70 Groups Oppose Bill Removing Gun Silencers, Armor-piercing Bullets, Other Devices From ATF, National Firearms Act Oversight

WASHINGTON, Oct. 5, 2017— In the wake of Sunday’s shootings in Las Vegas, the Brady Campaign, the Center for Biological Diversity and 71 other organizations sent a letter to members of the U.S. House of Representatives today opposing a bill that would scrap existing Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives oversight of firearm silencers, allow unrestricted transport of weapons across state lines, and limit the federal government’s authority to classify certain firearms and rifle ammunition as “armor piercing” and “destructive devices.”

The so-called “Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act,” or SHARE Act, would also prematurely strip federal protections from gray wolves, promote polar bear trophy hunting and eliminate the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to protect human health and fresh water from toxic lead fishing tackle.

“Gun violence has become a sickening fact of everyday life in America. It’s unconscionable that this bill, which throws out even the most common-sense measures to address gun violence, is still alive in the House,” said Brett Hartl, government affairs director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “This legislation has nothing to do with helping sportsmen and everything to do with handing out favors to the NRA and the gun lobby. It’s got to stop.”

The SHARE Act has been introduced in previous sessions of Congress; however, the legislation was revised this year to include silencers and other gun-related measures. The House Natural Resources Committee originally planned to hold a hearing for draft legislation on June 14, the same day that Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) was shot and wounded. The actual bill did not get introduced until Sept. 1.

The committee advanced the legislation for consideration by the full House of Representatives two weeks ago. Although Speaker Ryan has suggested that the legislation has been temporarily shelved, it can still be reconsidered at any time until the end of 2018.

“At a time when nation’s leaders should be doing everything they can to strengthen our ability to protect law enforcement and the public from the epidemic of gun violence, instead, this Congress and this administration are attempting to advance proposals to handcuff law enforcement and undercut laws and regulations like the National Firearms Act that have worked for decades to effectively allow silencers to be acquired by law abiding citizens while keeping them out of the wrong hands,” said Brady Co-President Kris Brown.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.5 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

The mission of the Brady organization and its Million Mom March is to create a safer America by cutting gun deaths in half by 2025. For more insight on gun violence prevention, follow us on Facebook and Twitter @BradyBuzz. About Us: The Brady Campaign and Center, united with the Million Mom March, is a national network of over 90 grassroots chapter affiliates mobilized to prevent gun violence at the community level. The network has played a vital role in expanding Brady background checks in the six states that have passed legislation since the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut and produced the largest national protest of gun violence in U.S. history – The Million Mom March, Mother’s Day 2000.