To paraphrase Charlton Heston from Planet of the Apes, oh my God, he’s finally gone and done it. “Administration officials told Newsweek and The Daily Beast that starting as early as next week, Obama will begin a series of changes designed to tighten [gun] regulations and penalties under current laws—bypassing a fight in Congress with the pro-gun National Rifle Association in the process.” Naw. C’mon. Really? As the ATF Gunwalker scandal continues to percolate—a cluster-you-know-what of epic proportions wherein the Bureau is known to have enabled illegal gun sales—the President is about to tighten gun sales regulations by executive fiat? Apparently so. And here are the gory details . . .
The “changes” will include:
- A national electronic system designed to make background checks for handgun buyers simpler and faster, leaving an electronic paper trail under a law named for Ronald Reagan’s press secretary James Brady, who was wounded in the 1981 assassination attempt.
- A new reporting requirement that federally licensed gun shops report any person who tries to buy two long-arm weapons near the Mexican border over a five-day period.
- Tougher sentencing guidelines for straw buyers that Holder’s department pushed through procedural hoops at the U.S. Sentencing Commission earlier this year.
So, the ATF hasn’t given up on the “emergency” long gun registration scheme for 8500 or so gun dealers, introduced right around the time Gunwalker pinged in the mainstream media. [NB: under federal law, ALL federal gun registration schemes are illegal.]
And, just for S&Gs, tougher federal laws against doing what the ATF encouraged criminals to do. Unbelievable.
A White House official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the regulatory changes will be introduced separately, without a large ceremony, and certainly not with a branded name that could turn into attack ads, such as “White House Gun Control Initiative of 2011.”
And now you know what TTAG’s going to call this inanity.
When informed of the administration’s preparations [for the White House Gun Control Initiative of 2011], several members of Congress bristled at the plan.
Bristled? If true this is the gift that will keep on giving, motivating the right wing base in ways that the Obama mob can’t even begin to imagine—unless they remember Al Gore’s gun control-related debacle.
And now, it’s official. In a statement released today, Deputy Attorney General James Cole claimed (without so much as an arched eyebrow) that the new ATF long gun regulation will “improve the government’s ability to detect illegal weapons-trafficking networks that divert firearms to criminals.”
“The international expansion and increased violence of transnational criminal networks pose a significant threat to the United States,” Cole said. The registry will “confront the problem of illegal gun trafficking into Mexico and along the Southwest border.”
Me, I’m still in denial. I cling to the belief that this “plan” is a trial balloon designed to deflect attention away from Gunwalker. That it won’t get done ’til never. Could the Obama Administration really be this . . . this . . . dumb?
Or is it hubris, the same characteristic that cratered the Nixon Administration? As canadafreepress.com said today, as TTAG’s been saying for months, this really is Obama’s Watergate.