In his first day on the job, newly-sworn Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke reversed a last-minute Obama administration order to prohibit lead ammunition and sinkers on national wildlife refuges and other federal lands.
President Donald Trump last week also signed an order reversing an Obama administration rule that had the Social Security Administration providing information on individuals with mental disabilities to the National Instant Background Check System. Even the American Civil Liberties Union and National Alliance on Mental Illness had opposed the Obama requirement.
Sportsmen are cheering the lead ammunition reversal. But there is more to this than just a win for the so-called “gun lobby.” Here’s what Zinke said when he undid the 11th hour ban announced by Obama’s Interior Secretary Dan Ashe:
“After reviewing the order and the process by which it was promulgated, I have determined that the order is not mandated by any existing statutory or regulatory requirement and was issued without significant communication, consultation or coordination with affected stakeholders.”
Boiled down to plain English, this essentially suggests the Ashe order was rather arbitrary and that interested parties (i.e. hunters and anglers) were not consulted. Many critics considered it a last-minute Obama slap at hunters and gun owners.
With all of this accomplished during the first 40 days of the Trump administration, can gun owners start counting down the days to when the administration just might consider some of the suggestions offered late last year by Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. Gottlieb recommended several gun law reforms and other moves Trump could make to show gun owners he deserved their votes in November. Let’s check the scorecard:
- Appoint a strong constitutionalist to the U.S. Supreme Court. CHECK: President Trump has nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch to the high court.
- Implement national concealed carry reciprocity. HALF-CHECK. Legislation has been introduced and the gun prohibition lobby is going full Chicken Little, declaring the sky is about to fall.
- Pass a National Hearing Protection Act. HALF-CHECK. Legislation has been introduced and anti-gunners are fomenting hysteria.
- Allow concealed carry on military bases. HALF-CHECK. New rules were announced but it is hard to discern any movement.
Here are some others:
- Rescind U.S. participation in the Arms Trade Treaty.
- Upgrade and fix the National Instant Check System.
- Restoration of Rights. (Nothing yet, and expect perennial anti-gun Sen. Charles Schumer to energetically oppose this by claiming Republicans want to arm rapists and murderers.)
- Order the Veteran’s Administration to stop arbitrarily disarming veterans. The Social Security order reversal is a good sign.
- Legalize short-barreled rifles that were favored by hunters and shooters. Nothing yet, will require Congressional action.
- Restore the importation of historically valuable firearms from WWII and Korea that are prized by collectors and military historians.
- Have the Justice Department assign an assistant Attorney General whose only job will be to investigate and prosecute Second Amendment violations by state and local governments. (This is one that will infuriate anti-gun politicians.)
Democrats and the dominant media have been relentlessly pounding Trump and his administration since the get-go. Many people believe this has gone well beyond the pale of being watchdogs and loyal opponents. It has taken on the appearance of all-out war.
The president and Republican-controlled Congress may have difficulty addressing every suggestion, to say nothing of calls from some quarters to repeal the National Firearms Act of 1934. But gun owners have waited for decades to stop what they believe is a steady erosion of the Second Amendment. They have been patient long enough.