Obama May Bypass Congress, Impose ‘Order’ For Gun Background Checks

October 9, 2015 in News by D

Image: Obama May Bypass Congress, Impose 'Order' For Gun Background ChecksSinister-Obama-1

President Barack Obama is considering using an executive order to impose new background-check requirements on people buying guns from high-volume dealers, The Washington Post reports.

The change would require dealers who go over a certain number of sales per year to have a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and do background checks people attempting to buy guns from them.

Obama has been unsuccessful with his efforts to toughen gun laws as he deals with a Republican Congress. He signed 23 executive orders in 2013, months after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Connecticut. He plans the new effort in the wake of the Umpqua Community College killings last week in Oregon.

Obama said last week he asked his administration to see “what kinds of authorities do we have to enforce the laws that we have in place more effectively to keep guns out of the hands of criminals.”

Federal law already requires dealers who are “engaged in the business” to perform background checks, but the new executive action would add anyone who sells a significant number of guns per year, according to the Post.

Current law exempts anyone “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.”

NBC News reported Friday that the administration has considered 50 or 100 guns a year as the threshold to trigger these requirements, although there’s been on final decision.

“This is a super-complicated policy,” an administration official familiar with the idea told NBC.

The ATF objects to the action, saying it would be difficult to enforce, and one official told the paper, “Everyone realized it would be hugely politically controversial.”

Jennifer Baker, spokeswoman for the National Rifle Association, said the change could “ensnare” people who were not intended to be covered, such as a widow selling her husband’s gun collection.

“People who repeatedly sell large volumes of firearms are already covered in the current statute because they are already defined as ‘engaged in the business,'” Baker told the Post.

“I do not believe an executive order’s going to solve any problems here,” Louisiana Rep. John Fleming told Sinclair Broadcasting.

“The president going beyond his powers to do things that should go through legislation is a bad idea.”