On January 25 Gun Owners of America (GOA) released a list of Obama-era gun controls which President Trump can undo.
The controls range from those that can be stopped via executive action to those that will require broader administrative action and/or Congressional cooperation.
Here are six gun controls that GOA listed as prime targets for repeal:
- Obama’s January 5, 2016, Executive Gun Controls—These were a body of executive actions that expanded background checks so as to require a larger number of private sellers to seek out an Federal Firearms License (FFL) holder and process all sales via a government background check. The controls also designated tax-payer funding for “smart gun” research and development, added new regulations onto already heavily regulated FFLs, and co-opted Obama’s infamous Social Security gun ban. Many of these controls could be undone with a swipe of Trump’s pen.
- The Social Security Gun Ban—This ban was fashioned behind closed doors in the summer of 2015 and finalized by the Obama administration just days before Christmas 2016. The ban could impact any Social Security recipient who requires help managing his or her finances. It is designed so that recipients draw attention to themselves by having their benefits mailed or otherwise sent to a third party. Once they have the Social Security Administration’s attention an investigation begins and can result in the loss of Second Amendment rights if the recipient is deemed mentally deficient. Congress has agreed to review the details of the ban next week and pass legislation to block it. President Trump’s signature on the legislation and a thorough redirecting of the SSA would save the Second Amendment rights of tens of thousands–perhaps even millions–of Social Security recipients.
- “Removing the U.S. from the Anti-Gun UN Arms Trade Treaty”–former Secretary of State John Kerry signed the UN Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) on September 25, 2013. The NRA warned: “This treaty threatens individual firearm ownership with an invasive registration scheme [and is full of regulations and requirements that are] blatant attacks on the constitutional rights of every law-abiding American.” The treaty does this, in part, by “[urging] record keeping of end users, directing importing countries to provide information to an exporting country regarding arms transfers, including ‘end use or end user documentation’ for a ‘minimum of ten years.’” Republicans in the Senate immediately torpedoed any hope of ratifying the treaty, but the treaty sits ready for ratification should Democrats ever regain Senate control. By removing the U.S. as a signatory President Trump would remove any threat that the ATT would be ratified and lorded over U.S. citizens in the future.
- “Repealing bullet and gun import bans going from Obama back to George H. W. Bush’s semi-auto import ban”–The ban in view was an exercise of executive action taken by George H.W. Bush in 1989 and redoubled by Obama during his presidency. Bush used the ban to stop the import of certain “assault weapons,” while simultaneously admitting that any shortfall in said weapons via imports would be compensated by domestic production. In other words, it was gun control for the sake of gun control and succeeded only in making the acquisition of said weapons more burdensome. On July 8, 1989, The New York Times reported, “Today’s decision is a significant step in the evolution of the Administration’s gun control policies. It puts President Bush clearly at odds with the National Rifle Association and will almost certainly increase pressures on him to approve restrictions or an outright ban on domestic versions of semiautomatic assault weapons.” Trump can undo an remaining vestiges of such bans via the swipe of his pen.
- “Repealing the suspension of health privacy laws with respect to gun owners”–On January 16, 2013–just over a month after the attack on Sandy Hook Elementary by a gunman using stolen firearms–Obama issued 23 executive orders regarding guns. Forbes magazine published all 23, the 16th of which says, “Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.” While not going so far as to mandate doctors ask patients about gun ownership, order number 16 clearly lets anti-gun doctors know that Obamacare does not prohibit them compiling information on gun ownership if they so choose. President Trump and his administration can repeal and/or abolish this practice.
- “Restoring gun rights for 257,000 law-abiding veterans”–On December 5, 2012, Breitbart News reported that Senate Democrats were working to suspend the Second Amendment rights of “certain military veterans.” These efforts foreshadowed the Social Security gun ban, in that the decision to suspect Second Amendment rights rested on a determination of mental incompetence demonstrated by reliance on a third party for help with finances. Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) warned the Democrats’ decision making process was sloppy and that “veterans who simply cannot support themselves financially” were being placed under a “mental health” moniker and barred from buying or possessing firearms. President Trump and his administration can correct this travesty in the same way that the Social Security gun ban is being addressed.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio.