As we reported last fall, NRA was very successful in having a number of provisions included in the annual spending bills that are important protections for our rights. Obama grudgingly signed the Fiscal Year 2012 spending bills that contained those “riders,” although in his signing statement, he announced his intent to defy some. Now, in Obama’s FY 2013 budget, he proposes eliminating many of them outright.
One of the most egregious is the deletion of a provision first added for FY 2012 that prohibits any future “Fast & Furious” style operations. In an official summary, the administration says the restriction is “not necessary.”
“Not necessary”? Obama may trust Eric Holder and the senior officials at the Department of Justice, but Congress and the American people certainly should not. Holder’s refusal to fully cooperate with congressional investigations is proof enough that this sort of reckless operation should be specifically banned.
Two other provisions first passed for FY 2012 were also put on the chopping block. One prohibits a ban on the importation of shotguns deemed by the BATFE to be non-“sporting.” Congress passed this to block an Obama administration plan to expand the use of the “sporting purposes” test once again, this time to ban the importation of many popular defensive, target shooting and hunting shotguns. Removing this provision is clearly a first step toward implementing a new import ban.
The other new provision for 2012 was a ban on the use of tax dollars to lobby for new gun laws. Obama signaled that he would take this step when he announced at the bill signing for the 2012 legislation that he and his administration would not be bound by that provision. And in his budget, Obama would get rid of that restriction entirely.
Another provision deleted was a prohibition on the use of funds for anti-gun research at the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control. These prohibitions have been passed by Congress to stop these groups from funding junk science “studies” in support of new restrictions on gun rights.
Obama also wants to get rid of the provision that stops the Department of Defense from destroying surplus M1 Garands and M1 carbines—a provision that has been in place for over 30 years. And he wants to drop a provision that stops the destruction of spent military brass. Without these protections, thousands of surplus rifles could be destroyed instead of being sold to law-abiding Americans through the Civilian Marksmanship Program, and millions of recyclable brass cases will be melted down as scrap rather than being made available to reloaders.
There is good news for gun owners, though. No one—not even Obama or his closest allies—believe this budget will be passed, and it may not even be brought up for a vote.
So why oppose these provisions now? Is it an election-year signal to his anti-gun base voters? Or is he finally showing his true beliefs and giving up his pretense of support for the Second Amendment? Whatever the answer may be, gun owners should expect nothing but more anti-gun action on the part of the Obama Administration.
To read a column by NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox on this issue, please click here.