New Attorney General Nominee William Barr’s Record on Guns Revealed

William Barr Attorney General Guns Bush 41

courtesy Washington Post and AP

Reader John Dingell III writes:

Attorney General Sessions had a long record as a friend of firearms owners when he was a U.S. Senator from Alabama. His firearms record as Attorney General is less clear, but BATFE did not perpetrate any outrages beyond the bump stock ban under his supervision. The bump stock ban appears to be a direct instruction from President Trump.

President Trump said yesterday that he intends to nominate William Barr as Sessions’ replacement. The choice has been greeted by applause from both Democrats and Republicans. Barr is a Bush 41 retread, having served as Assistant Attorney General, Deputy Attorney General, and finally as Attorney General. BATFE was under the Department of Treasury during Bush 41’s term and the Department of Justice had only limited authority over firearms.

Barr has said little about firearms or gun control during his career, but he is widely considered to be the author of PL 101-647, The Crime Control Act of 1990.

The Crime Control Act of 1990 had a number of firearms provisions. The Gun Free School Zone Act is the biggie, but probably the work of Senator Herb Kohl of Wisconsin – not Barr. The GFSZA’s strange rules set the context for MGO v. AAPS, despite SCOTUS finding much of it unconstitutional in Lopez.

The ban on domestic assembly of semiautomatic rifles prohibited from importation is Barr’s big aggravation in The Crime Control Act of 1990. This was a follow on to Bush 41’s 1989 prohibition of ‘unsporting’ long arms importation. Other provisions:

– Increased prison sentences for SBRs, SBSs, and destructive devices to 10 years.
– Barred firearms transfers to non-residents of the USA
– Banned firearms in federal court facilities
– Cleaned up bad grammar in previous gun control statutes.

We could have a problem here. We might get some idea of his positions on firearms issues from his responses during his confirmation hearings. Stay tuned.

comments

  1. avatar HEGEMON says:

    Neither party, nor ANY politician can/should be trusted with gun rights. Elites want a disarmed populace.

    1. avatar David in MA says:

      I believe it is the corrupt politicians who want to ban citizens from having firearms so they cannot overthrow the overreaching government politicians who are corrupt and oppressive, as is allowed by the Constitution and they are using “public safety” as a crutch.
      As far as “public safety” in regards to firearm misuse by criminals, the solution is simple: jail the bastards for life, or execute them, no criminal….. no crimes.

    2. avatar DN says:

      It is wise not to trust any politician with anything.
      But when it comes to Second Amendment rights, there is an major objective difference between Democrats voters and politicians, and Republican voters and politicians, as well as appointed judges..

      One can probably find some problematic view in every Attorney general. In the case of recent Attorney Generals, the idea that GOP AGs Barr, Ed Meese or Albert Gonzalez are just as bad as Eric Holder or Janet Reno is flat earth.

  2. avatar ROBERT Powell says:

    reguardless who is the boss in the justice department, the communist left on the demon’s side of the isle will cause nothing but trouble.

  3. avatar MarkPA says:

    My inclination is to see management of the DOJ and ATF as substantially distinct issues.

    The AG will have his hands full cleaning out the swamp in the DoJ and FBI. If he does his job there then he won’t have a moment to spare to make either trouble/improvements at ATF.

    While its true that ATF is under DoJ, it’s unlikely that the DoJ has much interest in the cesspool in that agency. If DoJ did have any interest it would have long ago pulled-in the leash on the bad behavior for which ATF is well known.

    What ATF does/doesn’t-do is mostly a function of what NRA and Congress can agree upon. Or, whatever it is that Congress wants ATF to do. ATF is more-so a political pawn than a law-enforcement tool.

    As long as there are any federal gun laws at all, some agency must be responsible for enforcing them. We are probably better off with ATF right where it is – with NRA fighting with Congress – than to have DoJ, FBI, Homeland Security or any other agency flexing its muscle on guns.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Disagree. Pass all the gun control laws you wish, as long as no one is authorized to enforce them. BATF needs to be gone.

      1. avatar Helms Deep says:

        Strongly suggest everyone read just HOW the ‘ agency ‘ BATF was created after prohibition. Its a strange tale , an illegal end run around the powers delegated to congress. Since when can ‘ Secretary of Treasury ‘ create an entire new arm of DOJ ?

        ” The FEDERAL Alcohol Administration, which ADMINISTERS the Federal Alcohol Act, and offices of members and Administrator thereof, were ABOLISHED, and their functions were DIRECTED to be ADMINISTERED under direction and supervision of Secretary of Treasury through Bureau of Internal Revenue, now Internal Revenue Service. THE FEDERAL ALCOHOL ACT WAS RULED “UNCONSTITUTIONAL” WITHIN THE 50 STATES; so was transferred to the B.I.R., which is an OFFSHORE TRUST, which became the I.R.S.; which gave BIRTH to the B.A.T.F.; AND SOMEHOW, the term [Director, Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms Division], which is a PERSON within the B.A.T.F., spawned the alleged Internal Revenue Service via another flick of the pen on September 15, 1976. ”

        http://usa-the-republic.com/revenue/BATF-IRS%20Criminal%20Report.html#tgotm

      2. avatar Hannibal says:

        Making people into criminals, even if unenforced, is a terrible practice. Because someone could come along and enforce it tomorrow.

      3. avatar frank speak says:

        having an agency whose sole function is chasing guns is unnecessary….they really do need to be gone…

        1. avatar john yule says:

          the majority of their work is actually in tobacco tax enforcement….

  4. avatar LarryinTX says:

    10 Years for an SBS, and this in 1990, when the BATF status as a tax collector had not been altered? Registration IIRC is 5 (FIVE) dollars, with 10 years in fucking PRISON for failing to pay the tax? You cannot make this shit up.

    1. avatar CZ Rider says:

      200 for SBR/SBS. You’re thinking of AOW. Not that it makes it any better…

  5. avatar Steve Eisenberg says:

    I don’t care what else he does as long as he cleans up bad grammar.

    1. avatar Stev says:

      Grammar control is what we need! It will keep us safe.

  6. avatar Jay in Florida says:

    We wont know anything until someone asks the right question.
    Hopefully during his conformation. I have to believe someone will ask.
    I can wait.

  7. avatar Sam I Am says:

    Sessions did not have a mandate, nor appetite, for “draining the swamp”. He seemed to be more focused on existing law in a broad brush sense. He set no “tone” for DOJ. Like many senior bureaucrats, he considered himself an administrator, not a leader. Trump is getting curious advice from somewhere, and it is puzzling his temperament tolerates those giving bad advice. Barr is not a “law and order” champion. Barr was chosen by B41, which should be the only clue needed; kinder, gentler. How many people knew Barr’s name during B41 rule? Meese, RFK, Reno, Ashcroft, Clark, Katzenbach are likely more familiar. Barr had so little effect on the public consciousness as to be a nebbish. Expect him to remain a nameless face in politics.

    1. avatar David in MA says:

      I think we can thank rosenstien for this, I believe Rosenstien is a deep deep deep state operative and every time I see is smirking face I think Gestapo!

  8. avatar former water walker says:

    Well said Jay…the edit function & the general website is gettiing very hinky. I’ve been through some serious BS on TTAG. I hope it gets fixed 😩

  9. avatar HP says:

    According to his Wikipedia page, the guy is a hardliner on Immigration. That’s my guess as to why he was chosen. It certainly doesn’t seem he’s any great fan of firearms.

  10. avatar anonymoose says:

    “law and order”

    Doesn’t matter if it’s unjust laws and tyrannical order, it’s still “law and order.”

  11. avatar KarVer says:

    This SUCKS! This Punk is A Liberal with a Red Dress on. Probably part of the reason Bush 1 wasnt reelected.

  12. avatar New Continental Army says:

    The actual scary thing is the only thing stopping the next big gun control push the next two years will be the senate. If the dems pressure hard enough they might be able to ram something through to the presidents desk if it’s attached to something lucrative.

  13. avatar Bookoodinkydow says:

    If Schumer and Pelosi are for him, that’s all I need to know.

    1. avatar DN says:

      Because Trump is supposed to nominate people who can not be confirmed?

      What President has never nominated people to administration positions who have not been supported by the other side to one degree or another? Is Trump to have no cabinet?

  14. avatar Slim says:

    Politicians are like toddlers. You give em an inch and they’ll take a mile. It’s a delicate balance when you’re stripping people of their constitutional rights. Too slow and nothing get done, while too fast and the serfs rebel.

    Our country is no longer being governed by the rule of law and politics has turned into banana republic theater.

    They’re going too far and sooner or later shit’s gonna pop off. The rule of law on a mass level is just an illusion and if you don’t believe shut inthe power grid down for a few days and watch what happens.

    I think we give the powers that be way too much credit. They can’t even handle a handful of cave dwelling dirt squirrels in Afghanistan with tanks, gunships and smart bombs.

    1. avatar Sam I Am says:

      “They can’t even handle a handful of cave dwelling dirt squirrels in Afghanistan with tanks, gunships and smart bombs.”

      It seems you misjudge the situation regarding military ventures. The troops are quite capable of annihilating the “enemy”. The US uses military force to send messages, to try to avoid actually hurting anyone. The politicians have no stomach for war in foreign lands. However….

      Should the third American Revolution arise, there will be no compunction about utterly destroying the rebellious population. Do not deceive yourself. Enemies domestic warrant no quarter. In foreign wars, the government of the US is not at risk. Neither is the country. Domestically, different proposition; survival at any and all costs. It is too easy to imagine the original rebellion was fought by a disorganized bunch of rag tag militia who were leaderless, and completely unknown to each other.

      1. avatar Slim says:

        Ok, here’s my disclaimer. I don’t think there is gonna be some new revolutionary war between “don’t tread on me types” and big government.

        As more antigun legislation gets pushed and added to state ballots the likely response is large scale non compliance. This country is too big and there’s too many guns. It’s impossible to enforce on any mass scale.

        That being said…. Theoretically, if a new revolutionary war started it wouldn’t be as easily squashed as you think.

        It would be a war based on ideology and there wouldn’t be any grand scale open combat between the “rebel alliance” and the “empire” on the streets of DC.

        You’d basically end up with countless small groups and lone wolves with ideologies from a broad political spectrum going after other groups or individuals they don’t like with “hit and run” ambush style attacks.

        So who’d stop this? The police? FBI? National guard? The military? Maybe some remote predator drone pilots in Colorado Springs?

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          Not counting on the US government to be as politically concerned with “collateral damage” in country as is the case off-shore. There was no compunction on the part of the feds when they launched an armed assault on largely unarmed members of a religious compound in Waco, Tx. There was also no sign of a civilian counter force to overthrow tyrannical government that considered guns in the presence of children to be a federal crime.

          As I noted, comes a revolution, there is no constraint on government in protecting itself, to survive. Small bands of renegades? Where is their supply base, their constituency? No revolution has been successful without organization and leadership. Even the vaunted French Resistance during WW2 did not overthrow the Germans, didn’t stop a single armored division from maneuvering. That was an example of rebellion against a modern state/army.

          The VC did not succeed in overthrowing the government of S. Vietnam, or even seriously damaging the regime (the VC were effectively thrown to the “wolves” by the N. Vietnam leadership because the VC were a threat to rule from the North). It is a total misinterpretation to believe our first revolution (first civil war) was just a bunch or random hit-and-run attacks on a modern army.

          The communists of China were not simple, ignorant farmers/peasants rising up against a strong, modern government. The communists and nationalists had full-up separate infrastructures and armies. Indeed, the nationalists were thought to have withheld their best troops from fighting the Japanese because an attempt at communist take over after defeat of the Japanese was fully expected. The communists were heavily armed, and formally organized. They were not the magical “3%” of the population.

          We are at the place where literally half the population hates the other half. One half is organized, equipped, and comfortable with permanently removing their political opponents. Want an example of a government successfully defending itself against a disorganized attempt at revolution? The model is Syria. Assad is winning because he is willing to utterly wipe out opposition, no matter the cost. And since the Syrian government was not strong enough, Assad contracted out the force needed; Russians.

        2. avatar frank speak says:

          look…the truth is we vastly outnumber them….and they know it…it’s a balancing act….

        3. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “look…the truth is we vastly outnumber them….and they know it…it’s a balancing act….”

          Are you confusing 100 million alleged gun owners with 100 million super patriots?

        4. avatar Eli2016 says:

          I kinda agree with you Sam but, will the “assumed” Democrat president be willing to accept what surely will be a backlash by not just the conservatives but also by the timid fence sitters who are the bulk of the alleged one hundred million gun owners? How much bloodshed can the Democrats handle on their own soil?

  15. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    Dark clouds are on the horizon.

  16. avatar GS650G says:

    Compared to Holder and Lynch he’s a blessing.

    1. avatar DN says:

      Precisely. Often we Second Amendment supporters shoot ourselves in the foot. When it comes to Second Amendment rights, there is an major objective difference between Democrats and Republicans.

      The idea that GOP AGs Barr, Ed Meese or Albert Gonzalez are just as bad as Eric Holder, Lynch, Janet Reno or whomever Hillary would have appointed is idiotic.

  17. avatar TFred says:

    Is MGO v. AAPS done, or is it still an active case? The last I could find was that the Michigan Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal.

  18. avatar Ed Schrade says:

    I do not trust anyone that was in the liberal Bush administration.

  19. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

    Anyone that was a Bush,father and son appointee does not bode well for Freedom and Liberty of this nation.

    1. avatar frank speak says:

      special interests have always governed their actions….there’s a dark side to the bushes….

  20. avatar 22winmag says:

    More deep state slime to be appointed to the cabinet.

    Anybody who can’t see right through this lousy one-term President needs to get their head checked.

    1. avatar DN says:

      Anyone who asserts he is not the best president in 100 years when it comes to Second Amendment rights is a lying sack of crap or is willfully ignorant.

      And you call him a lousy president. OK. Name a better one or even a better candidate that had a prayer or STFU

  21. avatar Geoff says:

    From what I have read, lawsuits are being prepared against BATFE if they arbitrarily redefine a bump stock as a machine gun, which it obviously isn’t.
    Their own definition says one pull of the trigger and remove my finger and the bump stock keeps firing.
    And machinegun will include “a device that allows semiautomatic firearms to shoot more than one shot with a single pull of the trigger by harnessing the recoil energy of the semiautomatic firearm to which it is affixed so that the trigger resets and continues firing without additional physical manipulation of the trigger by the shooter
    No, my finger keeps manipulating the trigger.

  22. avatar little horn says:

    guys, its inevitable. more gun restrictions are coming. think about it, the law has only gotten MORE stringent on guns so why would it go the opposite? it won’t. and just like Climate Change i don’t think there is anything we can do about it.
    this is not me giving up, its me living in reality and adapting to it which is the key to survival.

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