The Washington Post is reporting that President Obama is considering an end run around Congress to make some changes to existing gun laws. In particular, he is considering “imposing new background-check requirements for buyers who purchase weapons from high-volume gun dealers.”
Under Obama’s proposed executive fiat, dealers who sell more than an arbitrary number of guns will need to obtain a license from the ATF and perform background checks on consumers.
This latest overreach comes on the heels of a tragic shooting at the gun-free Umpqua Community College. Obama has asked his team “to scrub what kinds of authorities do we have to enforce the laws that we have in place more effectively to keep guns out of the hands of criminals.”
“We are hopeful we can find a way to do this,” said one senior administration official, who noted that lawyers were still working through details to ensure that the rule could pass legal muster. “It’s a lot more clear today than it was a year ago how to work this out.”
So what’s on Obama’s executive action agenda that will presumably stop the gun violence?
“The proposed executive action aims to impose background checks on individuals who buy from dealers who sell a significant number of guns each year. The current federal statute dictates that those who are ‘engaged in the business’ of dealing firearms need to obtain a federal license — and, therefore, conduct background checks — but exempts anyone ‘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.’ ”
We now know that the Oregon shooter purchased his weapons legally and passed a background check to do so. “All were traced to a federal firearms dealer,” said Celinez Nunez, an agent with the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
The Sandy Hook shooter stole weapons from his mother.
The Aurora movie theater shooter bought his guns legally and passed a background check.
The man who shot former congresswoman and gun-control activist Gabrielle Giffords passed a background check.
The man who shot two Virgina journalists live on the air passed a background check.
So, what is the purpose of Obama’s proposed expanded background checks? Do we have any evidence that expanding the definition of a gun dealer will decrease gun violence?
This is just another useless, empty gesture that inconveniences law-abiding citizens and doesn’t deter criminals and lunatics.