Eric Holder Goes Around Congress on Gun Control

Eric Holder Goes Around Congress on Gun Control

According to reports, Attorney General Eric Holder has begun the implementation of three gun control measures related to President Obama’s Jan. 16 executive orders.

These deal with information sharing, background checks, and name registries. Holder’s action on them appears to be part of a two pronged approach where he pushes certain measures behind the scenes while Congress considers other measures Obama suggested. 

The first of these gun control measures would “expand access to information on gun permits to American Indian law enforcement agencies,” the second would “allow law enforcement to access the FBI’s national criminal database to conduct background checks on people they’re transferring weapons to,” and the third measure “would authorize the FBI to retain records on denied firearms transactions in a separate database for longer than 10 years.”

The last proposal is especially irksome, as it increases the amount of time the government can hold on to information acquired through certain background checks. In this way, it allows the creation of a de facto registry of people who have tried unsuccessfully to buy guns, and it’s just common sense that this information could easily be misused.

And this is all made more troubling by the fact that Holder “[concedes] that the impact of [these measures] is unknown at this point,” i.e., they may not even work. Therefore, in the end, these various gun control measures may simply be what we have all feared from the start–just another futile exercise in piling more restrictive regulations on law-abiding citizens.