New York mayor and noted gun-grabber Michael Bloomberg went on Meet the Press today and told Obama he should skirt Congress and the Constitution and take executive action against firearms owners in the United States.
“It’s time for the president, I think, to stand up and lead and tell this country what we should do — not go to Congress and say, ‘What do you guys want to do?’ This should be his number one agenda. He’s president of the United States,” Bloomberg said.
“What the president can do is number one, through executive action, he can order his agencies to enforce the laws more aggressively.”
Issuing an executive action, unlike an executive order, does not modify a law. Executive actions, a Obama administration office told NBC News in October, concern “regulation, enforcement, statements of policy… and numerous other things.”
Obama, unlike his predecessors, “is not expanding executive power to meet the demands of an external crisis. Instead, he is counteracting a new pattern of partisan behavior – nonstop congressional obstruction – with a new, partisan pattern of his own,” Andrew Romano and Daniel Klaidman wrote for Newsweek prior to the election.
White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer told Newsweek Obama will “work with Congress where we can – and then be willing to act where they won’t.”
Obama imposed a number of unilateral executive actions in his first term, including a move to stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act in court, implementing greenhouse-gas regulations held up in the Senate by allowing the EPA to interpret existing law, bypassing the usual confirmation process to make four recess appointments while the Senate held pro forma sessions to block them, and ignoring Congress and violating the Constitution by sending troops to Libya (see the entire list posted at Breitbart.com).
Obama has already used executive action to instruct the ATF to conficate guns. In September, Obama’s Justice Department gave the ARF authority to “seize and administratively forfeit property involved in controlled-substance abuses.” In other words, the agency now has the power to size firearms from people not convicted of a crime or even charged with a crime.
In July, as the Fast and Furious scandal unfolded, Obama’s Justice Department devised new rules requiring border-state gun dealers to report large purchases of firearms made by individual buyers over short periods of time.
“Limiting the Second Amendment rights of law abiding citizens is not going to solve the problem of guns being trafficked into Mexico,” said Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, following the order. “This rule unfairly punishes citizens in border states who have the right to purchase firearms to protect themselves and their families from dangerous drug traffickers and human smugglers.”
“Without the approval of Congress, Obama is making gun shops in border states report gun purchasers to the federal government. Obama bypassed Congress and, instead, used the Justice Department to make this the law of the land,” said Alan Gottlieb, Chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.
“The anti-gun rules require gun dealers to report anyone who makes multiple semi-automatic weapon purchases within five days to the ATF. The gun buyer’s personal information is then put into a massive government list where their gun activity will likely be tracked and monitored for the rest of their lives. 18,000 law-abiding Americans will be put on this list every year.”
48 hours after the Gabby Giffords shooting, Attorney General Eric Holder sent out a memo almost completely ignored by the establishment media. The memo called for more restrictive sentencing of so-called “straw purchasers” who buy weapons and transfer them to someone else (this activity was encouraged by the government during Operation Fast and Furious).
Obama and his gun-grabbing allies in Congress may try to gum up the current background check system implemented under the Brady law under the guise of eliminating supposed loopholes. If they can turn the system into a bureaucratic nightmare, background checks may grind to a halt and fewer firearm permits will be issued.
Currently, 92% of Brady background checks through NICS (National Instant Criminal Background Check System) are completed while the FBI is still on the phone with the gun dealer. If this system can be further tied up with red tape and new regulations imposed by executive action or decree, fewer firearms will be sold by federally licensed dealers, manufacturers and importers.
If the above can be implemented and Obama and the Democrats move to outlaw unlicensed private sellers who are not subject to the Brady Act, then the sale of legal firearms can be reduced to a trickle.
The ATF has moved to shut down gun shows. In 2010, the agency issued directions banning private sales of guns without licenses at gun shows in Texas, despite there being no law to justify such demands.