National

Obama’s Executive Orders on Guns

 We’ve known that the White House was preparing executive orders on guns for a while now, but last week the shoe finally dropped. I was expecting something more bold from the Administration than what we got, which was essentially just a restatement of current law, and a statement asking Congress for more funds to fund key programs like the National Instant Check System and ATF inspectors.

It had been rumored that the Obama Administration may have been planning to rework federal regulations to define a person “engaged in the business” of selling firearms (and thus requiring a dealer’s license) as someone who sells more than 50 guns in a year. That did not end up happening. The Department of Justice issued a guidance statement (which has no legal effect) essentially reminding people that there have been successful prosecutions for individuals selling as few as two guns, depending on the totality of circumstances.

The other issue was restructuring federal regulation to require “responsible persons” for corporations or trusts who acquire NFA firearms (machine guns, short barreled rifles and shotguns, silencers, or AOWs) to submit fingerprints and go through the same FBI background check as individuals. It was rumored that the Administration was also planning to require signoff from chief-law-enforcement officers (CLEO) for corporations and trusts, as well as individuals. It turns out that CLEO signoff requirement will be eliminated and replaced with a CLEO notification requirement. These regulation changes have not been published in the Federal Register, so are not yet finalized. ATF has been working on this for years, and due to complexities involved with these changes, it’s not sure when they will ever be finalized.

In short, Obama’s executive orders were essentially a lot of hot air.

Pennsylvania

You may have heard the news that the Mayor of the bankrupt City of Harrisburg was trying to extort money out of the National Rifle Association to the tune of a quarter of a million dollars if they wanted to have use of the city’s police officers for the Great American Outdoor show hosted at the Farm Show Complex February 6-14 this year. NRA’s bylaws essentially prevent it from approving extortion money, so they balked, causing the Mayor to take the fight to the media. Fortunately, police officers from areas surrounding Harrisburg offered to step up for NRA. As a condition of hosting the show, NRA agreed to allocate grants for the local region. Apparently Mayor Papenfuse believed that meant Harrisburg should get all the money, and threw a fit when he discovered other towns in the area would be getting grants instead.

New Jersey

The smart gun law is back. Several years ago, anti-gun legislators in the Garden State passed a law which stipulated that on the call of the Attorney General, once a smart gun was available on the market, they would be the only types of guns allowed to be sold in New Jersey. Realizing that this was causing resistance to the idea of anyone developing the technology, those same legislators have floated a bill, S. 3249 / A. 4717, which would repeal the mandate, and replace it with a new mandate that would require gun dealers to stock smart guns once they become available, whether they sold or not. ANJRPC is standing firm that only full repeal of the smart gun mandate will be sufficient to drop opposition, and is asking people to contact their lawmakers to oppose S. 3249 / A. 4717.