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Monday, December 17, 2012

Roll Call Daily Briefing Lays Out Gun Control Options

Roll Call's Daily Brief provided a glimpse of the gun control options available to the Obama Administration after Friday's Newtown school shooting.  They started by noting that West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin, whom they note is a "lifetime NRA member," has come out and said now may be the time to discuss more gun control.  This from Roll Call's Daily Briefing:
The West Virginian, who’s becoming the most influential culturally conservative Democrat in the Senate, said on MSNBC that he agrees with Mayor Mike Bloomberg of New York, who has advocated a ban on the sale of assault weapons even more far-reaching than the one on the federal books for a decade ending in 2004. Manchin strongly suggested that sportsmen and people seeking to defend their homes should not view their Second Amendment rights as being violated by reviving that same law’s ban on the sort of high-capacity ammunition clips that Adam Lanza attached to his Bushmaster while killing 20 first graders and six school officials on Friday. “I’ve never had more than three shells in a clip,” said Manchin, who says he spent the weekend deer hunting. “I’m a proud outdoorsman and hunter, but this doesn’t make sense.”
Then the Daily Briefing went on to talk about Obama's options.  They started with executive orders or DOJ regulations on "high capacity magazines."
The most aggressive option would be to impose a unilateral ban, either by executive order or through Justice Department regulations, on high-capacity magazines. (The 1994-2004 law banned clips of more than 10 rounds.) Other options mainly involve tightening the rules for background checks (to include private sales as well as those by licensed dealers) and expanding the reach of the FBI system (so that it becomes aware of information on file at other federal agencies about such things as mental competence, for example). They have been floated by administration officials several rimes in the two years since the Gabby Giffords shooting, but not pushed beforehand, because of administration officials’ concerns about enraging the NRA while the president was running for re-election.
Retiring Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman has suggested the creation of a presidential commission with that would include representatives from the NRA to look at the issue of gun laws and the mental health system.  The first thing that should give people heartburn about this suggestion is that he also said the panel should include representatives from Hollywood.  Not sure what they know about firearms or mental health.

On his program today, Rush Limbaugh noted that Bill Bennett suggested yesterday that there should be at least one "competent" armed person in every school.

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