How far can Obama invoke executive action on gun control?
Judge Napolitano outlines the legal limits
- Duration 6:36
- Date Jan 15, 2013
Judge Napolitano outlines the legal limits
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Thank you we'll -- just mentioned there are published reports -- today that the president's gun control plans include some nineteen executive orders that well.
Work around the edges -- we're not sure some of the nation's current gun rules on background checks.
And a number of other issues will they supplement them what they clarify them we have to wait to find out.
And -- Jay Carney just mentioned the administration says it knows that there are limits to what the president can do.
Joining us now judge in an apology on -- Fox News senior judicial analyst the president needs to be careful this is not some statute he's messing with this the Second Amendment.
To the US constitution thing right there in the bill of rights which was intended to keep government away from our guns.
And to stop it from messing with people's right.
To bear arms however.
It's not absolute.
Gun legislation has been passed in the past and presidents including our Republican president George H.
Had issued executive orders tightening the gun control restrictions yes so how far -- President Obama -- well.
It's a great question -- and the statute on which president George H.
Said that the president could ban importation.
Into the US.
-- weapons that were not quote suitable for sporting purposes close quote and that left up to the president and his advisors.
To determine what that means suitable for sporting purposes George H.
Bush himself -- hunter.
And throughout his career candidly a defender of Second Amendment Rights.
Tightened up the meaning of suitable for sporting purposes so -- to exclude.
From lawful importing in the US you could -- in the US it is somehow got.
But -- dealer you couldn't bring it here -- salary in another country you couldn't sell it to someone in the US.
Guns that he was able to determine had purposes other than -- this is an example of an area.
Of governmental authority where the president has discretion.
That that ball by the way as in 1968 statuette from the LBJ years and it's still on the books President Obama.
Could if he wanted to without violating the law.
Redefine that even tighter than president George George H.
Bush has and hasn't been touched -- since he was president in nineteen.
-- -- 89 happily now so so that's an -- -- awfully go to.
What about what else could he -- because what we're hearing sounds I mean not like he's not gonna go to the third real but I don't.
-- now we're talking nineteen mortem hair report about three possible orders including.
Possibly giving the Centers for Disease Control authority to conduct National Research on -- I mean.
So they're gonna go research it -- more aggressive enforcement of existing gun laws that the president controls enforcement through the FBI acted the DOJ right and did the ATF.
Pushing for wider sharing of existing gun databases among federal and state agencies joining those jump out -- you well.
You know those things are what would be lawful for the president to do and they regulate that they they actually regulate the government they tell people in the executive branch of the government.
How the Chief Executive Officer the president wants laws to be enforced now.
The DA regulates gun dealers they look at the records of gun dealers once every six months the president could have them look at the records of gun dealers once every month.
Once every week it would be very expensive for them to do it but if they did.
It would slow down the process of they're selling guns because they'd be spending a great deal of their time dealing with DEA agents who were poring over their records.
Some people would say well that's harassment other people would say that's law enforcement.
That is within the president's prerogative and interesting idea that was floated by Rahm Emanuel that current mayor Chicago on the president's former chief of staff.
Would be for the president to ask the environmental protection administration to use -- regulatory authority to impose a -- I'm manufacturers.
Of ammunition the theory being -- is made out of lead the led -- bullets eventually end up in the earth the earth but that dirt around -- lead has to be cleaned up.
And therefore the government which does much of the cleaning needs to be reimbursed -- -- that tax along.
And it will double the cost of bullets and that will deter people from buying bullets because they can't afford them or it will force people into buying.
Black market you know -- that I mean that's it is a bit tenuous and terms of you -- several hours but yet -- I think it is tenuous I think it would be unconstitutional.
And unlawful I think that a court would interfere with -- but remember making and we are not dealing.
When -- fair minded person attempting to resolve.
The problem of Paramount public importance.
We are dealing with a mindset that is profoundly.
Against the Second Amendment.
And will push its ability to infringe upon the right to keep and bear arms out to the constitution.
Claims he's not he -- you know -- that famous speech in which he said I'm not gonna come after your guns I believe in some reasonable gun control measures -- -- -- -- your guns and you know if you look at his first term judge.
He would do anything to crack down on guns.
You're right we'll see what he does tomorrow he's confronted with a senate that his party controls but there are many Democrats in that senate.
-- in favor of that Second Amendment and -- confronted with a House of Representatives with noticeable antipathy towards him on almost everything.
And is profoundly in favor of the Second Amendment we'll see how far you can go but even in his press conference earlier this week Megan you and I talked about this.
He indicated a willingness to do whatever it takes to raise the debt ceiling -- the congress goes along with it.
And now to keep guns out of the hands of people that he doesn't want them to have even though this is not a federal function.
And even though he can't change any laws without com.
Yes that's the thing is that -- executive orders or not.
Not to be used to change the law or to get around congress' unwillingness to pass a law.
That's how we have separation of powers so you can't go too far with -- -- you wanna clarify a further enforcement sort of assist an existing law that's one thing if you -- tried to an end around or just.
Created order that is a law that could not get passed then you're on dangerous ground right.
Exactly what you need to two examples I don't know about when Harry Truman -- became president signed an executive order.
Then he issued an executive order seizing the steel -- so that he can have all the stealing needed for the Korean War Supreme Court said you -- do the first one you can't -- the second month.
The first one complements the constitution and existing laws the second one interferes.
With the freedom of commerce judge.
Great to have you think it's our pleasure --