Executive "Actions" on Guns

August 29th, 2013

Todd Jones will be sworn in as new Director for the BATFE today. This marks the first time the position has been filled since Carl Truscott left in 2006.

The administration is using this as an opportunity to announce two new executive actions regarding guns. I know what an executive order is, but executive action is a new one for me. Apparently, I'm not the only one confused by this.

The White House has a "fact sheet" here. The first measure is a moratorium on the importation of military surplus guns for the civilian market. Apparently, this "will help keep military-grade firearms off our streets."

The second is a change in the way NFA trusts are handled. Under the proposal, all individuals associated with a trust would have to undergo a NICS check and submit fingerprints. How this will be implemented, or how it will actually work in practice, remains to be seen.

The ostensible reason for these actions is to reduce the supply of guns to criminals, but I'm unaware of any significant shootings involving M1 Garands or Enfields. Nor am I aware of any registered NFA weapons being used in crime whatsoever. This is nothing more than a cynical bid to show voters that the President "did something" about violence without, well, doing anything.

The ATF will have a 90-day comment period before implementing any of this, but they've yet to announce it on their website.

(The original post implied that these were executive orders. The title and content have been edited to correct that.)

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