Obama’s Good News for Gun Owners

Posted on February 7, 2013. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , |

By Scott Orr

eo.guns.13.02.07Gun owners, many fearful that the federal government is plotting to disarm them, got some good news last week. President Obama signed 23 executive orders aimed at gun violence and not a single firearm was confiscated.

“Let’s do the right thing … for (shooting victims) and for the country that we love so much. Thank you. I’m going to sign these orders,” Obama said before putting pen to paper and acting unilaterally to tighten gun rules.

The orders call on federal agencies to take a raft of steps to, among many other things, improve the collection of data available for background checks, allow background checks before returning seized weapons, launch a national safe gun program, review safety standards on gun locks, provide first responders and school officials with guidance for dealing with active shooter situations, and otherwise enhance enforcement of existing gun laws.

Executive orders are kind of a grey area of U.S. law, neither constitutionally sanctioned nor prohibited. Once signed, though, they have the force of law and have withstood legal challenges. Contrary to the squeals of the most radical gun advocates, Obama’s actions are hardly some sinister new means to attack American’s Second Amendment rights.

Presidents have been using executive orders almost from the beginning of the Republic to do stuff way more significant than what Obama’s 23 orders did. Think President Lincoln’s suspension of the writ of habeas corpus during the Civil War or Roosevelt’s establishment of internment camps during World War II.

Still, there is no way the President would use executive orders to defy the Second Amendment, which has been reaffirmed by the Supreme Court twice in the past five years.

Even the National Rifle Association didn’t suggest Obama was out to strip its members of their precious firepower, but instead issued a statement saying it was concerned about the children.

This is from the NRA’s strange reaction to Obama’s executive orders: “Attacking firearms and ignoring children is not a solution to the crisis we face as a nation. Only honest, law-abiding gun owners will be affected and our children will remain vulnerable to the inevitability of more tragedy.”

Anyway, judge for yourself. Here, in the White House’s own language, are the 23 executive actions that the president signed:

1. “Issue a presidential memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system.”

2. “Address unnecessary legal barriers, particularly relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, that may prevent states from making information available to the background check system.”

3. “Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system.”

4. “Direct the attorney general to review categories of individuals prohibited from having a gun to make sure dangerous people are not slipping through the cracks.”

5. “Propose rulemaking to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun.”

6. “Publish a letter from ATF to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers.”

7. “Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign.”

8. “Review safety standards for gun locks and gun safes (Consumer Product Safety Commission).”

9. “Issue a presidential Memorandum to require federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations.”

10. “Release a DOJ report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and make it widely available to law enforcement.”

11. “Nominate an ATF director.”

12. “Provide law enforcement, first responders, and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations.”

13. “Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime.”

14. “Issue a presidential memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.”

15. “Direct the attorney general to issue a report on the availability and most effective use of new gun safety technologies and challenge the private sector to develop innovative technologies.”

16. “Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.”

17. “Release a letter to health care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law enforcement authorities.”

18. “Provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers.”

19. “Develop model emergency response plans for schools, houses of worship and institutions of higher education.”

20. “Release a letter to state health officials clarifying the scope of mental health services that Medicaid plans must cover.”

21. “Finalize regulations clarifying essential health benefits and parity requirements within ACA exchanges.”

22. “Commit to finalizing mental health parity regulations.”

23. “Launch a national dialogue led by Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan on mental health.”

Turner GPA is a leading D.C.-based national lobbying and government affairs firm dedicated to delivering cutting edge policy advocacy for the manufacturing, defense, aerospace, health and energy industries. Members of our professional policy team can be reached at (202) 466-2511. We are also on the Web at www.turnergpa.com.

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