Obama Administration Has Doubts That Key Hillary Gun Proposal Can Work 

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Greg Sargent reports: Speaking at a rally in Iowa, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton recalled speaking with parents of victims of gun violence and condemned opposition to gun control laws. (Reuters)

When Hillary Clinton rolled out a series of new gun control proposals this week, one of the most newsworthy and controversial ideas she put forth was a vow to use executive action as president to fix the background check system if Congress refused to act.

But the Obama administration has already taken a long, internal look at the same executive-action proposal Clinton has promised to undertake, and has doubts over whether it can be made to work in practical terms, according to current and former senior administration officials.

A group of local public school teachers from nearby schools use rubber training guns as they practice proper firearms handling during a teachers-only firearms training class offered for free at the Veritas Training Academy in Sarasota, Florida January 11, 2013. The December 14 tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, where 20 first-graders and six adults were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School, has sparked a national debate about whether to arm teachers, prompting passionate arguments on both sides. REUTERS/Brian Blanco (UNITED STATES - Tags: SOCIETY POLITICS EDUCATION)

The administration is still looking at this idea, in the wake of Obama’s announcement after the Oregon shooting that he has directed officials to “scrub” current laws for further actions the executive branch can take against gun violence, those officials say.

But the administration studied the same proposal in 2013 after the Newtown shooting, in the run-up to its release of a number of other executive actions on guns, and decided against including this particular idea out of concerns about its workability, the officials confirm.

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The Clinton campaign has pointed to her vow to use executive action to begin closing the long-discussed private seller loophole — which allows for sales conducted by private sellers to proceed without a background check — as proof of her commitment to acting on gun violence. As a Clinton spokesperson put it: “Her willingness to pursue reforms by executive action if necessary is proof of how urgent a priority this is to her.”

But it turns out that this proposal may be harder to actually implement than it might seem. Read the rest of this entry »


Arizona: Governor Signs Pro-Gun Bills

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Yesterday, Governor Jan Brewer (R) signed House Bill 2103 into law.  Introduced by state Representative Kelly Townsend (R-16), HB 2103 would allow an individual of at least nineteen years of age to obtain a concealed weapon permit if the person is currently in military service or has been honorably discharged.  This legislation is a good way to thank our military for their service and will benefit law-abiding gun owners in Arizona.  HB 2103 passed in the state Senate by a 20 to 10 vote on Wednesday and in the House by a 39 to 18 vote on March 10.

Also yesterday, House Bill 2535 was reported in the Senate by the Committee of the Whole as “Do Pass.” Introduced by state Representative John Kavanagh (R-23), HB 2535 requires that certification by a chief law enforcement officer (CLEO), when a signoff is required for the transfer of a firearm or other item regulated by the National Firearms Act (NFA), be provided within sixty days as long as the applicant is not prohibited by law from receiving the firearm or other item.  HB 2535 would prevent an arbitrary personal bias from determining Arizona firearm policy and ensure that qualified, law-abiding Arizonans would not be denied their ability to legally possess NFA items.  The reforms in HB 2535 would benefit law-abiding Arizona Second Amendment supporters by ensuring that the process to obtain NFA items already legal in Arizona remains consistent, fact-based and objective.  Additionally, HB 2535 would provide an individual who has been denied certification by a CLEO with a written explanation for the denial.  HB 2535 now goes to the Senate floor where it will be considered as early as next week.

Read the rest of this entry »