Hillary Clinton (L) and President Barack Obama (R). Photo credit: whitehouse.gov.

The old leftist writer, Gore Vidal, once famously said, “You know, I’ve been around the ruling class all my life, and I’ve been quite aware of their total contempt for the people of the country.” This line rang in my ears as I read about what the Obama Administration has been up to lately. The Administration, fresh from its foreign policy “successes” in Yemen, Libya, Syria, and Iraq, has decided to focus its energies back on domestic politics. The Hill reports that, undeterred by the Constitution or by past experience the Administration has decided that what American needs most at this moment is: more firearms regulations . . .

The Justice Department plans to move forward this year with more than a dozen new gun-related regulations, according to list of rules the agency has proposed to enact before the end of the Obama administration.

The regulations range from new restrictions on high-powered pistols to gun storage requirements. Chief among them is a renewed effort to keep guns out of the hands of people who are mentally unstable or have been convicted of domestic abuse….

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….

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….

The ATF is also looking to prohibit the mentally ill from owning firearms, which is attracting even more criticism from gun rights groups.

“The Obama administration is trying very hard to disqualify people from owning a gun on the basis that they are seeing a psychologist,” Hammond argued….

Aside from these issues, some gun rights advocates have also raised concerns about upcoming ATF rules that would require gun dealers to report gun thefts, provide gun storage and safety devices, and place restrictions on high-powered pistols, among other things.

“The Obama administration hates the Second Amendment, and it’s clear that every place where it can push, it will,” said Hammond. “This is an indication of an anti-gun administration trying to annoy us in any way it can.”

I can’t say I disagree with Mr. Hammon. Not only is the president disdainful of the Second Amendment, but he and his ideological fellow travellers, such as the billionaire plutocrat Michael Bloomberg and Hillary Clinton, simply have no use for the people who own firearms and who support the right to keep and bear arms. The president has made this disdain clear before he took the oath of office.

I suspect that he and his administration are desperate to put some points on the board (for egotistical ‘legacy’ purposes if nothing else,) in light of all of the reverses he’s suffered lately, so why not throw a bunch of regulations that primarily impact people who are opposed to him anyway, and see what sticks? All the more so because of the dysfunctional political attitudes that many in this country have, if a proposal makes the right people angry, that’s all that matters.

We already mentioned the regulation concerning the NFA trusts on Friday. That was far from the only one. In the interests of public knowledge, I’ve copied the list of firearms-related rules changes below. (Amazingly, one of them — concerning the 90 day residency requirement for resident aliens purchasing a firearm — appears to loosen a restriction because the DoJ concluded that they didn’t have the authority to do it. I’m sure that was just an oversight.)

* Title: Possession or Introduction of Personal Firearms Prohibited on Federal Penal or Correctional Institution Grounds — To help ensure the safe operation of Federal prisons, this document would address possession or introduction of personal firearms, or attempting, aiding, or abetting possession or introduction of personal firearms, on Federal penal or correctional institution grounds.

* Title: Machine Guns, Destructive Devices, and Certain Other Firearms–Amended Definition of “Pistol” — This rule would propose to amend the regulations relating to machine guns, destructive devices, and certain other firearms regulated under the National Firearms Act (NFA) for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to clarify the definition of the term “pistol” and to define more clearly exceptions to the “pistol” definition.

* Title: Commerce in Firearms and Ammunition (Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act of 1997) — The Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act of 1997 contained amendments to the Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA). The Act amended the GCA to make it unlawful for any person convicted of a “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence” to ship, transport, possess, or receive in or affecting commerce firearms or ammunition. It also amended the GCA to make it unlawful for any person to sell or otherwise dispose of a firearm or ammunition to any person knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that the recipient has been convicted of such a misdemeanor. The Act also amended the GCA to provide for sales between Federal firearms licensees of curio and relic firearms away from their licensed premises.

* Title: Residency Requirement for Persons Acquiring Firearms — This rule finalizes the interim regulations that require a firearms purchaser’s affirmative statement of his or her State of residence on ATF Form 4473 (Firearms Transaction Record) when acquiring a firearm from a Federal firearms licensee.

* Title: Public Law 105-277, Making Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for FY 1999 Relating to Firearms Disabilities for Nonimmigrant Aliens — This rule would finalize an interim final rule issued in February 2002 under Public Law 105-277, Making Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations, for fiscal year 1999. The rule would address the statutory prohibition, with certain exceptions, on the transfer to and possession of firearms by aliens admitted to the United States under a nonimmigrant visa.

* Title: Federal Firearms License Proceedings–Hearings — This rule would amend the regulations of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives regarding administrative hearings held as part of firearms license proceedings to ensure that Federal firearms licensees and persons applying for a Federal firearms license are familiar with the hearing process relative to the denial or revocation of a firearms license or, when authorized, the suspension of such a license or imposition of a civil fine.

* Title: Commerce in Firearms and Ammunition–Reporting Theft or Loss of Firearms in Transit — The Department of Justice is planning to propose amendments to the regulations of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) regarding firearms stolen or lost in transit.

* Title: Machine Guns, Destructive Devices and Certain Other Firearms; Background Checks for Responsible Persons of a Corporation, Trust, or Other Legal Entity With Respect to Making or Transferring a Firearm — The Department of Justice is planning to finalize a proposed rule to amend the regulations of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) regarding the making or transferring of a firearm under the National Firearms Act. As proposed, the rule would; (1) add a definition for the term “responsible person”; (2) require each responsible person of a corporation, trust or legal entity to complete a specified form, and to submit photographs and fingerprints; and (3) modify the requirements regarding the certificate of the chief law enforcement officer (CLEO).

* Residency Requirements for Aliens Acquiring Firearms — This rule would finalize the interim final rule published on June 7, 2012 by removing the 90-day State residency requirement for aliens lawfully present in the United States to purchase or acquire a firearm. The Department has determined that the Gun Control Act does not permit ATF to impose a regulatory requirement that aliens lawfully present in the United States are subject to a 90-day State residency requirement when such a requirement is not applicable to U.S. citizens.

* Amended Definition of “Adjudicated as a Mental Defective” and “Committed to a Mental Institution” — The Department of Justice is planning to propose amendments to the regulations of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to clarify terms in 18 USC 922(g)(4).

* Title: Identification Markings Placed on Firearm Silencers and Firearm Mufflers — The Department of Justice is planning to propose to amend the regulations of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives to require licensed manufacturers and licensed importers to place identification markings on the outer tube of firearm silencers and firearm mufflers. The proposed regulations are intended to allow for identification markings to be placed conspicuously and legibly in one location providing consistency throughout the industry.

 

DISCLAIMER: The above is an opinion piece; it is not legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship in any sense. If you need legal advice in any matter, you are strongly urged to hire and consult your own counsel. This post is entirely my own, and does not represent the positions, opinions, or strategies of my firm or clients.

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59 Responses to Those Old Regulations Didn’t Work? Time to Try New Rules

    • Did you really just make very thinly veiled threats to kill politicians just now? Seriously???

      Thankfully, the NSA’s harassment apparatus is up and running again in time to keep an eye on nutjobs such as yourself.

        • Maybe scroll down a few inches and read his other comment, and then come back and try getting back on that high horse.

        • No, I read his other comment. I’m still laughing at you.

          You remind me of the “We’re not going to fall for the banana in the tailpipe” guy.

      • The ultimate point of the Second Amendment is killing politicians and their adherents. This whole country was founded by killing British soldiers who were acting at the behest of the King. Was it illegal to kill the King’s men? Oh, yes. Did we do it anyway? Apparently.

        It is good for politicians to think they may be killed if they behave in a despotic way. It encourages them not to do so.

  1. Hmm, I wonder if introducing these unconstitutional measures could be used as grounds to impeach him?

    • It would be a lot less messy if someone with access to Obama, that was a real american, just shot him. Think any of the secret service are real Americans?

        • He’s right, it IS short sighted, though I say this for what might be different reasons.

          1) Obama would become a martyr, like John F. Kennedy did. 1a) He might end up on a coin, or on paper money, like JFK did (the half dollar, which was much more popular then than now).

          2) We would never, ever, hear the end of how the US is so racist it killed its first black president, and it would be used as more proof of such in propogandizing/radicalizing black youth.

          3) Shotgun Joe Biden would become president, and like LBJ, unbeatable when he goes up for (re)election in 2016, again because of the martyr effect. And since we are more than halfway through this term, Biden could run for TWO more terms on top of this fractional one. LBJ, as it turned out, ruled so ineptly and became so unpopular that he decided not to even try for his second full term. Want to bet that would happen to Biden?

        • 4) We would very likely see the end of legal civilian firearms ownership as we know it. Exhibit A being the 68 GCA in obvious response to JFK/MLK/etc

        • “4) We would very likely see the end of legal civilian firearms ownership as we know it. Exhibit A being the 68 GCA in obvious response to JFK/MLK/etc”

          And Handgun Control Inc/Brady Bunch after the ATTEMPT on Reagan….

      • After that post, you should fully expect the Secret Service to come to your door. You might even be leaving with them.

    • He is certainly bucking for impeachment. In the end, what needs to happen is a vigorous slapping of the reset-button on the non-delegation doctrine….ACROSS THE ENTIRE ALPHABET AGENCY BOARD!

    • Historically, doing blatantly unconstitutional things doesn’t seem to be grounds for impeachment. If it were, at least half of our presidents would’ve been impeached.

  2. The caption on that picture should read;

    “President Barack Obama (Left) and Hillary Clinton (Farther Left) Photo credit: U.S. Tax-payers.”

  3. Why bother with a pesky thing like a vote, or a democratic mandate demonstrating the will of the people, and run the risk of returning the wrong result?

    • NONE of the Bill of Rights are subject to the will of the people through democratic vote.

      And if such a vote was taken regarding the Second Amendment, and passed by any democratic margin (50% + 1 vote) I suspect the immediate and appropriate response from POTG would be, “Okay, Molin Labe – Come and take it, if you can.”

      • NY is still trying to figure out why only thousands of AR type rifles were registered out of the estimated million plus believed to be owned in the state.

        The Bill of Rights can be amended. However, it would take 3/4ths of the state legislatures to vote to change/remove if it was sent to the states. There are 4 methods to formally amend the Constitution BTW. 2/3rds of both house and senate approving an amendment is the other method. With the 2nd, that’s not going to happen.

        Method 4 calls for ratifying an amendment through state conventions as per the end of prohibition. This is a 3/4 of states deal and pretty much bypasses Congress and State legislatures but must follow state laws. This method might have the best chance at removing or modifying the 2nd. But I don’t see that happening. 100 million gun owners and all that.

        • >> BTW. 2/3rds of both house and senate approving an amendment is the other method.

          House and Senate cannot approve amendments with a 2/3 supermajority. 2/3 is what’s necessary to send amendment for ratification to the states, but it still takes 3/4 of state legislatures to ratify, and the amendment is not in force until ratification.

      • >> NONE of the Bill of Rights are subject to the will of the people through democratic vote.

        It actually is, but indirectly (through their state legislatures), and requiring a 3/4 supermajority of the same.

    • It really is great that the Executive Branch can create legislation even though it is unconstitutional to do so.

  4. Truest test of a Republican president: If he doesn’t rescind all of these anti-gun executive orders (including ammo import bans dating clear back to the Bush I administration if not earlier), then he’s a RINO. This is something he can do no matter how Democratic or RINO-ridden Congress might be.

    • Here’s an easier test that can be applied much earlier in the process: if a candidate secures the Republican nomination, he’s a RINO. The establishment Republicans aren’t going to let some freedom-minded upstart rock the boat.

    • If at his inauguration he doesn’t have Obama, Holder, and Clinton escorted off the grounds in handcuffs, he’s a RINO.

  5. “would block domestic abusers from owning guns”

    So to be clear – this isn’t about barring them from acquiring firearms, but seizing any firearms they currently own?

      • Yes and no. Spouse abusing cops get a nice little carveout, as per usual.

        For non-agents of the State, what they’ll do is just redefine what a “domestic abuser” is until everyone qualifies and nobody may possess a firearm.

        Watch out! Or every imaginable microagression (even those only imagined) will get you blacklisted.

    • I have no love lost for domestic abusers of either gender, but…

      By what authority does the federal government, considering the absolute and clear statement, “…shall not be infringed.” pass legislation, laws or bureaucratic regulations naming ANY citizen, for ANY reason, who cannot own a firearm? What about a knife or a baseball bat or a car? How about forcing them to wear large padded gloves at all times?

      If the government has any authority in this area at all it should be to give the abused party a pistol on loan at no charge until the abusive situation is resolved, one way or another.

  6. I haven’t seen anything yet regarding “new restrictions on high-powered pistols”. Does anyone here have any insight to that?

  7. Can someone explain to me how an agency consisting of precisely zero elected officials, which doesn’t answer to the American public, is able to independently make new laws and contort a Constitutionally protected right?

    Can someone explain to me why we’re called a free country when such things are possible? We’re about as free as a hostage with a blade to his throat.

  8. This is what happens when you tell president the day of his re-election that your party will not pursue impeachment, regardless. Mr. Flexible has gotten exponentially more plastic in his abuse of power since Boehner preemptively choked before election day. At this point, I think we would see a surprising number of Dems defect in an impeachment hearing if they thought the Pubs were actually serious about taking down Obama; they’re almost as sick of his crap as the rest of us at this point.

  9. Pretty slick putting Hillary’s pic in the story headline. CONservatives always like to paint with a broad brush.

  10. This makes a kind of sense, Barack Obama has weakened and degraded every thing he has come into contact with, why not flush the rest of the Democratic party.

  11. “renewed effort to keep guns out of the hands of people who are mentally unstable”

    WellI guess crazy ol uncle joe bidens going to have to turn in his double barreled shotgun.

  12. Is it just me or does anyone else notice that Obama seems to be degrading our rights but enhancing the rights of aliens?

  13. (Leftist) Politics aside, are Americans ready – not for a woman president – but for a woman that dresses like that to be president? It’s like a powder blue Doctor Evil in a blonde wig.

  14. * Title: Machine Guns, Destructive Devices and Certain Other Firearms; Background Checks for Responsible Persons of a Corporation, Trust, or Other Legal Entity With Respect to Making or Transferring a Firearm — The Department of Justice is planning to finalize a proposed rule to amend the regulations of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) regarding the making or transferring of a firearm under the National Firearms Act. As proposed, the rule would; (1) add a definition for the term “responsible person”; (2) require each responsible person of a corporation, trust or legal entity to complete a specified form, and to submit photographs and fingerprints; and (3) modify the requirements regarding the certificate of the chief law enforcement officer (CLEO).
    And that would end my NFA owning days. My Local CLEO is a Jackass. No getting him to sign any NFA paperwork unless you have close ties to him.

  15. In regards to the picture at top of post…I thought there were 4 horsemen of the apocalypse.

  16. Looks like more unconstitutional and illegal executive orders to not comply with. The violation of the separation of powers would be a affirmative defense if one was arrested for violating these executive orders.

  17. Um …

    I do wonder if there’s a constitutional challenge under due process and separation of powers. Agencies operate with delegated authority which comes form congress (and explicitly excluded “police powers.”)

    So, the challenge is around:

    – Where’s your authority in statute?
    – Who’s authority is it (legislative vs. administrative?)
    – Given procedures established by law for the introduction of regulations, were those followed, constituting “due process?”

    This whole “We wanna do this (for the children! – er – because, terrorism! – er – to grow the economy! – er – to save the planet! – er – for law and order! – er – all of those), so congress has to get off its behind and make a law allowing us to do this!” is backwards.

    I think the game here is to make them own that claim which they weasel around all the time. In the end, that’s the whole thing. We have a better idea – for some value of “we”. So you have to give us the authority to do it (one time, barely, anything that looks like the authority). Because, whatever.

    Because we’re smarter than you, because this is important says us, and we’re annoyed at needing even the pretense of your agreement from you rubes.

    Make them say it. Make them own it.

    You keep frakking getting your grand scheme shot down, so you’re not even going to try to propagandize the appearance of agreement into your preferred results, you’re gonna just go do it by other means. For bog’s sake, Lady Thatcher said it: “First you win the argument, then you win the election.”

    They don’t want to bother with the argument (on guns), but make them own the argument which will not speak its name. “You rubes aren’t to be trusted with this ability to look out for yourselves. Indeed, you rubes aren’t to be trusted to run your own lives. So…”

    Oh, how interesting.

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