President Barack Obama’s executive order on gun sales was designed to intimidate lawful gun owners rather than initiate any real change regarding gun control, according to one political commentator.
“The Obama administration’s purpose appears to be the launch of a campaign of fear against law abiding gun owners,” said Eric Pratt in a piece published at World News Daily. Pratt believes Obama’s move is more about control than guns.
The fact is the president’s order did nothing in terms of the law, according to legal experts. The Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986 so narrowly defines the differences between those selling guns as a business and those who sell as a hobby that the executive order has nothing to “clarify.”
“The new White House initiative in this area is largely a public information campaign,” a senior White House official said. “We want people who need to have a firearms license to know it.”
The executive order was an attempt to broaden the definition of firearm businesses and push for stricter enforcement on those sales, according to a university law instructor.
“The executive order has been carefully crafted to survive a court challenge,” said Timothy D. Lytton, Georgia State University law professor, in an article published for The Conversation. “It does not erase the distinction between business and private firearms sales.”
Broadening the definition is meant to convince legal, private gun owners who sell regularly to get into the system and perform background checks or face the possibility of prosecution, according to Pratt. However, he said the 1986 law wouldn’t allow for their prosecution because it doesn’t put a limit on how many firearms from a private collection can be sold, or when they can be sold.
“Absent any authority to do that on his own, his next best option was to threaten to prosecute gun owners who engage in private sales, hoping to intimidate them into running their legal sales through FFLs rather than to take the risk,” Pratt wrote of Obama’s strategy.
The law defines a gun business owner as someone who “devotes time, attention, and labor to dealing in firearms as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit through the repetitive purchase and resale of firearms.”
The law also states the definition “shall not include 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…”
The idea of a “gun show loophole” where people can sell vast numbers of guns without performing background checks is primarily a false one, if statistics and state laws are considered. Statistically, 50-75 percent of weapons sold at the nation’s 5,000 annual gun shows are sold through licensed dealers and require…