Gun Groups to Fight New Obama Regulations in Court
Gun rights advocates said yesterday that they would file lawsuits to block implementation of President Obama’s new firearm regulations. But the Department of Justice has circled the wagons in defense of the restrictions, as Attorney General Holder vowed to “vigorously oppose” efforts to overturn them in court.
A month ago, we at the Blaze told you about Obama’s upcoming executive orders here. Today, Fox News is reporting that those gun restrictions face legal challenges from the National Rifle Association and the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
These two groups are funding separate lawsuits being brought by two Arizona gun stores.They intend to petition a federal judge to block ATF implementation of the gun regulations. According to an advance copy of the industry group’s lawsuit, gun rights advocates will claim that:
“Congress has conferred only limited authority on ATF to require federally-licensed firearms dealers to submit information regarding firearms sales. In this case, ATF’s demand exceeds its authority and is prohibited under federal law.”
The Department of Justice disagrees, citing existing requirements to keep track of firearms sales. DOJ says its enhancements of the existing laws are within executive authority.
The newly imposed requirements are intended to make it more difficult for straw buyers in the U.S. to purchase weapons in bulk and smuggle them to drug cartels in Mexico. This in itself has raised many eyebrows among those who believe in robust 2nd Amendment protections, as Holder’s DOJ has been implicated in operations where federal agents knowingly sold weapons to straw buyers and then allowed the guns to end up in the hands of Mexican drug cartel members. One such weapon was found at the scene of murdered U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.
The case may come down to a question of Congressional vs. Presidential authority. Congress passed a law in 1986 codifying that sales of multiple handguns must be recorded by gun dealers.But the new Obama regulations appear to go well beyond that statute, requiring dealers to report on longarms sales to federal authorities. There are also concerns that in compiling information on these weapons sales, federal authorities will have access to the information in a centralized database, which could violate a separate Congressional prohibition.
Wayne LaPierre, the executive vice president of the NRA, sees this as a critical Second Amendment fight. LaPierre said Obama’s executive order regulations are a:
“Blatant attempt by the Obama administration to pursue their gun control agenda through back-door rule-making, and the N.R.A. will fight them every step of the way.”
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