The Obama Administration is preparing new gun regulations. This news is all the rage, but the article is short on details, so we don’t really know exactly what’s coming. In my opinion this action by the Administration is about two things. The first is revenge, because we dealt the them a high profile and embarrassing defeat after Sandy Hook. Two, it is about keeping the issue alive into the next Administration. I believe ATF will write new regulations that will be difficult for a future President to reverse without provoking a backlash from the media and gun control advocates (but I repeat myself).
I believe it will be about subtly expanding the pool of prohibited persons and broadening the definition of “adjudicated.” It’ll impose new regulations on FFLs about storage requirements, and reporting requirement. The question is whether it ends up being very audacious, going far beyond what the Gun Control Act allows. I think the smart move would be subtlety, but this Administration is rather unpredictable. If it’s bold regulation that greatly expands the power beyond what the Gun Control Act will allow, we’ll fight it in the courts and probably win.
What Obama should want is new regulations that looks quite reasonable on the surface, but screw us in subtle and not so subtle ways that are hard to explain to the average low-information voter. Regulations that we have to convince another President to re-examine under risk of a media frenzy. If the Administration doesn’t push us back as far as they can, we’ll be on a tear if there’s a Republican in the White House in 2016. Far better, they would think, that we spend all of our capital having to undo the mess the previous Administration made, rather than spending it to move forward.