FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 12, 2015
Firearms Policy Coalition has announced its support of H.R. 2578, the “Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act,” as amended by Republican Congressman Ken Buck (CO-04). The bill now provides an appropriation of $20,000,000 for applications for relief from Federal firearms disabilities.
When the program is funded, “the Attorney General may grant such relief if it is established to his satisfaction that the circumstances regarding the disability, and the applicant’s record and reputation, are such that the applicant will not be likely to act in a manner dangerous to public safety and that the granting of the relief would not be contrary to the public interest.” If their application is denied, applicants can “petition with the United States district court for the district in which he resides for a judicial review of such denial,” where the court “may in its discretion admit additional evidence where failure to do so would result in a miscarriage of justice.” (18 U.S.C. § 925(c).)
As Rep. Buck explained in a press release announcing the amendment,
“America is a land of second chances. One mistake should not define your future. A law-abiding, 45-year-old dad who made one mistake at 18 should have the choice of how best to protect his family or take his kids hunting. He should have the chance to make a petition to restore his constitutional right to bear arms. This solution is long overdue.”
“This common sense appropriation does not create new laws, but it does ensure that people can apply through an existing framework of laws for rehabilitation that has existed for decades,” said FPC President Brandon Combs. “It is long past time for Congress to fund this important program to restore fundamental, individual Second Amendment rights to upstanding members of our communities.”
The rights restoration program has gone unfunded since the early 1990’s due to an annual appropriations rider, first introduced by then-Rep. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), which cuts off all funds for the implementation of the program.
Firearms Policy Coalition, Combs said, would stand behind Rep. Buck’s amendment. “We appreciate Congressman Buck’s leadership on this important issue and look forward to doing everything possible to help him get the rights restoration program up and running again.”
Gun owners who support H.R. 2578, as amended by Rep. Buck, can send a letter to their representatives urging its passage using FPC’s Take Action grassroots activism tools located at firearmspolicy.org/act.