As you likely know, the President made a big production of “taking action” on gun control last month. What is not as obvious, and was missed by much of the mainstream media, is that the President’s actions are smoke and mirrors with no legally binding changes.
After reviewing the White House statement, I found that no Executive Orders were issued. Keep in mind that the President cannot create domestic laws; that privilege is constitutionally delegated to Congress. The President can issue Executive Orders which are legally binding instructions to federal offices and employees, but Executive Orders still cannot change underlying laws. The President’s actions took the form of guidance documents with no legally binding effect and are merely the Administration’s opinion of what the laws state. USA Today was one of the few publications I have seen that got the story right in its article Chastened by immigration, Obama shows restraint on guns.
The President’s guidance documents are largely just a restatement of existing laws and a wish list of actions that would need to be passed by Congress (and likely will not be). The definition of who is “engaged in the business” of firearms has not changed and is firmly established by both law and case law. Unlicensed persons are still allowed to sell firearms from their personal collection provided all Federal, state, and local laws are obeyed.
The firearm industry has long said that we do not need more guns laws; we need better enforcement of laws already on the books. Data from the Justice Department shows a sharp decline in Federal Weapons Convictions under the Obama Administration.
As we clearly state on our website, all transactions on GunBroker.com are made in full compliance with all federal state, and local laws, using licensed federal firearms dealers as transfer agents. Federal law requires those dealers to run a background check on the buyer. There is a strict compliance system in place and the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms audits dealers for compliance.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation, of which GunBroker.com is a member and supporter, has issued a statement that summarizes the firearm industry’s views.