WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Barack Obama will exercise his presidential powers next week when he signs an executive order that will ban the sale and transfer of firearms to private citizens in the United States. The announcement comes less than a week after a gunman armed with a handgun and an assault rifle shot and killed forty-nine people and wounded fifty-three others at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida.
Once enacted, the National Security and Individual Protection Act, otherwise known as E.O. 13717, will prohibit the sale or barter of firearms by licensed dealers and individual sellers to private citizens. Americans who have legally purchased firearms prior to the executive order’s issue date will be permitted to keep them. “Let me be clear, we’re not taking away anyone’s guns here,” President Obama said on Friday. “This is about keeping weapons out of the hands of dangerous people.”
The president explained that under the new law, Americans who were once eligible to acquire firearms through legal means are still able to do so but must manufacture the weapons themselves. “If you absolutely have to have a gun, I have no doubt you’ll find some way to build it yourself,” Obama said, continuing, “It’s what the Founding Fathers did, it’s what the Minutemen did, and as a student of constitutional law, I believe there is little doubt that this is what they intended when they penned the Constitution.”
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives director Thomas E. Brandon further explained the guidelines for manufacturing homemade firearms, saying, “Prior to assembly, [individuals] must notify the BATF of their intent to manufacture such a firearm. Under the National Firearms Act you will be subjected to a mandatory $200 tax, applicable for each firearm you create,” Brandon explained. “This applies to even the most rudimentary rifles, pistols, and shotguns; anything that fires a projectile is subject to NFA guidelines.”
“This is quite an ingenious ploy by the Obama administration,” remarked CNN political analyst Elliot Brewster. “That they’ve managed to pull this off without violating the Constitution in any way, shape, or form is an incredible accomplishment in and of itself.” Brewster noted that President Obama has pointed out repeatedly throughout the course of his time in office that he has no intention of infringing upon the right of the American people to keep and bear arms. “This is a true testament to his legacy.”
President Obama has so far issued two hundred and thirty-six executive orders since taking office in 2008.