The Fallacy of Obama’s ‘Executive Actions on Guns’

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It always bothers me a little when my fellow Second Amendment supporters go all ‘Chicken Little’ over the rantings of our narcissistic, marxist little president. With much fanfare from the mainstream media, President Obama recently announced his “23 Planned Executive Orders On Guns” summarized below. Let’s take a look at each one- and see what they actually change.

1. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system.

The ‘data’ available to the National Instant Check System is established by legislation, not presidential whim. Federal (and state) agencies already contribute authenticated information- but they do not decide who has been adjudicated 0f a disqualifying condition or offense. Nor does the president; only a court of competent jurisdiction can do that. Nothing changes.

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.

This simply addresses legal concerns of individual states regarding the release to NICS of what can only be interpreted as “mental health records”. Those records, incidentally, are generated by cases adjudicated in state courts. This has zero effect on the typical gun purchaser.

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

Again, the ‘information’ available to the National Instant Check System is established by legislation and already being shared. ‘Improving incentives’ accomplishes nothing.

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.

Prohibited categories are established by what, folks?? Legislation, not the whim of the president or Attorney General. Nothing changes.

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


Old cop here… and we have been doing that for years. If you didn’t dislike street cops so much Barry, you might have asked. Instead you surround yourself with police politicians who live for photo ops and to tell you anything you want to hear. Your loss, pal. Street cops are a hell of a lot more fun to hang out with. 

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

And exactly how are those FFL’s going to know the inquiry is for a gun transaction as opposed to curiosity inquiries, ex-spouse revenge etc.? They won’t know, unless you require all private transactions to be completed through an FFL. Oops… you can only do that by passing new legislation- and you know Congress won’t touch that with a ten foot pole. Private transactions have NOT been rendered illegal. Nothing changes.

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

You’re late to the dance, Barry. The National Rifle Association, Second Amendment Foundation, Gun Owners of America, the Appleseed Project and a host of other private clubs have been promoting safe and responsible gun ownership since before you were born.

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

Whatever. Gun locks and safes are not constitutionally protected- but their contents are. Just thought you might need a reminder.

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

Again, we have been doing that (in major cases at least) for years. ATF traces it to the FFL and some street cop invariably ends up doing the leg work necessary to determine how Mr. Felon got the gun- often from another felon. Oddly, your magical background checks do nothing to disarm criminals.

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

Ever hear of the National Crime Information Center, created in 1967 under J. Edgar Hoover? It was created for the express purpose of sharing information within every law enforcement agency of the US and its territories. Among NCIC’s 21 registries is the ‘Gun File’, which lists lost & stolen guns nationwide by make, model and serial number. Agencies with a stolen gun entry are automatically notified when that gun is encountered by another agency. So save the taxpayer’s money and skip the DOJ report. Copshops everywhere already know the routine. Nothing changes.

11. Nominate an ATF director.

Do us a favor and nominate one who will help law enforcement put violent, armed felons in federal prison until they’re old and gray. There should be plenty of room there, since you signed legislation to empty them out. 

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

Again- local law enforcement has been doing that for years. Nothing changes.

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

Loosen up the US Attorney’s Office guidelines for getting felons charged with possession of firearms, in federal court. Ask any local cop who’s tried to get a felon charged with possession of a firearm and got the ‘points system’ speech from an Assistant US Attorney.

14. Issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.

By positioning this under CDC, you infer a constitutionally-protected activity is somehow the cause of a social disease. Anyone close to the problem already knows the vast majority of gun violence is perpetrated by recidivist criminals who cannot legally possess a gun in the first place. There’s your ‘gun violence disease’! Make them go away and the ‘gun violence’ problem will go with them.

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.

Any ‘technology’ that hinders the ready availability of a firearm renders it useless for defense and infringes on the right to keep and bear arms- for purposes the Framers clearly intended.

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

If a doctor asks you about guns in your home, ask that doctor where they go to church. When the blank look comes, remind that doctor your right to keep and bear arms is constitutionally protected, just like his choice of where to worship- or not worship at all. And don’t be afraid to tell him neither activity is anybody else’s damn business.

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

Actually, there’s no law prohibiting anybody from reporting ‘threats of violence’ to law enforcement. So nothing changes. But I will say this- your foot doctor is probably not a psychologist. If he’s pretending to be one- report him, fire him or sue him for malpractice.

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

Many schools already have SRO’s. Want more? Cough up money for it. Funding anything at the federal level requires legislation, not presidential proclamations. Otherwise, nothing changes.

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

Local law enforcement is already doing this in schools. But many of us believe the best ’emergency response plan’ is armed and trained employees of those facilities, who are already in place when the ’emergency’ happens. This deprives the textbook ‘school shooter’ of his primary advantage- a totally defenseless victim pool.

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.

I’m having a WTF moment with this 20-22 as they relate to gun violence. It’s probably something nefarious related to the Affordable Care Act (AKA Obamacare) that encourages your dentist to check your teeth for ‘smiling too much’- which in turn, might mean you got a new gun. #23 exists for the same purpose as #14; to attempt to use the National Health juggernaut to bludgeon gun owners.


The bottom line here is simple. Obama and his minions have been unable to push any significant gun legislation through Congress. He is nearing the end of his second term and the Democrats are scared to death a genuine conservative will be elected. So they will try to accomplish their anti-gun, anti-American agenda through any other means. This latest attempt is downright comical.

The ultimate question, of course, is how all this affects people who want to buy guns? As of 01/09/16, published ATF Guidelines on who needs a Federal Firearms license–and who does not–are fairly straightforward. The publication mentions the requirements are based in federal statutes and federal case law.  Oddly, it makes no mention of Presidential Proclamations.

 WHJL News recently spoke with Michael Knight of the Nashville ATF field office, regarding how the executive orders would affect people buying and selling guns.

“The current law has not changed, and the current law states that if you are engaged in the business of selling firearms then you’re required to have a license,” Michael Knight said.

What if you wanted to buy a gun from a private collector at a gun show or on the internet?

“If an individual has a personal collection and that sales firearms not on a regular basis, they do not have to have a federal firearms license,” Michael Knight said.

In the end, Obama can’t create gun legislation via executive order. He can’t even get new gun legislation introduced, much less passed. These ’23 Executive Orders On Guns’ are nothing but sailboat fuel and fertilizer.