The Justice Department is readying a dozen new rules that will restrict the freedom of gun owners and interfere with Second Amendment rights. The plan is to enact the rules before the end of Obama’s term of office in 2016.
Gun control advocates have been demanding many of the rules for years and it appears that the effort by DoJ will be a last0ditch attempt to curb the rights of gun owners by the president.
But the gun lobby contends that such a sweeping ban would unfairly root out a number of prospective gun owners who are not a danger to society.
“It’s clear President Obama is beginning his final assault on our Second Amendment rights by forcing his anti-gun agenda on honest law-abiding citizens through executive force,” said Luke O’Dell, vice president of political affairs at the National Association for Gun Rights.
The Justice Department plans to issue new rules expanding criteria for people who do not qualify for gun ownership, according to the recently released Unified Agenda, which is a list of rules that federal agencies are developing.
Some of the rules come in response to President Obama’s call to reduce gun violence in the wake of Sandy Hook. He issued 23 executive actions shortly after the shooting aimed at keeping guns away from dangerous people, and some of those items remain incomplete.
“If America worked harder to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people, there would be fewer atrocities like the one that occurred in Newtown,” Obama said at the time.
“We can respect the Second Amendment while keeping an irresponsible, law-breaking few from inflicting harm on a massive scale,” he added.
Gun control groups have rallied around Obama’s call to action, zeroing in on polices that would keep guns away from the mentally ill and domestic abusers.
Congressional efforts to expand background checks and keep guns away from dangerous people have failed in recent years, but the legislative defeats won’t stop the Justice Department from regulating.
The Justice Department’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is looking to revive a rule proposed way back in 1998 that would block domestic abusers from owning guns.
As proposed, the regulation makes it illegal for some who has been convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence offense to own a gun.
The ATF plans to finalize the rule by November, according to the Unified Agenda.
But gun rights advocates are concerned the Obama administration will use this rule to unfairly target certain gun owners.
“That could be a person who spanked his kid, or yelled at his wife, or slapped her husband,” warned Michael Hammond, legislative counsel for the Gun Owners of America.
Some of those rules will be tied up in court for years, but Obama senses that the next president will not have a favorable view of gun control and wants to stamp his anti-gun legacy on as much as possible before he leaves.
The restrictions on high-powered pistols have nothing to do with mass murders, of course, since none of them have ever been used in school shootings or other mass killings. And the “gun safety” requirements are already practiced by responsible gun owners without the nanny state looking over their shoulders. As with most gun control efforts, the rules are not about safety or security, but rather about control. Some people believe that others shouldn’t be able to own guns and if they do, they are going to make their lives miserable for them.