Pay close attention to the official wording tomorrow from the White House. Will it be an “Executive Order“, or will it be called an “Executive Action“, there is a profound difference.
♦ “Executive orders” are those dictatorial fiats from the White House that contain an origin, at least as regarded by the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), founded in law.
♦ “Executive actions” are the term-two preferences of President Obama and constitute dictatorial fiats that are not constitutionally based, not legal, not supported by the OLC, and will not eventually hold up under legal challenge. The key word is “eventually”.
If called an executive order, that means the office of legal counsel (OLC) has affirmed to President Obama his intended activity is legally within his authority. However, if the White House repeatedly calls it an executive action, that means it’s purely a political decision without OLC approval, regarding constitutional authority, and will likely not pass legal challenge.
The details are currently sketchy but here’s a few early reports of what to expect:
Via The Hill […] The president will issue a long-anticipated policy that expands the definition of a licensed gun dealer to those who sell firearms at gun shows and online, the White House announced Monday.
Many sellers in those areas are unlicensed, which gun-control advocates say allows them to skirt federal background check requirements.
The policy does not set a specific number of gun sales that would force a seller to register with the federal government. Instead, the government would consider a number of factors, including whether the seller represents itself as an official dealer and the frequency of sales.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) will issue new guidance to sellers on who must register as a licensed dealer, an effort to narrow the so-called “gun show loophole.”
“It’s not where you are doing it, but what you are doing, that determines whether you are in the business of selling firearms,” Attorney General Loretta Lynch told reporters on a conference call. (read more)
Via Politico – […] According to the White House, the actions include a more detailed definition of which gun sellers must apply for a federal dealers license — and therefore conduct background checks for all sales, in a bid to close the so-called gun show loophole.
The administration is also finalizing a few other rules that were stuck in a bureaucratic backlog, including new requirements for reporting guns lost or stolen in transit, and a measure that would allow more mental health records to be submitted to the federal background check registry by removing patient privacy limits.
The FBI is also adding 230 agents devoted to processing background checks — a 50 percent increase — as it moves toward automating the system.
[…] While Obama cannot unilaterally required universal background checks, top administration officials predicted the new guidelines would sweep in all but the most casual sellers. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms will issue new guidelines about what it means to be “engaged in the business” of selling guns, rather than merely selling them as a hobby.
It’s part of a bid to step up enforcement of background check rules not only at informal settings like flea markets and gun shows, but also the Internet — including the dark web.
“Just because you shop for guns with a mouse and not your feet, doesn’t mean you should be able to avoid background checks,” said White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett on a conference call with reporters Monday evening.
There’s no specific number of annual sales that trigger the need for a license, Jarrett said. Rather, a series of criteria might signal the need to register as a dealer, such as whether the seller creates business cards, sells guns in their original packaging, or re-sells guns shortly after buying them.
An individual, Jarrett said, “can sell as few as two firearms or make only one or two transactions and be ‘engaged in the business.’” (read more)