On Thursday the Obama administration made a surprise announcement on new gun control measures “designed to get dangerous guns off our streets” which had many inside the beltway shaking their heads. After Obama’s disastrous attempt to impose new gun control legislation in the wake of the Newtown tragedy, you would think that Obama’s political handlers would learn to steer clear of the subject but apparently not.
Unable to get any sort of legislation through Congress which would restrict Second Amendment rights of law abiding gun owners and unwilling to address the real issues driving what is largely black on black crime in the inner cities, President Obama chose to again stretch his executive power by “legislating by executive regulation”.
In an obvious play to the anti-gun segment of his base, President Obama had his gun control point man, Vice President Joe Biden announce the new efforts at a White House Press conference on Thursday morning. It’s worth noting that Obama did not make the announcement personally possibly because he wanted to avoid additional humiliation when the effort crashes and burns.
One of the new proposals is to prevent obsolete WWII era rifles previous given to our allies from being re-imported into the country for sale to collectors. The other proposal is to prevent the transfers of certain firearms to trusts and corporations. Neither proposal is expected to have any impact on crime or to address any real world problem.
According to statistics published by the FBI, rifles account for only about 376 deaths each year. They aren’t used in street crime but they have been the repeated target of proposed gun bans by the Obama administration. Having failed to pass new restrictions through Congress, the administration is now reduced to targeting guns which were designed nearly 90 years ago and which have been considered obsolete for more than half a century.
The ban on re-importing of obsolete military weapons primarily deals with the M1 Garand and M1 Carbine rifles issued during WW2. The M1 Garand was designed in 1928. It weighs almost 12 pounds and hasn’t been standard issue since 1957. That’s 56 years ago! Likewise, the M1 Carbine has been considered obsolete and hasn’t been issued for over 40 years either. These collectible old guns are of interest only to WWII history buffs and serious collectors who are willing to pay well over $1,000 apiece for original examples.
The proposed regulatory change to prevent firearms being transferred to trusts and corporations again addresses a nonexistent problem and affects only serious firearms collectors who have used the trusts as a way to organize and simplify the eventual transfer of their firearms collections to their heirs as part of their estate planning. Trusts and corporations are able to own and transfer land and other valuable property and putting an extensive firearms collection into a trust has become extremely popular with serious collectors as a way to simplify what would otherwise be an expensive and difficult matter for the executor of an estate.
The Obama administration has again demonstrated their willingness to abuse their executive power to take symbolic action to please their supporters. Rather than addressing real crime issues and targeting predominantly black inner city street gangs who are committing real crimes, the only people affected are a small group of gun collectors who are overwhelmingly white, senior citizens.
Maybe that was the point?