A few days ago, the Blaze reported on the low-key plans of the Obama administration to increase the penalties for certain gun law violations, and add steps to the background checks for legal gun ownership.
Today the administration’s plans are beginning to come into effect. Through an Executive Order, the Obama administration is implementing new restrictions on the sale of certain weapons in border states, and increasing the penalties for violating certain firearms laws.
Fox News is reporting on the purpose of the gun control executive orders:
“In an effort to stem the illicit flow of weapons into Mexico, the Justice Department announced Monday that all gun shops in four Southwest border states will be required to alert the federal government to frequent buyers of high-powered rifles.
Under the new policy, federal firearms licensees in Texas, California, Arizona and New Mexico must report purchases of two or more of some types of rifles by the same person in a five-day span. The requirement applies to purchases of semi-automatic rifles that have detachable magazines and a caliber of greater than .22.
ATF estimates it will generate 18,000 reports a year. ATF will retain the information and if no investigative leads have been realized after two years, it will be purged.”
The Daily Beast seems to have the inside track on more Executive Orders, however, claiming recent conversations with administration officials. TDB says the upcoming Executive Orders will have more impact than what Fox outlines above, including:
“A national electronic system designed to make background checks for handgun buyers simpler and faster, leaving an electronic paper trail. [And] Tougher sentencing guidelines for straw buyers that Holder’s department pushed through procedural hoops at the U.S. Sentencing Commission earlier this year.”
The Executive Orders come in the middle of the “Fast and Furious” scandal currently plaguing the administration. Already, there is talk on Capitol Hill of a cover-up at the highest levels of government, and it appears to some that the administration was feeding the lethal problem of firearms trafficking it ostensibly intended to address with “Fast and Furious.”
The question remains- if these Executive Orders are ‘common sense’ measures as the administration claims, why not let Congress enact them as laws? And if they are minor tweaks to existing law as others claim, are they necessary at all?
As background, here is a short clip of Obama in 2004 on gun control. He agrees that the second amendment means…something, but beyond that, the details get hazy.