The Second Amendment clearly states that all citizens should have the right to keep and bear arms – without placing any restrictions on the types of arms. Despite that lack of exceptions, anti-gun politicians have saddled the nation with restrictive gun control legislation that clearly defies both the spirit and wording of the Amendment. With the election of Hillary Clinton in the recent presidential race more than just a strong possibility, gun enthusiasts and lovers of liberty across the nation were in a panic. But that nightmare didn’t come true. Instead, the heavily Republican government that followed her loss has finally led to a serious look at rolling back gun control legislation already in place. The following is not from a movie script or fever dream of gun enthusiasts – but an actual report:
Over the last few months, the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives met with numerous groups – gun rights groups, gun control groups and law enforcement officials – to determine what firearm regulations the department could do away with.
The meetings were a direct result of the Trump Administration’s Executive Order, which focused on regulatory reform in order to “alleviate unnecessary regulatory burdens placed on the American people.”
According to The Trace, a leftist news site, each organization was asked to consider the following questions:
What impact current regulations have on gun-violence prevention.
What regulations need to be ‘repealed, replaced, or modified.’
What regulations are outdated.
It may be hard for firearms enthusiast to read the above and not pinch themselves. A few short months ago, there was a buying frenzy of full-capacity ammunition magazines, ammunition itself, and the firearms likely to be banned by Hillary Clinton and her administration. A hoplophobic gun-grabber since she appeared on the national scene, President Hillary Clinton would have been a nightmare for those who wish to keep and bear arms legally. The fear of the Clinton was so pervasive, in fact, that gun buying up to the election set records: “Before even factoring in the final two months of the year, the FBI has already conducted more firearm background checks in 2016 than it handled for all of 2013 or 2014.”
But the real question is what to repeal. A firearm-enthusiast lawyer tasked with answering this is like a mosquito at a nudist colony – where to start? The sad state of these regulations makes for a target rich environment.
First, any American should be able to buy any firearm from any federally licensed dealer. There is currently a patchwork of laws governing which federally licensed dealer a person may buy from, depending on state or territory of residence and what type of firearm they want to buy. I’ve heard various rationales given for this rule – including that local sellers are more likely to weed out problem buyers. Poppycock! Any dealer operating legally has access to the same federal database of prohibited persons as the police – and can run a check against it for a prospective purchaser.
Next to go should be the importation ban on many firearms. Enacted by President George Herbert Walker Bush at the behest of his disgraced “Drug Czar” William Bennet, what’s called the “sporting-purpose” rule was set up to enact gun control based on the president’s power to control imports. This backdoor gun control has been used to keep high-end collectibles out of the hands of Americans, as well as massive amounts of surplus firearms the more budget minded might like to have. What types of guns may be imported into the United States shouldn’t change with each president or chief of the relevant Treasury Department.
Finally, each regulation should be written, and re-written if necessary, to remove the discretionary decisions of the politicians at the Treasury Department. An insidious provision in so many rules is that officials have the capacity to determine, often in an ad hoc fashion with no appeal, how to classify certain firearms and ammunition. The perception of gun rights advocates is that Barack Hussein Obama directed his appointees at the respective departments to be highly restrictive of firearms and ammunition – effectively using his pen and his phone to frustrate consumers and manufacturers attempts to enjoy many products.
Americans should fight to enact the gun laws they favor, and those that lose should continue to advocate for laws they want if they so choose. What we shouldn’t have is changes in regulations depending on who wins the presidency – all without a single vote in Congress or a ruling from the Supreme Court – that determine who goes out of business or has to surrender their property. Time and again, these regulators have shown that their narrow shoulders cannot handle the burden of discretion – and so it should be lifted from them.