Without the proof, or even data that former military rifles were used in crimes or gun violence, the White House has decided today, through executive order, to ban the re-importation of hundreds of thousands of surplus rifles that were made here in the United States. Announced this morning at a press conference, Vice President Joe Biden said that they would halt the importation of american GI service rifles from the Korean War era.
This move is in line with the recent executive orders issued in an effort to reduce gun violence. But where this falls off the tracks is that there is no specific cases of one of these classic, military surplus rifles being used in a case of gun violence. There is also little to no data about these rifles being used in crimes.
"These rifles are heavy, cumbersome and very hard to conceal. They are not only less than ideal, they are just impractical to use for any sort of crime. They are nothing more than 50 year old relics that are coveted by collectors, not gang bangers." Said Bryan, a military historian.
The very fact that they are targeting these rifles shows the absolute lack of understanding of what these firearms are capable of, or being used for. The vast majority of these imported rifles are being sold through the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) for collector use as well as target shooting. While these would have been considered so called "assault rifles" back in the days that they were issued, they are nothing more than a heavy hunting rifle. Most of the rifles of today are lighter, more more accurate and shoot more efficient loads.
While this announcement was overshadowed by the news on Syria today, many in the firearms community did hear this, and are bracing for the backlash and inflation of prices on rifles already being bought and sold in the United States.
Also announced today was an executive order that will attempt end the use of corporations, or trusts to transfer firearms too. Many today, will transfer their firearms for registration to corporations and trusts in order to be able to let multiple people use the firearm. The claim that firearms being sold to corporations skirt background checks is untrue, as there is still a NICS check at the time of transfer, and normally people that would fail a background check would be ineligible to possess a firearm anyway, even if they were part of the corporation or trust. The new rule will go to the BATFE for a 90 day comment period before a final decision is made.
Both of these executive orders were blasted by the NRA, saying "Requiring background checks for corporations and trusts does not keep firearms out of the hands of criminals. Prohibiting the re-importation of firearms into the U.S. that were manufactured 50 or more years ago does not keep firearms out of the hands of criminals. This administration should get serious about prosecuting violent criminals who misuse guns and stop focusing its efforts on law-abiding gun owners."
Some are saying this is nothing more than the Obama Administration grasping at whatever straws they can in order to look like they are being effective in instituting gun control. Without the support of congress, there is going to be little to no movement on the gun control front, but not wanting to appear that they are not trying to do something, they are attempting to make something out of nothing by fabricating problems that do not exist.
Only time will tell if these executive orders, like the previous ones will have any impact on gun violence. But the firearms community, as a collective whole, is not holding it's breath.