In an unusual move that might be considered a departure from its gun rights activities – and then, maybe not – the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms today called on Congress to “rein in President Barack Obama and his administration” following the release of five Taliban terrorists at the same time the Justice Department has allegedly used financial institutions to clamp down on gun and ammunition companies.
The president’s release of the five Taliban leaders from Guantanamo Bay in exchange for the return of American soldier Bowe Bergdahl has created a bipartisan furor on Capitol Hill. Conservative columnist George Will, writing for the Washington Post, yesterday intimated that the president has “gone rogue.”
President Obama did not advise Congress with 30 days advance notice, as required by law, before he went ahead with the exchange. That has infuriated members on both sides of the aisle. The controversy is getting lots of attention on CCRKBA's Facebook page.
“It is time for Congress to step in and do its job as an equal branch of government,” CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb said in a blistering press release earlier Thursday. “This administration has created one scandal after another, from Fast and Furious through Obamacare and Benghazi, the IRS the Veterans Administration and now the Taliban release. Congress needs to play the adult and put some brakes on the White House before we all lose our constitutional rights.
“The Obama administration has happily been pressuring banks to cut off funds to firearms retailers,” Gottlieb asserted, “who serve law-abiding citizens interested in protecting their homes and families, while turning loose terrorists who pose a clear and present danger to those same American families."
Last week, the National Shooting Sports Foundation revealed that it “has been investigating the possible role of the federal government in influencing banks in their lending and business banking relationship decisions regarding companies” in the firearms industry. The Wall Street Journal reported that Capitol Hill Republicans were digging into the controversy, asserting that that “the government has pressured banks to stop handling payments for merchants deemed as high risk—including gun dealers, short-term lenders and credit-repair programs—punishing good actors along with bad ones.”
Yesterday, South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham hinted that impeachment is not out of the question if the president continues to act unilaterally, as though Congress was an unnecessary speed bump, according to The Hill. Not everyone is on board with that, including Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.
Adding to the furor is the fact that another U.S. serviceman, Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, is currently being held in a Mexican jail for crossing the border by mistake. At the time he had three legally-owned firearms in his car. Gottlieb suggested that President Obama could deport five Mexican criminals in exchange for Tahmooressi’s release, but some people wonder if it might be more effective to threaten the return of many more jailed Mexican nationals if the sergeant isn’t turned loose immediately.
Perhaps it is the fact that the Marine is being held on a weapons violation that makes Obama reluctant to intercede. Gottlieb wasn’t theorizing, however, when he stated, “If Obama is going to trade criminals for one serviceman, he better be ready to do it again.”