Here’s a gun bill even a progressive can like but stands watching closely with Biden’s nominee for director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, anti-gun fanatic David Chipman. The NRA explains how the Pittman-Robertson Act (1937) has turned gun owners into America’s best conservationists. Brian McCombie writes for America’s 1st Freedom:
Last year, an estimated 8.4 million Americans became new gun owners as the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) logged over 21 million background checks for the likely sales of firearms. Gun sales in 2020, in fact, surpassed 2019’s totals by 60%, and the previous record, set in 2016, by 34%. Demand for ammunition has also been so robust that manufacturers haven’t been able to keep up.
A significant portion of these sales, no doubt, stem from threats of coming gun control from President Joe Biden, a politician who called gun makers the “enemy” and who wants another “assault-weapons” ban and much more.
But the sunny side of the boom in gun sales isn’t just that more Americans are learning about this freedom with hands-on experience, though there are a lot of good things to say about that. This surge also translates into a boon for conservation and recreational shooting facilities.
The legal mechanism that funds this is the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act, more commonly known as the Pittman-Robertson Act (P-R), which became law in 1937, after the firearms and ammunition industry, sportsmen and others asked Congress to help dwindling wildlife species.
The result was P-R, an excise tax on the sale of firearms and ammunition products. The tax money from this program must be apportioned to state wildlife agencies for conservation efforts, hunter education and shooting-related projects and programs.
The tax is currently administered by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau in the U.S. Department of the Treasury, which turns over the funds to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), who then administer it via a special account called the Wildlife Restoration Trust Fund.
P-R funds are made available to states and territories the year following their collection. Since 1937, P-R has raised $13.3 billion for various projects, with nearly $1 billion generated in 2019 alone. The true impact, however, is many times larger, as P-R funding is matched by state agencies and various conservation organizations for specific projects.
According to Jim Curcuruto, a consultant to the hunting and firearms industry, firearm and ammunition manufacturers have paid approximately $3.5 billion in excise taxes on handguns, long guns and ammunition from 2015-2019.
P-R numbers for fiscal year 2020 are still being gathered, and the total contribution to the Wildlife Restoration Trust Fund for 2020 will not be known for several months. Still, Curcuruto said that based on the sales numbers he has seen, he expects an additional $100 million in P-R excise taxes during the second half of 2020 over 2019, which would put the full 2020 tally at more than $710 million.
Approximately 75% of the excise taxes on guns and ammo comes from non-hunting related purchases. State wildlife agencies often utilize these excise tax funds to build or enhance target-shooting facilities, which will give gun owners even more places to practice and safely enjoy the shooting sports.
One reason so many Americans are buying guns is their fear of the current administration’s promises to take their guns. Democrats are willing to do anything, even rewrite the rules of government, to take your guns. That’s forcing many Americans to buy guns before it’s too late. Worst of all perhaps, is Joe Biden’s ATF director nominee, David Chipman. David Harsanyi explains why at National Review:
David Chipman, President Joe Biden’s nominee for director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), doesn’t possess a rudimentary understanding of the Second Amendment — which, considering this job, seems like a problem.
A couple of years ago, in reaction to local governments in Virginia declaring “Second Amendment sanctuary,” Chipman wrote a column in the Roanoke Times arguing that the “Second Amendment envisions firearms as being ‘well regulated,’ and individual sheriffs aren’t entitled to decide whether a particular regulation is constitutional — that’s the job of the courts.”
Of course, there is not a shred of historical evidence that the Second Amendment “envisions” the state inhibiting and restricting the ability of law-abiding citizens to own any firearms. That said, courts have already ruled on the question. Chipman may not have heard about the District of Columbia v. Heller ruling, but it found that individuals have a right to keep and bear arms unrelated to an individual’s membership in a militia. Now, I understand some people get excited when they see the phrase “well regulated,” but it was a common term in the late 18th century that meant “working well,” not, “Hey, let’s make more laws.” But even if it did mean that, the term is aimed at militias, not individuals.
Since Chipman ignores the high court, it’s unsurprising that he advocates not only a complete ban of certain semi-automatic rifles — guns by any definition “in common use by law-abiding citizens” — but also wants existing AR-15 owners to register their weapons with the federal government.
To achieve this, Chipman, senior policy adviser for the gun-restrictionist group Giffords — and before that, a member of Mike Bloomberg’s “Mayors Against Illegal Guns” — is constantly scaremongering about AR-15s. In a 2018 interview, for instance, Chipman told the’s Buck Sexton and Krystal Ball, “I don’t think you should be able to anonymously purchase 20 AR-15s at one time, and the government shouldn’t know. I don’t think it’s unreasonable at all that you have to pass a background check to own a weapon of war.” In 2019, Chipman told a House Judiciary Committee that “assault weapons” were virtually “identical to those used by the military.”
guns into “weapons of war.” Moreover, AR-15s are rarely used in crimes — which, as a former ATF agent, Chipman surely knows. And the vast majority of AR-15 owners go through background checks, just as the recent mass shooters in Colorado and Georgia did. It is unknown why it matters if a person owns three or 20 AR-15s, or at what speed he purchases those guns, though I am certain it is none of the ATF director’s business.
What Chipman, like many gun grabbers, does is try to shock people with irrelevant and misleading outliers. In a recent Reddit AMA, for example, Chipman, who worked as a case agent in the Branch Davidian trial, falsely claimed that the cultists murdered by the ATF in Waco had shot down two government helicopters with “.50 caliber Barretts.” Big news if true! Chipman also had brought up this imaginary event as he tried to blame American gun owners for the drug-cartel violence in Mexico.
Action Line: There’s never been a more important time to get your guns and your training now.
E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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