Statement on Amendments to the Gun Control Act of 1968

January 27, 1983

Since its inception, this administration has been committed to removing unnecessary and burdensome Federal redtape. We are also committed to the idea that it is the criminal who is responsible for violence and crime, not the law-abiding firearms owner. Accordingly, my administration has sought to remove those restrictions that operate only to burden the law-abiding and to concentrate law enforcement resources upon criminals.

I was pleased, therefore, to sign into law two amendments to the Gun Control Act of 1968 which remove the recordkeeping requirement on sales of .22 rimfire ammunition. Prior to this, dealers were required to verify and record the identity, birthdate, and ammunition type for most retail ammunition sales. Since several billion rounds of ammunition are sold to sportsmen and sportswomen each year, a tremendous amount of time and paperwork was involved in recording these sales. Yet there was little evidence that these recordkeeping requirements were of significant use in solving crimes.

These amendments will remove needless recordkeeping requirements for the most popular sporting ammunition, the .22 rimfire, and thus eliminate the paperwork on over a billion rounds annually.

Note: The amendments are contained in H.J. Res. 631, which provided for continuing appropriations for fiscal year 1983. As enacted, H.J. Res. 631 is Public Law 97 - 377, approved December 21, 1982.