The President's Corner October - December 2013
Greetings Fellow KSRA Members!
I hope everyone had a great summer! Fall is my favorite time of year and I’m looking forward to the changing colors. Let’s hope that winter does not set in early since we had such a mild summer. I’ve seen some winter predictions I didn’t like very much!
As we enter the last quarter of 2013 it’s a good time to reflect on the great success we had this year. The passage of the Second Amendment Protection Act, Public Building Security Act, the Lobbying Against Guns with Taxpayer Funding Act and some Concealed Carry Cleanup Provisions. If you subscribe to KSRA email alerts you were able to follow along as these bills went through the legislative process and receive detailed explanations of them. You also were able to be an active participant when we needed phone calls and emails generated to your State Representatives and Senators. If you are not subscribed to them, you should be.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder didn’t like the Second Amendment Protection Act very well and sent us a letter telling us ‘we can’t do that’! That fight is not over and rest assured it will continue. Governor Sam Brownback stood tall and firm and fired a letter back to him and told him ‘oh yes we can’! I am working with our Attorney General Derek Schmidt and you might just see the State of Kansas file an Amicus Curiae brief in the Montana case. The Montana bill which passed in 2009 has been in the courts all this time and did not go as far as our bill; however since many of the principles are the same, it behooves us to join in the fight as it is now up for consideration by the U.S. Supreme Court. We’re going all the way folks! The intention is for KSRA to also file Amicus Curiae in the case. So stay tuned and subscribe to get email updates as we go forward!
I’ve been working with a number of legislators on the legislative agenda for 2014. We are not yet ready to announce our agenda but believe me when I say 2014 will be more stellar than 2013, if you can imagine that! I will tell you that there will be one major initiative that the NRA and KSRA are partnering on and I promise you are going to love, love, love it! Then there will be at least two other KSRA initiatives which are also major. One of those is the unfinished HB 2111, the Sweeping Preemption bill that was unfinished this year and you will see probably three or four amendments to it that will add provisions that have been popularly requested and are germane to that bill. Again, subscribe to our email alerts as during the legislative session it is impossible for me to individually answer the hundreds of questions we receive via email about the legislation being currently worked on.
Read the full article
Administration announces new gun control measures, targets military surplus imports
Published August 29, 2013
The Obama administration unexpectedly announced two new gun control measures on Thursday, including one that would curb the import of military surplus weapons -- in a move that could anger collectors.
Vice President Biden was announcing the new measures Thursday morning. The new rules, announced while Washington was otherwise focused on the crisis in Syria, took the form of executive actions, which President Obama added to the list of 23 steps the White House already determined the president could take on his own.
The steps come after Congress declined to pass any gun control legislation earlier this year despite an aggressive White House push for action in the wake of the Newton, Conn., shooting massacre. With the political world focused on Mideast tensions and looming fiscal battles, the move signaled Obama's intent to show he hasn't lost sight of the issue.
One new policy will end a government practice that lets military weapons, sold or donated by the U.S. to allies, be reimported into the U.S. by private entities, where some may end up on the streets. The White House said the U.S. has approved 250,000 of those guns to be reimported since 2005; under the new policy, only museums and a few other entities like the government will be eligible to reimport military-grade firearms.
The Obama administration is also proposing a federal rule to stop those who would be ineligible to pass a background check from skirting the law by registering a gun to a corporation or trust. The new rule would require people associated with those entities, like beneficiaries and trustees, to undergo the same type of fingerprint-based background checks as individuals if they want to register guns.
The event in the Roosevelt Room where Biden was speaking also marked the ceremonial swearing-in for Todd Jones, whose confirmation to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives after six years of political wrangling to fill that position was another of Obama's post-Newtown priorities. A Senate deal to approve the president's pending nominations after Democrats threatened to change Senate rules cleared the way for Jones' confirmation last month.
Still out of reach for Obama were the steps that gun control advocates and the administration's own review say could most effectively combat gun violence in the U.S., like an assault weapons ban and fewer exceptions for background checks for individual sales. Only Congress can act on those fronts.
Although Obama and Biden have said the fight is not over, there is scant evidence that there is more support for gun control legislation than there was in April, when efforts died in the Senate amid staunch opposition from the National Rifle Association and most Republican senators.
"Sooner or later, we are going to get this right," Obama said that day in the White House Rose Garden, with the families of Newtown victims and former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords -- herself a victim of a gunman -- at his side. "The memories of these children demand it, and so do the American people," the president said at the time.
In the months following the Senate vote, Biden has claimed that a handful of lawmakers who opposed expanded background checks have told him privately they've changed their minds and want another chance. But Biden and White House officials have not named any of those lawmakers.
These days, Obama mentions gun control with far less regularity than when it appeared the Senate was poised to take action, although Obama did meet Tuesday with 18 city mayors to discuss ways to contain youth violence. And with immigration and pressing fiscal issues dominating Congress' agenda, the prospects for reviving gun legislation appear negligible. With Jones' confirmation at ATF, the White House has completed or made significant progress on all but one of the 23 executive actions Obama had previously ordered in January, the White House said. Still lingering is an effort to finalize regulations to require insurers to cover mental health at parity with medical benefits, although the White House said that it is committed to making that happen by the end of 2013.
The new rules for guns registered to corporations will follow the traditional regulatory process, with a 90-day comment period before ATF reviews suggestions and finalizes the rule. Last year, ATF received 39,000 requests to register guns to corporations and trusts.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.