A funny thing happened on Black Friday... Twice. People, myself included, spurred on by THREE anti-gun bills (OK, one is a treaty) working their way through congress, and the Obama Administration coming out with strong support for a new "Assault Weapons" Ban, have decided that if they are going to buy a gun they better do it now before something happens.
They went to the gun stores in record numbers. About 160,000 registered purchases of firearms that require background checks were made. The volume was so high, that the computer that actually does the checks, the National Instant Check System (NICS), crashed. Twice. All states require a NICS check before the purchase of a firearm. With NICS down no purchases could be made. And a thousand light bulbs went on over the head of anti-gun activists everywhere.
I have said time and time again, that with the current congress, and the next congress, it will be very difficult to get another Assault Weapons Ban, or any type of firearm ban through congress. The Republicans still hold the House, and they just won't allow any of the anti-gun legislation through. Their base consists of too many single issue voters for the House Republican caucus to budge on this issue. However, the Democrats own both the White House and the Senate. These two bodies have tremendous power to make life difficult for gun owners, and potential buyers.
First, the Office of the President is the Executive power in our government. That means that all of the inner workings of the Government are controlled, ultimately, by the President of the United States. With this power comes the power of Bureaucracy and Regulation. Because Congress long ago ceded its regulatory power to the Executive, it is up to the President to take laws passed by congress and put them in to enforceable practice. Thus when the Brady Bill became law, it was the Executive that set up this NICS computer to comply. What if the President decided that the computer was too expensive and we needed to do everything by pen and paper? Boom. Done with a stroke of a pen. What if the President decided that human signature and oversight was needed for each application? Boom. Done. To pay for all of this additional overhead the user fee for a NICS check is raised to $100 per check. Or $200 per check.
Not possible? Guess how an application for an automatic weapon is processed... Paper copies, finger prints, and a $200 processing fee. Is it in the law? No, it is in the regulations.
This is how the Administration will go about making life difficult for gun buyers. A good pistol already costs upwards of $500. Tack on tax and NICS processing fees, and you have a $500 gun that is flirting with $700 retail price.
How could you increase the prices of guns? Require "micro stamping." Micro stamping is a process in which the serial number of the gun is etched on to the firing pin. What's a firing pin? Do a search on this blog for it... I have written plenty about it. Anyway, every time the gun is fired the serial number is stamped on the primer of the cartridge. Under a microscope the Police can then trace the cartridge to the gun the fired it. The process is incredibly expensive. Driving the price of the firearm up by an estimated $200. So now your $500 pistol is now flirting with $1000 price tag. All of this done without congress, just with the power of the executive.
Now we add in the Senate. What can the President do with the Senate's approval? Make treaties. What is a treaty that is working its way through the United Nations with the approval of the Obama Administration? An international registry on gun sales. I wrote about it earlier.
So, what next? A treaty with Mexico that bans gun sales. This would require legislation to prevent weapons crossing the border. More regulation. More expense. Before you know it, you are priced out of the market, with firearms being so expensive the normal person can not afford them.
Think it can't happen? How much does a Cessna 172 cost now as opposed to the 1970's before regulation? Same air frame. Same engine. Go ahead look. Can the normal person afford it?