It’s good to be king, particularly if you are a president who wants to impose more infringements on that which shall not be infringed, and Congress is disinclined to play along. As President of the United States, that would be (or should be) a problem, because the separation of powers built into the structure of our government splits power among the three branches of government (and no–not Sen. Schumer’s “three branches of government”), but for a king who rules by decree, it’s as easy as, “Stroke of the pen. Law of the Land. Kinda cool.”
According to the Huffington Post’s Sam Stein, that’s what King Barack the First . . .er, President Obama is looking at now:
Faced with a Congress hostile to even slight restrictions of Second Amendment rights, the Obama administration is exploring potential changes to gun laws that can be secured strictly through executive action, administration officials say.
This will doubtless greatly please New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, whose Mayors Against Illegal Guns group suggested just such a course of action well over a year ago. Salon magazine also likes the idea, as discussed here back in January:
Salon then goes on to describe “three relatively simple but important steps the Obama administration could take right away.” Those consist of:
- More heavy-handed BATFE harassment of gun shows
- Block importation of “AK-47s” (presumably, Salon means the semi-automatic copies of AK-47s). This, oddly enough, is ostensibly to counter the supposed problem of these rifles leaving the U.S., and going to Mexico (something we’ve discussed before)
- More heavy-handed BATFE harassment of gun dealers
This administration’s history also suggests a certain penchant for simply bypassing that pesky Congress, when the legislative process looks too unwieldy. Using (abusing?) the power of the executive branch, to impose more regulation on gun (and even knife) owners, is something of a favorite tactic of the Obama administration, as David Kopel noted last December, on the Encyclopædia Britannica Blog:
The Department of Defense announced that it would stop selling surplus ammunition casings to the domestic market. The Customs and Border Protection agency announced a regulatory interpretation that would ban the import and interstate sale of 80 percent of folding knives. The State Department used existing legal authority to block the import of 850,000 US-made M1 Garand and M1 Carbine rifles which the South Korean military wished to sell to U.S. consumers. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives changed a statutory interpretation so as to make it much more difficult for firearms testing companies, firearms patent lawyers, firearms journalists, and the like to temporarily acquire firearms for testing—even though BATFE admitted that the old system had never led to a single instance of firearms misuse.
Since then, we have seen the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) request the power to require gun dealers to report multiple long gun sales–despite the non-existence of any law imposing such a requirement–and many expect the administration to eventually grant that request (if not blocked by Congress).
Mr. Kopel goes on to note that not all of these regulatory measures stood–Congress blocked the knife ban, and good old-fashioned grassroots activism forced the DoD to back down on the used cartridge casing disposal policy. Still, using (abusing?) the power of the executive branch would appear to be the most promising avenue of advance for Obama’s forcible citizen disarmament agenda.
The irony inherent to the fact that many of these measures would entrust more power to the BATFE–the very agency that we now know has been supplying the Mexican drug syndicates with weapons, in service to an agenda to gain even more power and funding, is apparently lost on supporters of all these new regulatory restrictions. That, of course, is just how the administration wants it–and how it just might get it, if a certain “800 lb. gorilla” doesn’t get up off it’s . . . er, backside.
It cannot realistically be doubted that Obama would dearly love to sign Sen. Chuck Schumer’s S. 436 (or Congresswoman Carolyn “What’s a Barrel Shroud?” McCarthy’s House version of the same bill, announced yesterday). We’ll probably take a closer look at that abomination tomorrow. Even if he can’t succeed with that ambitious agenda, though, a bunch of administrative “rule changes” will go a long way to imposing more restrictions on Americans. He’ll take what he can get.
- A grassroots win for gun rights
- When gun bans are not enough–the war on . . . pocket knives?
- Bloomberg anti-gun blueprint revealed
- What will the Obama administration’s ‘gun control’ agenda look like?
- Is onslaught of ‘gun show loophole’ legislation–and worse–about to begin?
- The 800 pound gorilla stirs, but hasn’t got off its [backside] yet, contented to merely sniff the over-ripe banana that is the Gunwalker scandal.
- Strokes of the pen and the 800 pound gorilla’s false pretenses.