No one can deny that the number of random mass shootings in the US have been a cause for concern. For too long, previous administrations have just let the problem slide. But President Obama had always said that one of his objectives when he became President would be to control the number of guns. And with the latest shootings in San Bernardino, Ca, the President finally went with an executive order to expand the government’s restriction on gun sales.
However, not even a month has passed and now there is a lawsuit filed challenging the validity of the Executive order. The lawsuit filed by the conservative advocacy group, Freedom Watch, argues that the actions by President Obama illegally attempt to outwit the legislative powers of the Congress. The founder of Freedom Watch, Larry Klayman, insists that the President’s actions are unconstitutional and his Executive order exceeds the powers of the US Constitution.
The President has stated that his actions are justified because previously there was a loophole that allowed for certain gun sales to occur without performing a background check on the buyer. This new interpretation of the previous law now allows the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to extend its enforcement activities to individuals who do not regularly make their living by selling firearms. These are individuals who primarily go to gun shows and sell firearms to almost anyone.
Now the new law states that prior to selling any firearm, these individuals are supposed to do a background check on the person buying the weapon. This was the “loophole” that the President was stating when he signed the executive order. The number of firearms sold at gun-shows is high and no one keeps any track of the buyer or the seller. President Obama has also ordered the Social Security Administration to enroll people with issues of “mental health” in the firearm background check. This way if anyone with a mental issue buys a gun, a red flag will be up.
Larry Klayman argues that the executive order contains vague language about individuals being mentally competent before they are allowed to buy guns. He says this is a broad usage of “mental competency” and it could apply to almost any American.
It is expected that similar lawsuits will further challenge Obama’s executive order on gun control. No one knows what will happen since the topic of gun control is both legally and politically contentious.