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How Much Power Does the President Have Over Gun Control?

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A key issue in this and many other presidential elections has been gun control. It seems that throughout the years, the gun control debate heats up as the road to the presidential election begins, due to the immense power that the president wields. But just how much of that power can be enforced in the world of guns? It takes two houses of Congress to pass new laws but gun control can be administered without Congress. Let's take a closer look.

Executive Orders

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Recently, we released an article asking how real or possible is gun confiscation and we learned in doing that, that through executive power and influence Abraham Lincoln signed the confiscation acts into law, taking away weapons from hundreds of thousands of American citizens at the outset of the Civil War.

While these actions were taken at a time in American history that truly did call for drastic action to be taken, and while he had the support of the people behind him, the decision to take these weapons was one that even President Lincoln himself questioned the legality of for the rest of his life. He claimed to regret what he did but saw it necessary to end the bloodiest conflict in American history.

We can only hope that our future presidents see as Lincoln did that taking away the freedom of the people to defend themselves is something inherently wrong. If they do not see the world they way that Lincoln did, and acted in the same manner, we could be focused on a tyrant with an ability to drastically alter the landscape of the country.

In just the last few years President Obama has issued some executive orders that have had an impact on the firearm industry.

Commander of Military and Departments of State

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At the same time, the President is the commander-in-chief of our military. Should a decision be made that guns can and will be taken, the military will be under direct order to follow through with it. Whether they agree or not. In situations similar to this, where an order is made by a leader that the army disagrees with, there may be some dissension, but more often than not, even with disagreement, the orders are not ignored.

Look at the horrible things that are done in other countries like Turkey's recent coup against Erdogan, the military coups of the Arab Spring, and even going as far back as the fascist takeovers of Italy and Germany in the 1920's and 30's. While many in the army disagreed and fought against reprehensible leaders, many in the army stayed, and many times the army won.

In addition to commanding the military to carry out order, the supply chain of firearms and ammunition in this country are also in large part controlled by the Department of Defense. For example, the majority of ammunition manufacturers in this country purchase and source their shells from the Department of Defense. If the DOD refused to sell it's spent shells to these private companies it would likely bankrupt the ammunition companies. During President Obama's presidency there was an effort to erode this commerce plan and melt down the metals but thankfully it wasn't carried out to fruitition… yet.

Just earlier in 2016 Obama's administration redefined who does and does not qualify as an arms or ammunition manufacturer so as to force gunsmiths, even those who approach it as a hobby or favor to friends to have to register and pay $2250 for a license.

ATF Regulations

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Moving from huge changes that are honestly less likely to occur, things like regulations are the type of changes that are tough to notice at times, but can lay the groundwork for big changes down the road. It's like the old adage of a frog in boiling water. Throw it directly into the water and the frog will jump out in pain. But slowly turn up the heat, and the frog will die without noticing the changes.

This is what can happen with regulations like these, and the president's hand in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives is massive, as they are the one to issue the post of director to someone. That director will be responsible for regulating firearm commerce in the United States and issuing federal firearms licenses to sellers, as well as conducting firearms licensee inspections. 

There have been threats and conversations for example about redefining who is and is not a “dealer” so as to force all gun owners who would sell any guns; even to a friend or family member; to become licensed by the ATF as dealers and thus force Background checks for all transfers of firearms.

Supreme Court Justices

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Like the ATF director, the president also is in charge of finding and appointing Supreme Court Justices. This is a huge issue this election cycle because many of the justices are growing older and may be moving to retirement soon. In addition, with the death of Judge Scalia, the court is already short one judge. Many people believe that the next president's political leanings, whether they be liberal or conservative, will soon be shared by 6 of the 9 justices, effectively creating a huge political lean towards whatever the next president's affiliation is.

In doing this, if the next president is anti-gun, there is a pretty good chance that those that interpret the highest laws in the country will be anti-gun for many years to come.

Attorney General

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Another appointee of the president is the Attorney General. They are the head of the Justice Department and while they cannot maintain absolute power when it comes to deciding legality, together with the Supreme Court and the President, the Attorney General can have immense sway. And if the AG and Supreme Court Justices are issued by the same president, and have the same political lean as a president, they could all make for one of the most powerful administrations in history. This is another possibility for whoever our next president may be.

We have seen these issues with state attorney generals, already. Maura Healey from Massachusetts and her ability to judge what is and isn't an assault rifle effectively made it so that she and the Governor were the only people involved in the decision-making process to outlaw specific firearms in the state.

Trade Deals, Embargo, Importation Taxes

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And finally, another major presidential duty is that of duties. Taxes, trade, and embargos. With these capabilities, even in a much smaller world than in years past, a full embargo on guns and ammunition from outside nations, combined with a dismantling from within due to a combined assault from the Executive and Judicial branches, may be able to make it so that firearms could be taken away with no legal recourse to undo the damage.

As we have seen. It has happened before in this country and with the way that the laws and hierarchy of our government work, it could happen again. We just have to watch and make sure that the heat is turning up before the pot boils over.

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18 Responses to How Much Power Does the President Have Over Gun Control?

  1. John Siemens October 8, 2016 at 4:27 pm #

    They all ignore the Constitution as the supreme “Law of the Land”. What part of “shall not be infringed” do they not understand? The 2nd Amendment is a limitation on government, not a limitation on the “right of the people”. Infringement is any limitation on what arms I can bear as well as any limitation on when, where and how I can bear them. Infringement is any law, regulation or ordinance that affects one person more than another regarding their right to bear arms such as taxes that drive the cost of weapons out of reach for one segment of society compared to another.

    The government must return to requirements of the Constitution.

  2. mike October 8, 2016 at 4:53 pm #

    yes they do, look at KILLARY, Clinton, walked away from being a crimnal by having her husband talk to the AG and most likely gave her a job for life if clinton wins. wow, how about Holder, yep another one should be in prison, obama, running guns, yep another criminal. everyone of them are criminals, but yet they try to go after the legal people. tyrants for sure.

    • Mike October 15, 2016 at 8:52 am #

      Very very well said. We all have to hang tight together. Sothat we can protect our rights and not vote for that most wanted criminal Hilary. If anyone has done what she has done we would never see daylight. What is wrong with people. You know something is up when our on crooked president is running for Hilary you know something is up

  3. Larry October 8, 2016 at 5:15 pm #

    I don’t know but in this day an age the government may start a civil war by gun confiscation remember it was only 3 percent of the pollution that took on the British Empire and won . For all there stupidity and Hubertus there is no way that even this country could win a grill war on its shores especially if the current government looked as court as it does but what do I know

    • DAVID October 8, 2016 at 8:59 pm #

      If you were going to die , I believe that going down in a wild ass fight would be better than being put behind a fence for the rest of my life . This has been obama’s plan , that’s why he started bringing over the radical muslims to try to take over our COUNTRY . The video his sister brought over shows him talking about white privilege , and he didn’t like it and was going to stop it . Are we gonna just let the foreigners take our United States away from us or are we gonna stand and fight .If I’m gonna die I will do what I can before I do , like the song said ; Going down in a blaze of glory .

  4. Cameron October 8, 2016 at 5:37 pm #

    ALL Supreme Court Justices should be (but often the Liberal ones aren’t) bound by the Constitution & the meanings of words & phrases in use when it was written. Scalia said that he had made decisions he personally did not like, but he had to follow the Constitution. Now THAT is a Justice. Anybody else in just a political hack who doesn’t deserve to wear the robe.

    • Stevie October 8, 2016 at 8:57 pm #

      Scalia’s death IMO, was a matter that should have been looked into more thoroughly. I mean, come on, no autopsy? You mean his family member didn’t want to find out what he died from? Very unusual circumstance for a family to not require one.

  5. Mike Robinson October 8, 2016 at 5:41 pm #

    The President may be the “Commander-in-Chief” of the military, but the enlisted members may, or may not, follow his orders and will be divided. Why, because the officers in the military are not under that requirement as evidenced in their “Oath of Office” stated herein —

    An individual, except the President, elected or appointed to an office of honor or profit in the civil service or uniformed services, shall take the following oath: “I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.” This section does not affect other oaths required by law.
    (Pub. L. 89–554, Sept. 6, 1966, 80 Stat. 424.)

    Nowhere in the oath does it mention that the officers are required to obey the orders of the President. Only in the oath for enlisted personnel.

  6. Steve Rubisch October 8, 2016 at 5:48 pm #

    The constitution is a document that relies on the interpretation of the court system as to how it is enforced. Most of us think that interpretation should be literal and direct. However the liberals would tend to change that interpretation to support Their own agenda. For example: the following sign placed on a beach behind a large home.
    PRIVATE BEACH
    NO
    SWIMMING ALLOWED

    Is interpreted as; private beach——–no or not, ——therefore swimming is allowed.

    Since the Supreme Court has the final say over what the words of the Constitution or the laws of the land really mean, it is vitally important that we don’t have someone who has that same liberal interpretation choosing our next three, or more Supreme Court justices. This election is vitally important!

    • Stevie October 8, 2016 at 8:54 pm #

      You are absolutely correct about the Supreme court and this election is way more about Clinton and Trump and many people are to ignorant to see this and only think about POTUS.

  7. Stephen Clayton October 8, 2016 at 6:02 pm #

    So, what is the plan if Obama issues the executive order to confiscate all guns? Would Congress oppose him? They have been feckless thus far on any of his unconstitutional executive orders. Do we rise up in rebellion? Do we hope for a military coup? Will the military even execute his order if given? Will his order include crossbows, knives, box cutters, bombs?

  8. Dennis October 8, 2016 at 8:30 pm #

    First off show me where executive orders apply to you or me or the people of the union states
    pursuant to the constitution? I don’t give a rats ass about what that POS impersonator thinks he can do he is nothing more than a wannabe POTUS! If we had a legitimate congress the POS would have been impeached and hung already!

    If you you read the executive order (posted above) issued by commander and thief Roosevelt it say “All persons”.

    What persons were they referring to ? Not you or me as we are not persons as defined in the law. So before you go fear mongering about executive orders do your homework and stop exhibiting your ignorance in such an obvious manner.

  9. Stevie October 8, 2016 at 8:51 pm #

    If the government was ever to try gun confiscation today, I guarantee there will be a revolution, and I believe even though we are out gunned by military, there will be a split in our military of those who do not agree with the tyrant philosophy. It will be ugly but all wars are won with small arms fire.

    • Bodie October 9, 2016 at 11:28 am #

      Stevie: take a look at just the hunting license issued this year against the number of people in our armed forces to see who will be out gunned!!!!

  10. Jonathan del Pozo October 8, 2016 at 8:54 pm #

    Great article! Unfortunately it’s all true and only getting the right person into the president’s position can we advert a war with Russia as well as believe in our Constitution. God help us to make the right decision! Other than that, lock and load!!

  11. Ed Trammell October 9, 2016 at 10:24 am #

    The New Orleans case mentioned above took place under a Republican president. Also Scalia did not have constitutional authority to halt the Florida recount in 24 hours. So let us not think Scalia was a strict follower of the constitution.
    As for Lincoln, he did several unconstitutional acts which sounded the death knell on states rights.

  12. [email protected] October 9, 2016 at 2:17 pm #

    The next civil war will not be North vs South over Black Slavery. It will be Conservative vs Liberal over American Slavery from the oppressive government we have allowed to take over this country. It may begin with State succession but the government will never allow that.

  13. Barry Behrle October 11, 2016 at 9:32 am #

    Here is something to ponder.

    Isaiah 5:13 – Therefore my people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge: and their honourable men are famished, and their multitude dried up with thirst.

    Knowledge is found in world history. Look at Caesar or Hitlar who wrote:

    If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.
    Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.
    The victor will never be asked if he told the truth.
    It is not truth that matters, but victory.

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