Roe says no to more gun laws

Becky Campbell • Jan 8, 2016 at 10:42 AM

Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN) didn’t waste any time shooting off an email to local media criticizing President Barack Obama’s efforts to close loopholes regarding gun sales in the U.S. after the White House officially announced the executive orders on the matter Tuesday.

Roe wasn’t alone as numerous Republicans — particularly those vying for control of the White House — to wave the Second Amendment flag.

"I am adamantly, 100 percent opposed to President Obama’s unconstitutional actions on gun control.“ Roe said in the emailed statement. ”Instead of leading the country in a debate about how to improve our mental health care system, which might actually prevent future mass killings, the president is hell-bent on punishing law-abiding citizens by taking away the rights granted to them in the Constitution.“

Obama requested more money for mental healthcare, asking Congress to add $500 million to the federal budget in order to improve access to mental healthcare.

Under current law, federally licensed firearms dealers are required to conduct background checks on potential firearm purchasers. Advocacy groups say many sellers are currently exempt from having to register, increasing the chance of sales to customers prohibited by law from purchasing a gun. Obama’s executive orders reclassify some of those dealers using a mix of criteria, such as the number and frequency of guns sold, whether sellers profit off sales, whether they advertise, rent space or tables at gun shows and pay taxes. 

Attorney General Loretta Lynch told reporters "Let me be clear: It’s not where you are located but what you are doing that determines whether you are engaged in the business of dealing in firearms." The order does not set a numerical threshold on what differentiates hobby sales from professional sales. Lynch did note, however, that as few as two gun sales have in the past triggered background check requirements, as determined by the courts.

There will be many factors that go into making a determination about wether a gun seller is exempt from the rules — including things like business cards, if they have the ability to take credit-card payments, profit margins, and original packaging are all part of the equation.

In addition to the request for more mental healthcare dollars, the orders will allow the FBI to hire more staff to conduct background checks. That could mean as many as 230 examiners so that the government is equipped for processing background checks 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Some things the executive orders won’t do is ban large capacity magazines or ban people on the ”no fly“ list from purchasing firearms.

”The simple fact is not a single mass shooting committed over the last few years would have been prevented by these executive actions,“ Roe said. ”Let me say it again —  it is the job of the Executive Branch to enforce the law, not unilaterally, and possibly illegally, change laws to avoid working with the people’s elected representatives. You can’t fight terrorism and stop mass killings with a pen, and I guarantee you won’t do either by infringing on the rights of the people who already play by the rules. This has got to stop, and you better believe I’ll fight to protect the Constitutional rights of American citizens.”