Justice Dept. wants to ban more Americans from owning guns
Obama’s Justice Dept. is proposing new firearm regulations, including more restrictions on gun ownership.
“It’s clear President Obama is beginning his final assault on our Second Amendment rights by forcing his anti-gun agenda on honest law-abiding citizens through executive force,” Luke O’Dell, the vice president of political affairs at the National Association for Gun Rights, told The Hill.
In particular, the Justice Dept.’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) wants to revive a 1998 proposal that would ban those convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence from owning a gun.
“That could be a person who spanked his kid, or yelled at his wife, or slapped her husband,” Michael Hammond, legislative counsel for the Gun Owners of America, stated.
The ATF also wants to revoke gun rights from those the government declares “mentally unfit,” which is easy to do because the official diagnostic system for mental disorders in the U.S., the DSM-5, is so broad that almost every form of human behavior can be “diagnosed” as some type of mental illness.
For example, in 2012 the Department of Veteran Affairs sent out letters to veterans stating that based on “evidence,” their “competency” was under review and if the bureaucrats decided to rate the veterans “incompetent,” they would be prohibited from “purchasing, possessing, receiving or transporting a firearm or ammunition.”
“The letter provides no specifics on the reasons for the proposed finding of incompetency; just that is based on a determination by someone in the VA,” Constitutional attorney Michael Connelly, J.D. wrote on the subject.
The National Rifle Association warned that such regulations “creates disincentives for those who need mental health treatment to seek it, increasing whatever risks are associated with untreated mental illness.”
“A person who experienced a temporary reaction to a traumatic event or who has trouble handling household finances may well be treated the same as a violent psychopath,” the NRA said.
Other proposed regulations include rules on firearm storage and restrictions on so-called “high-power” pistols, but it’s not yet clear how the administration will define them.
Even if the proposed rules are not enacted, the federal government is using them to test the public’s reaction to see what it can get away, as was the case with the ATF’s recently proposed AR-15 ammo ban the agency later dropped.
The ATF was trying to ban M855 AR-15 ammunition popular with sport shooters back in Feb. by declaring it “armor piercing,” despite the ammo containing lead which exempts it from the classification according to law.
To be considered “armor piercing” under 18 U.S.C. 921 (a)(17)(B), a bullet must have an entirely metal core or have a jacket weighing more than 25% of its weight, which wouldn’t include M855 rounds because their bullets are partly lead.
“While M855 has carried the exemption from a 1986 prohibition on manufacture, importation and sale, (but not possession) of ‘armor piercing’ rounds, it’s clear from the definition that it should have never needed to be ‘exempted,’” Bryan Black of Itstactical.com wrote.
The ATF backed away from the proposed ban a few weeks later.
“They will propose something so onerous and outrageous, that it manages to inspire outrage across the country,” journalist Joshua Krause wrote. “They will then back away from the plan, while trying to preserve as much of their effort as possible; a ‘tactical withdrawal’ if you will.”
“If even one segment of legislation, regulation, or executive order survives the public’s backlash, then they’ve still made some progress. In this case, they won’t succeed in banning this ammunition, but they will come back with something less concerning; they will say ‘be reasonable, let’s meet halfway on the issue.’”