NSSF Response To Obama’s Executive Actions

Like the NRA, the National Shooting Sports Foundation issued a response to President Obama’s Executive Actions on gun control. Their response is a bit more detailed than the NRA response and they note that they will be issuing more responses as the days go by. They bring up a good point about making the shipper – not the recipient dealer – responsible for reporting guns lost or stolen in transit.

NSSF Statement: “Executive Actions to Reduce Gun Violence and make Our Communities Safer”
all share the goal of reducing the intentional misuse of guns and
enhancing the safety of our communities. As the trade association for
the firearms and ammunition industry, the National Shooting Sports
Foundation (NSSF) will carefully review all aspects of the executive
actions that President Obama announced today. Much remains to be spelled
out. In the interim we have some initial reactions:
  • We support further resources being allocated to staffing and
    increasing operational hours for the FBI’s National Instant Criminal
    Background Check System (NICS) to make the system more efficient and
  • We represent Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs). The criteria
    for what will constitute being “engaged in the business” going forward
    needs considerable clarification and raises questions about
  • The number of firearms lost or stolen while in transit to or
    from FFLs is less than 0.15 percent of the number manufactured and
    imported in a given year. In these rare occurrences, FFLs already
    actively participate in ATF’s long-standing voluntary reporting program
    and FFLs and common carriers work closely with ATF to investigate them.
    Proposals to make a shipping FFL responsible for tracking and reporting
    firearms no longer in their inventories, after the legal title has been
    transferred to the purchaser, are misdirected, as the receiving FFL is
    in the best position to know if it receives its shipment.
  • We have long called for the effective enforcement of the
    numerous laws already on the books regarding the criminal misuse of
    firearms and would encourage the administration to carry through on this
  • NSSF has been working actively since early 2013 through our
    FixNICS initiative to encourage states to report all appropriate
    adjudicated mental health records to NICS and has succeeded in getting
    legislation passed in more than a dozen states. We welcome the
    administration’s attention to this issue.
  • With regard to the development of “smart-gun” technology, the
    industry has never opposed its development. How additional government
    research into this technology would advance it is unclear. Law
    enforcement agencies and consumers themselves will have to make the
    determination whether acquisition of firearms with this technology
    “would be consistent with operational needs,” as the White House itself
    states. We would continue to oppose mandates for this technology,
    particularly since there are well proven existing methods to secure
    firearms, and firearms accidents are at historic low levels.
will have additional responses in the days, weeks and months ahead,
especially as federal departments and agencies begin the work of
carrying out the executive orders.

NRA Response To Obama’s Executive Actions

While the gun prohibitionists are declaring victory due to President Obama’s Executive Actions – and who knew it would take so little to satisfy their demands – gun rights groups have also responded. They don’t have such sanguine expectations that these “tweaks” will do much to combat either terrorism or crime.

Below is the response of NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris Cox which is followed by a just released video of Wayne LaPierre speaking on background checks.

Fairfax, Va. – The executive director of the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action, Chris W. Cox, released the following statement on Tuesday regarding President Barack Obama’s Executive Gun Control Order:

Once again, President Obama has chosen to engage in political rhetoric, instead of offering meaningful solutions to our nation’s pressing problems. Today’s event also represents an ongoing attempt to distract attention away from his lack of a coherent strategy to keep the American people safe from terrorist attack.

The American people do not need more emotional, condescending lectures that are completely devoid of facts. The men and women of the National Rifle Association take a back seat to no one when it comes to keeping our communities safe. But the fact is that President Obama’s proposals would not have prevented any of the horrific events he mentioned. The timing of this announcement, in the eighth and final year of his presidency, demonstrates not only political exploitation but a fundamental lack of seriousness.

The proposed executive actions are ripe for abuse by the Obama Administration, which has made no secret of its contempt for the Second Amendment. The NRA will continue to fight to protect the fundamental, individual Right to Keep and Bear Arms as guaranteed under our Constitution. We will not allow law-abiding gun owners to be harassed or intimidated for engaging in lawful, constitutionally-protected activity – nor will we allow them to become scapegoats for President Obama’s failed policies.

NRA News released this video of Wayne LaPierre speaking about the deficiencies of the current background checks. As he says, you don’t need to cast a bigger net – just one with smaller holes.

What To Expect Tomorrow From Obama

This afternoon President Obama met with Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, BATFE Deputy Directory Tom Brandon, and FBI Director James Comey to discuss his plans for more gun control. About an hour ago, the White House released a “Fact Sheet” outlining his Executive Actions. The full document can be read here.

Here are the highlights as I’ve summarized them.

  1.   Expanding the definition of who will be considered a dealer in firearms. Key factors that will be considered is if you advertise on the Internet, have formal business cards, rent tables at gun shows, and the number of firearms sold.

  2.   BATFE will finalize Rule 41-P which will force background checks and chief law enforcement officer checkoffs on trusts and corporations.

  3.   Expanding the NICS operating hours to 24/7, hiring of 230 new personnel, and notification to local law enforcement when a prohibited person attempts to purchase a firearm. 

  4.   Attorney General Lynch will urge the states to submit complete criminal histories.

  5.   Federal prosecutors will be urged to “continue to focus on smart and effective enforcement of our gun laws.”

  6.   BATFE will be budgeted for 200 more Special Agents and Industry Investigators in FY2017.

  7.   BATFE will establish an Internet Investigation Center to track illegal online firearms trafficking.

  8.   BATFE will devote $4 million to enhance the National Integrated Ballistics Information Network. 

  9.   FFLs must notify BATFE if firearms are lost or stolen in shipment.

  10.   US Attorneys will be encouraged to “renew domestic violence outreach efforts”.

  11.   $500 million to increase access to mental health treatment.

  12.   Social Security Administration will begin reporting recipients who have a financial guardian to the NICS system.

  13. Depart of Health and Human Services will instruct states that HIPAA doesn’t apply when reporting mental health issues.

  14. DOD, Justice, and Homeland Security will conduct or sponsor smart gun research.

  15. All other departments are instructed to review the availability of smart gun technology on a regular basis and promote it.

Sebastian at Shall Not Be Questioned has his take on these Executive Actions. He finds it a less ambitious and bold than he was expecting.

UPDATE: Charles Cooke at National Review has an excellent analysis on these gun control moves by Obama.

Further, he will have set no meaningful precedents whatsoever. In other words: Even if he wins this round, he will have done precisely nothing of merit — except perhaps to have pleased his base and to have convinced the most ignorant parts of the electorate that he has finally stuck his finger into the NRA’s eye. Were these serious measures, I would be squealing. Instead, I’m amused. These are the dampest of squibs.

Read the whole thing. It is worth a few minutes your time.

Executive Actions Obama Plans To Take

FoxNews has published a list of the executive actions that President Obama plans to take regarding gun control. This list is as released from the White House to the media. It is not yet published on the White House’s website.

Looking over it quickly, No. 14 on the list – directing the CDC to investigate the causes of “gun violence” (sic) – has been prohibited by Congress in their appropriations bills if I remember correctly. No. 18 on the list – hiring more school resource officers – is interesting given Obama’s criticism of the NRA’s proposal for more armed guards. With regard to health care privacy, Obama is opening a big can of worms that will have many unintended consequences. People will be less likely to seek help for mental health issues such as depression. Moreover, I see many strained physician-patient relationships over guns. If my own internist were to ask, I’d tell her to mind her own business unless she were trained in gun safety. 

The list includes:

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

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.

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

11. Nominate an ATF director.

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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.

UPDATE: Sebastian at Shall Not Be Infringed examines this list and gives his response to some of these proposals. I would tend to agree this is not as bad as we foresaw but a lot will depend upon how it is implemented. Never forget that implementation is policy.

UPDATE II: Daddy Bear gives his response to the list including a good fisking of many of them.

UPDATE III: Here is a PDF from the White House that gives the entire list plus the legislative proposals as well as their rationale for it.

UPDATE IV: The Everlasting Phelps translates the list of Obama’s executive actions into plain English and SayUncle gives his take on the list.