SECURING DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY FIREARMS ACT OF 2017; Congressional Record Vol. 164, No. 5
(House of Representatives - January 09, 2018)

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[Pages H50-H51]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




     SECURING DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY FIREARMS ACT OF 2017

  Mr. FITZPATRICK. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass 
the bill (H.R. 4433) to amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to 
require the Under Secretary for Management of the Department of 
Homeland Security to achieve security of sensitive assets among the 
components of the Department of Homeland Security, and for other 
purposes, as amended.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The text of the bill is as follows:

                               H.R. 4433

       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 ``Securing Department of 
     Homeland Security Firearms Act of 2017'' or the ``Securing 
     DHS Firearms Act of 2017''.

     SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

       In this Act:
       (1) Department.--The term ``Department'' means the 
     Department of Homeland Security.
       (2) Lost.--The term ``lost'' includes loss by theft.
       (3) Sensitive assets.--The term ``sensitive assets'' means 
     any asset, regardless of value--
       (A) that the Department of Homeland Security issues to a 
     Department employee; and
       (B) that either the Under Secretary for Management of the 
     Department or a component head determines requires special 
     control and accounting.
       (4) Under secretary for management.--The term ``Under 
     Secretary for Management'' means the Under Secretary for 
     Management of the Department of Homeland Security.

     SEC. 3. INCLUSION OF SECURING FIREARMS AND OTHER SENSITIVE 
                   ASSETS IN RESPONSIBILITIES OF UNDER SECRETARY 
                   FOR MANAGEMENT.

       Section 701 of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (6 U.S.C. 
     341) is amended--
       (1) in subsection (a)(6), by inserting ``(including 
     firearms and other sensitive assets)'' after ``equipment'';
       (2) by redesignating the second subsection (e) (relating to 
     the definition of interoperable communications) as subsection 
     (f); and
       (3) by amending such redesignated subsection (f) to read as 
     follows:
       ``(f) Definitions.--In this section:
       ``(1) Interoperable communications.--The term 
     `interoperable communications' has the meaning given such 
     term in section 7303(g) of the Intelligence Reform and 
     Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (6 U.S.C. 194(g)).
       ``(2) Sensitive assets.--The term `sensitive assets' means 
     any asset, regardless of value--
       ``(A) that the Department of Homeland Security issues to a 
     Department employee; and
       ``(B) that either the Under Secretary for Management of the 
     Department or a component head determines requires special 
     control and accounting.''.

     SEC. 4. MANAGEMENT DIRECTIVE.

       (a) Safeguarding Firearms and Sensitive Assets Directive.--
       (1) In general.--Not later than 120 days after the date of 
     the enactment of this Act, the Under Secretary for Management 
     shall develop and disseminate a Department-wide directive for 
     achieving adequate security over firearms and other sensitive 
     assets across the Department.
       (2) Contents.--The directive required under subsection (a) 
     shall, at a minimum, include the following:
       (A) Descriptions of what equipment, in addition to 
     firearms, is classified as a sensitive asset for the purpose 
     of carrying out this Act.
       (B) Requirements for securing Department-issued firearms 
     and other sensitive assets.
       (C) A classification system for all categories of 
     Department-issued badges and corresponding requirements for 
     safeguarding such assets.
       (D) Reporting requirements for lost firearms and other 
     sensitive assets, including timelines for such reporting, to 
     supervisors, local law enforcement, the Federal Bureau of 
     Investigation's National Crime Information Center, and 
     Department headquarters.
       (E) Recordkeeping requirements for lost firearms and other 
     sensitive assets in inventory systems, including a timeline 
     for recording such losses.
       (3) Review and update of directive.--Not later than one 
     year after the issuance of the directive required under 
     subsection (a) the Under Secretary for Management shall 
     review and update, as necessary, such directive, including 
     adding a requirement relating to recording in the inventory 
     systems maintained by each component of the Department the 
     acceptance or transfer of a firearm or other sensitive asset 
     by such component.
       (b) Personal Property Asset Management Program Manual.--
     Together with the issuance of the directive pursuant to 
     subsection (a), the Under Secretary for Management shall 
     disseminate a revised version of the Personal Property Asset 
     Management Program Manual that includes the following:
       (1) Requirements for component heads to develop procedures 
     to safeguard firearms and other sensitive assets during on 
     and off-duty time.
       (2) Requirements for the issuance of safety locking devices 
     and policies on the use of such assets, as applicable.
       (3) Requirements for initial, recurrent, and remedial 
     training on safeguarding such assets.
       (4) Examples, with detail, of how to report and record lost 
     sensitive assets across components of the Department, and an 
     enforcement mechanism to ensure supervisors maintain such 
     records.
       (5) A requirement that the file maintained on a lost 
     firearm or other sensitive asset contains both the 
     corresponding police report and the Department report 
     detailing the circumstances surrounding such loss, including 
     information on adherence to safeguarding procedures.

     SEC. 5. COMPONENT RESPONSIBILITIES.

       Department component heads shall--
       (1) comply with Federal law, Federal regulations, executive 
     branch guidance, and Department policy, including directives 
     required by this Act, relating to the management and 
     oversight of securing firearms and other sensitive assets;
       (2) review the need for non-law enforcement badges;
       (3) require component personnel to safeguard firearms and 
     other sensitive assets in accordance with the directive 
     issued by the Under Secretary for Management under section 4;
       (4) require that component personnel adhere to the 
     procedures and timelines for properly reporting to 
     supervisors lost firearms and other sensitive assets;
       (5) require that lost firearms and other sensitive assets 
     are reported to local law enforcement, the Federal Bureau of 
     Investigation's National Crime Information Center, and 
     Department headquarters in the timeframe established in such 
     directive; and
       (6) require that lost firearms and other sensitive assets 
     are recorded in inventory systems in the timeframe 
     established by such directive.

     SEC. 6. INSPECTOR GENERAL REVIEW.

       The Inspector General of the Department of Homeland 
     Security shall, on an ongoing basis, review implementation of 
     this Act and, not later than 180 days after issuance of the 
     directive under section 4, submit to the Committee on 
     Homeland Security of the House of Representatives and the 
     Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of 
     the Senate a review of the progress and effectiveness of such 
     directive, including an assessment of the adequacy of such 
     directive, as well as the level of compliance among the 
     components of the Department to achieve adequate security of 
     sensitive assets across Department components.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from 
Pennsylvania (Mr. Fitzpatrick) and the gentleman from California (Mr. 
Correa) each will control 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Pennsylvania.


                             General Leave

  Mr. FITZPATRICK. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all 
Members have 5 legislative days within which to revise and extend their 
remarks and include any extraneous material on the bill under 
consideration.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Pennsylvania?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. FITZPATRICK. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may 
consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of H.R. 4433, the Securing 
Department of Homeland Security Firearms Act of 2017.
  A recent report by the Department of Homeland Security Office of 
Inspector General, entitled, ``DHS' Controls Over Firearms and Other 
Sensitive Assets,'' found that, between fiscal year 2014 and fiscal 
year 2016, personnel from DHS and its components misplaced a total of 
2,142 highly sensitive assets, including 228 firearms and 1,889 badges.

[[Page H51]]

  DHS is charged with the safety of our Nation and its citizens. The 
OIG report indicates that not only are there some DHS personnel not 
being held accountable for failing to safeguard their sensitive assets, 
they are also not receiving proper training on how to properly 
safeguard and keep track of such equipment. Given the importance of 
DHS' mission, this is unacceptable, Mr. Speaker.
  H.R. 4433 follows the OIG's recommendations and requires DHS' Under 
Secretary for Management to promulgate a departmentwide directive to 
DHS personnel aimed at achieving adequate security over DHS firearms 
and other sensitive assets. H.R. 4433 mandates that this directive 
include descriptions of what equipment is classified as a sensitive 
asset, requirements for securing Department-issued sensitive assets, 
and recordkeeping requirements for reporting lost or stolen firearms 
and other assets.
  H.R. 4433 also requires DHS to update its Personal Property Asset 
Management Program Manual to include procedures and training on how to 
safeguard assets, both on and off duty, in accordance with the 
directive.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge all Members to join me in supporting this bill, 
and I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. CORREA. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  I rise in support of H.R. 4433, the Securing Department of Homeland 
Security Firearms Act of 2017.
  Mr. Speaker, DHS is a diverse Department that has the distinction of 
being the largest law enforcement agency in the Federal Government. To 
help support its critical mission, DHS must maintain and safeguard a 
variety of sensitive law enforcement equipment, such as firearms, 
ammunition, and badges. DHS equipment in the wrong hands could result 
in loss of life.
  According to an October 2017 report issued by the DHS Office of 
Inspector General, the Department does not have adequate requirements 
to safeguard its sensitive assets. Approximately 2,100 highly sensitive 
assets were lost between 2014 and 2016. In response to the report, my 
legislation requires DHS to develop and implement policies to secure 
firearms and other sensitive DHS equipment at the Department.
  This security measure requires the Under Secretary of Management to 
disseminate a departmentwide directive that includes requirements for 
securing firearms and sensitive DHS equipment, as well as reporting 
these requirements.
  This measure outlines the responsibilities to properly safeguard 
firearms and sensitive assets in accordance with the directive and 
requires personnel to properly report lost firearms and equipment.
  This measure was unanimously approved by the Committee on Homeland 
Security last month and will help foster greater accountability and 
security within DHS, and I urge passage of this measure.
  Mr. Speaker, in closing, my legislation is intended to advance the 
critical mission of DHS by ensuring that firearms and sensitive assets 
are properly safeguarded and maintained.
  In my home State of California, in 2015, a 27-year-old, Antonio 
Ramos, was shot and killed with an ICE agent's stolen 9-millimeter 
weapon.
  According to the DHS OIG, failures to safeguard important equipment 
and assets are still not being properly addressed. Given DHS' mission, 
it is essential that the DHS workforce prioritize and properly protect 
the equipment that is critical to their mission.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge passage of this measure, and I yield back the 
balance of my time.
  Mr. FITZPATRICK. Mr. Speaker, I, once again, urge my colleagues to 
support H.R. 4433, and I yield back the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the 
gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Fitzpatrick) that the House suspend 
the rules and pass the bill, H.R. 4433, as amended.
  The question was taken; and (two-thirds being in the affirmative) the 
rules were suspended and the bill, as amended, was passed.
  A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.

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