The Huffington Post is reporting that the Obama Administration has been having informal discussions on gun control policy with both pro-gun and anti-gun groups. Supposedly spearheaded by the Justice Department, these meetings are meant to be a “feeling out process”.
“As the president said, we should focus on sound, effective steps that will keep guns out of the hands of the criminals, fugitives, people with serious mental illness, and others who have no business possessing a gun and who are prohibited by laws on the books from owning a gun,” Justice Department spokesman Matthew Miller said. “We will be meeting with stakeholders on all sides of the issue to discuss how we can find sensible, intelligent ways to make the country safer.”
The article goes on to say that the principal aim seems to be to coalesce support for cleaning up NICS and to require background checks for private sales. Of course, they put it as the “application of background-check standards to private dealers” which is, by definition, an oxymoron as there is no such thing as a private dealer. They also note that magazine bans and the AWB are off the table for now.
Bloomberg’s Illegal Mayors and Chuck Schumer are also mentioned in the article. They compare what Obama was proposing in his op-ed to what MAIG and Schumer are seeking to do with S. 436.
“They have been meeting with us and also with law enforcement groups and industry,” one gun-control advocate said of the administration. “This is what the White House does when they want to put a serious legislative apparatus together … The game now becomes effectively demonstrating, in a way that is meaningful, what we know is the overwhelming support for universal background checks.”
Given the source, HuffPo, I’m taking this story with a grain of salt. I don’t doubt that the Obama Administration has been talking to gun-control groups and anti-gun rights politicians like Schumer, McCarthy, and Lautenberg. However, I’ll believe they are serious about working with both sides if and when reports of meetings with Wayne LaPierre, Chris Cox, and Alan Gottlieb are revealed.