At the swearing-in ceremony at the White House on Thursday of Todd Jones as the director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (still known as ATF), President Obama’s point man on gun control, Vice President Joe Biden, announced that the ATF was issuing new rules concerning the re-importation of U.S. military surplus weapons. Where such importation was previously allowed only with government approval, now all requests for such importation will be denied altogether (except for museums and the government itself).
Biden announced another executive order that eliminates registration of firearms to trusts or to corporations unless an individual associated with those entities undergoes a background check. This has been, according to Biden, “an artful dodge to get around people who are not capable, constitutionally or legally, of owning a weapon.”
Todd Jones is the beneficiary of a complete cave-in by the GOP in the Senate, which had been stalling confirmation proceedings by threat of a filibuster for a number of Obama’s more extreme nominees. As noted at Light from the Right, “The GOP bought into [Senate Majority Leader Harry] Reid’s promises that he would keep the filibuster rule in place as long as the GOP didn't use it. It was a spectacular parliamentary maneuver, removing the rule without repealing it.” The agreement was made after Senator John McCain and a handful of other veteran Republicans who wanted an end to the confrontation negotiated with Senate Democratic leaders separately from their own party’s leadership.
The impact of the two new executive orders is expected to be slight. Since 2005, requests to re-import just 250,000 military surplus weapons were made from a population that owns an estimated 200 million firearms. And last year the ATF received only 39,000 requests to register guns to corporations and trusts. To put that into perspective, since the start of the Obama administration in 2009, background checks have averaged 44,000 a month.
Click here to read the entire article.