The NRA and other gun rights groups have been warning that a second term Obama administration will “take the gloves off” on gun control. Relieved of the need to please The People of the Gun, the President will drop his down-low approach to gun control and pursue the gun grabbers’ Big Three on the federal level: close the “gun show loophole” (i.e., ban private sales), reinstate an assault weapons ban and prohibit the sale, purchase and ownership of “high capacity” magazines. We shall see. As the President’s party failed to secure control of the Congress and the Senate (as they did when he was first elected), the Big O won’t be able to ram through new gun control legislation without a fight. But there are plenty of dangers lurking within the dark corners of the Administration’s fetid federalism . . .
Perhaps the most credible threat to gun rights: Executive Order. The process allows the President to end-run Congress to create regulations—dictats really—that can directly affect American gun owners. Regs that directly contravene federal laws. Exhibit A . . .
After pretending to go through the normal channels of regulation creation, President Obama signed an Executive Order creating a long gun registry. Under the Order, some 8500 gun dealers in four states must file a same-day report with the ATF on any sale of two or more larger than .22 caliber rifles to the same buyer in a five-day period.
Originally touted as an “emergency measure” in response to a fictitious “iron river” of guns flowing from American gun stores to Mexican drug cartels—before and while it was revealed that the ATF was sponsoring gun smuggling on behalf of the Sinaloa cartel—the Long Gun Registry became a pilot program then a temporary program. It’s now here for the long haul, renewing automatically.
The Registry is a direct violation of the Firearms Owners Protection Act which specifically prohibits local, state and federal government from maintaining ANY kind of firearms registration system. Equally, it’s a clear example of an Obama administration gun control-related end-run around Congress. So the precedent is set.
Could the President sign an Executive Order banning assault weapons, private gun sales and “high capacity” magazines? He could. Would he? Any such move would probably be preceded by some sort of firearm-related “emergency.” The theory: whereas the President’s hands were tied (politically) after the Gabrielle Giffords and Aurora theater spree killings, the CIC would use the next mass shooting as an “excuse” to take sign an Order.
The other great danger lies within the possibility that the President will appoint one or two Supreme Court Justices who view gun rights like Natalie Dadon views financially challenged OFWGs. The newly constituted Supreme Court will vote down cases attempting to revoke unconstitutional gun control laws. Well, it doesn’t quite work that way.
“It has long been thought, starting from the ‘Miller’ case, that the Second Amendment did not protect such [an individual] right [to keep and bear arms] . . . Now the Heller decision has marked a very fundamental moment in the court’s jurisprudence with respect to the Second Amendment. And as I suggested to Senator Feinstein there is no question going forward that ‘Heller’ is the law, that it is entitled to all the precedent that any decision is entitled to and that is true to the ‘McDonald’ case as well . . .”
That’s Obama-nominated Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan’s “settled law” testimony to the Senate before her confirmation. Prior to the McDonald decision, both Kagan and Obama’s other nominee (Sonia Sotomayor) pledged to keep to the opinion voiced in the Heller decision. Both voted against the court’s majority opinion striking down Chicago’s gun ban.
You want close? McDonald was a 5 – 4 decision. So, if Obama gets another bite at the Supreme Court cherry, it’s really a question of whether or not the pro-gun Senate won’t get fooled again. In other words, assuming Kagan and Sotomayor lied through their teeth about their support for the individual right to keep and bear arms, the Senate has to make sure there’s not a threepeat.
This they can do—at least in theory. With the Senate’s history of missing the gun rights gunboat with Kagan and Sotomayor, the NRA and other pro-gun groups will have more credibility and urgency on their side. After all, mid-terms. Thankfully, the political process doesn’t end today. The balance of power in Washington shifts, ebbs and flows. And with Americans buying guns and obtaining concealed carry licenses in record numbers, there seems to be a clear move in the direction of gun rights.
Whatever happens, or doesn’t, TTAG will chronicle it all, on a daily basis. For those who supported Obama, congratulations. Help us keep the President “honest” in his stated support of the Second Amendment. For those who opposed the President’s reelection, commiserations. Help us keep the President “honest” in his stated support of the Second Amendment. The battle lines aren’t drawn yet, but they will be. And soon.