Text: S.1844 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (06/13/2019)

 
[Congressional Bills 116th Congress]
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[S. 1844 Introduced in Senate (IS)]

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116th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                S. 1844

To provide for a grant program for handgun licensing programs, and for 
                            other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                             June 13, 2019

Mr. Van Hollen (for himself, Mr. Blumenthal, and Mr. Murphy) introduced 
the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee 
                            on the Judiciary

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
To provide for a grant program for handgun licensing programs, and for 
                            other purposes.

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

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Handgun Purchaser Licensing Act''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    Congress finds as follows:
            (1) In 2017, 91 percent of firearm homicides in the United 
        States, in which a firearm type was specified, were committed 
        with a handgun.
            (2) Research by top national experts show that--
                    (A) adoption of handgun purchaser licensing laws 
                are associated with significant reductions in firearm-
                related homicides; and
                    (B) repeal of handgun purchaser licensing laws are 
                associated with significant increases in firearm-
                related homicides.
            (3) Research on the effects of the adoption of a handgun 
        purchaser licensing law in Connecticut in 1995 showed--
                    (A) a 40-percent reduction in the rate of firearm 
                homicide; and
                    (B) a 15-percent reduction in firearm suicide rates 
                during the first 10 years the law was in place.
            (4) Published research has shown that the repeal of a 
        handgun purchaser licensing law in Missouri in 2007 was 
        associated with--
                    (A) a 27-percent increase in the rate of firearm 
                homicide; and
                    (B) a 16-percent increase in firearm suicide rates.
            (5) In States that have had effective handgun purchaser 
        licensing laws for decades, such as Connecticut, Massachusetts, 
        New Jersey, and New York, the vast majority of firearms traced 
        to crimes originated in States that do not have handgun 
        purchaser licensing laws, which supports the need for handgun 
        purchaser licensing laws in every State.
            (6) Research has shown that States with handgun purchaser 
        licensing laws export far fewer firearms for criminal use in 
        other States than States that lack handgun purchaser licensing 
        laws.

SEC. 3. GRANT PROGRAM AUTHORIZED FOR HANDGUN LICENSING.

    (a) In General.--Title I of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe 
Streets Act of 1968 (34 U.S.C. 10101 et seq.) is amended by adding at 
the end the following:

               ``PART OO--HANDGUN LICENSING GRANT PROGRAM

``SEC. 3051. DEFINITION.

    ``In this part, the term `handgun' has the meaning given the term 
in section 921(a) of title 18, United States Code.

``SEC. 3052. GRANT PROGRAM.

    ``(a) In General.--The Attorney General may award grants to States, 
units of local government, and Indian tribes for the development, 
implementation, and evaluation of handgun purchaser licensing 
requirements.
    ``(b) Program Authorized.--From the amounts appropriated to carry 
out this part, and not later than 90 days after such amounts are 
appropriated, the Attorney General shall award grants, on a competitive 
basis, to eligible applicants whose applications are approved under 
subsection (c) to assist such applicants in implementing and improving 
handgun purchaser licensing programs.
    ``(c) Application.--To be eligible to receive a grant under this 
part, a State, unit of local government, or Indian tribe shall submit 
to the Attorney General an application at such time, in such manner, 
and containing such information as the Attorney General may require, 
including--
            ``(1) a description of the law that the applicant has 
        enacted to require a license for any purchase of a handgun 
        including a description of any other exemptions to such law; 
        and
            ``(2) a description of how the applicant will use the grant 
        to carry out or improve its handgun purchaser licensing 
        program.
    ``(d) Eligibility Requirements.--To be eligible for a grant under 
this part, an applicant shall have in effect a handgun purchaser 
licensing law that includes, with respect to an individual applying for 
a handgun license or permit, the following requirements:
            ``(1) The individual shall be--
                    ``(A) not less than 21 years old; and
                    ``(B) a citizen or national of the United States or 
                an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence (as 
                those terms are defined in section 101(a) of the 
                Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a))).
            ``(2) The individual shall apply for the handgun purchaser 
        license or permit at a law enforcement agency in the State in 
        which the individual resides.
            ``(3) The individual shall reapply for the handgun 
        purchaser license or permit after a period not longer than 5 
        years.
            ``(4) The individual shall, in connection with the 
        application for the handgun purchaser license or permit--
                    ``(A) submit to a background investigation and a 
                criminal history check, as established by the State, 
                which shall ensure, at a minimum, that the individual 
                is not prohibited from possessing a firearm under 
                section 922(g) of title 18, United States Code; and
                    ``(B) submit fingerprints and photographs.
            ``(5) An individual who is prohibited from possessing a 
        firearm under section 922(g) of title 18, United States Code, 
        may not be issued a handgun purchasing license or permit.
    ``(e) Use of Funds.--Grant funds awarded under this part shall be 
used to improve the handgun purchaser licensing program of that grant 
recipient.''.
    (b) Authorization of Appropriations.--Section 1001(a) of title I of 
the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (34 U.S.C. 
10261(a)) is amended by adding at the end the following:
    ``(29) There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be 
necessary to carry out part OO.''.
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