CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
H.R. 1333 is being considered under suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds vote for passage. The legislation was introduced by Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) on May 3, 2009.
H.R. 1333 would amend the federal criminal code to extend the exemption from prohibitions on the transportation, shipment, receipt, or importation of explosive materials to federally-recognized Indian tribes or agencies of such tribes.
This legislation is intended to address a concern of the Pascua Yaqui tribe, who use fireworks in religious ceremonies, and currently, cannot obtain a license under current law because licenses for storage must be a State or "subdivision thereof", or a company. Because tribes classify as neither a State nor corporation, they are in need of a special exemption. The Bureau of Alcohol and Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) has issued a statement in support of H.R. 1333. According to ATF, "H.R. 1333 would exempt federally recognized Indian tribes from the requirement to obtain a federal explosives license or permit and to report employee possessors of explosives, as are State government agencies. We note, nonetheless, that, like State agencies, under the proposed amendment, it will be necessary for federally recognized Indian tribes to comply with the federal explosives storage regulations specified under 27 C.F.R., Part 555, Subpart K - Storage. These regulations provide that explosive materials must be stored in properly constructed explosives storage magazines, which cannot be placed within certain minimum distances from inhabited buildings, public highways, and other explosives storage magazines. These storage requirements were established to help ensure the safety of the licensee/permittee and the general public."
There is no Congressional Budget Office (CBO) cost estimate yet available for H.R. 1333.