Bob Unruh joined WND in 2006 after nearly three decades with the Associated Press, as well as several Upper Midwest newspapers, where he covered everything from legislative battles and sports to tornadoes and homicidal survivalists. He is also a photographer whose scenic work has been used commercially.More ↓Less ↑
The chief of the powerful Gun Owners of America organization says there is no doubt Barack Obama will impose gun controls if he wins re-election, even without constitutional authority.
“I can see him telling gun stores, ‘You can’t sell a gun over .380. You can’t sell rifles [that use large magazines] or I’m pulling your license,” GOA Executive Director Larry Pratt told WND today.
“Even without legal authority, or constitutional authority. That hasn’t stopped him on so many other issues,” he said.
His comments come just as several factors are influencing the possibility of more gun restrictions:
A U.N. small-arms treaty that critics said could violate the Constitution’s Second Amendment was just turned back as opposition mounted in the U.S. Senate;
The aftermath of the mass shooting in the Aurora, Colo., theater;
A comment by a conservative on the Supreme Court bench that some gun restrictions are possible judicially.
Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., gathered the signatures of 51 senators on a letter to President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton “opposing any treaty that infringes on our rights,” the report said.
“The proponents of the treaty have goals that are clearly at odds with the American Constitution. Their refusal to remove civilian arms from the treaty was one major issue that led to the breakdown in negotiations. The U.S. delegation made it clear that they could not move forward with the language as it had been drafted,” the report said.
Pratt told WND that it was the voice of the American public to members of the U.S. Senate, who would have to approve the treaty, that slowed the issue’s momentum.
“If you lose 34, you don’t get a treaty,” he said. “The 51 [signatures] were very convincing evidence [of American opposition].”
“Once again we have disappointed the one-worlders who are not going to get gun control” he said.
Pratt also noted the surging American interest in owning guns – background checks for gun purchases were up 41 percent in Colorado the week after James Holmes, 24, a suspect in the theater shooting, allegedly used multiple weapons to kill 12 people and an unborn child and wound 58.
Then a report from USA Today quoted Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia saying that new gun restrictions could be upheld by the Supreme Court.
“It will have to be decided in future cases,” he said.
“Obviously, the amendment does not apply to arms that cannot be hand-carried. It’s to keep and bear. So, it doesn’t apply to cannons. But I suppose there are handheld rocket launchers than can bring down airplanes that will have to be [looked at]. … It will have to be decided,” he said.
The Aurora suspect, Holmes, was charged today with 24 counts of first-degree murder.
Pratt said future access to many weapons in the United States will depend directly on the November election.
“If the president would be re-elected, I can see him going much more illegally and unconstitutionally to impose his will,” he said.
He said there likely wouldn’t be any legislation or court ruling involved, just administrative or executive orders from Obama to change rules for gun stores and individuals.
“That’s the kind of thing I can see the president doing in a heartbeat,” he said. “This guy thinks winning an election is tantamount to [being dictator].”
He said the regulators would set new requirements, and if a gun shop wanted to keep its license, it would have to comply.
Failure would mean a loss of license or other administrative action, he said.
“How are they going to be able to litigate without being in business?” Pratt wondered. “They don’t have the kind of deep pockets to go against this kind of tyranny.”
Pratt said Scalia’s comments should be a “wakeup call” that the court might decide it will do whatever it wants.
“I don’t think that’s really the way to look at the fundamental issue,” he said. “We the people determine what’s constitutional. If the government, including the courts, are at war with the Constitution, ultimately we’re the ones to tell the federal government, ‘you messed up.’”
He said in a true confrontation between federal bureaucrats and local people, the county sheriff should stand up for the Constitution.
Pratt argued that the right to be armed, which makes all other constitution rights possible, is what allowed the U.S. to come into existence.
“When the Brits fired on those farmers,” he told WND, “they responded, ‘Boom to you too.’”
“The re-reelection of this president would be catastrophic. This guy already has been willing to do things that put his election in jeopardy. Imagine what he would do if he wasn’t facing re-election.”