Nevertheless, the president is determined to enhance gun control with or without Congress, reported Monday by The Washington Post. Many Americans are scratching their heads at President Obama’s near panic to legislate further gun control. The latest outcry derives from the San Bernadino terrorist massacre where a married couple slipped through U.S. Customs along with every other federal barrier the government has taken to prevent such deadly acts. Many Obama critics wonder aloud how such an act of terrorism can be linked to gun control on U.S. citizens.
Obama’s decision may in fact come as an executive order to The Washington Post. It may come as early as mid-January. That meaning everyone “in the business” of selling firearms must perform background checks.
Federal law already dictates that gun retailers do a computerized criminal check via the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s data base. However, people lacking federal gun licenses (non-dealers) can still sell guns from their personal collections.
That part of the gun-dealing world includes people who sell weapons at weekend gun shows or from their homes. They are not technically gun retailers. The Harvard School of Public Health has researched this discrepancy and estimates that 40 percent of all gun transfers occur without background checks. The presumption by the Obama White House is this loophole allows criminals and mentally disabled gun buyers to avoid any sort of background check.
Unidentified “advisers” speaking from the president’s Hawaiian holiday retreat said that soon after New Year’s Day President Obama plans to expand the definition of gun control background checks of who’s “in the business” of selling firearms. It’s no secret that presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is among other politicians who strongly back the idea. It will be Obama’s first major act in his final year in office.
The anticipated backlash will be thunderous. The timing of the new standard for background checks will severely affect millions of gun rights advocates including many gathering in Las Vegas in late January for the firearm industry’s annual Shooting, Hunting & Outdoor Trade Show, known as SHOT.
Ironically many gun retailers who sell from brick and mortar locations are not angry about Obama’s intentions. They privately concede that they have no real problem with all gun sellers being forced to do background checks. In fact, they resent competition from casual unlicensed sellers at gun shows.
The National Rifle Association feels that any additional gun control is a first step toward bans and confiscation. Their powerful lobby is an important factor in the gun-buying world. Their support for Obama’s proposal is highly unlikely. There most likely will be a powerful challenge to Obama’s actual authority to enhance mandated background checks without congressional involvement. It will most likely result in major litigation and fiery objections from pro-gun Republicans on Capitol Hill.