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27 Jan. 2016

        What follows are excerpts from a White House press release of 4 Jan. 2016, with commentary to explain the ramifications of some of the provisions.  The subject is President Obama’s newest proposals on gun control.  I note that he isn’t issuing a new executive order.  The items that follow appear to be directing agency heads by executive memo instead.

          If you want to vet this press release, look on the web page.  They have a drop-down of the press releases, and you can see the entire text for yourself, or you can just contact me and I’ll E-mail it to you.  I’m condensing these excerpts for brevity.

          Here we go:

          ATF is finalizing a rule to require background checks for people trying to buy some of the most dangerous weapons and other items through a trust, corporation, or other legal entity.

Evidently there’s a loophole in the requirements to get a federal permit to own a fully automatic weapon.  The effort to be undertaken is to shut off the sales of fully automatic weapons when the actual buyer isn’t clearly stated or the purpose for the purchase can’t be validated.  My guess is they’ll pretty much shut off the individual applications, too.  That doesn’t take any direction from the president.  The ATF can just slow-roll all applications.  It already takes a ton of paperwork and many months.  Soon the months may become . . . never.  Guess I won’t be getting that BAR I wanted for next Christmas.

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch has sent a letter to States highlighting the importance of receiving complete criminal history.

The Justice Department is leaning on state governments to turn over all their criminal files, not just the essential NCIS reporting.  Doing so will lead to the feds deciding who can or should have a gun instead of decisions made by local law enforcement according to existing state laws. The Tenth Amendment takes another hit.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is overhauling the background check system to make it more effective and efficient. The envisioned improvements include processing background checks 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and improving notification of local authorities when certain prohibited persons unlawfully attempt to buy a gun. The FBI will hire more than 230 additional examiners and other staff to help process these background checks.

Other than the increased federal payroll to do background checks, this doesn’t seem all that bad.  But, you can expect some new requirements to go along with this; new forms, etc.  Once the new sources of data to screen are available, those extra 230 people won’t be enough.  Beware of anything advertised as a process improvement.  When the agenda is to find ways to deny guns, does it make sense that this move is to serve the people better and faster?

The Attorney General convened a call with U.S. Attorneys around the country to direct federal prosecutors to continue to focus on smart and effective enforcement of our gun laws.

I’m not so sure the right words are “smart and effective.”  I’m thinking the right words are “complete and total.”  If they can charge you for thinking about using a gun in an illegal way, expect it.  This could be a Draconian move.

The President’s FY2017 budget will include funding for 200 new ATF agents and investigators to help enforce our gun laws.

More bureaucratic piling on.  Obama’s army continues to grow!  Stay tuned on this.  He doesn’t have the budget authority now.  Will Speaker Ryan help him on this?

ATF has established an Internet Investigation Center to track illegal online firearms trafficking and is dedicating $4 million and additional personnel to enhance the National Integrated Ballistics Information Network.

This seems straightforward enough, but my sense tells me they’ll spend most of their time tracking legal sales.  More folks for NIBN, too.  Wonder how many?

ATF is finalizing a rule to ensure that dealers who ship firearms notify law enforcement if their guns are lost or stolen in transit.

This seems logical.  There are already laws that require this reporting.  I’m sure dealers already tell local law enforcement, shipping companies, insurers, Postal Inspectors, etc.  Maybe they sometimes don’t think about notifying ATF.  They already have the law, so it looks like they’re going after the forgetful folks with a heavy hammer.  I’m thinking they’re about to use every excuse possible to lift licenses from gun dealers.

The Attorney General issued a memo encouraging every U.S. Attorney’s Office to renew domestic violence outreach efforts.

Domestic abusers – the next people on the terrorist watch list.  I think we need to figure out what “domestic violence outreach efforts” really means.  Does anyone know?  Whatever it is, there’s another sub-class of people who will be banned from gun ownership.

The Administration is proposing a new $500 million investment to increase access to mental health care.

Federalizing mental health!  Yes, it’s true that many states don’t turn over commitment records to the feds.  Looks like they’ll be doing it soon, though.  The feds want to screen all those records so they can justify confiscating guns from average citizens.  Ever been to a psychiatrist for depression?  Ever taken Zoloft?  Ever been committed, even if only for observation?  Ever . . . . ?  They want your guns.  You’re a past and present danger.  Oh, and don’t think that $500M will be used on any mental health care.  No, that money is for bribes to the states to get in line and comply with documentation requirements.

The Social Security Administration has indicated that it will begin the rulemaking process to include information in the background check system about beneficiaries who are prohibited from possessing a firearm for mental health reasons.

Yes indeed, this is yet another one.  The Social Security Administration will be turning over its files to the ATF for those who have some form of mental disability or for whom documentation exists indicating a benefits recipient has ever taken psychoactive drugs. This includes retirees and those on Medicare and Medicaid.  They want your guns, too.  You, too, are a past and present danger.  This information used to be Privacy Act Protected and could only be shared with another federal agency by court order, concerning a named individual.  Forget that!  The rule will change, and the files will be totally opened to any federal agency that wants them.

The Department of Health and Human Services is finalizing a rule to remove unnecessary legal barriers preventing States from reporting relevant information about people prohibited from possessing a gun for specific mental health reasons.

More of the same.  DHS is working hand in glove with ATF to identify all the potentially unstable people, even if that instability was documented when you were a 10 year old child with ADD that went away over time.  All of you whackos are dangers!  And, forget about privacy.  Your medical record is now fully open for the feds to inspect.  The old doctor-client privilege thing – forget about it!  Those days are long gone. 

The President has directed the Departments of Defense, Justice, and Homeland Security to conduct or sponsor research into gun safety technology.

They say they are looking into safe gun technology to procure for federal agency use.  Most safe gun technology I am aware of has one critical issue – the gun has a response time requirement before it can respond, just as with so-called smart gun technology.  Bad guys won’t wait until your gun turns on and your “friend or foe” sensor registers.  As soon as they realize you have a safe/smart gun, they’ll understand they’re the ones who are safe and they’ll unload on you.  Plan on this . . . if the feds continue down this road there will be an edict that the only gun a person is allowed to possess is one with approved safe and smart technology embedded.  Such an edict will guarantee all domestic gun owners are easy targets.

The President has also directed the departments to review the availability of smart gun technology on a regular basis, and to explore potential ways to further its use and development to more broadly improve gun safety.

More of the same.  Think about this, also.  Most current smart gun technology involves some kind of embedded chip and sensor.  Don’t you think the feds have devices that can automatically neutralize those features so that no gun you buy with approved technology can be used against any fed?  That sounds good if you’re in law enforcement, but it means you’ll have absolutely no protection from a tyrannical government.  I recall the Second Amendment had some thought of the people always having that capability.

Most of the press on this new policy emphasis was on the so-called “Gun Show Loophole” that allowed casual gun sellers to set up at a gun show and sell a few weapons.  The “loophole” took into account that collectors and people who want to sell off a few of their excess guns don’t want to apply for a license for what is more hobby or a one-time thing than a business.  The feds want all sellers and traders to get a license to do so, and are contemplating some truly serious penalties for anyone who fails to do so.  In the future expect it to be considered illegal to will a gun to your son or daughter without a license to convey it.  Expect it to be illegal for hunters to swap guns as many hunters are known to do.  Expect it to be illegal to sell off collectible pieces at gun shows for any reason unless you have that dealer’s license.  What’s the purpose of all that?  If everyone has to have a license the whole trade will necessarily slow down, and it will be much easier for the feds to know who has guns, what kind, and for how long.  Their goal is to eventually make it so hard to convey a gun without a license that you’ll see law enforcement agents show up on doorsteps when they learn of the death of a gun owner.  They’ll be there to confiscate and destroy the guns.  There’s more than one way to eliminate guns from a society.  This tactic may be slow, but over a span of years, it will have much of the desired effect.

The most troubling aspect of the current emphasis is the steady encroachment on the populace.  This administration is looking for any segment of society they can isolate, characterize, and deny.  They’re doing it administratively, not through court orders.  It’s all a clear violation of an individual’s Constitutional right to due process.  Second Amendment rights are currently being removed by bureaucratic fiat.  It will only get worse.

Now, for the big question!  WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO ABOUT THIS?

In Liberty,