WASHINGTON – In the wake of Vice President Joe Biden’s promise that “there is executive action that can be taken” regarding weapons bans, Michael Hammond, the legislative counsel for Gun Owners of America, warned Barack Obama could expand the use of government psychiatrists to prevent gun ownership.
Hammond set the stage by saying, “Barack Obama doesn’t have the votes to get semi-automatics banned, therefore the possibility he will go crazy and regulate them through executive order.”
As a means to enforce gun confiscation and reduce gun ownership, Hammond believes Obama could order the “expansion” of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
Also known as the Brady Check, the system is designed to filter those who can purchase weapons by disqualifying prospective firearms customers if they suffer from a mental illness or some other factor that could deem them unable to own a firearm.
Hammond says that the final decision under NICS for determining who is capable of owning a firearm is a “government psychiatrist.”
“The Clinton administration interpreted the NICS to mean that if a government psychiatrist determined you were unfit you would no longer be able to own a firearm,” he said.
Hammond fears that Obama could start sending lots of names to the NICS system based in West Virginia.
“It is theoretically possible using the Obamacare database or the Social Security system…it is possible to come up with a much broader list to send to West Virginia,” he said.
The list of those who are prohibited from firearm ownership already extends extensively into war veterans. Hammond says that “about 150,000 vets coming back from Iraq have lost their guns.”
That’s because of government determinations about their injuries when they return to the United States, especially those who report issues with PTSD, the aftermath of traumatic situations in war.
In the event that Obama would start using such a maneuver, Hammond said, the main enforcers of both gun control and gun confiscation would be the Department of Homeland Security and the Justice Department.
He said he hopes there is a political solution to the issue.
He cited the number of Democrats who are from conservative states who are up for re-election in 2014, which would lead them to reject gun control.
“I think that we will win legislatively. There are 11 ‘red state’ Democrats up for re-election in 2014,” he said.
The “red state-blue state” references have been reversed over the years, as the networks and polling companies originally used blue to represent the GOP; a strategy that was reversed a few years ago.
If however, gun confiscation would occur via executive order, Hammond said, local law enforcement will be essential for the preservation of people’s Second Amendment rights.
“We are encouraging sheriffs and local law enforcement to stand between the people and federal law enforcement,” he said.
He notes that actions already taken by states such Montana, with the Montana Firearms Freedom Act, can effectively nullify federal law and therefore giving legal leverage to local law enforcement.
The Montana Firearms Freedom Act was written to nullify any federal jurisdiction over weapons made and kept inside the borders of Montana. The law is in the court system, where it was challenged in court by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Similar laws have been passed as well in Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, South Dakota, Utah, Tennessee, and Wyoming.