Editor: Let’s set aside weather or not Obama’s gun control plans are in and of themselves “constitutional.” Even if they were his method of implementation IS NOT CONSTITUTIONAL. Under Article 1 Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution ALL LEGISLATIVE POWERS ARE GRANTED TO CONGRESS and ONLY CONGRESS. There are no provisions for Congress to endow legislative power to any branch of government or person. The legislation entered into the U.S. Code authorizing limited “Executive Action” is therefore unconstitutional. Since After you subtract ALL from anything nothing is left there is no legislative authority for the Judiciary either, they cannot make law. Congress has already soundly rejected Obama’s wishes for Gun Control and they alone have the authority to make law. The law Congress makes is, along with the Constitution itself, the law of the land PROVIDED IT IS IN PURSUANCE to (or in harmony with) the U.S. Constitution. Instead of exploring the minutia of Obama’s “executive action” which only venerates an unlawful act, we should dismiss it out of hand, the states should interpose and reject compliance or support in anyway with this unconstitutional act of a lawless president.
Most of the executive actions President Barack Obama announced today regarding gun control are, while controversial, likely constitutional.
Whether they are effective is a whole different question – and equally important.
The main executive action Obama announced that raises legal questions is about defining who must register as a licensed gun dealer and who does not. The president has some, but not a lot, of leeway in how and to whom he applies the law.
But will the president’s desired goal of “closing gun show loopholes,” by requiring more of those selling guns at such venues to become licensed, do what he claims, namely decrease the number of crimes committed with guns?
We don’t need a legal debate to answer that last question. There is little evidence that simply expanding background checks will do anything to stop mass shootings or other criminal activities involving guns. Such action would not prevent tragedies like San Bernardino. The problem there was Islamic terrorism, not gun laws.
The problem there was Islamic terrorism, not gun laws
But the president’s unwillingness to take that issue head-on aside, how exactly would more background checks prevent people intent on doing evil from doing evil things?
Since 1998, background checks for firearms have been run by the FBI through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). Two observations:
One, criminals don’t obey the law – that’s why they are criminals – and they will not be deterred by more background checks from obtaining a gun off the black market, or stealing one, or paying someone with a clean record from purchasing the gun for them. They may be criminals but most aren’t as stupid as proponents of gun control seem to think they are.
Two, even when the federal government through the background system identifies felons trying to purchase guns, it has a less than stellar record in doing anything about it. And that is under both Republican and Democrat administrations.
According to government reports tabulated in an article by the Washington Post, in 2010, NICS denied the applications of 72,659 people seeking to purchase a firearm. Of those, 48,321 were felons and fugitives. What happened to those folks? Most walked away – only 44 of those denials ended up being prosecuted. And a look at 2006, under the Bush administration, doesn’t look much better. Of the 69,930 denials that year, 29,494 of which were felons and fugitives, only 112 were prosecuted.
What gives? Who better to answer that then Vice President Joe Biden, who said in 2013, “…we simply don’t have the time or the manpower to prosecute everybody who lies on a form, that checks a wrong box, that answers a question inaccurately.”
Perhaps Obama thinks adding an additional 200 ATF agents will solve the enforcement problem? This is unlikely considering that he also wants to add a whole host of new folks to run checks on, and investigate. It would seem then that this is more show than a tried and true answer.