January 7, 2011, 08:53 PM
Join Date: February 12, 2001
Location: DFW Area
This is a fairly complete list of the provisions of the 1986 FOPA.
- Makes gun shows viable. The provisions of the FOPA allow Federal Firearms License holders to sell guns at gun shows located in their home state as opposed to only at their place of business.
- Allows individuals not federally licensed as gun dealers to sell their personal firearms as a hobby, not a business, without involving an FFL. Persons making occasional sales or selling all or part of a "personal collection" are expressly excluded from the FFL requirement.
- Clearly defines the criteria that would require a person to have an FFL, thus preventing the BATF from making their own rules. It states that a person who is required to have an FFL must devote time, attention and labor to such dealing as a regular course of trade or business, with the principal objective of livelihood and profit through the repetitive purchase and resale of firearms.
- Reduces the recordkeeping required of federally licensed firearms dealers, specifically eliminating recordkeeping of ammunition sales. Prior to the passage of FOPA dealers had to keep track of ammunition sales in much the same way that they are still required track of firearm sales. Ammunition purchasers had to fill out a form or sign a registry to purchase ammunition.
- Repeals the portion of the 1968 Gun Control act prohibiting the sale of ammunition via mail order.
- Allows non-FFL holders to sell ammunition by eliminating the FFL requirement for ammunition sales.
- Allows the importation of non-sporting military surplus type firearms once again.
- Re-Opened interstate sales of long guns on a limited basis.
- Prevents the creation of a registry by the federal government or any of its agencies linking non-NFA firearms to owners.
- Prevents the government from creating a list of gun owners or firearms transactions from dealer records.
- Allows a citizen to transport a firearm from one legal location to another even if the trip requires passing through a jurisdiction where the firearm was illegal. (Safe Passage Law.)
- Raises the burden of proof for violations of federal gun laws considerably, typically requiring proof of intent, not just the existence of a violation. One congressman noted at the time of FOPA passage that around 75% of federal firearms violations at the time were committed by persons “lacking the criminal intent” that FOPA required upon passage. That percentage of violations was also assessed as “constitutionally improper”.
- Restricts the ability of the BATF to conduct inspections of the business premises of federally licensed firearms dealers and prescribes the maximum frequency of inspections. Prior to this restriction BATF could inspect dealers as often as they wished and some dealers claimed they were driven out of business by repeated inspections which prevented them from doing business. After the FOPA was passed the BATF is limited to 1 inspection per year with a followup unless there is a clear pattern of violations.
- Places limits on when an FFL’s records may be seized by the BATF.
- Places limits on when firearms or ammunition from an FFL’s inventory may be seized and how long they can be held without commencement of judicial action.
- Downgrades recordkeeping errors made by FFLs from felonies to misdemeanors.
- Expands the rights of FFL holders during an appeal.
- Provides that an FFL holder’s license may not be revoked based on any criminal allegations where there was a criminal prosecution and the FFL holder was acquitted or the charges were dismissed.
- Requires that the government pay a defendant’s attorney’s fees under certain circumstances in federal firearm related cases.
- Clearly defines a “prohibited person” and adds serious drug offenses to the list of crimes receiving enhanced penalties.
- Provides a means for prohibited persons to get relief of their disability by applying to the Treasury Secretary. Unfortunately this has been largely hamstrung because the program is unfunded.
- Makes it illegal for anyone, not just an FFL to transfer a firearm to a prohibited person.
- Prohibits civilians from possessing full-auto firearms manufactured after May 19, 1986.
- Doubles the penalties for use of a machine gun or silencer in a violent federal felony.
- Expands the definition of 'machine gun' to include those sets of parts or parts that could be used to convert a semiautomatic firearm into a machine gun.
Last edited by JohnKSa; January 7, 2011 at 10:14 PM.
Reason: Corrected bullet about mail order ammunition sales.