Obama Executive Actions on Guns

The White House released a fact sheet on the new executive actions here. These are not executive orders, but actions. My understanding is that these are not legally binding in the same way that executive orders would be.

Obama has been stymied in his efforts to enact greater gun control during his terms. In anticipation of these actions, there was much hype about steps that he would take. Here are some highlights (I added numbers for ease of discussion):

Overall this seems like a lot of hype over not a lot of substance. In the news on Sunday and Monday there were stories about Obama and Lynch meeting in anticipation of this announcement and from the looks of it, it seems like a lot of restatement of existing laws and not a lot new items. For example:

#1 has always been the case. The existing definition of dealer is contained in 18 US Code 921(a)(11):

The key part being “engaged in the business”. That definition is from the same section (21)© and (d) as follows:

So Obama’s action #1 above does not change the existing landscape in any way. Those that are engaged in the business is not location specific and has always applied to gun shows or over the internet.

#2 is really about gun trusts and rule 41P. People use gun trusts to obviate the need for CLEO approval for NFA items. The clarification for rule 41P doesn’t really do much, the CLEO doesn’t get veto power and is more of an inform, and there are still background checks necessary. The rule is a bit vague on its use of “responsible persons” with respect to NFA items within the trust, but Obama’s action #2 is no barrier.
#3 says that, “To further encourage this reporting, the Attorney General has written a letter to States highlighting the importance of receiving complete criminal history records and criminal dispositions, information on persons disqualified for mental health reasons, and qualifying crimes of domestic violence. The Administration will begin a new dialogue with States to ensure the background check system is as robust as possible, which is a public safety imperative.” So Lynch has written a letter and will begin a new dialogue. What a bunch of nothing.
#4 is about hiring more workers and improving technology systems - seems fine on its face.
#5 seems like more funding for enforcement and targeted prosecution. Seems fine, as long as it’s not the stupid antics the BATFE has been engaged in prior.
#6 seems fine too - guns lost or stolen in transit from dealer to dealer should be reported.
#7 is a memo. That’s nothing.
#8 is good. Mental health care funding can use help.
#9 is troubling but it depends on the clarification of the rules. This simply says, "The Social Security Administration (SSA) has indicated that it will begin the rulemaking process to ensure that appropriate information in its records is reported to NICS. " This idea got floated back in July and went no where. Stripping rights from people who have a rep payee but are otherwise capable seems like a violation of due process.
#10 is nothing. HIPPA isn’t the culprit for lack of state reporting so this will do nothing.
#11 is also nothing. in 90 days it’s a report on potential strategy.

So with all of this, it seems like more of the same from Obama. Big talk but a much less ambitious effort than he could have taken. Should he have done more? Could he have done more?

If he had tried to do more, would it have been used as a weapon in the upcoming elections? You betcha! As it stands, these proposals supposedly do little…and yet Paul Ryan, the NRA and others are still raising a “this cannot be allowed!!” stink.

As I understand it, the ensuing adminitrative rule will further clarify the definition of “in the business.” But I could be wrong.

(post shortened)

According to the WH release, the term “engage in the business” can be construed to mean anyone who sells two firearms. I assume that the fast & furious BATFE and the Democrat AG will demand that everyone who sells or buys two firearms must be licensed (and therefore subjected to annual house/business inspections by BATFE agents).

*Clarify that it doesn’t matter where you conduct your business—from a store, at gun shows, or over the Internet: If you’re in the business of selling firearms, you must get a license and conduct background checks. Background checks have been shown to keep guns out of the wrong hands, but too many gun sales—particularly online and at gun shows—occur without basic background checks.

Today, the Administration took action to ensure that anyone who is “engaged in the business” of selling firearms is licensed and conducts background checks on their customers. Consistent with court rulings on this issue, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has clarified the following principles:

A person can be engaged in the business of dealing in firearms regardless of the location in which firearm transactions are conducted. For example, a person can be engaged in the business of dealing in firearms even if the person only conducts firearm transactions at gun shows or through the Internet. Those engaged in the business of dealing in firearms who utilize the Internet or other technologies must obtain a license, just as a dealer whose business is run out of a traditional brick-and-mortar store.

Quantity and frequency of sales are relevant indicators. There is no specific threshold number of firearms purchased or sold that triggers the licensure requirement. But it is important to note that even a few transactions, when combined with other evidence, can be sufficient to establish that a person is “engaged in the business.” For example, courts have upheld convictions for dealing without a license when as few as two firearms were sold or when only one or two transactions took place, when other factors also were present*.

If #1 is such a nothing, could you explain what the "gunshow loophole " is? Merely a lack of enforcement? Was it pure fiction?

If Obama’s actions truly did little, then there was no reason for Obama to issue these royal decrees.

So he should have done it secretly?

Turning it around, if they do so little, then Paul Ryan, the NRA and you should just go about your business as if nothing has happened, right? Politicians make announcements all the time-just ignore this one and let it happen because it’s not really going to do anything.
Problem solved.

Let’s cut the crap, shall we? It ‘s a bad thing because…OBAMA! Y’all are pissed off because he didn’t give you any meat to use against the Democrats in the election, but since he talked about something, there must be something wrong with what he said, so you came up with “He did too little!”, which really means "We had a bitchin’ hissy fit over gun rights all ready to throw, and he ruined it for us!"
Too bad, so sad.

Good thing you are so rational and non-partisan.

Watching Obama tear up during his speech, it’s obvious he’s sincere in believing these steps will make some difference in curbing gun violence. But I can’t help but notice that 1) as the OP points out, they’re hardly what you would call sweeping, and 2) they’re scary enough for many on the right that we can expect a great deal of hysteria about Obama finally “coming to take our guns away.” It’s basically going to goad the candidates on the right into denouncing these tyrannical actions, with each trying to out-crazy the other guy. And that in turn is going to help the Democrats by underscoring how far out of step Republicans are with mainstream attitudes on gun control. It’s immigration all over again — regardless of how these actions stand up to judicial scrutiny, it’s going to be one more issue that serves to distance Republicans that much more from the moderate center.

Is that an actual quote? Perhaps a link to Ryan, the NRA, and other’s criticisms would help out here.

I would welcome an actual hard and fast rule. If there were one, I would guess it would be something like 25 guns/year or something in that neighborhood. But here’s one problem - during the Clinton administration it was made more difficult to actually get and maintain an FFL. That drove more sales through PPT rather than dealer sales because the number of dealers were reduced. If there is a push to steer more sales through dealers, then I would hope the process to become a dealer would be loosened.

This isn’t new. The fact pattern always matters but there has never been bright line guidance on the number of sales that constitutes “engaged in the business” and this latest action doesn’t change that.

Is this a real question? If it is, I can answer it but I don’t want to spend the time if this is rhetorical.

Who is saying that? Cut the crap, indeed. Overall these actions are pretty benign. I’m not pissed at all - I’m relieved that it’s so ineffectual. I think it’s transparently pandering to invoke the image of Newtown as a way to push for background checks when background checks would have done nothing to prevent the tragedy. But can’t let a serious crisis go to waste.

I don’t think he’s sincere because I do not think he is stupid.

It seems to be “two, if certain other criteria are met.” Until we find out what those are I don’t think there’s much we can say about it.

It was not a rhetorical question. I was under the impression that certain venues were exempt.

Here ya go:

Cite: http://www.oleantimesherald.com/commentary/political-watch-cuomo-others-weigh-in-on-obama-gun-control/article_1689c976-b3e9-11e5-b9de-a3438c8ea08c.html

The venues aren’t exempt. The sellers are exempt. It could be a gun show, a chat room or a yard sale. It’s not that it doesn’t exist, just that it’s poorly named.

Paul Ryan’s statement.

No venues are exempt. Some of the relevant rules are quoted and linked in the OP here. Any person who is a “dealer” must follow certain rules, which include submitting the sale transaction through the NICS system to perform a background check. What was called the “gun show loophole” was the criticism that non-dealers could conduct sales without performing the background check. That was true yesterday, and is still true today. The location is irrelevant.

The contention that the Executive Action talks about surrounds who is considered a “dealer”. The definition is also in the OP. A person who “makes occasional sales, exchanges, or purchases of firearms for the enhancement of a personal collection or for a hobby, or who sells all or part of his personal collection of firearms” is specifically not considered a “dealer”. No executive action can contradict this definition so Obama is trying to thread the needle to construe more people as “dealers”. If I sell one of my guns because, I get bored with it or I need to pay rent, I doubt anyone would consider me a dealer. If I sell 2 or 3, same thing. If I sell, 1000, probably a dealer. So the question is, where is the line - because once you cross the line and you aren’t an FFL that’s a felony. A bright line rule here would be helpful.

Great. So your previous post #2 where you quoted “this cannot be allowed” was not an actual quote. Is there something you find specifically objectionable in Ryan’s statement that you wanted to actually discuss or debate? I hadn’t read Ryan’s statement before the OP here, but it is similar in criticism and observation as I laid out in the OP.