Attorney General Eric Holder has something in common with President Obama. When he grows impatient with Congress’ legislative process, he just writes his own rules.
Instead of waiting for Congress to enact stricter gun control laws, Holder submitted three measures to the Federal Register for comment, according to The Washington Times.
The Federal Register is where federal agencies post proposed rules and regulations, final rules and changes to existing rules.
None of Holder’s proposals seek to ban any particular hardware or implement weapons registration. They are designed instead to implement data collection, retention and sharing.
As reported Monday in The Washington Times,
The first of Mr. Holder’s proposals would expand access to information on gun permits to Indian tribal law enforcement agencies; the second would allow local law enforcement to access the FBI’s national criminal database to conduct background checks on people they’re transferring weapons to; and the third would authorize the FBI to maintain records on denied firearms transactions in a separate database for longer than 10 years.
“These proposed changes are intended to promote public safety, to enhance the efficiency of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) operations, and to resolve difficulties created by unforeseen processing conflicts within the system,” Holder wrote in his submissions to the register, according to The Times.
The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act mandated the national background check system. It provides that, before a federal firearms licensee may transfer a firearm to a non-licensee, the dealer must first check the system database to see if the proposed buyer is disqualified from receiving firearms.
That’s all the system does. It records neither the names of purchasers nor the names of individuals who have been denied firearms as a result of a database check. Access to the data is also limited to licensed dealers and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Holder seeks to change all that with a rules change rather than modifying the statute already on the books.
Holder’s changes would make available National Instant Criminal Background Check System records of unqualified firearm purchasers to all law enforcement agencies, and they would retain a record of those individuals who requested but were denied a firearm purchase.
Although he’s not attempting a federal gun registration program per se, it’s getting awfully close. If he can record the names of those denied guns, he can just as easily record the names of those who passed the check — and presumably bought a firearm. And firearm registration is the first step toward confiscation.
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