Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Obama Using ATF to Pass Gun Control Under the Radar

Barack Obama Giving the Finger

When Barack Obama told Sarah Brady he was pursuing gun control "under the radar," people began to wonder exactly what he meant. Now, we have a specific example of how a President can abuse his power, overstep his authority, and circumvent the system to enact his own special gun laws.

Under the Obama administration, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives, commonly known as the ATF, has unilaterally passed a new rule that requires firearms dealers in Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Texas to report to the ATF sales to an individual of multiple semiautomatic rifles, greater than .22 caliber, with detachable magazines during any five-day period. The stated purpose of this new law is to limit the flow of firearms from the Untied States to Mexico.

This new rule essentially amounts to a new federal gun-control law; however, it was passed without a single vote in Congress. Barack Obama knew he could never get this sort of gun-control law through both houses of Congress, so he just created the law through executive authority and got in through the backdoor.

One of the most problematic features of this new gun law is that is does not apply equally to all states. American citizens who live in Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Texas are now subject to more federal gun restrictions than those citizens in other states. Since the federal government cannot impose federal laws on specific groups of people, this law is unconstitutional.

We may not have to spend a lot of time worrying about the uneven application of this law on the southern border states, however. If the ATF gets away with this law, they are bound to expand it to more states. Eventually, the Obama administration will argue the law was so effective in curbing illegal gun sales in Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Texas that the gun smugglers have started using buyers in states like Colorado, Nevada, Oklahoma, Utah, etc. Then the ATF will expand the law to other states. Eventually, the law will probably apply to Alaska too. Do not be surprised if Barack Obama and the ATF start claiming people are buying guns in Alaska, putting them on boats, and sailing them down the Pacific coast to Mexico.

A ridiculous part of this new rule is the "greater than .22 caliber" clause. Nearly all firearms, except .22s themselves, are greater than .22 caliber. The ATF probably threw in this clause to give the illusion the ATF is concerned only with high-powered rifles. In reality, this law going after just about any rifle caliber. For example, the ATF has always been very aggressive about targeting, AR-15s, the civilian version of the M16. Standard AR-15s fire .223 (similar to 5.56 NATO). Even though the .223 round is only moderately powerful, when compared to most rifle rounds, the ATF probably set the power threshold so low for this law so they could include AR-15s.

Also note that the ATF is specifically mentioning "detachable magazines" and "semiautomatic" rifles in the rule. This is just code for "assault weapons." The ATF simply does not like people have assault weapons, and those are the first weapons they would abolish if given the chance. That is what they are pursuing with this rule. This rule is what will set the stage for eventually placing stricter controls on the types of guns the ATF does not like.

The most egregious element to all of this ATF reporting business is the hypocrisy. The Obama administration is claiming that too many firearms are ending up in Mexico, but the ATF's "Fast and Furious" program was deliberately allowing actual working firearms to be transferred to Mexican gangs. Obama and the ATF are out panicking everyone about how many US weapons are ending up in the hands of gangs in Mexico when our government was just caught intentionally allowing--and even encouraging--those weapons to flow into Mexico as part of a organized effort. You just can't make this stuff up.

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