How Obama’s New Executive Actions Paves The Way To Gun Confiscation

How Obama’s New Executive Actions Paves The Way To Gun Confiscation

What is happening now, is the catalyst for states to take action in restricting guns. The doors are being opened for a future where America will deal with gun confiscation. This is how…

Mick Roelandts, firearms reform project manager for the New South Wales Police, looks at a pile of about 4,500 prohibited firearms in Sydney that have been handed in over the past month under the Australian government's buy-back scheme July 28. A total of 470,000 guns have been collected nationally, with owners receiving A$243 million (US$180 million) in compensation. The scheme was set up due to tighter gun laws brought in after the April 1996 Port Arthur massacre in which 35 people died when a lone gunman went on a shooting rampage.

Mick Roelandts, firearms reform project manager for the New South Wales Police, looks at a pile of about 4,500 prohibited firearms in Sydney that have been handed in over the past month under the Australian government’s buy-back scheme July 28. A total of 470,000 guns have been collected nationally, with owners receiving A$243 million (US$180 million) in compensation. The scheme was set up due to tighter gun laws brought in after the April 1996 Port Arthur massacre in which 35 people died when a lone gunman went on a shooting rampage.

In the twilight of his presidency, with his goals of gun control unfulfilled, President Obama has pivoted to the long game. During a teary-eyed press conference yesterday, Obama lamented that federal legislation “won’t happen during my presidency.”

But with the stroke of a pen, he laid the groundwork for the states to do what Congress would not: limit the number of people who can own guns.

Until gun-control advocates can gin up enough support in Congress, they have targeted state and local governments as the next frontier.

At face value, the president’s executive actions are modest, and will have little practical effect. Their potency, however, lies with the power they give to progressive states to strengthen gun control nationally, without any action by Congress.

The Gun Control Act of 1968 prohibits a person from buying a firearm if he or she has been involuntarily committed or “adjudicated as a mental defective.” In subsequent federal regulations, the government added to the umbrella of
“mental defective” a person who “lacks the mental capacity to contract or manage his own affairs,” regardless of whether the person poses a threat to anyone else.

A report by the Congressional Research Services calculated that 99.3 percent of those on the list were referred by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Vets who could not manage their own financial affairs — who showed no propensity for harming anyone else — were legally barred from purchasing a firearm. It is highly doubtful that this arbitrary practice, which doesn’t even provide a hearing, would survive constitutional scrutiny under the Second

Amendment or the Due Process Clause. Yet, in light of the president’s actions, this regime may be expanded beyond conceivable bounds.

Presently, the “mental defective file” is fairly small — almost exclusively financially unstable vets — because only the federal government could add names to the list. Before Tuesday, states were prohibited from reporting individuals because of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). A 2012 Government

Accountability Office report found that “the absence of explicit State-level statutory authority to share mental health records was an impediment to making such records available to NICS.” However, with President Obama’s new executive action, these “unnecessary legal barriers” have been removed.

Along with the president’s press conference Tuesday, Attorney General Loretta Lynch sent letters to 50 governors “permitting” them to report the names and information of such individuals from their states to the federal government.

The NICS database can be expanded by leaps and bounds, through the actions of cooperative states, without the need for any congressional action. Supporting governors can take a hint. In contrast, Texas governor Greg Abbott tweeted “come and take it.”

Beyond the lack of constitutional safeguards prior to extinguishing a fundamental right, doctors are ill-equipped to make this sort of determination of constitutional dimensions without any judicial process. The Times noted that “the vast majority of people with mental illnesses are not violent. Accurately predicting whether someone will be violent, they said, is also a highly fraught process.” This is especially true where there is mandatory reporting.

Risk-averse doctors who fear being sanctioned have every incentive to be over-inclusive and to report names even if there is the slightest inkling of harm. This says nothing of the fact that it may stigmatize those with mental-health issues and chill their willingness to confide in their doctors.

Now that the Obama administration has waived the health-privacy regulations, it is only a matter of time before the names in New York’s dubious database will be incorporated into the federal registry.

Other states will no doubt follow suit, conglomerating massive databases of people who may or may not actually have serious mental health issues, who likely pose no danger to others, and maybe can’t balance a checkbook. They will hand this information over to the federal government, without any additional scrutiny, where it will be used to impose a blanket ban on hundreds of thousands, or perhaps millions, of Americans from exercising their Second Amendment rights.

All without an act of Congress. Beyond expanding the scope of prohibited gun owners, the president’s executive action also has the potential to restrict the types of guns people can buy. One of his executive orders directs the federal government to “promote the use and acquisition of new [gun] technology.” These so-called “smart guns” require a fingerprint scanner or a radio-frequency identification tag to be near the gun, before it will fire.

During his press conference, the president joked, “If we can set it up so you can’t unlock your phone unless you’ve got the right fingerprint, why can’t we do the same thing for our guns?”

More law written, more freedom taken.

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