2016 is off to a difficult start for firearms owners and dealers as the President of the United States announced his latest efforts on eliminating gun violence.
While his intention is in the right place, his use of executive actions and policy may not empower the citizens of the nation with the support it needs.
The President has made public the list of actions he wants to see completed. Here is an abbreviated list:
- If you’re in the business of selling firearms, you must get a license and conduct background checks.
- ATF is finalizing a rule to require background checks for people trying to buy some of the most dangerous weapons and other items through a trust, corporation, or other legal entity.
- The FBI will hire more than 230 additional examiners and other staff to help process these background checks.
- The President’s FY2017 budget will include funding for 200 new ATF agents and investigators to help enforce our gun laws
- The President has directed the Departments of Defense, Justice, and Homeland Security to conduct or sponsor research into gun safety technology
The full list can be seen online at the White House‘s site.
While this list is minimal, it does have many key points that the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the National Rifle Association (NRA), and many other pro-gun groups are not happy with. The NRA was not satisfied with the President’s decision to act without the approval of Congress. Secondly, the NRA saw some friction with the President as Obama is pushing for medical records and private medical documents to be made public. Lastly, The NRA and NSSF have been trying to lobby most states to provide the critical information that would help solidify the NICS system.
The executive actions will not affect law abiding gun owners. However, these orders also do more to hinder your Second Amendment right if you do become mentally ill, and cannot care for yourself. The Executive Actions will not allow you to pass the background National Instant Criminal Background Check system because you will be flagged for being an at-risk mental health patient. Weapon sales would be prohibited to you until you are removed from the NICS. The FBI will hire 230 agents to process backgrounds 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in order to make this process more obtainable. Being able to process checks that often might be a bonus for arms dealers as dealers would be able to literally sell weapons as often as they like.
Anyone who chooses to sell a weapon will be required to have a license from the ATF, regardless of whether the sale is done privately or at a dealer’s office. All weapons sales will require a permit attached to the sale, and the ATF will be responsible for determining who gets the licenses and who does not.
Atty Gen. Lynch has stated that as little as one or two sales could constitute a person being a “dealer.” Some concerns expressed about the licensing is that the federal administration will begin a nationwide registry that will show who had which weapons and who now possesses them. The weapons information has been stopped by Congress from being recorded before and Congress has indicated that a firearm registry is clearly prohibited by the Firearm Owner’s Protection Act of 1986.
The NSSF and the NRA have been lobbying to get states to give the FBI the names of people who are legally barred from buying a gun for mental-health reasons. Some states and municipalities are still failing to provide the information which would strengthen the NICS. The only way to really help background checks is if states submit info that is drastically needed to identify those that have mental health issues and felonies.
Many Americans feel we should stay focused and see what barriers might arise in the near future that we will have to deal with together.
To clarify, the President’s main role is to enforce laws that are already on the books. The president is the highest authority when enforcing all federal crimes. President Obama has taken several executive actions that he feels will aid in his goals. An executive order of the president must find support in the Constitution, either in a clause granting the president specific power, or by a delegation of power by Congress to the president.