Nice while it lasted... but never actually trained any civilians as far as known, just posturing and grandstanding; now it's a main federal law-enforcement-funding program and gun-control measure, severely cut back by funding shortages. 42 U.S.C. § 3760 (Byrne grants) were repealed by P.L. 109-162, Title XI, § 111(b)(1), 119 Stat. 3101 (Jan. 5, 2006). The info below remains for historical purposes. See what it is currently: http://www.ncsl.org/default.aspx?tabid=12700
Firearms trainers nationwide can use the money
Author Calls For National Gun-Safety Training Campaign
A little-known provision signed into law by President Clinton in 1998 would pay for civilian firearms instructors to teach gun safety to the general public.
"It's obvious the public needs to know more about gun safety, just read the news," says Alan Korwin, author of "Gun Laws of America," an unabridged guide to the massive federal gun laws. "This brand new law will save lives, and protect our families," he said. "All we have to do is use it."
Korwin is campaigning to get trainers to use the federal training dollars made available by the President. In 1998, $46.5 million was appropriated for various programs under the Byrne Memorial grants.
Administered by the Bureau of Justice Assistance under the Dept. of Justice, federal law now authorizes grants to individuals who teach the public about lawful use of guns. Korwin is encouraging trainers nationwide to apply for the grant money, on standard DOJ forms, and use it to finance and expand existing firearm-training classes nationwide.
To go directly to the Byrne Grant site
The statute and its summary from the new
Following that is background on the Byrne Grant.
Take a look at "Gun Laws of America" yourself --
If you knew all your rights you might demand them.
UPDATE, February 2006. Although the law specifically allows for using this money to train the public, the public has been completely locked out of the process, as far as I can tell. The federal web pages, which have been changed (new link listed above), don't even seem to have a spot for citizen application anymore, and the application form has been removed (or relocated). If you can find these, let me know. Is it good that the Congress passes laws in our behalf, and then bureaucrats deny us the benefits of those laws? No.
From Edition 3, "Gun Laws of America"
(a) IN GENERAL. -- Section 510 of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 3760 <included below>) is amended --
(1) in subsection (a), by striking paragraph (1) and inserting the following:
''(1) undertaking educational and training programs for --
''(A) criminal justice personnel; and
''(B) the general public, with respect to the lawful and safe ownership, storage, carriage, or use of firearms, including the provision of secure gun storage or safety devices;'';
(2) in the first sentence of subsection (b), by inserting before the period the following: ''and is authorized to make grants to, or enter into contracts with, those persons and entities to carry out the purposes specified in subsection (a)(1)(B) in accordance with subsection (c)''; and
(3) by adding at the end the following:
''(c)(1) In accordance with this subsection, the Director may make a grant to, or enter into a contract with, any person or entity referred to in subsection (b) to provide for a firearm safety program that, in a manner consistent with subsection (a)(1)(B), provides for general public training and dissemination of information concerning firearm safety, secure gun storage, and the lawful ownership, carriage, or use of firearms, including the provision of secure gun storage or safety devices.
''(2) Funds made available under a grant under paragraph (1) may not be used (either directly or by supplanting non-Federal funds) for advocating or promoting gun control, including making communications that are intended to directly or indirectly affect the passage of Federal, State, or local legislation intended to restrict or control the purchase or use of firearms.
''(3) Except as provided in paragraph (4), each firearm safety program that receives funding under this subsection shall provide for evaluations that shall be developed pursuant to guidelines that the Director of the National Institute of Justice of the Department of Justice, in consultation with the Director of the Bureau of Justice Assistance and recognized private entities that have expertise in firearms safety, education and training, shall establish.
''(4) With respect to a firearm safety program that receives funding under this section, the Director may waive the evaluation requirement described in paragraph (3) if the Director determines that the program --
''(A) is not of a sufficient size to justify an evaluation; or
''(B) is designed primarily to provide material resources and supplies, and that activity would not justify an evaluation.''.
(b) EFFECTIVE DATE. -- The amendments made by this section shall take effect on the earlier of --
(1) October 1, 1998; or
(2) the date of enactment of this Act.
U.S.C. Title 42 Sec. 3760. Purposes
(a) The purpose of this subpart is to provide additional Federal financial assistance to public or private agencies and private nonprofit organizations for purposes of -
(1) undertaking educational and training programs for criminal justice personnel;
(2) providing technical assistance to States and local units of government;
(3) undertaking projects which are national or multijurisdictional in scope and which address the purposes specified in section 3752 of this title; and
(4) providing financial assistance to public agencies and private nonprofit organizations for demonstration programs which, in view of previous research or experience, are likely to be a success in more than one jurisdiction.
(b) In carrying out this subpart, the Director <of the Bureau of Justice Assistance> is authorized to make grants to, or enter into contracts with non-Federal public or private agencies, institutions, or organizations or individuals to carry out any purpose specified in section 3751(b) of this title. The Director shall have final authority over all funds awarded under this subpart.
BACKGROUNDER (from the BJA website)
The Byrne Discretionary Grant Program
The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) provides criminal justice support primarily through the Edward Byrne Memorial State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance Program. Under this program, BJA awards two types of grants: formula grants to States and territories and discretionary grants to public and private agencies and private non-profit organizations.
The Discretionary Grant Program Division provides Federal financial assistance to grantees for the following activities directly related to crime and violence prevention and control: educational and training programs for criminal justice personnel <Note: Includes the public as of 1999>; technical assistance to State and local units of government; projects that are national or multijurisdictional in scope; and financial assistance for demonstration programs that, in view of previous research or experience, are likely to be successful in more than one jurisdiction.
For fiscal year 1998, $46.5 million was appropriated for the Discretionary Grant Program. Program priorities focused on developing and implementing comprehensive approaches to crime, neighborhood-based programs with active citizen involvement, and violence prevention and control initiatives. Emphases were on youth violence and on improving the ability of the criminal justice system to remove serious and violent offenders from communities.
NOTE TO APPLICANTS, from Bloomfield Press
-- Talk with your elected federal representatives and their staffs to help you prepare an application and improve its chances of acceptance.
-- Get and read the ten page BJA Fact Sheet on the Byrne Grant from their website. Note that the website has not been updated yet to reflect the new law. Of 26 previously authorized purposes that qualify for funding, two appear to be best suited:
4. Community and neighborhood programs to assist citizens in preventing and controlling crime, including special programs that address crimes committed against the elderly and crime in rural jurisdictions.
18. Programs to improve the criminal and juvenile justice system's response to domestic and family violence, including spouse abuse, child abuse, and abuse of the elderly.
-- The new legislatively authorized purpose, as stated in the law, is: "undertaking educational and training programs for -- '''(B) the general public, with respect to the lawful and safe ownership, storage, carriage, or use of firearms, including the provision of secure gun storage or safety devices;''.
Copyright 1999 Alan Korwin
on gun laws and other topics.