Purported to close “gun show loophole” regarding background checks
In stark contrast to French president Francois Hollande’s strong response to the Paris terror attacks, Obama gave a half-hearted address to the nation four days after the San Bernardino terror attack . . . and busied himself with gun control.
According to the AP, the Obama administration is working on an executive order that would “close the gun show loophole”:
President Barack Obama’s advisers are finalizing a proposal that would expand background checks on gun sales without congressional approval.
White House adviser Valerie Jarrett says the president has asked his team to complete a proposal and submit it for his review “in short order.” She says the recommendations will include measures to expand background checks.
. . . . White House officials have said they’re exploring closing the so-called “gun show loophole” that allows people to buy weapons at gun shows and online without a background check.
The Guardian has further details, including a statement by Valerie Jarrett who seems to be spear-heading this move:
Barack Obama has ordered officials to draw up an urgent new plan to strengthen background checks on gun buyers without the approval of Congress.
The president has asked his advisers to complete a proposal and submit it for his review, White House adviser Valerie Jarrett said.
“The president has directed his team in short order to finalise a set of recommendations on what more the administration can do on its own to save lives from gun violence, and those recommendations will include making sure we do everything we can to keep guns out of the wrong hands, including those expanded background checks,” Jarrett told a national gun violence vigil in Washington.
Watch the following report:
Not only is there debate about the “gun show loophole,” but according to the recent uptick in gun manufacturer stocks and the historical high in the sale of guns and ammo, Americans are not interested in further gun control.
However, the White House believes that there is an appetite for gun control in the country, an appetite about which apparently only they are aware.
The Guardian continues:
On Thursday, the White House spokesman, Josh Earnest, said the review that Jarrett referred to had been under way for “the past couple of months” but claimed there was now increased appetite for fresh reform attempts among the US public in the recent weeks.
“These are essentially recommendations that the president has asked for from his staff based on their review of available executive authority,” Earnest told reporters on Thursday.
“The working assumption of this ongoing review is that Congress hasn’t acted and that’s been the source of immense frustration on the part of the president,” he added. “So given the congressional inaction, the question that’s been raised is what more can the Obama administration do, and that’s the substance of this review.”
. . . . Jarrett told Wednesday night’s vigil: “Americans are mobilising. Two weeks ago I met at the White House with a group of gun owners who believe in the need for change. Many were former NRA [National Rifle Association] members who made clear to me that the NRA no longer represents them, and they assured me that many more gun owners were feeling the same.”
Charles Cooke, writing at the National Review, calls the plan a “big nothing.”
It’s almost certain that Jarrett is referring to the same plan that Obama has been flirting with for a while: To redefine “gun dealer” so that the ATF can go after a handful of people who sell multiple firearms privately. Frankly, that plan is a big nothing. As I explained a month or so ago:
Even if we presume that the plan is both legal and workable — and, given how tightly both USC18§921 and USC18§922 are written, I am as skeptical as the president was a few hours ago — the benefits would be microscopic. Were Obama to change the regulations, the Post confirms, he would ensnare only “those dealers who sell at least 50 guns annually” — a tiny fraction of those who sell firearms on the private market. He would not be “closing the gun-show loophole”; he would not be “extending background checks to private sales”; and he would not be elongating the three-day period during which the government is able to search for disqualifying information. Nor, for that matter, would he be banning a single “assault” weapon, limiting even one magazine, or confiscating even a part of a gun. He’d be posturing, and uncomfortably at that.
Moreover, the clock is not in Obama’s favor here. The Administrative Procedure Act requires that the new “rule” be presented for notice and comment before becoming active. That means that, if Obama follows the law, he probably won’t get this done by the time he leaves office. And if he doesn’t follow the law? Well, then he risks being slapped down by a federal court. As for the proposal itself, a serious statutory challenge is all but inevitable.
Unless Obama has something else up his sleeve I wouldn’t worry too much about this. He’s playing to the cameras and to the ignorant.
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