BREAKING: NRA Introduces Bill to Permanently Define “Sporting Purposes” Exemption


Word comes that Rob Bishop (R-UT) has introduced HR 2710, a bill designed to permanently define the “sporting purposes” clauses in federal gun control legislation and remove the ATF’s ability to interpret those laws as they see fit. The proposed legislation would require that self defense and all other lawful purposes be included in the consideration and given equal weight. This move would eliminate the ATF’s ability to ban things like the importation of certain firearms (Korean M1 Garand rifles, Norinco M-14 copies, Saiga shotguns and rifles), types of ammunition (M855), and keep shotguns from being labeled as destructive devices in some situations. The bill is consistent with a previously reported rumor that specifically is looking to clean up an ATF mistake in a politically acceptable manner. Here’s the text of the press release . . .

Rep. Rob Bishop Introduces Bill to Curb BATFE Abuse

On Wednesday, June 10, 2015, Chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources Rob Bishop (R-UT) introduced H.R. 2710, the “Lawful Purpose and Self Defense Act of 2015.” This bill would remove BATFE’s authority to interpret or reinterpret the “sporting purposes” clauses in federal law, which only serve to undermine the core purpose of the Second Amendment. Under Chairman Bishop’s legislation, all lawful purposes – including self-defense – would have to be given due consideration and respect in the administration of federal law.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in District of Columbia v. Heller that the core purpose of the Second Amendment is self-defense. Nevertheless, many federal laws that regulate the importation, possession and transfer of firearms measure the lawful utility of firearms based on their usefulness for so-called “sporting purposes.”

The term “sporting purposes” is undefined by federal statute and has been subject to several reinterpretations by the BATFE and its predecessor agency. BATFE and anti-gun administrations have exploited the lack of a clear definition of “sporting purposes” to bypass Congress and impose gun control through executive fiat. The most recent (and perhaps most infamous) example of this was the Obama administration’s attempt to ban a highly popular form of ammunition for the AR-15, America’s most popular rifle.

H.R. 2710 would put a stop to this for good and accomplish the following essential reforms to federal firearms laws:

Eliminate ATF’s authority to reclassify popular rifle ammunition as “armor piercing ammunition.” The federal law governing armor piercing ammunition was passed by Congress to target handgun projectiles, but BATFE has used the law to ban common and popular rifle ammunition, as it recently attempted with M855/SS109 5.56×45 ammunition.

Provide for the lawful importation of any non-NFA firearm or ammunition that may otherwise be lawfully possessed and sold within the United States. BATFE has used the current discretionary “sporting purposes” standard to deny the importation of firearms that would be perfectly legal to manufacture, sell, and possess in the United States.

Protect shotguns, shotgun shells, and certain rifles from arbitrary classification as “destructive devices.” Classification as a destructive device subjects a firearm to the registration and taxation provisions of the National Firearms Act (NFA) and creates a ban on possession of such firearms in some states.

Broaden the temporary interstate transfer provision to allow temporary transfers for all lawful purposes rather than just for “sporting purposes.”

NRA would like to thank Chairman Bishop for his steadfast support of the Second Amendment and the introduction of H.R. 2710.

Please contact your U.S. Representative today and urge him or her to cosponsor and support this important legislation.

You can contact your U.S. Representative by using our “Write Your Lawmakers” tool at, or by phone at (202) 224-3121


  1. avatar Tom says:

    Would this bill remove 922r as well?

    1. avatar barnbwt says:

      Yes, as well as the various ammo-import, rifle-import, barrel-import, and tactical shotgun import bans on non-sanctioned countries like China and Russia. Cheap M1 Garands as well as cheap SVT 40s, and various pistols like the (original) 380 Glock and five-seven without mag safety that didn’t meet the import criteria tests.

      I’ll bet a lot of state Assault Weapons Bans themselves refer to the ATF definition for sporting purposes, too.

      1. avatar PPGMD says:

        No, it likely wouldn’t.

        7n6 was banned due to the fact that some idiot made an AK pistol capable of shooting 5.45 x 39. There was no sporting purpose test.

        Now I believe there are some sporting purpose exceptions to the ban. So there maybe some ammo to get it unbanned there. But I imagine even if that is the case it will be a long lawsuit.

        1. avatar 688smag says:

          7n6 was banned because IO applied to import a 74 pistol years ago and never actually imported them.×39-ammunition

        2. avatar Chadwick P. says:

          Do much critical thinking? It was banned because we have tyrant in charge. It was blamed on this or that. Don’t blame people for doing completely legal things when the illegal and nefarious action was from the fed.

        3. avatar Sian says:

          And so what? A Tokarev with surplus spamcan 7.62×25 FMJ is infinitely more concealable , will defeat any soft body armor and do more damage than 5.45 out of an 8 inch barrel.

        4. avatar Richard in WA says:

          Don’t assume there’s a logical, fact-based reason for it.

    2. avatar Krud Bigrig says:

      Sure sounds like it! I better start saving up for a Sig 550!

  2. avatar Independent George says:

    Is this… dare I say it… a common-sense gun law reform?

    1. avatar Dev says:

      It is, and that’s exactly why we will never see it. There’s way too much money being made by fear mongering.

      1. avatar BlueBronco says:

        They would have to be able to over ride Barry’s veto. That may be possible in The House, but it would be tight in the Senate. Plus, Gobbler McConell is spineless.

  3. avatar DJ9 says:

    Sounds like a good start.

    I’m guessing there will be an effort by a few Senators to kill support for the bill based on trade protectionist reasoning; certain companies have never been happy about foreign importation of less-expensive firearms. There still might be enough support to get it passed, though.

    We shall see…

    1. avatar Stinkeye says:

      This might be a good opportunity for us to see which firearms and ammo manufacturers are really on our side, and which will oppose this bill to protect their business from cheaper imports…

    2. avatar Sian says:

      If all the politicians are actually puppets of the massive American Gun Fear Murder Death Manufacturing Lobby then it should handily fail, as domestic gunmakers won’t want competition from cheap and freely-flowing imports.

  4. avatar doesky2 says:

    How about undoing recent 5.45 ban?

    1. avatar barnbwt says:

      This would do that, and a whole lot more. SVT40 rifles would drop from 1500$ to 400$ (or less)

      1. avatar Slick says:

        More MAK 90s coming into the country? YES PLEASE!

        1. avatar Sian says:

          BRB getting my Pre-ban Norinco NHM-91 appraised.

  5. avatar Bobing says:

    This…this could get us cool guns from other NATO countries (albeit for probably hilariously crap prices like what the Euros pay themselves, but still, the offer is up)!!

  6. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

    For the Debbie Downers here that keep saying we are losing, I say we need to go on the offensive and get laws passed in our favor. I have been saying we are starting to win more often…this is a step in that direction, let us hope it can pass.

    1. avatar JQPub says:

      I agree completely. We need to go on the offensive now instead of sitting back – and put the anti freedom crowd on the defensive for a change…

  7. Why not just put a bill killing the F in BATFE all together, go real constitutional carry on ANY firearm through out all of the states? Yes I also mean the dreaded full auto as well. If they are good enough for our citizen soldiers and our citizen police, then why not all citizens? No more of the SBR crap either. Or am I asking too much?

    1. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

      Too much, too fast. While I believe that the SBR and gun mufflers will become more common. Full Auto will continue to be vilified. Forcing states to accept constitutional carry would be overturned as an over reach of federal government’s power, unless you were walking between state lines.

      1. avatar Juanito ''Johnnie'' Ibañez says:

        To demonstrate the stupidity of the “Short-Barreled Rifle” (SBR) law – Barrel Length no less than 16-inches OR with an Overall Length (OAL) less than 26-inches – an AR-type rifle equipped with a 10-inch barrel is still 26.0-inches in length (with adjustable buttstock collapsed – 28.7-inches extended).

        So, exactly HOW, does this make such a 10-inch barrel-equipped rifle “more concealable” than any other 26-inch OAL rifle???

        “Inquiring minds want to know….”

    2. avatar barnbwt says:

      Aside from NFA items that are probably still a ways off from being unregulated, this measure would essentially neuter the ATF, and by extension the president, from meddling in firearms by fiat. Most import bans and executive-discretion classifications/exemptions are all driven by this “sporting purposes” stuff. Likely a good number of state level laws on assault weapons, too, I bet.

    3. avatar SteveInCO says:

      In one way, you’re not asking for too much. You name the desired end result.

      But in the more important way, you are. I can’t imagine the NFA “machine gun” bullshit being repealed any time soon; they are too scary to the ignorant general public.

      But it sounds like this bill is an excellent start, as it eliminates a lot of individual petty nuisances (infringements) that, taken together, have been strangling a lot of us and really cramping our style; arbitrary rules saying no you may not import that.

      1. avatar Dev says:

        I’d be more accepting of the NFA tax for full auto firearms if we were allowed to purchase ones made after 1986.

        1. avatar Jon in CO says:

          This would be an acceptable start. Hughes is doing absolutely nothing but jacking up prices on things ten fold. If you could purchase full auto for $1600 with stamp included, things would start getting a lot better.

        2. avatar Juanito ''Johnnie'' Ibañez says:

          Repealing the unconstitutionally-passed “Hughes Amendment” would return the Machine Gun “situation” to the same that it was from 1934-to-1986 – IOW: no “crime spree problem.”

    4. avatar MarkPA says:

      Comment deleted. Will return as a separate post on the main site.

  8. avatar Erik O says:

    It’d be a good start. Personally, I’d love to see a rider on an appropriation bill to redact the term ‘sporting’ and replace it with ‘lawful’ on every single Federal law, executive order and judgement. 😉

    1. avatar barnbwt says:

      So long as “lawful” is in the list, this bill covers that, and is much more understandable than a random word change. I can’t wait to hear anti’s try to claim how allowing guns to be imported for lawful purposes will lead to law breaking and should be against the law.

  9. avatar Accur81 says:


  10. avatar KCK says:

    My M855 is more pointy than the photo??

    1. avatar barnbwt says:

      It’s probably just some ballistic tip match that some fool painted green to sell at inflated prices 😉

  11. avatar stateisevil says:

    This ends the Bush 1990 gun ban.

  12. avatar KCK says:

    With this, they will forget they are a Law Enforcement Agency and to try to become a Law Advocacy Agency.

    1. avatar barnbwt says:

      Too late for that, otherwise why would they send lawyers to oppose the machine gun registry closure lawsuit? As a tax enforcement body, they logically shouldn’t care less whether or not people are allowed to pay their taxes to perform an action (form 1 machineguns) in accordance with the law (hell, they should support it in order to get more ‘customers’ and justify their wages)

  13. avatar KarVer says:

    Seems like a good person, has finally arrived in office. We need more like him on the hill an as potus.
    Maybe if this passes I wont pay almost 300$ for a mosin nagant an I will locate a few cheaper ,lighter “battle” rifle..

    1. avatar Chrispy says:

      I’m still kicking myself in the ass for not getting into the hobby 5 years sooner, and also for not getting a couple of Mosins when they were $120 a piece and surplus ammo was $7 or less per 20 count pack.

  14. avatar Yama says:

    Still proudly wearing the Rob Bishop tshirt my brother in law (who worked for him) gave me 10 years ago!

  15. avatar Noishkel says:

    The analytical part of mind gives this little chance of success. But at the same time the mere fact that it’s coming up for examination gives me a little spark of hope that there are some people in power that get it.

    1. avatar barnbwt says:

      A long shot, yes, but if you think about it, easily defensible in a public setting. Freedom to lawfully use lawful firearms for lawful purposes; that’s all we want (for now; we’ll work on the ‘lawful’ definition of firearms later). One small, but very significant of Mr. Obama’s (and whoever comes next’s) pen will be removed from his control. The threat of all 12ga shotguns being bannable at the drop of a president’s hat will be gone (it’s no coincidence that that is the one type of firearm the anti’s tolerate)

      1. avatar MarkPA says:

        An excellent point. The ATF’s screw-up in allowing the marketing of – what are ostensibly shotguns without a shoulder stock – should be embarrassing enough. It will be hard for the public to recognize any wisdom of prosecuting thousands of law-abiding home-owners for possession of ‘shotguns’ the ATF allowed to be marketed simply because they don’t have a shoulder stock and are suitable – therefore – mostly for defense of hearth and home.

  16. avatar SteveInCO says:

    We’ve bitched that we need to do something positive, go on the offensive, rather than constantly fighting rearguard actions to keep from having the right further infringed.

    Well, it looks as though someone finally listened.

  17. avatar Chris says:

    E-Mail sent to my representatives to support/co-sponsor. Do it!!!

  18. avatar Lance says:

    Wish I can say hello Polytech Legend and M-14 again!!!!!

    Good to se return of cheap NORINCO ammo which will force US ammo makers to lower prices again!!!

  19. avatar ARluv says:

    All of these ways to stop the ATF are good and dandy but completely moot unless the newest ruling on the Sig Brace are overturned. I don’t think most people understand the over reaching nature of that latest interpretation. But essentially in that ruling the ATF can tell a private gun owner how they can and can’t fire their privately owned weapon by simply redefining the definition of that weapon found in both the GCA and the NFA. If that ruling holds true who’s to say that they don’t change anything else at the drop of a dime?

  20. avatar Nelson says:

    Another half assed BS measure from the NRA.

    ABOLISH the ATF, period, along with EVERY gun control bills in the Fed and State register, or they’re not serious in the least.

    Frankly, they missed their shot, after Fast & Furious news broke.

    National Republican Apologists, are all they are now.

    1. avatar Slick says:

      And, while we are at it, lets fly to Mars on unicorn fart powered rocket ships…..

    2. avatar Hoe Jockey says:

      Nelson –Yea nothing is perfect and worth while if it doesn’t abolish ATF and take us straight to an unregulated position. You seem to be unable to discern reality from your dream world. And anything short is a sell out.

      The rest of us should just fall on our butter knife as we are unworthy since we look at the possible and not the perfect.

    3. avatar Clark says:

      Is that really you Dudley? Trashing the NRA to get NAGR membership?

      1. avatar MarkPA says:

        Good question.

        All of us PotG need to be thinking more about what works vs. how we “really feel” about the issues.

        I am reminded of an apocryphal quote of FDR: “Somoza may be a son of a bitch, but he’s our son of a bitch.” Many of us have deep reservations about the NRA: does it spend too-much/-little on education; on hunting; on the wrong politicians; . . . Nevertheless, the NRA is THE outstanding example of a formidable foe in Washington DC. Is their bark worse then their bite? If so, they are worth it to whatever extent the bark is getting the job done.

        Take every one of the other gun organizations in turn. Alan Gottlieb is excoriated for touching the third-rail of UBC; Oh, OK well then we want all our contributions back and return the Heller and McDonald decisions. Are we men of principle? Or pragmatists?

        What does it take to defend the 2A? What makes us “feel” “really good”? Which question is really more important to each of us? No doubt, there will be diversity in sentiment.

  21. avatar Haiku Guy says:

    The words “Sporting Purposes” sound better in the original German…

    1. avatar Missouri Mule says:

      “Sportzwecke” – This “sporting use” strategy was used before. The Nazi Weapons Law (18 March 1938) forbade importation of weapons under substantially the same test. Section 25(1) of that Law proclaimed: “It is forbidden to manufacture … and to import: Firearms which fold-down, break-down, are collapsible, or are speedily dismantled — beyond the common limits of hunting and sporting activities — …” Section 21 of the Nazi Law (and its enforcing regulations) employed the “sporting use” exception also where they permitted licensed persons to carry “firearms, designed for — and usually used for — the hunting of fair game.”

  22. avatar Missouri Mule says:

    I can not get excited about something I can not read. The bill is no where to be found on the internet. Neither can I get excited about continuing the “sporting use use” exception since it is not in the Constitution. This seems to just be playing into the hands of the enemies of freedom and lawfulness. Nick, where is the bill? Let’s read the bill.

      1. avatar Missouri Mule says:

        Look a little further down. I posted it at 8;35 am about an hour and a half ago. Thanks!

    1. avatar Juanito ''Johnnie'' Ibañez says:

      Here’s a little ATF “propaganda” to read re “sporting purposes”:

      Department of the Treasury Study on the Sporting Suitability of Modified Semiautomatic Assault Rifles – April 1998

  23. avatar Frank W says:

    Nice idea, but I’ll believe It when I see it.

  24. avatar Shwiggie says:

    This is all well and good, but don’t forget that it will need the president’s signature if it ever were to pass both houses of Congress. And you can expect hell to freeze over first.

    1. avatar Tom says:

      If it’s attached to a larger, important bill, he could be pressured to sign it. That’s how Congress eliminated the ban on carrying in National Parks.

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    1. avatar SteveInCO says:

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    2. avatar Chrispy says:

      Spam fail.

  26. avatar JAQUE BAUER says:

    The 2nd Amendment is not about sporting or hunting. Its seems like a sellout to me by asking the Gestapo to define the term “Sporting Purposes” when all firearms and ammunition are “Arms.” Every Gun Control law that the Feds have ever established violates the 2nd. But, we all know that the NRA is not always standing behind the 2nd Amendment.

  27. avatar Skyler says:

    Another half step by the NRA. It’s better than nothing, but I would be more impressed if they got someone to sponsor the repeal of the NFA and use that as the starting point of debate.

  28. avatar Joe R. says:

    Because “shall not be infringed” had too few words??????


    1. avatar SteveInCO says:

      What you don’t understand, Joe, is that every federal judge and legislator is issued secret goggles that let him read the invisible ink the founders used on the bill of rights. The full text (including the invisible ink) reads “…shall not be infringed, except whenever we feel like it.”

      1. avatar Missouri Mule says:

        Yup, they teach you about that in law school, but you don’t actually get a set of the magic googles unless you get on the Law Review.

  29. avatar joshs says:

    This article has quite a few errors.

    The bill wouldn’t broaden the definition of “sporting purposes”, in most cases the term would be eliminated from federal law. In the case of importation, all applications would have to be approved within 30 days and BATFE would have no discretion to deny the importation of firearms.

    The bill also does nothing to fix BATFE’s alleged mistake in classifying pistol grip only shotguns as “firearms.” Contrary to the claim of limiting ammunition imports, the bill actually redefines “armor piercing ammunition” so that it cannot be applied to projectiles designed and intended for use in rifles. This would limit the application of the AP ammunition restrictions to projectiles actually designed and intended for use in a handguns as Congress originally intended with LEOPA.

    The text of the bill is available here:

  30. avatar ColdNorth says:

    I’m glad to hear my neighbours to the south will see improved import laws. I hope it doesn’t drive up SKS and SVT prices for us too much.

    Also, could you look into fixing the export laws a bit? It’s awfully expensive to import things from the States into Canada like scopes and whatnot.

    1. avatar BDub says:

      ITAR is the problem. It too needs to die.

  31. avatar BDub says:

    This is like using a land-mine for self defense.

    the “Sporting Purposes” just needs to go away entirely. Its semantic bullshit.

  32. avatar Toasty says:

    If this passes, ya know where we’ll be seeing A LOT of imports from? Africa. Mainly Nigeria. They’re absolutely littered with AK’s, SVD’s, and everything from ww1 to now. They collect them for destruction, but if someone over there told their gov’t we’d be willing to pay them, they’d jump on that real quick. Imagine a future with $400 SVD’s and semi auto original PPSH’s… All for dirt cheap. A potential new golden age of firearms ownership.

  33. avatar Matt says:

    If they are basically neutering the sporting purposes exemption by putting “for all other legal purposes” in the definition as sporting purposes, why not just remove the sporting purposes exemption to begin with via legislation?

    Either way I think this is a win for us but it seems clever and ham handed at the same time.

    1. avatar MarkPA says:

      Cleaver is what gets things done; whether for better or for worse. The Hughes Amendment was clever; why should we eschew what could work for us?

      By way of illustration, consider the Destructive Device category. Imagine the uproar that would be created to repeal DD from the NFA. Got that in mind? What’s wrong with the “sporting purpose” in DD? Well, obviously, we have these thousands of what the layman would consider shotguns that slipped through the cracks because the law demands that they have a shoulder stock. Moreover, if you added a shoulder-stock then they would be as useless as (or no more useful than) a regular shotgun for home defense.

      If defense of hearth and home is at the apex of the self-defense core of the 2A then it follows that such devices are certainly protected by the 2A despite the crude classification they belong in under a statue written in 1934. What is it that the NFA was really trying to get at? Presumably, the lawful use of firearms. Well, then, doesn’t this language change move us closer to the proper intent – then as now – of this statue? Can’t we all get behind this amendment and explain ourselves to our constituents when we go home?

      Chink by chink we can erode the wall of gun-controls that separate us from the liberty guaranteed by the 2A. If that takes cleverness; well, that’s OK by me.

      1. avatar Matt says:

        I don’t necessarily think we should eschew sneakyness or creativity to get our rights back. That’s how the CMP 1911 thing made it into a bill, it was crammed into a defense bill that is/was guaranteed to pass. So I’m in agreement with you there; the sporting purposes is an infringement that shouldn’t exist. If neutering the sporting purposes clause is the best way to eventually kill ti so be it. It just seems to me that we are doing the equivalent of kidnapping James Bond with the intent of torturing him when we should just kill him and be done with it.

        1. avatar MarkPA says:

          It’s difficult to outright kill “James Bond”. Much easier to pull the rug out from under him.

        2. avatar Matt says:

          Point taken.

  34. avatar Louis Marschalko says:

    Why not just take the “F” out of the B.A.T.F.E. entirely? We don’t have a government agency tasked with regulating the First Amendment, so why do we have one dedicated to regulating the Second Amendment?

  35. avatar Indiana Tom says:

    Sporting Purpose is one of the wonders of National Socialism created by the Fuhrer. Says a lot about gun control types.

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