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Robert Longley

Obama Orders Two New Gun Control Laws

By September 3, 2013

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President Obama has issued two new executive orders intended to make good on his promise to curb gun violence despite Congress' rejection of his administration's proposed comprehensive gun control law.

The first order would close a loophole in current gun control laws allowing criminals to buy and sell firearms like machine guns and short-barreled shotguns without undergoing background checks by registering the guns to trusts or corporations.

Such "especially dangerous" firearms must be registered, and in order to lawfully possess them, prospective buyers must undergo fingerprint-based background checks. However, under current law, when the weapon is registered to a trust or corporation, no background check is required.

According to a White House fact sheet on the new orders, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) received more than 39,000 requests for transfers of such restricted firearms to trusts or corporations in 2012 alone.

Obama's order directs the ATF to issue a new regulation requiring individuals associated with trusts or corporations that acquire these types of firearms to undergo background checks, just as they would if the weapons were being registered to them individually.

Also See: Brady Act Gun Buyer Background Checks

The other order, which might prove especially troublesome to firearm collectors, bans most private entities from importing military grade surplus weapons sold or donated by the U.S. to its allies back into the United States.

The White House says that the government has authorized requests to re-import more than 250,000 of these firearms since 2005.

Under the new rule, only museums and a few other mainly government entities will be allowed to re-import military grade weapons.

The order will affect mainly World War II and Korean War era rifles, such as the M1 Garand, typically coveted by collectors and often use in the over 101-year old Civilian Marksmanship Program.

Federal crime statistics indicate that due to the limited scope of firearms affected by this order, its actual impact on reducing gun violence is likely to be small.

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics report, Firearms Used by Offenders, 15% of state inmates and 13% of Federal inmates carried a handgun during the offenses that put them to prison, compared to only 1.3% who carried a rifle.

The two orders announced last week are in addition to the 23 executive orders on gun control issued by the White House during January 2013 in reaction to the failure of its gun control law.

The Obama administration gun control bill rejected by Congress would have required universal gun buyer background checks, banned so-called "straw man" gun sales and authorized funding for programs to prevent gun violence in schools.

A Gallup poll conducted shortly after the issuance of those executive orders showed that a majority of Americans supported Obama's plan to reduce gun violence, including the re-enactment of an assault weapons ban.

"Even as Congress fails to act on common-sense proposals, like expanding criminal background checks and making gun trafficking a federal crime, the president and vice president remain committed to using all the tools in their power to make progress toward reducing gun violence," the White House said in a fact sheet on the new orders.

Also See:
A 'Terror Gap' in Gun Control Law?
People on Terror Watch List Buying Guns, GAO Reports


September 3, 2013 at 2:13 pm
(1) WeNotYou says:

“close a loophole in current gun control laws allowing criminals to buy and sell firearms like machine guns and short-barreled shotguns without undergoing background checks by registering the guns to trusts or corporations.”

Why would a criminal pay $20,000 dollars for a machine gun? Why would a criminal pay $800-$1000 to set up a trust when they can just buy a gun from a private seller without a background check? If criminals are buying machine guns why has there only been ONE murder committed in the history of the United States with a legal machine gun by a civilian?

No one is setting up a corporation to avoid background checks. They set up corporations to avoid having to get permission from local law enforcement. Local law enforcement can deny your request without having a reason other than they just don’t want you to have them.

Legal machine guns are the toys of the rich not the tools of the criminals. Criminals don’t want weapons that must be registered. Criminals don’t want weapons that can be traced back to them.

I don’t have an issue with this executive order. I am not a rich person who wants to buy a machine gun. However, lets be honest about what is actually happening here and not create a problem that doesn’t exist. Classic straw man tactics. Create a problem that does not exist than proclaim to the world how you solved the problem.

We should all feel safer. There will be less rich people with machine guns and less collectors with antique firearms. Go Obama! Next lets do something about possible invasions from Martians.

September 3, 2013 at 6:02 pm
(2) usgovinfo says:

WeNotYou: It’s not just one machine gun. These trusts are set up by gangs, drug cartels and other organized crime rings for the purchase of hundreds, even thousands of guns.

The ban on re-imported gun? I have no idea how that one is supposed to reduce gun violence. I doubt a single M1 Garand was used in the commission of a crime last year.

Robert Longley

September 4, 2013 at 5:32 am
(3) Rajeev Mehta says:

The person who wants an NFA item (i.e., “machine guns or short-barreled shotguns”) can form a legal entity called a trust. This person does in fact apply directly to the BATFE (the AFT) for *PERMISSION* for each NFA item he/she seeks to acquire. Each time, the ATF can approve or reject the request. (How are applicants approved? By lottery? /sarc.) Each time an applicant is approved, they must pay the ATF a certain tax ($200 in most cases) to receive the final stamp of approval. From what I heard Biden say, we are not being merely required to “get a background check”. Each time anyone buys a gun, the dealer does a background check – including on NFA items they’re selling. We are, in fact, now being required to go through more hoops and disincentives (e.g., fingerprinting, increased taxes, etc). NFA items were already controlled to a much more stringent degree than regular old firearms. Of course, being law-abiding, we’ll continue to be VILIFIED and not object. We’ll continue to take it until we are DEEMED, by SUBJECTIVE criteria, to no longer be law-abiding. (The government loves making criminals out of thin air!) NFA-item applicants need a clean record to acquire these items, so they’re not the ones using machine guns, short-barreled rifles, short-barreled shotguns, silencers, and other controlled devices in crimes. In fact, crimes with such weapons are extremely low. You don’t need a short-barreled rifle to do what you can do with a run-of-the-mill rifle. This is all utter nonsense disguised as common sense reform.

September 4, 2013 at 7:30 am
(4) spencer60 says:

Like 99% of the press, you swallowed the administration’s outright lies on the trust rules hook line and sinker.

“…close a loophole in current gun control laws allowing criminals to buy and sell firearms… without undergoing background checks…”

This is simply wrong.

No matter where NFA firearms (the types you mention) are registered, when buying and selling them a background check is ALWAYS required. No exceptions. Period.

To say that there is any way that anyone can buy one of these firearms without a background check is simply a lie.

Once the firearm is placed in the trust, it’s possible that another ‘responsible person’ named in the trust documents may not have had a background check.

However that does not mean that a felon could actually use or possess the firearm(s) in the trust. That is still a felony charge.

This would be similar to someone who had a trust containing vintage race cars, but who had lost their drivers license.

They cannot drive the cars, but that doesn’t mean they have given up all property rights to them .

This in fact is just what the US Court of Appeals ruled in 2009 (Miller), and this settled case law directly contradicts this new executive order.

As for criminals using trusts to get around possession laws, that’s simply absurd. I seriously doubt the ATF (who monitors this) could point to a single case of that happening.

September 4, 2013 at 4:39 pm
(5) Blake says:

Just don’t forget the only school shooting involving an M1 garand, the Kent state massacre perpetrated by the national guard…

September 5, 2013 at 2:40 am
(6) wldy1005 says:

Leave our second amendment rights alone!!

September 5, 2013 at 7:53 am
(7) Stephen says:

Mr. Longley, you say gangs and drug cartels are setting up trusts in order to purchase thousands of machine guns. Where is your proof? Where is the proof that ANY trusts have been set up by gangs in order to buy guns? Why would you say this without also posting where you got that information?

September 5, 2013 at 11:46 am
(8) Robert Longley says:

Stephen: “…the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) received more than 39,000 requests for transfers of such restricted firearms to trusts or corporations in 2012 alone.” What legitimate foundations and trusts need 39,000 machine guns a year?

September 6, 2013 at 1:08 pm
(9) M Correale says:

Impeach both Obama and Cuomo and this whole country would be better off. Both seem to like to punish law abiding citizens and this needs to stop.

September 9, 2013 at 9:18 am
(10) Responsibly Armed Citizen says:

Simple math dictates that if there were 39,000 requests to transfer firearms to trusts in 2012, assuming each request was made by an individual person, that would account for ~.0124% of the population. When you take into account that the US of A averaged 94.3 guns per every 100 citizens as of 2007 data (a number that surely has increased due to the blunders of this current administration), we’re looking at a total of around ~294 million guns in the US – 39,000 of those (or .013% of those) having requests to be transferred to trusts.

Methinks you credit the gangs and cartels too much. Something tells me I doubt they go through legal channels to obtain their firepower, as it is much cheaper and easier to avoid jumping through the government’s hoops and taxes. These executive orders are simply straw-man in nature, and do nothing but hinder the non-criminal population from being able to defend itself as we deserve to defend ourselves.

October 15, 2013 at 1:21 pm
(11) Keith says:

Here’s what obama plans to do… he has plans to totally disarm the Law Abiding Citizen in the United States and after he does this the Criminals, the Drug Cartels, the Gangs WILL ALL have their Guns and there WILL BE an all out war but the only difference is that the Honest Law Abiding Citizen WILL NOT have anything to fight back with. And I don’t know about you… but I only can speak for me and who I am and where i STAND. obama knows exactly what he’s doing when he takes the Honest Law Abiding Citizens Guns Away from them… infact, he will declare open season on you and me and use us as unsightly targets… thus killing off the weak and the strong alike. Just Be Warned… and as for me, obama will try to kill me but he WILL NOT succeed cause us
country boys WILL SURVIVE. Live Free and Carry on my fellow Patriots.

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