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President Obama (courtesy

There’s been a flurry of news about the impending executive orders from President Obama on gun control. There are few hard facts about what’s coming down the pipeline. But if you read the tea leaves with enough regularity you can see patterns emerge and get a glimmer of things to come. Let me channel my inner Hari Seldon and predict the immediate future of gun control in America . . .

There’s little doubt that the executive orders being readied are trying to close the so-called “gun show loophole,” a term that the civilian disarmament community now uses to cover any and all private party firearms sales. We have a pretty good idea of the specific avenue of attack: the “in the business” regulation of the FFL system.

The Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) system was put in place by the Gun Control Act of 1968. The Act mandated that anyone “in the business” of buying and selling guns required a license from the federal government. Anyone engaged in interstate commerce in guns of any kind also needs a license. Under the Act, a private party can sell firearms from their personal collection – not for profit or business purposes – without federal oversight, provided the transaction occurs in their own state. No license required. No no background check required (because access to the NICS system requires an FFL, which the average person can’t get). It’s a reasonable carve-out given that the transaction isn’t profit-related and involves a legal product sold legally to a legal buyer without crossing state lines (so the interstate commerce clause of the Constitution doesn’t apply, and instead it leaves that regulation up to the individual states). Note: it’s illegal for anyone to knowingly sell any gun to a prohibited person. Period.

The “issue” in play, due to be the subject of President Obama’s executive order sometime next week: the definition of being “in the business” of selling firearms.

There’s no hard and fast number of guns an individual may sell that determines that he’s “in the business” of selling guns. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) takes a “we know it when we see it” approach. With their limited budget – courtesy of Congress’s suspicion of their intent – the ATF doesn’t have the resources to investigate individuals who push the envelope of the “in the business” provision to sell a large number of guns to private individuals.

Because President Obama has the ability to dictate various minor administrative changes through executive action, the President can set a benchmark for the number of guns sold or transferred that constitutes being “in the business of selling guns.” And he can do it without consulting Congress. It’s entirely within his Constitutional powers to do that. The real question: where will he set that bar? I’d say there’s about a 60 percent chance that the President will draw the line at five guns per year and a 40 percent chance that he goes all-in and lower the bar to selling a single gun.

I buy and sell guns more often than most, and I’ve sold far fewer than five guns this year. Setting the number at five is low enough to let gun control activists claim a victory, that they have shut off the dreaded “gun show loophole.” But it’s still high enough that the average American can continue buying and selling guns without any major impact. The bad news: if and when a Democrat president comes into office, she can lower that number to one under whatever pretense she desires at any time.

That’s the smart move. Then again, the very nature of gun control activism is based on a sense that guns are evil and punishing loathsome gun owners in any way shape or form is a worthy pursuit. So it’s entirely possible that Obama will go all-in declaring that anyone selling a gun is “in the business” of selling guns and needs a license. If that happens, we might see a much more vocal reaction from the population as they are now directly affected by the change. The biggest impact that would have on the chain of events is in influencing the next election, putting even more weight behind the “anyone but Hillary” argument.

What then?

If the EO goes through, millions of Americans will be forced to buy and sell guns through an FFL (as some states now mandate), where previously they bought and sold privately. Areas with a single dealer will see transfer fees go through the roof. Others might see a price war where fees drop to a nominal amount for person-to-person transfers. Either way, nearly all gun sales will flow through licensed dealers, with all sales being recorded, and a fee charged for each transaction.

The NRA will rightly proclaim that the EO is an egregious infringement on Americans’ right to keep and bear arms. I give it a 40 percent chance that Congress will pass a bill out of the House of Representatives to change things back the way they were, and a 25 percent chance such a bill bill passes the Senate. But that’s where it will end. There’s no chance President Obama will sign such legislation and even less chance that Congress has enough votes for a veto override.

The main problem: the average American doesn’t have a problem with mandating that every firearms transaction involve a federal background check. No matter how hard the NRA presses Congress to change the law it’s not politically viable. For those legislators who need to fight to keep their red seat from turning blue, rolling back Obama’s changes will be branded by the opposition as “re-opening the gun show loophole” and making America less safe.” It’s a rallying cry which pro-gun control pols would use to run roughshod over pro-gun right incumbents.

Meanwhile, the Second Amendment Foundation will file a lawsuit claiming such an executive order violates the reserved rights of the states to regulate commerce within their borders. The NRA might join in, but it seems like Allan Gottlieb does far better when he’s flying solo and sticking it to the man.

The lower courts will laugh the SAF out of their chambers, but they’ll persevere and file appeal after appeal hoping to get to the Supreme Court hoping for a definitive ruling. If they make it that far, I give the Supremes a 30 percent chance of hearing the case — given their past track record they don’t seem to want anything more to do with the Second Amendment and are happy to use the lower courts to do their dirty work.

Should the Supremes agree to hear such a case I make it toss-up as to whether they’d defend the right to buy and sell firearms without federal “supervision.” Even agreeing to hear the case would be out of character, so much like the rise of The Mule that’s something that my powers of deduction cannot penetrate.

In the short term, there’s not much the gun rights folks can do. Every avenue of attack is blocked, and even if the case were to wind its way through the courts, President Obama would be out of office before a judgement is handed down. Whatever President Obama puts in place would be the law of the land, at least as long as he’s in office.

Looking past 2016, things get murky . . .

Should America elect a Democrat as the next president, this would become the “new normal”: private firearms sales would be a thing of the past. The next president might well remove any lower limit and require every firearms sold to be done with a background check, all under the pretext of “cracking down on guns.” Congress would probably be incapable of passing new legislation to revamp the FFL system and restore the previous status quo. For the reasons stated above, even pro-gun Republicans would consider the “restore private sales” issue politically toxic.

If a Republican is elected president, the likelihood of this change being repealed would remain remote. With a re-election campaign only four years away and Democrats breathing down their necks, the new Republicans would want to tread lightly. Repealing this seemingly minor change would be very low on their to-do list. They would have to choose which hills were worth dying over. I doubt this would be one of them.

The best case scenario wouldn’t be a repeal of the executive order. The better option: Congress gets their act together and passes an update to the Gun Control Act of 1968 that allows for individuals to have a Federal Firearms License without being “in the business” of selling guns.

That would re-open the flood gates of private party sales (with background checks!) and enable guns to be shipped directly to the doors of Americans. This would have a similar impact to what Amazon did to the mom and pop stores in cities, leaving only the larger brick and mortar stores to duke it out for the remaining market share. While this would be the best possible outcome from this whole debacle, there’s no more than a 10 percent probability of it ever happening. That’s disappointing, but realistic.

The most likely scenario (and my 90 percent bet) is that nothing happens. Congress fails to act, the SAF lawsuit fails, and the executive orders remain in place. “Gun violence” continues unchecked – because this feel-good measure has nothing whatsoever to do with the real flow of illegal guns. It will only punish America’s law-abiding gun owners. As a result, gun control activists will continue to demand that “something must be done” — again, still. And the window of “acceptable” gun control solutions will creep further and further towards revocation of Americans’ Second Amendment rights, and we play the game again.

I hope I’m wrong.

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    • All of this overlooks the problem of enforcement. If I sell a gun to a buddy and a couple of years down the road he sells it to his buddy, how do the feds prove that either of those sales happened after the implementaion of the EO? All they can dig up is the original transfer of the gun to me. After that, there is no documentation. Now, this would make it easier to prove an illegal sale if I tried to sell a gun that I bought from an FFL after the date of the EO, but with some 300 million guns currently in private hands, that is a hell of a lot of guns out there that could still be traded between people without the Feds knowing.

      You really can’t enforce this sort of thing without registration, which I don’t think could be done with an EO.

      • While true, I think you are overlooking the tendency of people to talk/brag about their newest purchase. Combine those witnesses with credit/debit card records showing the first-time purchase of ammo in a new-to-you caliber and/or gun-specific accessories, and I’d bet convictions could be had in many cases.

        And as you said, as the pool of guns purchased after the law gets larger and larger, it would be easier and easier to find folks who inadvertently sold a post-law gun to someone without meeting the requirements of the law. People would become less likely to talk about their guns, driving such discussions underground, pushing the “guns are bad” viewpoint, and further demonizing gun ownership with the non-gun-owning public.

        • This works for a limit of 1 gun to be in the business, but not for 5. They may be able to prove you sold a particular gun, but unless all the guns you sold were used in crimes, they wouldn’t be able to find the other guns to prove you sold 5 or more.

        • I think their enforcement actions will be aimed at unlicensed people who are selling at gunshows, at least initially. I’ve seen the local ATF folks walk around with a clipboard at the start of our local gunshows, marking down how many guns are on each table, and whether or not the table renter is a licensed dealer or not. Start with 10 guns on the table, end up with 4 or less, and they’ve got probable cause, which can drive a warrant to look at your finances, including credit/debit card purchases and other stuff. They can also track you from show to show, using the gunshow organizer’s vendor list; setup and sell one gun at 6 different shows, there you go.

        • Just the mere idea that government is monitoring and controlling my access to the tool designed only to keep enemies at bay and government in check is enough to make me wanna spit.

        • Credit card records don’t show what you bought, just where and how much spent.

          The merchant keeps the sales record, but they would anyway.

        • Would you like to bet that the cops couldn’t get the retailers and transaction numbers from the credit card company and have each retailer run a list of purchased items, such as the one that appears on your store receipt (complete with UPC #s), if they got a warrant for your financial records while investigating a crime? One stop or phone call, two stops or phone calls, or three; does it really matter if they get the info eventually?

          And if it’s not already available digitally, it will be before long…

      • Vast majority of laws on the books go unenforced most of the time because it’s simply impossible to enforce them consistently. Even something like theft.

      • If the Golfer in Chief was serious about reducing gun violence he would make a campain towards increasing morality. The tools are not the problem. Make it cool and hip to treat people well, and at least not put a few fmjs in eachothers faces, then things will improve. They already know that shooting people unjustifiably is illegal.

        Then add to that the drive knowledge to be successful in life with hard work and crime will actually decrease.

        This background check nonsense will save no one.

        • Ben, only individuals can do those things for themselves. They can lead others by example, but nobody has the power or authority to do any of that for someone else. Expecting politicians to lead in this is beyond impossible.

        • Nice thought Ben, even a utopian thought, but won’t happen, particularly when you have a party and President that politically survives on the rhetoric and bait of class warfare.

      • While that might be true, and without any particular knowledge, my bet is that registration is EXACTLY what he is going to try. Legality and constitutionality men absolutely nothing to him.

      • Well, I’d say you would only be smart to record that sale; after all, you don’t want to be responsible for what happens with it after you sell it, even if it’s to a friend. I’ve written up bills of sale even when giving a gun to one of my children. Therefore, there would be a record of the sale(s) which you would surely use one day if that gun ends up involved in any LE investigation.

        • You may be right, sometime in the future. Right now, the fact that I owned a particular firearm 30 years ago proves absolutely nothing. Should somebody pretend it does, they can attempt to prove it to a jury. I will never keep such records, for the express purpose of denying the government the ability to construct an accurate registry. You pays your money and takes your choices, I will not comply.

        • Under the postulated rules, someone bought a gun through an FFL. Then that gun is sold to a different resident of the same state, without a background check (we are skirting the law, remember?). Then that gun is sold again, and so on. Finally, the gun is recovered at a crime scene and over time traced to the original owner. At that point records of transactions will be required of the original owner. Inability to produce the records will pretty much be all that is required for a criminal charge. The prosecution will argue the original owner failed to follow the law, evidenced by lack of documentation of the private sale.The defense lawyer will be left to defend non-compliance. Challenging the validity of the law will do little to sway a jury. The only recourse would be for the now-convicted felon to file a civil rights law suit challenging the law. The entire time, the original buyer is behind bars. We all love to believe that we alone will be able to defeat government tyranny by declaring we are right/correct in ignoring the law. Truth is the government if full of people who ponder night and day how to tighten control over the populace. They have almost limitless resources to do just that, especially when you piss them off. Now, this doesn’t mean thousands of people won’t ignore the law and get away with it. But the one guy who is caught will pay the price for disobedience of the thousands.

  1. …an a 40 percent chance that he goes all in and lowers the bar to selling a single gun…

    I don’t see it happening. Not even Valerie Jarrett, er, Obama has the stones to attempt such a blatant attempt at executive legislation that violates clear legislative intent. If the Congress had intended to require background checks for all transfers, their laws would not have excluded private transfers.

    Set the “in the business” limit at 10? Sure. 5? That’s pushing it. But 1? No way.

    • After seven years with this president, I have learned when something sounds so brazen and absurd that even he wouldn’t stoop that low, expect exactly that to happen. This is a man who’s idea of compromise is, “we are doing things my way or I am going to beat you over the head until you agree to do things my way”

      • Not that Obama wouldn’t WANT to set the limit this low, but I agree with Chip.

        Local ATF agents started enforcing a 50-guns-per-year “rule” at the last gunshow here four weeks ago (told one non-licensed vendor that if he set-up and sold one more gun (he’s been doing this regularly) that he would be arrested; he took his stuff and left). I think that’s too high, and perhaps was an intermediate level of enforcement as they waited for the final rule to come down the pike.

        I’m thinking the cutoff will be selling 10-12 guns a year, as that can be vigorously defended with a variation of the typical “anyone who sells more than one gun a month is a gun dealer!” rhetoric. I did hear a 25-guns-per-year number floated in a recent article, so that might be “the number”, too (selling 2 guns a month, same rhetoric could be applied).

        If they are smart, they’ll put in a one-time exception for widows/widowers to liquidate any number of guns on the death of their gun-collecting partner, else they will have to sell to a dealer at a financial loss or spread-out the sales over multiple years to avoid the definition (which I’m sure would be looked upon by liberals as “exploiting the yearly total loophole”).

        • If they are smart, they’ll put in a one-time exception for widows/widowers to liquidate any number of guns on the death of their gun-collecting partner …

          Bwa ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! Such a feature would be reasonable. Gun grabbers have no interest in being reasonable. They want to make it as difficult, expensive, and dangerous as possible to own and possess firearms. For that reason alone, I do not foresee any accommodations for widows or widowers or even executors of estates for that matter.

        • While I believe what you say is true, gun grabbers DO want to APPEAR reasonable, especially to the people on the outside of the discussion, looking in.

          I’m not holding my breath, but such a one-time exemption would be considered very “reasonable” by most anti-gun folks, if by allowing it, it helped the underlying more serious restrictions to be ensconced into law and/or be more widely accepted.

        • Any set number will be lowered by each succeeding Dem POTUS until it reaches 1, or zero, to be sold without FFL background check. Just as the number of FFLs has been lowered over time.

          Being “in the business” should be determined, if it is something that should be looked at at all, by seeing that the sales constitute a sizable percentage of that person’s yearly income.

          Personally I’d like the whole “background check” system to be abolished entirely as an infringement on the 2nd. Its only reason for being is to make it possible to eventually have that registration list. By moving to eliminate private sales they get another, major, step closer to that goal.

        • “Local ATF agents started enforcing a 50-guns-per-year “rule” at the last gunshow here four weeks ago”

          GREAT!! So you can tell us how these ATF agents knew how many guns he had sold! With what evidence did they confront him? We are all damn near certain that the federal government is maintaining a completely illegal, indeed felonious, firearm registry, did these fools admit that, demonstrate their power to break federal law with impunity? Because if so, it really is time to load our guns and head to DC, for a little demonstration of our own, in front of ATF headquarters.

          “Personally I’d like the whole “background check” system to be abolished entirely as an infringement on the 2nd.”

          How about just because it’s expensive and useless?

        • People ! You are overlooking the power of the government to coerce the populace. There are three kinds of law in this country: criminal, civil, administrative. The latter stands the popular notion of proving violation on its head. Under administrative law (and all agencies of the government have administrative law at their disposal), the government only need accuse a citizen of a law violation. At that point, the accused must prove the government wrong. That’s right, guilty until proven innocent. So, the ATF can roll up to a vendor table and demand the gun seller prove sales do/did not exceed the whatever limit the ATF states. The gun seller will then be required to either produce the evidence at an ATF office, or at an administrative law hearing. Failure to produce the records will result in conviction. Convictions in administrative court cannot be appealed elsewhere based on violation of “innocent until proven guilty”. Appeals will be restricted to failure of the agency and/or administrative law court to follow established administrative procedures.

    • There ya’ go. Even 5 would be a stretch. Isn’t there a “livelihood” component as well as a “profit” component to being “in the business” in the statutory language? No one sells 5 guns a year as a matter of earning a living. Obama is a nutcake and personally I wouldn’t put anything past him, but he evidently does have some people working for him that have some sense of reality. Saying selling even a single gun constitutes “being in the business” would be flagrantly abusive and would invite a lawsuit–or dozens of lawsuits–that the admin would be sure to lose at some point. Not to mention successful appeals of any criminal convictions that might come about as a result of such a ruling.

      • Would that mean that if I sell whatever the number is, then I am deemed by the government to be in the business? Would that also mean I could deduct all of my shooting related expenses as part of that business?

        • Dirk Diggler discusses this in a post time at 10:49, below.

          While I believe he is correct, having a FFL also brings with it many other potential “problems” such as requiring a storefront and/or business location, setting business hours when you can be reached, zoning issues for home businesses (used by many localities to drive some home-based FFLs out of business), collecting state and local sales taxes, Federal record-keeping, being available for Federal ATF inspections, responding to trace requests in a timely manner, etc.

          Having a FFL ain’t all fun and games; even less so if it is forced upon you by the government when you aren’t actually making a living by selling guns. Most people will just stop, which is what the .GOV would prefer, anyway.

    • I don’t see how the claim that selling a single firearm constitutes being in the business of selling firearms makes it through the lower courts. All it would take is one federal judge in Texas to put a stop to it.

      • According to the Washington Post;

        The current federal statute dictates that those who are “engaged in the business” of dealing firearms need to obtain a federal license — and, therefore, conduct background checks — but 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.”

        The law specifically exempts private sellers, there’s no way to eliminate that exemption through executive order.

        • Oh, I love that “for a hobby”, since that is precisely what we’re talking about, if that is, in fact, in the *statute*, there is no way The Jerk can just wave his magic phone and declare it is not.

    • In the previous post Robert Farago wrote- “Anyone who sells more than a certain number per year – I’m thinking 20, but it could be ten – has to run a background check on anyone who buys from them.
      Again, not the biggest of big deals. A PITA and an added expense for a lot of folks, but they don’t represent a high percentage of gun owners.”
      It’s not a PITA for a lot of folks, just for a few- an average of 20 gun sales/year is a shite-ton for a ‘regular guy’ non-dealer! If the White House sets the bar lower, to 5-10, they will cover more people, but 10/year is still way above average.
      No way can BHO claim 1 gun sale per year equals being “in the business” of selling firearms, no way.
      In any event, Congress should pass a law capping FFL NICS fees at $20-25 nation-wide to prevent predatory pricing from jerk dealers.

      • People who attend gun shows “for a hobby” may well buy/sell more than 50 per year, without having a storefront, or website, or annual statements of profit and loss, or whatever else the moron can dream up as a reason to deny an FFL. All we have to do is make the FFL available with no strings, call it $100/year and able to PASS a NICS check and no further questions, and I can go along with a new law dictating that. Still not a Royal Decree, he’s in the wrong branch of government to make law, maybe he should resign and run for the senate! But that is the way it was before (I think) the 1986 revamp, not 1968 GCA.

    • I agree that setting the limit at a single sale is very unlikely, given a long history in the law of the elements of determining when one is “in the business”. Five is possible, however, and ten seems most likely to me; a jury is unlikely to buy a lower number.

      • Without a registry, being completely ignored is also a possibility. What are they gonna do, revoke your FFL? Without a registry, there is no evidence you’ve committed any crime, especially if what you “violated” was an EO, not even a law.

  2. Look, a tidal wave of anti-gun EO’s and anti-gun regulations are going to roll over states that are already anti-gun.

    Look no further than Connecticut, New York and California if you want to see how the full court press will work. These states will be the test beds used to launch anti-gun initiatives in other states.

    Gun rights are in serious trouble because those who oppose gun rights are well funded by the likes of Bloomberg and company.

    There have been a few victories, but, these people, even when they lose in court, ignore the ruling of the court. See: Harris and the waiting period ruling and Heller and DC.

    • I was talking with a guy about how we felt New York and Connecticut were both progressive test runs to find out how workable gun confiscation via registration would be. I think they were figuring, “Ok, let’s go to a couple of blue states, demand registration, and see how many comply.” With gun owners in Connecticut and more so New York basically refusing to register their “assault weapons” I’m guessing the antis realized it was an idea that wasn’t going to work as planned. I’m sure there’s more to come. Keep an eye on both those states and California if you want to see into the future of the anti-gun movement.

      • The problem we, as gun owners, are facing is the absolute lawlessness of the anti-gun people.

        Court rulings mean nothing to these people. Statists routinely ignore the courts without any consequences.

        With our current court system, we are now in a “heads I win, tales you lose situation.” Courts will rule against the like of a Kamela Harris and Harris will ignore the ruling and file whatever blizzard of documents it takes to get another bite at the court apple. And the courts can no longer be trusted to rule according to the law.

        The rule of law is dead in this country and anyone who believes otherwise is in denial.

        Again, look at DC with the Heller ruling. Tell me what has substantially changed in DC after the Heller ruling.

        I know people want to believe that we’re in a situation where all we need to do is educate the other side, because they are acting out of ignorance.

        No, people like Harris are not acting out of ignorance. Harris is after power and is a committed ideologue. People like Harris do not serve the people. People like Harris serve themselves and think ordinary people live to serve them.

        • You got it in one !

          The greatest triumph of evil is to convince people that evil does not exist. Evil is now known as “incompetent”, “clueless”, “uninformed”, “well intentioned”, “mistaken”.

          There is no educating “the other side”. “The other side” already declared war on anyone who does not comply with whatever intrusive, enslaving involvement in private lives is proposed by “the other side”. Good people want to settle issues and move on with their lives. “The other side” will persist until the will to resist is broken or breached. Time is on the side of “the other side”; always has been. It is why the US was at one time unique…it was good (deTocgueville).

        • Exactly. And when the sense of loss of rule of law is felt by a critical mass of the people, some will see there is no other way to restore law and order under the Constitution than to dissolve the current government and start a new one.

        • Yup. Then the question will be whether there are enough so convinced to carry the day. I figure it will take around 10%, given that the other 90% will be either unarmed or uninvolved, or both.

      • I am pretty sure all of these states already have universal registration, plus Maryland and New Jersey. (California adopted handgun registration in 1991 and long gun registration in 2015. I’ve been told by a retired LEO and an FFL that the State doesn’t call it that, but the fact is that there is a computerized database of all dealer records of sale.)

    • Gun rights are in danger because gun owners have adopted the “slave state, free state mentality”. This is a nationwide issue, not a local issue. kapo bloomberg realizes this and is fighting a national war.

      A lot of gun owners only see their immediate locale and ignore or even condemn those that don’t live next to them.

      • jwm,

        I have heard you express the same sentiment before.

        The single reason that I don’t go “all in” for California? I have limited time and money. And, as far as I can tell, even if I invested all of my time and money on the situation in California, it would not change anything. And yet there are jurisdictions where my time and money does improve our environment for gun rights. So, it seems utterly foolish to me to quite literally waste time and money on California when I can actually make a difference in other locations.

        Look at it this way. At the onset of World War II, why didn’t the U.S. immediately send a ground invasion force to mainland Japan and Germany? Answer: because we would have suffered huge losses AND it would not have won the war. Sometimes, we have to bide our time, or worse, cut our losses. Such is the case in California. The legislature and governor are NOT going to support firearms rights, period, no matter how many people complain or attend rallies. The populace of California is NOT going to elect pro-gun legislators or governors, period. The California Attorney General does NOT support firearms rights, period. The California Supreme Court does NOT support firearms rights, period. The Ninth Circus Circuit Court does not support firearms rights, period. The U.S. Supreme Court no longer supports firearms rights, period. And no amount of external time or money is going to change those realities.

        Thus, we have exhausted the proverbial soap box, ballot box, and jury box in California. The only remaining options are submission, defiance, coordinated resistance (the “ammo box”), or leaving.

  3. If a Republican other than Donald Trump is elected then he will revoke every Obama EO as his first act.

    • That’s what I’m hoping. If a republican is president their very first day is just a simple EO that repeals any EO signed by Obama. Simple way to remove any unconstitutional EO from Obama.

    • Right, because so many Republicans have such a great track record of doing the right thing once they get into office. I expect a Republican president to do jack s*** about Barack’s EOs once they get in office.

      • ^^ This.

        I know Trump ain’t popular around here, but I would expect this to be repealed by another Rep just as much as I expect affordable health care to be repealed… That is to say I don’t. At all. Ever. Sorry, but we don’t have an Obama in our candidate lineup, and by that I mean somebody willing to ramrod/repeal/ignore BS as he sees fit based on what he believes is right.

        • Trump may or may not void any specific Obama EO but he has made it clear that he “wants to get things done” so he is ok with the concept of rule by executive fiat.

          He will propose to eliminate ACA by putting forth a plan for single payer healthcare.

      • There is a proper sphere for executive orders. They are meant as orders for the executive branch that are derivative from legislative action or Constitutional authority.

  4. I live in a state that does require personal sales to go through a dealer with an FFL. The law had been in effect for a bit over a year when I asked my FFL guy how many of these private gun sales he had been involved in by doing background checks. He smiled and said I bet you can guess. Asked if other FFL dealers had similar experience he answered in the affirmative.

    So in my state the law has been pretty much a non issue. However, maybe it caused a complete cessation of private sales and effectively closed the gun show loophole once and for all! (Sarc)

    • Did you ask your dealer how much he is charging for this type of transaction? My understanding of this situation is that the dealers who don’t want to be involved in private transactions simply set the price so high that no one will attempt to use their business. Many of them are looking at it from the aspect of being able to eliminate their “competition” (private sellers that sell at lower prices that they do).

      And while I agree the dealers can freely set the price wherever they want, every dealer that sets a high transfer price should understand that they are making it harder for gun owners everywhere, and blocking new gun owners (many folks start by buying a used gun from a friend, relative or coworker) or reducing guns owned by established owners will reduce the shop owners’ business for ammo/accessories in the long run.

      • All three of the brick and mortar FFLs in my small town in California that do transfers for guns they did not sell (both private transfers and internet sales, which are the same, really) charge $75. Even if it is for a gun they do not sell and cannot get. My understanding is that the fee is the same at the gun shows both around here and in the big cities, although it may be higher at the Cow Palace in San Francisco. Since there is no other way for a transaction to be completed, you have to pay the piper. They usually charge much less ($25 to $35) for guns they sell. This fee does NOT include the California Dealer Record of Sale fee of $25.

        • The leftists are not stupid. They specialize in word games and gotcha politics. It would be no coincidence that FFLs cease private sales transactions, by refusing or extremely high fees. The leftists understand strategic targeting: dry up the supply, the beast dies.

  5. because this Executive Action has nothing whatsoever to do with the real flow of illegal guns but instead exists solely to punish the evil disgusting American gun owner.
    Hit the nail on the top with the hammer.

  6. The local newspaper (Greensboro NC) reported 34 murders for 2015. Only one has to do with domestic violence and this was a Hood rat with no permanent address killing his girlfriend. Many were stabbings, many were listed as unsolved, and many were listed as gang involved or gang related. I am sure these facts are repeated everywhere, from the countryside to Chicago. There is statistically almost no gun violence outside of the gang and slum populations. When do politicians lie?

  7. I’m with you, nothing is going to happen that we’ll notice. There’s too many vacations and rounds of golf to get in. But it does bother me why these politician are so hell bent on disarming us when we have much larger issues at stake.

  8. I remember the argument of the definition of a gun dealer and a private selling individual going back decades. From what I have read there has been some real court battles between the BATF and private selling individuals over the definition of a dealer. I would probably say that Obonzo will have a low limit of guns sold per year be the definition of a dealer.

  9. This is what gets my goat in this whole silly charade. Not one recent mass shooting would have been prevented by a background check (and I don’t even mind having to do a background check, my job requires me to do them regularly anyway). Background checks only catch the previously caught. They do nothing to prevent first-time criminals, or as in San Bernardino, first-time terrorists. And ISIS knows this full well, and recruits accordingly.

    It’s similar to the requirement of a passport to visit the Canadian side of Niagara Falls (there’s nothing provided by a passport a modern DL didn’t already provide). It does nothing–absolutely nothing–to change the situation it purports to cure. It ends up being nothing but extra red tape and fees (<–follow the $ always) and window dressing.

    • The Canucks started requiring a passport from US citizens because we started requiring one from Canadians. They were quite happy with the status quo.

      • Interesting.

        With Mexico, the issue was getting back IN to the US (at least for a while) without a passport. But alas, the border guys can bitch and moan, but it’s still your country and they cannot keep you out, bluster aside.

        I’d love to see a jury uphold a fine… for coming home.

  10. “The best case scenario wouldn’t be a repeal of the executive order. It’s pretty clear that the order will remain in effect no matter what happens. The better option: Congress gets their heads together and passes an update to the GCA ’68 that allows for individuals to have a Federal Firearms License without being “in the business” of selling guns.”

    Nick, some problems with the argument. See, if Barry Soetoro redefines “in the business” as selling a single gun, then anyone should be able to apply for an FFL themselves. Otherwise, it is denial of a right and there would be thousands of lawsuits cropping up and choking the court system over the Gov’t mandating a license, defining the requirement to exercise the right, and then denying anyone from getting such a license who meets the standard (arbitrary and capricious much?). Granted, these suits would be worthless in slave states, but in any really red state, a federal judge easily would block implementation (just like they did on the immigration crap). Actually, I would love for this to happen b/c then I can get an FFL pretty easily, and maybe even score some discounted merchandise. As for record keeping, meh. I am a lawyer by trade. We keep paper. Not that it needs to be organized.

    Additionally, if Barry changes the definition of “in the business”, there are IRS tax implications, mainly the ability to DEDUCT the costs of running this “business” (in other words, I can travel to gun shows and factory tours, trade shows, etc. on the federal ta-ta). Yes, there are rules about making a “profit” but easy enough to bunch your travel and expenses to have HUGE losses in one year and a very very small (like $2) profit the next year. IRS could try to audit, but the fact that there is an EO defining me as in the business versus me claiming it, well, I will take those odds. I have been audited before.

    Bring it Barry, you impotent, mom jean wearing hack.

  11. Probably the better argument against an executive order setting an arbitrary number for gun sales is that it such an order is an attempted end-run around the notice-and-comment provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act for the adoption of legally binding regulations.

  12. This would be just another feel good measure with no teeth. Absent mandated, universal record keeping of all privately owned firearms, there’s no way for such a rule to be enforced. And I guess that would be the worst case here: an EO that mandates all privately owned firearms be registered with the ATF.

    • Federal law prohibits the creation of a registration system for guns. No EO can violate or exceed the authority granted under federal statutory law. So this will not happen, no matter how much the banners might desire it, although it can (and has) happened under state law.

      • hhhmmm. where have you been for the last, oh i don’t know, 20 years? this is alice in wonderland; words (laws) mean what we (government) say they mean. you seem to imagine a world where bad actors look at the law and decide to not do something that would violate the law. to borrow from joe stalin, “how many divisions does the law have?” this is the time of not letting law get in the way of doing the right thing. once upon a time, not so long ago, obama claimed he was not a king and couldn’t just do what he wanted. then someone pointed out, “who is gonna stop you?” and here we are.

  13. Love the Foundation references,appropriate as this is an epic battle for civilization as we know it, depressing as it is.

  14. Everytown, the pro-gun control group led by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, has reportedly recommended adding to the definition the selling guns in their original packaging and reselling a gun shortly after acquiring it.
    That is not all that uncommon.
    I have a Colt Peacemaker in original packaging.

    • HOW MUCH of the original packaging? New boom sticks are packed with all kinds of crap in the box. To enforce, they’d have to define “original packaging” and track what’s included with a newly packaged gun. Chamber flag, safety manual, factory test target, foam, shrink wrap, the box over the box over the case, etc.

  15. Robert, there’s another option open to Congress. It is technologically feasible to create an instant background check system that would prevent creation of a gun registry. Create a public database of prohibited persons, indexed by a subset of the first ten items on the 4473, and distribute it at the cost of a USB thumb drive or perhaps convince public libraries each should have an up-to-date version. The database would be easily created by, instead of the search of records currently done by the NCIC “instant” check, doing an extraction of those who would be prohibited if checked.

    I’m sure my seat-of-the-pants description has some holes, but I’m fairly sure with a little thought it would be possible to mandate the replacement of the current system with one that would allow checks that would not be recorded by the compilers of the database.

    Would Barky or any other president sign such legislation? Maybe not, but such a veto would make even more apparent than it is now, especially to non-gun-owners and fence-sitters, that the calls for UBC are disguised calls for national gun registration.

    • This is actually the best proposal that I have yet to hear. Distribute the database of prohibited persons to all public libraries and let sellers verify that a potential buyer is NOT on the list.

      I am having a hard time seeing any holes in that … or any ways that government could abuse it (beyond putting names on the list that should not be on the list).

      • And it would be good to proliferate that list throughout the nation? Using bad data to comply with bad law cannot result in a good outcome.

        • I understand your point, but that’s already the case. The plus to the distributed prohibited persons database is the inability to use background checks to compile a gun registration database. Although using background check data to do do that is a violation of the law, we all know that the anarchic fed govt is doing it anyway.

        • There are states already in possession of official gun registries, registries they mandated for all gun sales. This is the grass roots means of getting a federal registry. When every state has an official registry, the feds will simply consolidate them.

      • The problem with this approach is that the list is then going to be used for all kinds of other things. For example, if you’re on the list, you might have trouble finding a job.

        A proper way to do it is to provide a uniform way to check for eligibility, but in such a way that the person being checked explicitly authorizes the check, and also make it illegal to use such checks for anything other than gun sales. Given that we’re already a decade into the 21st century, this might as well be entirely electronic. Basically, make a central database, and an app that lets you 1) request a temporary one-time key for yourself, and 2) do a check on a person, when said person provides you with a key for themselves. It’s fairly straightforward to apply public key cryptography here to guarantee security, and to issue “verification tickets” that you can later present to prove that you ran the check (but without having the server-side database record it; indeed, you shouldn’t even need to authenticate to run a check on someone else). Make apps for all popular mobile platforms, plus a web app for everything else, all of these open source, and with protocol publicly documented so that other implementations can be made.

        If you don’t have a computer or a smartphone, then you go to the library (and use the one there).

      • Coburn’s proposal was much more sophisticated, and had the advantage of demonstrating beyond a shadow of a doubt UBC proposals are about gun registration and nothing else.

        The buyer would get a pre-approved background check, which they would print out and take with them to the transaction. It would be valid for a specific time, maybe a week or so. The seller would call a toll-free number or visit a website and confirm the check with some form of ID, and they’d get back a confirmation code. They’re good to sell the buyer as many guns as they want, having confirmed they’re not a prohibited person. No serial numbers or any facts about the guns are recorded.

        Still not great, because it’s an infringement and security theater, but at least it made it about the people, instead of the guns. Predictably, the anti-gun people loathed the idea.

    • The database changes daily (except weekends and holidays). And there are “same name” issues as well, which is why we pay the FBI to sort through all the false positives.

        • Actually, yes, they do, but you have to ask. I’ve been flagged on NICS checks twice, false positives both times. You do have to write a letter to FBI to figure out why you’ve been denied, though, and potentially talk to them on the phone to straighten things out.

        • ah.

          my reading was that “generally” the FBI has resources checking and double checking to ensure the list(s) is/are accurate. that would be silly to assume.

    • How long before people start using that database for other things? After all you can just go to a public library…

  16. There is a chance that the backlash will drive a lot of passive citizens to the voting booth to give the Democrats a really unpleasant surprise in November, 2016. If enough new Republicans are elected and we get a Republican President, it is entirely possible that legislative action may make suppressors fully legal and exempt from the NFA or maybe even do away with the increasingly irrelevant SBR limitations. We might get a national concealed-carry reciprocity law. All laws could be revised and gun rights could, in fact, be significantly increased by a fully Republican Congress and President, so plan to vote and take all like-minded people to the polls with you.

  17. ONCE AGAIN no private sales that don’t require a background check in Illinois. And-everyone deals with it. Yeah it sucks. Republicans need to get off their dead azzes. Satan at 1600 will attempt everything he(or she) thinks it can get away with…

    • Your choice. Personally, I would rather avoid the felony for ignoring the state law requirement (and possible federal law violation). Even if I avoided jail, it would be a career ender for me.

      • And here we have it. Proof positive we will not see mass civil disobedience or civil war. I do not disagree with the reasoning, do not oppose the reasoning; truth is a harsh mistress. The cost of defiance is extreme. Few of us would actually bear it. It is not 1775, or 1860; different times, tougher people. We have gone way beyond where those people would have tolerated government interference.

        • The cost of defiance is always measured against the cost of compliance. In this case, the latter is simply not significant enough for the vast majority of people. To remind, 1776 happened after the colonists suffered considerable economic losses under the new policies (Stamp Act, Boston Port Act etc) for quite some time. The talk of liberty, death to tyrants etc all came much later, as a last resort – in other words, it was a justification for the revolution, but it wasn’t the original reason for it.

    • Mark N. draws a useful distinction. It’s one thing to *approve* of such crap. It’s another to acknowledge that it is there and then decide whether it’s less hazardous to comply than not.

  18. I liked your early reference to Isaac Asimov and the Foundation series. Don’t expect to find references to such old science fiction classics these days. Heck, I read those books in the 1950’s…

  19. Let’s hope some courteous civil disobedience breaks out in that private transactions continue and are accompanied by a deliberate avoidance of background checks. I was heartened that when Oregon passed a background check law, some gun owners showed up at the state capitol to openly protest by exchanging firearms on the spot near the Capitol building. Let that happen in D.C. I don’t assume any protests like that will happen. Given that there is no current federal registration scheme, I don’t see how any EO requiring background checks on all gun transactions, whatever the nature of those transactions, will make any difference whatsoever. In fact I am hoping it will result in just that much more in the way of private sales.

  20. I have not heard anyone talk about other options.

    Couldn’t Dear Leader cut off the flow of any/all firearms from foreign manufacturers? And I am not just talking about Russian or Chinese AK-47 or AK-74s, I am talking everything — rifles, shotguns, and handguns — including manufacturers like IWI, CZ, Sig, Taurus and Rossi, Benelli, etc. from the likes of Israel, Czech Republic, Germany, Brazil, and Italy respectively. Imagine how many handguns and rifles that would remove from the supply in the U.S. While that would not demonstrably make it any harder per se for a self-radicalized terrorist wannabe to acquire a firearm, it would potentially increase the price of domestic firearms and would, at the very least, punish us collectively for failing to submit.

    Wouldn’t Dear Leader also be able to put the kabash to all ammunition imports as well? He could forbid the importation of ammunition from South Korea (PMC ammunition), Czech Republic (Sellier and Bellot), Italy (Fiocchi), and of course Russia (Wolf, Tula, and Brown/Silver/Golden Bear ammunition). As with foreign firearm imports, this would not prevent a terrorist wannabe from acquiring ammunition … all it would do is drive up the price of ammunition as punishment for the rest of us for failing to submit.

    Can anyone clarify if anything stops Dear Leader from halting all firearms and ammunition imports?

    • He could, but he won’t.

      His handlers won’t let him, because doing anything radically unpopular will torpedo the DNC in the next election.

      • “…because doing anything radically unpopular will torpedo the DNC in the next election.”


        But nothing stops him from creating a ‘framework’ that can be ‘tweaked’ at a later date.

      • Who is to say that Obummer’s handlers, or even the populace for that matter, will perceive such an executive order to be wildly unpopular? I can guarantee that the DNC big-wigs will hear plenty of support for such a firearm and ammunition ban in their echo chambers. Are they really honest and unbiased enough to reject their own doctrine and make a sound tactical decision?

        • It is beyond doubt Obama has “handlers”. He is not that smart (thus his shielded school records), he is not that quick-witted (thus his problems speaking without a tele-prompter), he is not focused (except on himself), he is still just a community organizer (with no comprehension of anything beyond), he is likely illiterate (hence Obama’s autobiographical novels written by Bill Ayers).

          Someone else must be running the show, behind the curtain.

    • He can redefine “sporting purposes” more or less arbitrarily, but it would still be subject to a court review if someone challenges. One thing he might try is classify part kits importation as non-sporting if they are eventually used to build a gun that wouldn’t fit the classification. This would block some guns like Vz 58 and Tavor, but then again, we already have 100% US-made AKs…

      • About the 100% US AK. It took us years, more than a decade since the expiration of the national AWB for companies to get around to it. Even then their quality is still subpar to the imports. Their castings are garbage being made by the cheapest metallurgist in South Korea. PSA has been shamed by their crappy AK builds and have abandoned that project going back to AR’s. “Kalashnikov USA”, a shill company using the name to confuse ignorant gun owners, is doing the same thing as PSA so I am not going to be surprised when they too put out the same garbage plus their Saiga conversions were garbage too so I don’t expect much from them if they can’t even do.conversions right. Century has been 50/50 with their builds but they too use inferior quality metal so I question the long-term durability of their products. The only company who is trying and doesn’t want to charge an arm and a leg for a true, 100% American AK that can actually hang with the imports is DDI.

        What I am trying to say is that just because something is banned does not mean it can be replicated properly, correctly, qualitatively, and at a price most Americans are willing to pay for said gun. The history of failed companies or shysters who surprisingly are still in business in the U.S. market is astounding to say the least when it comes to AK’s. The G3 and FAL have had better success with the likes of PTR and DSA respectively but then again most American gun owners like/and or respect them more compared to the AK.

    • This government has been doing it for years even under Republican presidents as low hanging fruit for gun control because most gun owners are superpatriot, buy ‘Murican only, blowhards. They either don’t know or actively support it because it doesn’t affect their AR’s, 1911’s, Glocks, or Remchesterby six-shooters because you are a traitor if you don’t buy ‘Murican /sarc. Heck there are many gun owners who have no clue what 922r is cause they only buy ‘Murican, have no clue that 7n6 even existed and is now banned, that Canada gets tons of surplus 7.62×39 because they don’t have a stupid AP/steel core ban when the only surplus we can get is from the former Yugoslavia because they decided to use lead core ammo so we are stuck with overpriced, lower quality commercial imports like Tula and Wolf.

      But to answer your question, imports can be banned for any reason whatsoever at any time with no reason because who is going to stop them? Heck there had been new updates that the ATF was lying about why 7n6 ammo was banned, several actually, but because it does not affect the aforementioned firearms that most Americans buy because they are too apathetic or lazy to look beyond what is made in their borders there is barely a peep among the community that ATF lies keep being exposed but no one especially gun owners care!!!!

      And to close out my rant, the people who are supposedly on our side like Ruger, Smith & Wesson, Federal, Remington, etc. nary a peep from them on these bans. I don’t blame them since it eliminates competition but it shows how they don’t release statements even at least paying lip support that these bans are unconstitutional. I would not be surprised if they supported these bans because like I said it eliminates competition. There are many in our ranks who pick and choose what to support and it is disgusting!!!

  21. Nick, As Han Solo said… Never tell me the odds..

    If we went by “the odds”, the Founding Fathers never would have had a snot of a chance against the largest army and navy at that time.

    The point is never count the underdog out… In the case of gun rights- while the power mangers roil and rage in infringing our Natural Rights, millions and millions of our fellow citizens have learned about the importance of the right to bear arms. They have in turn bought millions and millions of guns to excercise that right. Like most tinpot dictators, Obama and the Progressive Democrats in their perssecution of lawful gun owners have started their own demise.
    We, as the People of the Gun have to continue to educate citizens about their rights and get all of us involved in the process of fighting legally for their rights.
    Happy New Year

  22. More predictions:

    people will still privately sell one or two guns to people they know in violation of the law. There’s no way for the feds to know, no way for them to find out, and no way for them to enforce it.

    Criminals will not change their behavior at all.

    Giving ground on this does not serve our interests in any way.

  23. The number ATF has used over the years is that 7 guns can be sold at a profit by individuals annually without having the requirement of getting an FFL. The exception of this is if you are selling a gun collection to obtain funds (like to pay bills, divorce, etc.) or getting rid of a gun collection then you can sell as many as you have without an FFL. However, if they feel that you are wheeling and dealing with a gun collection for profit (buying, selling and trading to make a buck) they will charge you. I know this as I have held every ATF license (NFA import, manufacturer, dealer, DD, etc.) over the past 30 years.

    • Also, the other way you can sell more than 7 guns per year is if you are doing so to “enhance a collection” but again, if you are faking the collector status to make a buck, they will charge you with dealing without an FFL. They key here is if you are “selling for profit” not necessarily the amount of guns that are being sold.

  24. I think what this EO will mainly do is set up a national database on firearms. Which ends up circumventing states that previously did not have to go through an FFL to do a private sale. Here in California we already have to do this and asides from the transaction being on the books for the FFL they also add that transaction to the state’s own database.

  25. [“Gun violence” continues unchecked – because this feel-good measure has nothing whatsoever to do with the real flow of illegal guns. It will only punish America’s law-abiding gun owners. As a result, gun control activists will continue to demand that “something must be done” — again, still. And the window of “acceptable” gun control solutions will creep further and further towards revocation of Americans’ Second Amendment rights, and we play the game again.]

    I think you have accidentally stumbled upon the long-term strategy of the gun-control movement. One of our biggest frustrations has always been that the restrictions imposed by the gun-haters never do anything to stop criminals from using guns. Now it is clear, this is INTENTIONAL!!

    What else could explain their rejection of ideas that WOULD help the actual problem? (Mental health reforms, for example.) They WANT their new laws to fail, because that gives them reason to add EVEN MORE LAWS, until as you write, finally, the only thing left will be the complete elimination of private ownership altogether.

    • One of the rules of radicals is to force opponents to comply with increasingly complex laws such that compliance becomes impossible, proving opponents cannot succeed. This is why Obamacare was designed from the beginning to cause the private insurance industry to fail, leaving government national healthcare as the only solution remaining.

      • The flaw in the strategy is that private health insurance is a piece of paper that can be generated at near zero cost so firms can enter or leave the industry at the speed of a carriage return. ACA can drive insurance companies out of the market and it’s repeal can induce them to re-enter the market literally over night.

        • You are really underestimating how inventive the leftists can be.

          1. Higher excise tax on everything gun related
          2. (Following the cell phone industry)
          – – 911 service fee for every gun or part sold
          – – Department of Whatever service fee for maintaining the NICS
          – – OSHA service fee for monitoring metal contamination at every gun range
          – – Mandatory government insurance program (as in National Flood Insurance)
          – – IRS compliance fee for tracking and tracing private gun sales to determine if sales are hobby or business
          – – EPA fees for maintaining monitoring stations to ensure the led/copper/brass removed from gun ranges is properly disposed
          – – Intrusion alarm service fee for gun stores and shooting ranges (just because)

          Need I go on? When government types decide to change your behavior they can make life terribly difficult. I know….I was one.

  26. Here in MA, where gun rights are respected

    Sorry. That made me laugh so hard that I couldn’t type. Anyway

    Here in MA, I can buy any number of guns, but if I sell more than four in a year I am “in the business” and need an occupational license.

    Because the Commonwealth hates me but it loves my money.

  27. I keep coming back to this – EO’s are not enforceable rules or regulations in regards to non-executive branch employees. They are only applicable to executive branch employees – think of it as the same sort of limits faced by the president of a company.

    What they want is rule making, which could make these suggestions (such as how many guns a month you can sell w/o a FFL license) binding on the public. But, that would require formal APA (Administrative Procedures Act) Notice and Comment proceedings, and there is no way that they could review the comments that would be submitted before Obama leaves office.

    So, let us assume that the President (or one of his minions) issues some sort of EO that sets the number of guns that someone can sell before needing a FFL, or background checks, etc. If you want to obey the EO, then fine. But what happens if you don’t? It can’t be used against you in a court of law (because it is an EO, and not a formal rule or regulation), so what good is it? ATF says that you violated the EO. You ask, “so what”? It doesn’t apply to you, just them (the ATF). Sure, the ATF can go after you, esp. in borderline cases, but if they did so, they would likely just get their budget cut, again, for more malfeasance. They don’t have the budget to do what they should be doing, even with the current, somewhat generous, definition of being in the gun business. Imagine their problems if they were forced to use a much lower level – they don’t have the manpower to enforce the current level, so why expect them to be able to prosecute on a lower level (even assuming that the new limit was rational, which is likely won’t be).

    • Nice sentiment, but ineffective. Regardless of the niceties of the law, we face a government that can and will do whatever it wants for a whole host of reasons. So, how would this play out? Obama issues EO, agencies send out notices to those they rule over (and yes, they do); one of the persons who must comply with agency instructions/rules/laws/regulations refuses; charges are filed against the individual; lengthy and expensive court proceedings ensue; months or years go by, targeted person prevails; all the time, effort and money spent fighting is lost; agency continues all along to “enforce” its rules; after ruling, agency continues with impunity to ignore the court; nothing changes.

    • I scrolled down the comments section anxiously anticipating a response like this … nice work. Your observations will hopefully be an encouragement to those who are fearing the future. BTW … FFL transfers in my area have never been over $30 (mostly $25).

      • The original statement and this reply are meaningful if you still believe corrupt politicians and leftists will refrain from corruption and illegal acts because a law prohibits same.

    • The EO in question wouldn’t be an enforceable rule in and of itself – it would clarify the meaning of a specific term in a law (that is very much enforceable against you!), that is vague, and which the implementing executive agency like ATF needs to be interpreted (and has been granted the authority to interpret).

  28. A $100 bucks in my area in CA was normal. A lot of other places charged more like $150. It was garbage. All the local dealers did not want to compete with online prices so they made it cost prohibitive to buy a gun online. For instance one dealer had $1000 AR’s on the shelf. Oh and this being CA person to person transfers were non-existent.

    • Just to be clear, I think you mean person-to-person without using an FFL for the transfer. I am vague on this point–I think there is a statutory cap on the fee that may be charged for a face to face sale (like $25 or something, plus DROS).

  29. I’ll go you one better. I’ll predict their primary group of thugs (as usual) will be the IRS. A new form/schedule where you have to disclose each gun. Must include date purchased/price, date sold/price, and S/N. Retain supporting documents for 5yr.

    As it is well established that the IRS can do ANYTHING they want, this will likely will also include disclosure of who you sold the gun to so that they can verify selling price (was a taxable profit received). As this will be for tax purposes rather than to establish a registry good to go. Budget soothsayers will predict balancing the budget with the new tax revenue.

    How did they get Capone? With the law or with the IRS?

    Anyone assembling AR on stripped lower will be determined to be a manufacturer.

  30. The only real issue I have with our article is the statement that a private individual cannot sell a firearm across state lines without an FFL. I believe this is incorrect. My understanding is that a private individual can do so as long as the gun is shipped to an FFL in the buyer’s state of residence for completion of the transaction.

  31. And this is merely the beginning of what Obama will do in 2016. If we survive 2016 without some sort of revolution, I will be surprised. Scary times.

  32. Tack on additioanl ferderal charges and min. jail time for those proven to use a gun for violent and illegal purposes. We have to do something to slow this revolving door of gun uses for violent criminal acts, and just expounding “enforce laws on the books” clearly is not working and allowing judges and the system to let these criminals back on the street after a few years just so they can re-offend. That is the only federal gun initiative I would support.

  33. I just heard a little bit of his blurb, something about if we can just save one child from gun violence blahblahblah.

    I am 100% confident that he will apply his “save just one” philosophy to all Americans and save just one of us from the terrorism and lawlessness of illegal aliens and Jihadis by returning to sane and sensible immigration ploicy.

  34. It sounds about right, but what if it was even crazier than that?
    What if Obama would try to enforce the planned “Assault Weapon Ban 2015”?

    I’m not an US law specialist, but if they could pass this law an EO, it would be very very bad and pretty much just like EU did enforce gun control laws (very similar to this proposition) to each European countries (by people that were not even elected).

    • An AWB cannot be passed as EO, since it would directly contradict actual existing law on the matter. Basically, he can redefine vaguely defined terms in the law, or tell ATF to make decisions in a certain way on subjects where they have authority to interpret, but that’s about it. Anything above and beyond would be shut down by pretty much any court really quick.

      • Could he give the executive order to the FBI to reject any background check for firearms falling in the category as described by the Assault Weapon Ban 2015, could he?

        • Now you have it. EOs direct the agencies to do something, they do not apply to private citizens. THEN, the agency posts regulations implementing the EO. Those implementing regulations are what you will be charged with violating. Consequently, you will be forced to comply with the new regulations, or face punishment. Not for ignoring an EO, but for failure to comply with a now legal regulation. That is how the game is played.

        • No.

          NICS is only told that it is a long gun, handgun, or other (i.e. receivers). They have no clue what specific arm is being bought/transferred so this would be impossible to implement. They don’t know if it is a shotgun or rifle, bolt or semi, they are told just long gun. Same with handguns. They don’t know if it is a semi or revolver, just handgun. They could only find out once an audit is conducted on the store in person after the gun is already in your possession.

          Source: Worked at a gun store conducting background checks.

        • No, since the law specifically outlines the categories of people who must be denied; everyone else must be accepted. So he can muck around with definitions of those groups (like what exactly it means to be “mentally deficient”), but there isn’t all that much room for maneuver there. And since there is no ground to deny based on the type of weapon in the law, there’s no room for interpretation there at all.

          Indeed, given that 4473 doesn’t even list the make and model – only whether it’s handgun, long gun, or “other” – it would be physically impossible to do so without overhauling that first.

        • You are overlooking the secondary order effect. An EO could be issued to ATF, or whomever, to deny background checks on whichever type gun the government wants banned. Doesn’t even require the type gun be included on the federal form. All that needs to happen is to audit dealers to determine if any of the now banned guns were sold. Since all gun sales require a federally licensed dealer to conduct an NICS query, the combination of now banned gun sale and lack of or presence of a background check puts the dealer in jeopardy. Done and done.

        • What you’re saying is that the president can try to issue an EO in excess of his authority, and by virtue of being chief of executive, the subordinate agencies would have to comply. True, such a scheme would be shot down very fast by the courts precisely because it is obviously in excess of authority. All it would take is for one dealer to sue.

        • Given the recent federal court decisions, including one permitting restrictions on gun possession in order for a community to “feel safe”, given the defiance of Heller by the 9th Circus Court, and dozens of other anti-gun rulings, why are you supposing the courts would rein-in Obama and gang? The current challenge from the House of Representatives regarding EOs has not been settled (courts generally will not rule on political issues), and any suit challenging EOs regarding guns would have to come after that. Meanwhile a person is in jail for violating regulations stemming from EOs.

        • There is a difference between courts ruling on gun control laws, and courts ruling on presidential actions that are not laws. The former is firmly within the boundaries of the ongoing debate over the meaning, scope and applicability of the Second Amendment. The latter doesn’t involve 2A at all, and is all about powers of president vs Congress. There are significantly more people who have a vested interest in a decision thwarting the president on the latter.

        • Yes, more people might have an interest; agree. Doesn’t address the matter of the courts not taking cases they believe can be avoided by saying the case is a strictly political matter (rules of how government branches interact are not matters of law, and such as that). Even though a strictly political matter may be the root of illegality, the courts will go to great effort to avoid getting involved. Which is why I do not think an EO concerning 2A will interest the courts. And if it did, that case would be delayed until the current filing from the House of Representatives is settled (or not).

  35. “Congress . . . allows for individuals to have a Federal Firearms License without being “in the business” of selling guns.”
    I see U-BC as a far more serious threat than some 1 or 5 or 10 guns-per-year executive order to get an FFL. In either case, I see bringing-back the “Kitchen-Table FFL” as the smart counter-move.
    A congressman is NOT going to get into trouble voting for a law that supports “small business” in providing a government-mandated service such as BCs for rural citizens lawfully buying guns. Lower the cost of the license for FFLs booking transfers and mail-order sales. See to it that every gas station at the intersection of two dusty roads can afford to hang-out a shingle “Non-Stocking FFL – Transfers $ 5.00”. The public wants BCs? Well then Congress has to facilitate the public will.
    Now, let’s think critically about what sort of FFL-law would be the WORST-case scenario. How about this: Suppose one national chain like Cabelas were the only company in the country with the infrastructure to stay in business. Well, then, what we would have here would be a National Gun Registry. All the Feds would have to do is march into Cabelas’ data center with a subpoena and a case of magnetic computer tape. A couple of hours later they would walk-out with the 4473 forms for every lawful sale made during the preceding 20 years.
    What would be the BEST-case scenario imaginable under the GCA as envisioned by Congress in 1968? A nation with hundreds of thousands of FFLs. Kitchen tables. Hardware stores; feed & grain outlets; sporting goods stores. Most selling less than a gun or two a month. Almost all with real honest-to-goodness paper “bound-books”. A file-cabinet in the back with 4473 forms in hard-copy. How long would it take for the Feds to round up all these 4473s and the bound-books? Just about forever.
    The Antis want U-BC? Licensed small-scale sellers? The public supports these measures? What’s the best move we could make to turn their wish into their worst nightmare?

  36. Hrrm. They’ve pretty much made the soap box too toxic and rancorous to accomplish much, and they’re fast working on making the ballot box irrelevant, if they haven’t already.

    It almost looks to me as if they’re actively *trying* to push things to the point where the cartridge box is the only available recourse.

  37. I was hoping to read about another scenario.. Massive civil disobedience pertaining to any new federal gun laws…

    But I doubt we have the fortitude.

    • If there weren’t ALREADY massive disobedience of the gun laws, NOBODY would have been shot in Chicago when their handgun ban was in force.

      Without REGISTRATION, nothing he wants is possible, and he’s not getting that… although he could get a bloody “Michael Collins” style guerrilla war instead if wanted to push it.

  38. It’s FAR more likely that if Urkel goes full retard on gun control that he’ll simply be ignored by the vast majority of people.

    Virtually nobody is going to go through the trouble of getting and maintaining an FFL to sell a friend a gun. And they’re still going to sell that gun. After all, how will these simpletons know, without REGISTRATION, which they haven’t got a snowball’s chance in hell of getting?

    They call it “Irish democracy”.

  39. You left out: “And then they have their database of every gun sold, and eventually every gun in citizens’ hands.”

    Never forget the goal. Every move they make is aimed at the only end state they care about: no guns in citizens’ hands, guns only in the hands of operatives the official people officially control.

    I do believe it’s getting to be time to call them out on the ultimate goal as follows: “And how does this latest silly thing make a lick of sense … I mean aside from yet another backhanded step toward disarmament of all citizens?”

    Then make them prove how it’s *not* a useful step in that direction.

    • Replying to myself as a contrivance because this is a second thought.

      Yes, I know stating that ultimate goal sounds tinfoil hat crazy. Here’s the problem me and my tinfoil hat have: if (when) every single damn thing they do is predictable by simply assuming this is their goal, and not predictable by assuming any other goal I can think of … what’s a good empiricist to think?

      As much as I have some issues with Dan Rather, one of his famous quotes – no, not “What’s the frequency, Kenneth?” – applies: “If it walks like a duck, and looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, the point of the whole exercise is disarming the citizens.” (There’s some contention over the precise wording of that quote.)

  40. Between political power becoming increasingly centralized and the education system/media indoctrinating the young… repressive Australian-European gun control is inevitable. It’s merely a matter of whether it takes another 10 or 30 years to be fully enacted.

    After all, why would proles and cyborgs need guns?

  41. I’ll make it simpler: If she wins the office, you can expect a ban on private gun sales, if not more in a ban on semi-automatic guns or guns with capacities over 10 rounds.

    If a Republican wins, and if he’s a very conservative one, I think you’ll see what Nick predicts with private sales and transactions in general, AND then some. I think if enough of a movement was created, we could see a near total abolishment of the NFA in that barrel lengths, OAL’s, and suppressors will no longer be restricted NFA items. I think the machine guns/fully automatic guns will remain, open bolt guns will still be there because of their ease of being converted to full auto, and destructive devices like explosives and poison gases will stay.

    I’d say there’s a 40% of the above happening. What I think is a 100% chance of happening with a Republican president being elected is a National Reciprocity Act that will define the criteria of being eligible for concealed carry, which will likely be that if you can pass a background check, you can carry a gun concealed or openly, if your state allows open carry.

    I think good times are right around the corner, so long as we work together to keep the blonde Harlot out of the White House.

    • Wish I still had the link to the latest Demoncrat proposal. Read it once, and somehow came away with the notion that the term “assault weapon” was defined as any gun having “one or more of the following characteristics…”, with “pistol grip” being one of the criteria. If those words are in the legislation, and it passes, well you can imagine.

  42. Mr. Leghorn, I think you are spot on in predicting that the EO will pass and all subsequent challenges will fail. The hitch in the President’s “giddy up” will come with enforcement for individual sales. If a seller and buyer are willing to make the transaction in cash without a bill of sale, there just aren’t enough bodies in enforcement to stop that type of unrecorded transaction…even if both parties are blabbermouths, so long as they keep it off social media. A black market will be created.

    The real question in my mind is whether or not, at some future point, this type of constraint is placed on ammo transactions. The people can have all the guns they want, but if one chokes off the supply of ammo…eventually, we’re all just holding expensive clubs and blackjacks. Granted, I’m stretching the boundaries of imagination a bit here…but who would have imagined the current scenario back in 1968?

  43. Lots of great comments, people who know law well better than I.

    All said, I predict anything Obama does, considering he is or has the appearance of colluding with our puppet AG Lynch, the fur will fly within the rank and file of American’s as they absolutely hate the EO use, and have little trust of Obama.

    The danger is as some have said, about making the democrats look bad, weakening their campaign position. Playing the EO ‘change the firearm 2A’ card could easily make a lot of people mad a s hell. It doesn’t matter what is or what isn’t legal regarding an EO, Constitutional, etc. What matters is perception. And in an election year where a guy by the name of Trump is killing in the polls, frankly worrying the Clinton campaign a lot, the outgoing POTUS Democrat must be very careful.

    As far as I’m concerned with firearm/2A changes, they do only two things, decrease my advantages and increase them for the criminal element.

    Happy New Year.

    • Just exactly what is the result of that statement? When the government charged with enforcing the law is lawless, what difference doe it make that something is “illegal”? The government will charge you with a crime if they desire. Then you fall into a system completely controlled by the government. After years of cost, you might, might be vindicated. Meanwhile the government continues to do what they do. And after you are declared not guilty, that same government will treat your case as a one-off, meaning nothing in their continuing campaign to force the citizenry to bow to government control.

  44. I wonder what effect this EO will have on F-T-F sales in NJ where a Purchase Permit is required for handgun transactions. It appears that the state’s position is that since a comprehensive background check is required to get the permit, the NICs is unnecessary, having already been done. The seller sends a transaction record to the State Police and on the latest form, the buyer returns a copy to the PD that issued the permit. I’ll be interested to see if our Dem-dominated, anti-gun legislature tries to change that and if the Governor, fresh off his failed attempt to win a nomination for Presidential candidacy, vetoes any such measure. As for me, I think I’ll apply for an FFL.

    • Weird… that was supposed to go to a different article (the one about VA no longer accepting permits from a long list of states).

  45. ” Either way, nearly all gun sales will flow through licensed dealers, with all sales being recorded, and a fee charged for each transaction.”

    I could support this, if (and ONLY if) it also relieves me of liability should I sell one of my guns to someone (who passed NICS) and later did something stupid with it.

  46. There is nothing in the law about selling a gun for profit. Most likely any Executive Order will be overturned by a rider on a spending bill in the next Congress.

    • The IRS gets to determine whether you are engaged in a hobby or not. Linking efforts of different agencies is not as difficult as you might think.

      Like it or not, we are not dealing with idiots in the government. These are very smart people, and they dedicate their lives to putting controls on private citizens. They bob and weave, duck and finagle, obfuscate and deceive, doing anything to hem people into their control. The general populace, and all the people who own guns cannot and do not spend near the effort to thwart the government. Control over the government has long been lost. We are engaged, at best, in a fighting retreat. Reagan said we are always only one generation from losing it all. We are that last generation.

  47. If you can only purchase a gun through an FFL, then they stop issuing them and/or rescind them (hit them up with insurmountable operating requirements), that’s a defacto gun ban, and you’ll likely have to kill a lot of your neighbors to fix that, because there’s no fixing them. Thankfully, you have the RTKABA, to enable you to do so.

  48. The problem with this guys assessment and doom and gloom is that he does not know or state the law as it stands and passed by Congress which, by the way the president cannot change. He is not a king. That ATF law states “engaged in the business” means…” a person 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. A dealer can be “engaged in the business” without taking title of the firearms that are sold. However, the term does not include 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.”( The president cannot stop us from selling a rifle to a friend etc. Period! ATF can harass us but this is the law and the president cannot just decree that a single gun sale or a sale of one fifth of my collection is illegal just because I sell privately, to someone I know, who lives in my state, who holds a concealed weapon permit and where the state and local laws allow the action. NOTHING HAS CHANGED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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