According to this article, President Obama plans to meet with U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch Monday to iron out the final details on President Obama’s latest gun grab proposal. According to the report, President Obama is thinking about “requiring informal gun dealers to obtain a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and perform background checks on potential buyers.”
This executive action will never take effect because it violates clearly written U.S. statutes. Federal law requires people who are in the gun business to obtain a Federal Firearm License, aka FFL. Federal Firearm License holders are required to conduct background checks. That’s where President Obama’s problems start.
While it’s true that FFL dealers must conduct background checks, that doesn’t extend to casual dealers. The federal law 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.”
That means federal statute prevents the federal government from imposing President Obama’s executive action on casual gun sellers. The minute this executive action is published, the NRA will ask a district court judge for an injunction preventing the Obama administration from enforcing President Obama’s executive action. That court will grant that injunction because U.S. statutes have legal weight in court. Executive actions that contradict U.S. statutes don’t.
The usual suspects are behind this unconstitutional push:
Gun control advocates, including former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), who was gravely injured in a 2011 mass shooting, and former New York City mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, have met personally with Obama over the past month to push for the background checks expansion and other measures.
More importantly, these advocates aren’t particularly honest:
Everytown spokeswoman Erika Soto Lamb, whose group was founded with Bloomberg’s support, said the current interpretation of what it means to be “engaged in the business” of selling firearms is “a hazy definition that allows high-volume sellers to transfer thousands of guns without background checks, no questions asked.”
Here’s a brief history for Ms. Lamb:
However, such details are beside the point. No president has the authority that Obama wondered about and that Clinton still imagines. Federal law defines who is and isn’t required to be licensed and to run background checks. The Gun Control Act of 1968 requires a person to be licensed as a firearm dealer in order to be “engaged in the business” of selling firearms. The Firearms Owners Protection Act of 1986 clarifies that “engaged in the business” refers to “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 not “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.”
It isn’t surprising that Ms. Lamb’s statement is contradicted by the language in the various U.S. statutes. Those definitions aren’t hazy. They’re specific, which, in this instance, is the opposite of hazy.
It isn’t a stretch to think that President Obama’s executive action is his attempt to increase voter turnout. That’s what happens with a lackluster candidate like Hillary Clinton.