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Obama’s Gun Control “Executive Order” is Political Theater of the Absurd

Obama’s Gun Control “Executive Order” is Political Theater of the Absurd

Won’t stop any crimes, may even make lawful purchase of some types of weapons easier.

Obama can once again lay credible claim to the title of “Best Gun Salesman Ever.”

His recently announced policy changes on guns not only do nothing to discourage gun purchases, they if anything facilitate even greater volumes of gun sales, and in particular machine guns, suppressors, short-barreled rifles/shotguns, and other highly controlled “NFA” items.  The ATF guidance purported to close the “gun show loophole” (spoiler: it doesn’t, because there isn’t such a thing) and the ATF policy “change” on NFA items are both embedded at the bottom of this post. Warning: Like Obama himself, both documents are extremely wordy and with little real-world effect.

Obama is “Best Gun Salesman Ever”

This is entirely consistent with Obama’s actual effect on gun sales over both of his terms, during which sales have skyrocketed compared to prior administrations. The past 7 years of the Obama administration constitute only 40% of the time the modern NICS system has been in place, but nearly 60% of all NICS checks run.

Yesterday the ATF reported that it had conducted more than 23 million NICS background checks in 2015. That means in 2015 there were on average 44 NICS checks run every minute of the year. EVERY. MINUTE.

Here’s a helpful chart, courtesy of the always excellent blog, to illustrate the point graphically:


(Note: I added the blue highlight.)

The trend of NICS checks contrasts nicely with the Bureau of Labor statistics trend on Labor Participation during Obama’s reign:

BLS Labor Participation

In December 2015 alone, with Obama making great sound and fury about his planned “executive orders” on guns, more than 3.3 million NICS checks were run. 3.3 MILLION.

To put that in context, the US has about 1.4 million active service military personnel. Conservatively assuming that each NICS check corresponds to a single firearm (but see below), that means sales of firearms to private American citizens in the month of December alone could have fully re-equipped every person actively serving in the US military with a firearm. TWICE. And still leave 500,000 additional guns unallocated.

If anything, in fact, the number of NICS checks grossly underestimates the number of guns being purchase. In many states, a valid concealed carry permit is accepted in lieu of a NICS check for gun purchasing purposes, the permit itself having required a background check. In addition, a single NICS check is valid for the purchase of multiple firearms, not just one. Finally, no NICS check is required (in most states) for a private sale between two individuals not “engaged in business,” and Obama’s new policy does nothing to change this.

Obama’s “Policy Changes” Change Almost Nothing

So, with Obama’s amazing gun-selling chops as background, what policy changes were actually implemented by Obama’s “Executive Order” yesterday?  Absolutely none.

First, it must be noted that what was issued yesterday was not, in fact, an “executive order” by the President, but merely an “executive guidance” by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (BATFE). The portion of the policy change related to the “gun show loophole” states explicitly on its second page: “The guidance set forth herein has no regulatory effect … ”  Further, at least part of that guidance (the portion addressing changes to rules for NFA items, such as machine guns) will not even take effect until 180 days after publication in the Federal Register, and it’s not clear that step has even been taken as yet.

Second, much of the proposed “policy changes” are simply re-statements of the law as it currently existed.  The “closing” of the “gun show loophole” is particularly laughable.  Prior to yesterday, gun dealers were subject to NICS requirements, and this was true whether they sold the gun out of their shop, at a gun show, or out of the trunk of their car in a parking lot.  Private sellers who are not gun dealers were not subject to NICS requirements.

After Obama’s policy “change”? Exactly the same rules apply. Zero change.

Third, Obama proposed changes actually will make easier the sale of such NFA-controlled items such as machine guns, suppressors, and short-barreled rifles/shotguns than they have been in the past.  Prior to yesterday, such sales required sign-off by a local law enforcement officer.  In many states where such items are legal, law enforcement in “blue” areas would routinely refuse to sign off on NFA items, making them effectively prohibited to those residents.

After Obama’s policy change? Buyers of NFA items now merely need to notify local law enforcement of the transfer, not obtain their approval.

[Clarification (1/6/16; AFB): Please see comments below.]

Fourth, Obama’s proposed changes promise to make the NICS check system more efficient.  In recent times it has become not uncommon for the NICS check to backlog badly during periods of high-volume buying.

After Obama’s policy change? Obama says he’s going to increase NICS staffing at the FBI by 50%, from 150 to 230.  Making NICS better staffed and more efficient, then, will serve to facilitate even more gun purchases.  “Best gun salesman ever,” indeed.

Fifth, Obama’s proposed changes include “budgeting” (but, notably, not actual “money”) for several gun-control favored initiatives already proven to be costly failures.  One of these is for a National Integrated Ballistics Information Network (NIBIN).  Just such a system was tried by Maryland for 15 years, costing state taxpayers over $5 million, and was never decisive in solving even a single crime. Maryland finally abandoned the system last year.  So, yeah, let’s implement that demonstrable failure on a national level.

Sixth, Obama proposes some $500 million for mental illness efforts.  Ironically, this is an initiative that has been called for as much by Republicans who disfavor increased restrictions on lawful gun ownership as by those who favor gun control.  No rational person wants the genuinely insane to be in possession of firearms.  Oh, and it was already unlawful for them to be in such possession even before Obama’s policy change.

There are a few other tidbits thrown into the mess that was Obama’s “policy changes” on gun laws yesterday, but each is weaker sauce than the last. A thorough once-over of all the pieces can be found at Bob Owen’s excellent site.

Professor Jacobson wondered why Obama would make such a big fuss over something that amounts to so little, especially given that it seems likely to do political harm to the Democrats.  I like one of the explanations offered by Jonathan Adler over at The Volokh Conspiracy blog:

A third potential reason for issuing a guidance of this sort is political: to respond to the political demand for action. Issuing a guidance document with substantial fanfare is a way to create the impression of action and satisfy relevant constituencies. To the typical, rationally ignorant voter, it may appear that the administration is doing something significant. (And insofar as Republicans complain and caterwaul about the administration’s actions, this purpose is more fully achieved.)

I would also add my personal observation that Obama has never given any indication that he cares a whit about how his conduct impacts Democrat political fortunes or anything else that isn’t “Obama.”  Narcissism is like that.  As long as the New York Times is writing pleasing homages to President Obama, all is good with the world.

As has been noted well by others, the Obama presidency has been nothing short of a disaster for the Democrat party, which has been gutted over the last 7 years. There’s a reason the Democrat nominees for President are 68-year-old Hillary Clinton, 74-year-old Bernie Sanders, and some young whipper-snapper from Maryland who can’t get double digit numbers of people to show up at his events: under Obama the Democratic “bench” has been eviscerated.  I don’t expect Obama to start caring about that any time soon.

“If I want to sell guns to Mexico . . . “

Finally, this bit of funny from the official Facebook page of the ATF, which solicited questions about the “gun dealer policy changes” announced yesterday and received this witty inquiry:

Screen Shot 2016-01-05 at 1.50.03 PM

Anyway, here’s yesterday’s ATF guidance that purports to close the “gun show loophole”:

And here’s yesterday’s rule on NFA items:

–-Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

Attorney Andrew Branca and his firm Law of Self Defense have been providing internationally-recognized expertise in American self-defense law for almost 20 years in the form of blogging, books, live seminars & online training (both accredited for CLE), public speaking engagements, and individualized legal consultation.
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“Tears of a clown”

Like I’ve said…just boob-bait for the Collectivists, and a giant distraction from REAL stuff.

    healthguyfsu in reply to Ragspierre. | January 5, 2016 at 5:17 pm

    Robo tears…I see robo tears!

    holdingmynose in reply to Ragspierre. | January 6, 2016 at 11:33 am

    Obama cared so much about this issue that he waited until the final year of his administration to do this meaningless photo-op. As Branca noted it was really all about him. Someone counted 76 self references in his talk. Typical Obama.

      damocles in reply to holdingmynose. | January 9, 2016 at 10:35 am

      I really hope that Cruz gets into the White House and reverses whatever nonsense Obama has tried. I do not have the same confidence in the other person running in the lead currently, as he seemed to have a problem with assault weapons up until very recently (when he decided that running for President as a Republican was a viable option).

Can we get him to reopen the NFA registry for new machine guns?

So when AG Lynch says the threshold to be a seller requiring an FFL is “one” firearm, in conjunction with other metrics, just who decides and when? One day the speed limit sign says “55” and the next one gets pulled over for doing 1 mph in a “O” mph zone…. What I do not like is the concept of being arrested and tried on charges that are determined after the event. As for doctors and patients, the Pediatrics branch of medicine has very stalwart gun control proponents. Look for calls to the FBI for ‘Child safety” if parents do not answer “no” to any gun ownership. Look for lawsuits against doctors for not calling the FBI.

    Sanddog in reply to alaskabob. | January 5, 2016 at 5:29 pm

    That isn’t even remotely legal under current law. The opinion of one doctor doesn’t not pass the due process requirements of formal adjudication. Expect to see doctors sued for violating privacy rights.

      ugottabekiddinme in reply to Sanddog. | January 5, 2016 at 5:57 pm

      But Sanddog, don’t you recall how, when ValJar vetted Lynch for AG, she made clear that recommending her to Preezy required Lynch to agree and promise not to read ever again any actually enacted federal laws? They get in Preezy’s way, pesky things.

      Milhouse in reply to Sanddog. | January 6, 2016 at 7:50 pm

      That isn’t even remotely legal under current law. The opinion of one doctor doesn’t not pass the due process requirements of formal adjudication.

      That’s right, it doesn’t, and 0bama has not purported to change that. Doctors will not be able to report patients to NICS and get them banned from owning guns. If a doctor is concerned about a patient’s safety he can and should take it to the appropriate channels just as he could before; the law hasn’t changed at all. Doctors will be getting a letter reminding them of this, that’s all.

      The new HHS rule that 0bama trumpeted as if it were a big change deals with people who have already been adjudicated incompetent by a court, board, commission, etc., and are already banned under current law from owning guns. But what happens then? Some agencies who do this adjudicating have received legal advice that they’re not allowed to tell NICS about it, because HIPAA! That’s insane, as I’m sure you’ll agree, and the new HHS rule addresses it by giving them permission to give NICS the information it needs, but only that information. They’re still not allowed to disclose a person’s actual diagnosis; just the bare fact that he’s been adjudicated unfit to own weapons.

    Rick the Curmudgeon in reply to alaskabob. | January 5, 2016 at 10:03 pm

    Look for lawsuits against doctors for not calling the FBI.

    Or for calling the FBI.

    The “other metrics” makes it sound far more arbitrary than it apparently is. I was patient. I waited for a blog to post the current law. It’s very explicit stuff.

    There are no metrics, multiple. The only metric is whether you’re engaged in the regular sale of firearms rather than the occasional sale. That’s all. This is just broadcasting a willingness to sue everyone and see what the courts give them. …Which, given the atrocious and negligent refusal to prosecute existing violators of such laws, is quite a bold position to take.

    Milhouse in reply to alaskabob. | January 6, 2016 at 7:35 pm

    So when AG Lynch says the threshold to be a seller requiring an FFL is “one” firearm, in conjunction with other metrics, just who decides and when? One day the speed limit sign says “55” and the next one gets pulled over for doing 1 mph in a “O” mph zone…

    That’s not what she said. She said there is no threshold. And she’s right; there never was one. One sale has always been enough, if other evidence shows you are a genuine dealer. For instance, if you have business cards that say “John Smith, gun dealer”, that’s a good indication that you are a dealer, even if you’re so unsuccessful, or so part time, or so new at it, that you’ve only made one sale.

    There is no speed limit on this road, just the law against driving too fast for the conditions. If it’s snowing heavily then 10 MPH may be too fast. If it’s perfect weather and a straight road, 85 MPH may not be too fast.

    What I do not like is the concept of being arrested and tried on charges that are determined after the event.

    That won’t happen. But there are many laws that depend on a determination of someone’s intent, or of a pattern of behavior indicating something, and it’s up to a court to determine this.

G. de La Hoya | January 5, 2016 at 5:13 pm

Thank you Mr. Branca. This is the most informative I have read thus far. I will also check out your links. Keep up the excellent work!

Here is how Federal Law defines people “engaged in the business” of selling firearms:

18 U.S. Code § 921 (a)(21)(C):

(C) as applied to a dealer in firearms, as defined in section 921(a)(11)(A), a person who devotes time, attention, and labor to dealing in firearms as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit through the repetitive purchase and resale of firearms, but such term shall not include a person who makes occasional sales, exchanges, or purchases of firearms for the enhancement of a personal collection or for a hobby, or who sells all or part of his personal collection of firearms; – See more at:

That’s the actual law, not Lynch’s opinion that selling a single firearm in the “original packaging” could constitute being in the biz. As for the “original packaging” quote from Lynch, that came straight from who apparently are now writing Obama’s EO’s for him. Since they are not firearms owners themselves, they don’t realize it’s extremely common to keep the “original packaging” when you purchase a firearm. I have the case or box for every firearm I’ve ever bought. If I have to send it back for repairs or if I decide to sell it, having the original packaging is a plus.

    sjf_control in reply to Sanddog. | January 5, 2016 at 5:45 pm

    So, yoU sell the firearm by itself, then as a separate transaction, sell the original packaging as a separate transaction (for some nominal fee). Seems like a no-brainier to me!

    ugottabekiddinme in reply to Sanddog. | January 5, 2016 at 5:59 pm

    But Sanddog, don’t you recall how, when ValJar vetted Lynch for AG, she made clear that recommending her to Preezy required Lynch to agree and promise not to read ever again any actually enacted federal laws? They get in Preezy’s way, pesky things.

    Yea, the “original packaging” line is laughable, especially since the “original packaging” of almost all handguns, and some long guns, is a nice, hard-sided case with foam inserts cut to the exact shape of that firearm and all its accessories.

    Why would we throw out such a convenient package in which to store or transport that firearm, or want to keep it after the firearm that came with it has been sold?

      Milhouse in reply to Archer. | January 6, 2016 at 1:36 pm

      Yes, and no court is going to find that you’re a dealer on the basis of selling a gun that you’ve had for a while, and used, in its original case. The reference was clearly to some sort of outer packaging (which usually doesn’t exist), or to someone who sells a weapon without ever having taken it out of its case (though how they could possibly know that is a mystery).

      The bottom line, though, is and always has been that if you’re both buying and selling guns, and you’re doing so for the primary purpose of profit, then you’re a dealer and need a license, and it makes not the slightest difference how busy you are at it. All this other stuff is just indications of how someone who isn’t a mind reader can know whether you’re in the business. Printing up business cards that say “John Smith, gun dealer” is a pretty good indication, I’m sure you’ll agree, and you need to get a license before you make your first sale.

so they took the un enforceable and un trackable and idiotic idea that Washington state voters passed and want to make that a national program?

Fine- is the guy breaking into a house and stealing a gun going to pass that background check????

look forward to Trump dumping it.

I think the gun grabber handbook new revised strategy is:

pass little to nothing

hope to get a gun violence study either outright fabricated or fudged to show that little to nothing measures curbed gun violence (hence recent outrage about cdc ban on gun research)

use said fabricated/fudged study to build momentum for bigger measures

Professor, what do you think of the recent developments in the Michael Slauger case? His bonding out, and speedy trial problems.

What about the juror in the Porter case telling reporters she would like to talk about the case, but won’t vbecause the judge asked them not to.

    (1) I’m not a Professor.

    (2) Bail is bail. As for speedy trial, I expect from Slager’s perspective a lengthy delay is a good thing, especially given that he’s now made bail.

    (3) No opinion on the juror. What jurors have to say after they’ve been subjected to the pressures of the community often bears scarce resemblance to what actually happened during deliberations.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      HandyGandy in reply to Andrew Branca. | January 6, 2016 at 12:00 am

      0. I would not normally push this any further. But since I felt I needed to respond to 1. I thought I would respond to the rest.

      1. My sincerest apologies.
      2. My concern with bail is that for at least six months and probably closer to nine, the judge denied bail. The stated reason was that he is a danger to the community. Now that speedy trial concerns come up he grants bail. Suddenly Slager is not a danger to the community?

      The stories I read say that Slager has asserted his speedy trial rights and has not waived them. The judge ruled the trial be moved back anyway. The reason that the prosecution gave for the delay is that they cannot try Roof and Slager at the same time. To me that doesn’t semm like a good enough reason. They don’t have two lawyers in the SC State Attorney’s office?

      3. What community pressure? The Sun found out her name. They went to her and she said “Sorry. I really want to talk about it, but the judge asked us not to.”. Since she is a lawyer who may appear in front of this judge, I understand that she does not want to piss off the judge.

      But there are some new repercussions. Checking out the story, some news agencies are now complaining in court. It’s not clear how they are doing this though.

      I’m sorry. I didn’t give details about either story, because I was in a hurry before. That may have given you false impressions.

      Something else I stumbled across when checking for the latest in the juror situation:
      The prosecution is giving Porter use immunity and have subpoenaed him. He is fighting it. The story occurred late in the day, no doubt you will be all over it tomorrow–time permitting.

      I have a question about that. Can the judge force him to take the stand and have him assert his fifth amendment rights on the stand, or would that be too prejudicial.

How about the THREAT to file charges on someone (me) for the offense of advertising a gun “occasionally” on I don’t want to have to defend myself to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars for the few bux I might get for selling my collection of Pythons.

    Ragspierre in reply to Fiftycaltx. | January 5, 2016 at 6:12 pm

    Not that I have any personal experience (cough, cough) here, because I don’t personally own any guns. They were all stolen, see? Every one. YEARS ago…

    But I understand that many, if not MOST, sales via the on-line sites can be run at nominal cost through a FFL holder.

    Not that I know anything about any of that….

      Sanddog in reply to Ragspierre. | January 5, 2016 at 6:43 pm

      I handle transfers for dozens of gunboker sales each year. I even ship firearms for customers who have sold them on gunbroker. All federal laws are complied with to the letter.

        Fiftycaltx in reply to Sanddog. | January 5, 2016 at 6:49 pm

        Correct and that doesn’t matter. The “way” Obama stated his “guidance” means to be “safe” I would have to structure the SALE differently. And it’s all bullshit and paperwork. And COST more.

      Fiftycaltx in reply to Ragspierre. | January 5, 2016 at 6:43 pm

      Quite true. Here’s the deal. I sell a Python on gunbroker. I have a business that I can take credit cards, NOT as a “gun dealer”. I ship my sales thru a FFL, he puts the gun on HIS bound book. I do this so I can ship the PISTOL VIA THE POST OFFICE! And it is shipped to the buyers FFL. AFTER my FFL gets the buyers FFL. BUTT, Obama and henchmen intimated that I would have to get a FFL, because I am the “seller”. Not the FFL I ship thru. Not the FFL that receives the interstate shipment. ME. And I CANNOT GET AN FFL because I don’t have a “bricks and mortar store front”. A FFL costs $200 and I would have to have a store front at $XXXX per month. BUTT Obama don’t care. All he wants to do is keep people from having gunz.

        Ragspierre in reply to Fiftycaltx. | January 5, 2016 at 7:12 pm

        I’m not meaning to be critical here, but I think you may be worried about stuff that you needn’t worry about.

        You process gets a background check done. So kinda end of story.

        On the “bricks and mortar” thingy, see this…

          Sanddog in reply to Ragspierre. | January 5, 2016 at 9:48 pm

          The ATF is rather strict about home based businesses. Before you’re licensed, you’re visited by an ATF agent who inspects your place of business, asks about security and wants to know what days of the week and hours of the day you’re going to be open. If the answer isn’t 5 days at 8 hours per day, good luck.

    Milhouse in reply to Fiftycaltx. | January 6, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    If you’re just selling off your collection, and not buying, then you have no problem. If you do still occasionally buy guns, but not the same kind that you’re simultaneously selling or have recently sold, then again you have no problem. If you never sell a gun that you haven’t had and used for a while, or displayed if its the sort that’s for show rather than use, then again no problem. If you routinely sell guns without turning a profit, again no problem. These are all not the way dealers work.

    Dealers buy for the purpose of selling at a profit, the sooner the better. If your behavior appears consistent with that, but you aren’t really a dealer, then you have a problem, and always did. 0bama’s announcement didn’t change that.

    Of course if you really are buying for the purpose of selling at a profit then you are a dealer, and do need a license, even if you hardly ever make a sale.

Henry Hawkins | January 5, 2016 at 6:06 pm

So now Obama is drowning his straw men?


    “If it saves just one strawman…”

      Just another very lame duck, flapping his wings and splashing around in the pond.

      If any of this stuff was REALLY important to him, he would have tried to get the Dem congress to pass it before the Republicans took over. But he couldn’t even deliver enough Dem-only votes for any of this crap to pass as a law.

      “Quack, quack!”

Awww, how sad. Poor maobama had tears in his eyes for the little kids. I guess the rest of America isn’t as big a worry for him when he’s letting criminals back onto the street with his last release, including 12 that had guns when they were arrested. Gotta propagandize those little kids quickly before they can learn the truth.

Why even the Chicago cops at the airport are told to run and hide during an active shooter incident.
The nearly 300 unarmed police officers patrolling Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway airports have been told to “run and hide” during active shootings.

Where are the feds for Chicago kids. You know, the city he community organized? Or were the gangs and their violence part of his organizing for America?
Monday, January 04, 2016
America Doesn’t Have a Gun Problem, It Has a Democrat Problem

    Sharpshooter in reply to 4fun. | January 6, 2016 at 1:22 am

    “‘Where are the feds for Chicago kids. You know, the city he community organized? Or were the gangs and their violence part of his organizing for America?”

    The gangs will be part of his nation wide confiscation efforts.

    (Recall Buttcracks calling or a new militia as well equipped as the regular military in Colorado Springs in 2008)

Can anyone tell me how he got that tear to streak down his face?

    4fun in reply to davod. | January 5, 2016 at 6:40 pm

    I can say for sure Davod, it wasn’t obama crying over the death of children due to abortions.
    He probably channeled his inner Boehner.

    Ragspierre in reply to davod. | January 5, 2016 at 6:42 pm

    Ammonia-soaked cuff-links.

    Or he may have been thinking about having to travel with MoooOOOooochelle when he leaves office…

    Henry Hawkins in reply to davod. | January 5, 2016 at 6:46 pm

    There actually is a fake tears trick used by magicians, psychics, scam artists, and the like. It’s a mixture of mineral oil and a clear thickener (wax is common) that is placed under the eyes before appearing to the folks you’re trying to scam. After several minutes, your body heat melts the admixture till it begins to run like tears.

    Many churches with ‘miraculous’ weeping statues and paintings have been caught doing this over the years, though they use a chemical to generate the little heat needed to start the melting and ‘weeping’.

    Skeptic Henry, busting paranormal scams since 1972.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to davod. | January 5, 2016 at 6:53 pm

    Simplest answer is skin oils. The oils on your skin, not to mention all the other stuff we collect on our skin throughout a day, are naturally irritating to the eyes. That’s why rubbing your eye when it is irritated only causes more irritation and thus more tear production.

    So he swipes his hand across his eyes with his eyes slightly open and Bingo instant tears.

    What is much more important to me is the eyes themselves and what’s behind them. There is a good article over at Breitbart that gives several closeups of Obama’s eyes, I invite you to go look at them, what you will see behind them is no sadness nor remorse certainly not for victims of “gun violence”, like that is worse than other forms of violence. Here is the link.

    Watch the looped segment at the beginning you can see him touch is eye, lol. I told you above what I didn’t see in his eyes, but I won’t tell you what I did see there, that you can make up your own mind on.

    Rick the Curmudgeon in reply to davod. | January 5, 2016 at 10:09 pm

    Vick’s Vap-O-Rub or similar on his fingers.

David Burge @iowahawkblog

Here’s a way to immediately cut US gun homicides by 5%: give Chicago to Canada
12:05 PM – 5 Jan 2016


    Milhouse in reply to Ragspierre. | January 6, 2016 at 2:06 pm

    Excellent plan, sir, I only see one tiny problem. What else would we have to give them to compensate them for taking Chicago?

    ConradCA in reply to Ragspierre. | January 9, 2016 at 1:24 pm

    Here is a plan to cut the crime rate nearly in half.

    1) End all welfare for those able to work. Force them to find jobs so they will start to take responsibility for their own lives.

    2) Open up millions of low skill jobs for our former welfare dependents by removing illegals from our country. Make being an illegal alien a felony punishable by 3 years in prison along with making providing aid to illegals a felony punishable by 1 year in prison for each offense with sentences to be served consecutively. Aid being employment, government benefits, drivers licenses and sanctuaries. Offer a $100 bounty for each illegal reported by US citizens who ends up being deported.

    3) Make it a federal crime to use a firearm during the commission of a felony and punish those convicted 30 years in a federal prison.

    4)Implement 3 strikes your out nation wide to so repeat felons are permanently removed from society.

Well at least its good to know I will have one less step in getting the can for my .22 Ruger LITE. 🙂

WH today: Obama tears up recalling the mass abortion of millions of children and the children of the victims of Fast and Furious and the children of the victims of Benghazi and the children of the victims of Islam’s terrorists and the disfigured children born after Iran’s Nuclear war…and…

Wrong legacy: Obama poked himself in the eye with his loaded finger.

Obama tears up while poking Democratic Party in the eye.

Henry Hawkins | January 5, 2016 at 8:21 pm

I spoke to my brother-in-law this afternoon who is a Social Security recipient whose wife serves as his representative payee, though I’m not sure why in that he appears fully competent to me. Anyway, he is at risk of losing his 2A rights to own a weapon due to this.

My bro-in-law is a Viet Nam vet, a retired attorney, former prosecuting attorney (if anyone recalls the case, he prosecuted the PETA POS’s who were ‘saving’ pets from NC shelters so they wouldn’t be euthanized, killing them anyway in their truck 2 miles down the road, and dumping the bodies in any available dumpster). He holds a valid NC concealed carry permit andowns several handguns. He’s a pillar of the community type, has two sons in the military, also topnotch, squared away men (as is his civilian daughter, a special ed teacher).

I went to Branca’s Law Of Self Defense website and sent an email outlining his situation in case Mr. B would value a current victim who could inform him of whatever happens on this from the victim perspective. If so, I’ll hook them up.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to Henry Hawkins. | January 5, 2016 at 9:47 pm

    Called my bro-in-law about why his wife was his representative payee when he isn’t mentally incapacitated and is fully capable of managing his benefits. I’d forgotten she was a 30 year supervisory employee of the Social Security Administration, now retired, knows that stuff inside and out, and could manage the bureaucratic complexities far better than he (or anyone else not so employed/trained).

    There is supposed to be some mechanism for redress, but we’ll see. They also told us Obamacare would be awesome.

So we’re these Executive Actions or Executive Orders. Is there a difference, I have seen there referred to as both.
No sense mentioning enforcing existing law. Like the woman that purchased the gun for the killer of the pregnant woman officer in NE getting probation.

    Apparently an ‘order’ is a change in written policy and can be challenged, rescinded by Congress, etc. An ‘action’ is a ‘do this and this’ directive not subject to those things because it supposedly fits under existing policy, but assigns priorities for the use of scarce resources to fulfill particular ones first.

    Such effort ought to be used to tell them to knock it off and enforce existing law as you suggest.

I thought that I was was going to see a few minutes of “Let’s Make a Deal’ on TV before the noon news was on, but instead this “thing” had started. I had to rewind the DVR and rewatch it because it was so absurd. Most points have already been covered, but I would like to comment on the “if only one life is saved” concept presented again today by the President. Earlier today, I saw this report of a home invasion by three armed men in Trotwood, Ohio, who kicked in a door before sunrise to gain access to a home on a dead end private road that held one awake woman doing laundry and four sleeping children. They pistol whipped the woman and forced her to lead them to a safe in the home, located in a back bedroom with two sleeping children:

Be sure to allow enough time for the video from the local TV station to start, and understand that the surveillance video is not presented in the order that it was recorded.

Fortunately for the woman and children, while the armed invaders were preoccupied with the safe, the woman reached for a hidden handgun and started firing four shots. She successfully drove them off, killing at least one, who died outside the home.

Does Obama have a tear or two for this woman? Not bloody likely.

Did the woman’s having a concealed, loaded handgun and the ability to effectively use it, save her life and the lives of the four children? Very bloody likely.

I will loudly oppose any measure that will prevent anyone else from being able to do what that woman did.

It doesn’t matter how insignificant the changes might be. It’s only important that they’ve tightened the noose a little more. Next year they’ll tighten it more and there’s no opposition party to stop it, let alone loosen it.

For a highly readable novel with a detailed history of gun control, I recommend “Unintended Consequences” by John Ross. It’s $40 in paperback with shipping. It’s strong stuff. It’s also available free on the Internet in PDF form if you can stand reading that much on a computer.

The Packetman | January 6, 2016 at 8:47 am

It’s arguable that purchasing NFA weapons has been made ‘easier’.

The NFA action is actually a separate question form Obama’s executive orders/action/guidance (known as 41p) and has to do with trusts. Trusts have increasingly been used to bypass the CLEO sign-off on NFA weapons. Trust purchases also didn’t require photos or fingerprints. the change to the CLEO sign-off being now a CLEO notification does nothing to make it easier but now the principals in the trust must furnish photos and fingerprints.

    Ah, good point, thanks. That’s why I claim expertise in use-of-force law and not gun law.

    I’ll add a note of clarification to the text of the post.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

    Milhouse in reply to The Packetman. | January 6, 2016 at 2:35 pm

    You’re wrong about that, and Andrew was right the first time. The final rule says (emphasis mine):

    The Department has also reassessed the need for CLEO certification and is implementing a new approach that focuses on notifying CLEOs. The final rule only requires that the applicant maker or transferee, including each responsible person for a trust or legal entity, provide a notice to the appropriate State or local official that an application is being submitted to ATF.

    The part I’ve highlighted shows that this paragraph is not confined to trusts or legal entities. As part of the integration of trusts and legal entities into the system, the requirement has been eliminated for everybody. This reading is explicitly confirmed by this paragraph (again, emphasis mine):

    This final rule also requires that all those who apply to make or receive an NFA firearm, as well as all responsible persons for each trust or legal entity applicant or transferee, notify their local CLEO that an application has been filed with ATF before the applicant or transferee is permitted to make or receive an NFA firearm.

    Current regulations require individuals, but not trusts or legal entities, to obtain CLEO certification before making or receiving an NFA firearm. ATF estimates that the total cost of the CLEO notification requirement will be approximately $5.8 million annually ($0.5 million for individuals; $5.3 million for legal entities). The current cost of CLEO certification for individuals is approximately $2.26 million annually. Consequently, the final rule’s estimated net cost increase is approximately $3.6 million annually. This increase, however, primarily involves costs to responsible persons for trusts and legal entities that had not previously been required to register, and will be offset by cost savings to individuals. ATF estimates the change in the final rule to a notice requirement will save individuals approximately $1.8 million annually.

    So there you have it. The requirement for individuals to get a CLEO certification has been eliminated, thus reducing the cost to individuals from $2.26M to $0.5M.

      The Packetman in reply to Milhouse. | January 7, 2016 at 11:24 am


      You may be technically correct but in practice, I’m still on the better end.

      While there are other benefits to having NFA items in a trust, the use of trusts jumped when it was realized that there was no CLEO sign-off required, nor were fingerprints or photos of principals required with a trust. Trusts were therefore primarily used to bypass a recalcitrant CLEO and enable resident with trusts to obtain NFA items.

      Now, the ATF says that you only have to inform the CLEO, which is better, but only if your CLEO wouldn’t otherwise sign your forms. Now, principals in the trust must submit photos and fingerprints, which will increase costs (I consider the costs to be irrelevant, when you’re paying $200 for a tax stamp in the first place).

      That no one needs a CLEO sign-off is irrelevant for those who live in a jurisdiction where that isn’t a problem (like me); the only difference is that I’d spend 2 minutes at the sheriff’s office notifying rather than 5 minutes watching him sign. For those who were forced to spend money setting up a trust (and a good one is around $600) the only benefit is that they can now gloat as they inform the CLEO that they’re getting that NRA item that the CLEO wouldn’t ordinarily sign off on, while now having to provide fingerprints and photos.

        Milhouse in reply to The Packetman. | January 7, 2016 at 4:12 pm

        You forget that they no longer need to set the trust up in the first place. For an individual buying NFA-restricted items, the new rule has made it easier and cheaper.

        As for those who will still buy through trusts, they should be subject to the same requirements as those buying as individuals.

        If the trust is already in play before July of this year, it will never need the photos and fingerprints.

An interesting take from Bearing Drift:


Officer Brian Encina charged by grand jury for perjury in Sandra Bland case.

Happy New Year.

    So you’re saying the system works. 🙂

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      Milhouse in reply to Andrew Branca. | January 6, 2016 at 9:18 pm

      Can someone explain what this is about? As I understand it when making a Terry stop an officer has absolute discretion to order the driver out of the vehicle, since it’s an inherently dangerous situation. If he feels safe he doesn’t have to order the driver to get out, but he can if he wants to. “Officer safety” is just the reason why he has that discretion, but he can use it as he pleases. Now the grand jury said it doesn’t believe that he really felt unsafe?! First of all, how can they possibly claim to know what was in his heart? Second, even if we weren’t to believe him, so what? Hasn’t it become a term of art for “get out of the car”? Is there any precedent, anywhere in the country and in the entire time since Terry v Ohio, for an inquiry into whether an officer truly felt unsafe during a stop?

I guess I am.


President Obama stated, *”A violent felon can buy a gun over the Internet with no background check, no questions asked…”*

Late last year Mr. Obama informed the people inhabiting our beautiful blue orb that American recording artist and Grammy winner Kendrick Lamar wrote one of his favorite musical performances of 2015.

During a January 20, 2011 LAWeekly interview (Google search) Kendrick, born in 1987, the same year songwriter Suzanne Vega wrote a song about child abuse and *VICTIM DENIAL* that was nominated for a Grammy award, he told the interviewer:

*”Lamar’s parents moved from Chicago to Compton in 1984 with all of $500 in their pockets. “My mom’s one of 13 [THIRTEEN] siblings, and they all got SIX kids, and till I was 13 everybody was in Compton,” he says.”*

*”I’m 6 years old, seein’ my uncles playing with shotguns, sellin’ dope in front of the apartment.”*

*”My moms and pops never said nothing, ’cause they were young and living wild, too. I got about 15 stories like ‘Average Joe.'”*

I am curious to know if Mr. Obama believes the adult members of Kendrick Lamar’s family are the “VIOLENT FELONS” he wishes to protect peaceful people from?

Kendrick writes and speaks in public about childhood and adult depression, as well as having suicidal thoughts.

What has Mr. Obama done to protect children like young Kendrick and untold numbers of other kids who were deprived of experiencing and enjoying a safe, ‘Average Joe’ American kid childhood by the CRIMINAL MINDED parents who MALTREAT children like Kendrick, his three siblings and numerous cousins by exposing them at an early age to destructive anti-social behaviors and criminal environments?

Which values do children like Kendrick, his siblings, cousins, classmates and friends embrace, their family and neighborhood values or the peaceful values their frustrated educators attempt to instill in MALTREATED children like Kendrick?

Is it time to flush “America’s War on Poverty” correctly renaming it to “America’s War on Early Childhood Abuse & Neglect!”

*(NY Times May 18, 2015 – Rise in Suicide by Black Children Surprises Researchers)*

Robert K. Ross, MD, President and CEO of The California Endowment, gives a compelling overview of the role that exposure to childhood trauma plays in the lives of troubled and chronically ill Americans.


Andrew: Thank you for your commentary on Obama’s recent gun-control media stunt. With all the build-up to his press conference, and his weepy theatrics, I started to worry just a tad that a major anti-gun political offensive was in the works. But your article serves to remind me how Obama’s clueless form-over-substance political antics are a good thing when it comes to gun control. Thank God we don’t have any really formidable anti-gun nuts to worry about at the moment. I feel much better.

I think the problem here is that Obama is trying to condition the American people to incremental changes like the frog getting slowly boiled so it doesn’t notice. They become blase to yet another Obama dictate, but one more encroachment on the second Amendment has happened and it has softened them up for further encroachments at a later date.

This is largely a publicity stunt to distract people from his mounting pile of policy failures.

For the most part it’s working.

The implications to Social Security and HIPAA are the most troubling of the bunch, the rest amounts to mostly nothing.