GOP lawmaker looks to ease restrictions on imported firearms

"There is no enumerated definition of a 'sporting purpose' in U.S. law, and no concrete standard of criteria has ever been established by regulation," Collins said. "The phrase is arbitrary and has been subjectively imposed and [defined] by unelected bureaucrats at the ATF.

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"This legislation restores the Second Amendment protection to all guns, not just those arbitrarily classified as used for 'sporting purposes.' "

Collins added that presidential executive orders have also been used to limit access to guns that are not suitable for sporting purposes.

Collins introduced his bill even as congressional Democrats continue to call for tighter gun control laws in the wake of last year's shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, which resulted in the deaths of 20 children.

It also comes at a time of rising firearms imports. According to the Justice Department's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, the number of imported firearms rose from 1,096,782 in 2000 to 3,252,404 in 2011. Approximately 53 percent of those 2011 imported firearms were handguns, whereas 31 percent were rifles and 16 percent were shotguns.

A recent report released by the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics says firearm-related homicides have declined by 39 percent between 1993 and 2011. Despite that, 70 percent of all homicides were committed with guns.