A Big Week Ahead For The Industry


The ink was barely dry on the signed Bipartisan Safer Communities Act before Congress signaled its next moves to bring the industry into its sights. Next up? A ban on AR-15s/MSRs and repeal of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA).

July 20, the House Judiciary Committee passed the Assault Weapons Ban of 2021 (H.R.1808) a bill that was introduced by Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) in March of last year. The bill contains a number of sweeping bans on commonly owned rifles, shotguns and even handguns, while also targeting standard capacity magazines. Unlike the bill that passed in 1994, this one has no expiration date.

In the bill’s opening sentence, it claims to (emphasis added) “regulate assault weapons, to ensure that the right to keep and bear arms is not unlimited, and for other purposes.”

This language mirrors a common refrain President Biden has used, stating “the Second Amendment is not absolute” in past remarks.

In addition, also on July 20, the House Judiciary Committee held a markup for the Equal Access to Justice for Victims of Gun Violence Act (H.R.2814). This bill aims to repeal PLCAA.

A vote on both bills could come as soon as this week. However, even if these pass in the House, the likelihood of either bill advancing in the Senate is slim. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) told The Reload earlier this month “[it’s] not gonna happen” when asked about the prospects of another gun bill passing the upper chamber of Congress.

24 Million & Counting

NSSF has kicked its public education efforts into high gear by publicizing an updated estimate on the number of MSRs in circulation in the U.S. According to NSSF research, ATF Annual Firearms Manufacturing and Export Report and U.S. International Trade Commission data (and data from manufacturers, importers and exporters) there are 24,446,000 MSRs in circulation since 1990. This is an increase of more than 4.5 million from the last estimate, released in 2020.

And NSSF pointed out: there are more MSRs in circulation today than there are Ford F-Series trucks on the road.

“This is a truly significant figure that demonstrates — again — the popularity of this commonly owned style of rifle,” said NSSF President and CEO Joe Bartozzi. “The firearm industry responds to market demand and this shows that during the elevated period of firearm sales that began in 2020, this particular style of rifle is the top choice for law-abiding citizens for hunting, recreational shooting and self-defense.”

Congressional Hearing Scheduled

Another development to follow next week is a House Oversight Committee hearing taking place Wednesday, July 27. In a title that tells you everything you need to know, the “Examining the Practices and Profits of Gun Manufacturers” hearing will be held by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY).

July 7, the Committee sent letters to Marty Daniel, Mark Smith and Chris Killoy of Daniel Defense, Smith & Wesson and Ruger, respectively, requesting their presence at the hearing. This will be a hybrid hearing, conducted in person and via Zoom, and will also include testimony from Ryan Busse, former industry executive turned Giffords senior advisor, and Kelly Sampson of the Brady campaign.

We’ll be following this one closely, and will include a report in next week’s Dealer Advantage email.