President Obama and Michael Bloomberg meet in White House to discuss the Executive Actions Obama is Planning

18 Dec , 2015  

Obama and Bloomberg

President Obama’s meeting with other gun control advocates indicates that executive action on gun control is likely imminent.  From The Hill newspaper:

“The two discussed ways to keep guns out of the hands of those who should not have access to them and what more could be done at the state and local level to help address gun violence in America,” the White House added. . . . .
Obama has met with a number of high-profile gun control advocates in recent weeks as the White House scrambles to finalize its new proposals. . . . .
White House officials have been scouring the nation’s gun laws for possible executive actions Obama could take . . . .
Earlier in the week came discussions of Obama’s plans to push “expanded” background checks.
UPDATE: Roll Call says that the initiative will come shortly after Obama gets back from vacationing in Hawaii.  Supposedly Obama’s actions will “better define” what it means to be a gun dealer.

Senior congressional aides and sources in the gun-control community expect the White House to use its executive powers to tighten federal gun laws shortly after President Barack Obama returns from a Hawaiian vacation in early January. . . . .

Since the deadly shooting in San Bernardino, Calif., White House officials have been, as Earnest has put it, “scrubbing through the law” to determine whether and how Obama can use his constitutional authorities to make it harder for terrorists and other potential mass shooters to legally obtain firearms.

On both sides of the Capitol, sources involved in the guns debate say, as one senior House GOP leadership aide put it, “something is brewing on guns.” . . .

“What we expect is that they are going to better define what it means to be ‘in the business’ of selling firearms,” said a source with knowledge of the administration’s thinking. Congressional aides say they are hearing similar rumblings.

Under current laws, only licensed firearms dealers are required to conduct background checks on those trying to buy guns. . . .

“Currently many people, even those who sell tons of guns each year, just say that they aren’t ‘in the business,’ or ‘it’s just a hobby,’ in order to get out of the licensing and its attendant background check requirement,” the source told Roll Call. “Because what ‘in the business’ means is so unclear, it’s very difficult and thus very rare for people to be prosecuted under this standard. . . .

UPDATE: Politico is slightly clearer on when the executive action will be released, saying that it will be this coming week shortly after Obama returns to Washington on Monday, January 4th.

According to gun industry insiders and others familiar with the proposals, the changes include requiring an expanded number of small-scale gun sellers to be licensed — and therefore conduct background checks — whenever selling a weapon. This wouldn’t close the so-called gun show loophole, though it has the potential to narrow it. . . .

It’s not clear whether Obama has settled on final language yet. But as one of the major proponents of a change, Everytown has recommended adding several factors to the definition — including selling guns in their original packaging, reselling a gun shortly after acquiring it, maintaining a certain quantity of guns for sale or selling more than 25 guns a year — as possible signals that someone needs a license. . . .

So how unclear are the current rules?  From the US Code:

(21) The term “engaged in the business” means—

(A) as applied to a manufacturer of firearms, a person who devotes time, attention, and labor to manufacturing firearms as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit through the sale or distribution of the firearms manufactured;

(B) as applied to a manufacturer of ammunition, a person who devotes time, attention, and labor to manufacturing ammunition as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit through the sale or distribution of the ammunition manufactured;

(C) as applied to a dealer in firearms, as defined in section 921(a)(11)(A), a person 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, but such term 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;

(D) as applied to a dealer in firearms, as defined in section 921(a)(11)(B), a person who devotes time, attention, and labor to engaging in such activity as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit, but such term shall not include a person who makes occasional repairs of firearms, or who occasionally fits special barrels, stocks, or trigger mechanisms to firearms;

(E) as applied to an importer of firearms, a person who devotes time, attention, and labor to importing firearms as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit through the sale or distribution of the firearms imported; and

(F) as applied to an importer of ammunition, a person who devotes time, attention, and labor to importing ammunition as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit through the sale or distribution of the ammunition imported.

(22) The term “with the principal objective of livelihood and profit” means that the intent underlying the sale or disposition of firearms is predominantly one of obtaining livelihood and pecuniary gain, as opposed to other intents, such as improving or liquidating a personal firearms collection:

Provided

, That proof of profit shall not be required as to a person who engages in the regular and repetitive purchase and disposition of firearms for criminal purposes or terrorism. For purposes of this paragraph, the term “terrorism” means activity, directed against United States persons, which—

(A) is committed by an individual who is not a national or permanent resident alien of the United States;

(B) involves violent acts or acts dangerous to human life which would be a criminal violation if committed within the jurisdiction of the United States; and

(C) is intended—

(i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;

(ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or

(iii) to affect the conduct of a government by assassination or kidnapping.

UPDATE: Senator Rand Paul is proposing legislation that is being fast tracked through the Senate that would prevent this action by President Obama.

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