more 
                than 1 shot, without manual reloading, by a single 
                function of the trigger;
                    (B) the frame or receiver of any such weapon;
                    (C) any part or combination of parts designed and 
                intended for use in converting a weapon into a device 
                described in subparagraph (A) or (B), whether or not 
                modification to the frame or receiver of the weapon is 
                necessary to complete the conversion; and
                    (D) any combination of parts from which a device 
                described in subparagraph (A) or (B) can be assembled 
                if such parts are in the possession or under the 
                control of a person.
            (8) Nonpowder firearm.--The term ``nonpowder firearm'' 
        means a device specifically designed to discharge BBs, pellets, 
        darts, or similar projectiles by the release of stored energy.
            (9) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary 
        of the Treasury or the delegate of the Secretary.
    (b) Other Terms.--Each other term used in this Act shall have the 
meaning (if any) given such term in section 921(a) of title 18, United 
States Code.

                       TITLE VII--EFFECTIVE DATE

SEC. 701. EFFECTIVE DATE.

    This Act shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this 
Act.
                                 <all>
HR 4903 IH----2

Share This