President Obama "All Talk" on enforcing federal gun laws?
Is President Obama "All Talk" about gun control? Instead of creating unconstitutional executive action on guns, why doesn't his administration enforce existing federal gun laws? Ben Swann breaks down the numbers in a Reality Check you won't see anywhere else.
Posted by Ben Swann on Thursday, January 7, 2016
President Barack Obama has announced a series of executive actions on gun control. He says he wants to end gun violence running rampant in the United States. But is it a fair question to ask? Is the President all talk on this issue and do the actions by his administration speak louder than his words?
This is a Reality Check you won’t see anywhere else.
“How did we get here? How did we get to the place where people think getting a comprehensive background check means taking away people’s guns? I want to be clear, Congress still needs to act. The people in this room will not rest until Congress does something,” stated Obama.
President Obama made very clear on Tuesday that he wants comprehensive gun control reform on a series of levels and if Congress won’t act, he will act alone. In fact, the president laid out a series of executive actions including: a mandate for anyone who sells firearms at all including online or at gun shows— they would need to obtain a license and perform background checks; mandatory background checks need to be done when guns are purchased through a trust or corporation; to improve criminal record sharing between states to beef up the nation’s background check system.
The president also said his administration will hire 200 more ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) agents and over 230 more Naval Criminal Investigative Service examiners to enforce gun regulations.
The president shedding a tear, went on to say, “And from first graders in Newtown —first graders— and for everyone who never imagined their loved one’s lives would be taken by a bullet from a gun. Every time I think about those kids it gets me mad, and by the way it happens on the streets of Chicago every day.”
So here is the real question: if the president wants to do something about gun violence, why is his administration and his justice department not enforcing existing gun laws?
In 2013, Obama, outlined 23 executive actions aimed at amping up prosecutions of federal gun laws. Yet, that same year in 2013, President Obama’s Justice Department began slowing down on prosecutions for gun violations. That was according to a study done by Syracuse University.
In fact, according to the university’s TRAC (Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse) reports, prosecutions in 2013 were lower than 2012. Gun crime prosecutions were even lower in 2014 and actually hit an all-time low for the Obama Administration in 2015.
So how much of a drop are we talking here? That is a 15.5 percent drop in federal gun prosecutions between 2010 and 2015. What’s more, it is significantly lower, a 34.8 percent drop between Obama and the justice department under President George W. Bush in 2004.
Maybe even more surprising, you heard Obama talk about Chicago and Newtown when he became emotional, well get this:
In 2014 in Chicago, over 2,500 people were shot—nearly 400 of them fatally—and police seized more than 6,252 guns. Yet out of those 6,252 guns seized, federal prosecutors saw fit to pursue just 62 weapons prosecutions. In other words, for every 100 guns police seized, federal prosecutors made just one prosecution.
What you need to know is that while the president seems to be creating new laws with executive orders, which is unconstitutional, he has a lot of ability to enforce existing laws through the justice department. The fact that ever year for the past three years that has happened less frequently should be alarming to anyone who believes that we need more gun control.
That’s Reality Check. Let’s talk about that on Twitter @BenSwann_