I will do my best legal analysis of the 23 Executive Orders signed by President Obama today. My analysis will be strictly on the words provided by the Memo issued by the Office of the Press Secretary at http://www.humanevents.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Gun+Violence+....
No. 1: The President will send a "Presidential Memorandum" to federal agencies (which ones?) requiring agencies to provide "relevant data" to the "federal background check system (FBCS)." The first question is which federal agencies are required to do this? All of them? The second question not answered or defined is what is "relevant data?" Finally, is the "federal background check system" a federal agency in and of itself? I'm guessing maybe the DOJ operates this system...or perhaps the DHS (Department of Homeland Security). This is broad in scope, vague and ambiguous, and as such, could be challenged, depending on what exactly the Presidential Memorandum states.
No. 2: "Address unnecessary legal barriers, particularly relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, that may prevent states from making information available to the background check system." What are "unnecessary legal barriers?" It seems this EO (Executive Order) wants to use Obamacare to require states to make information available to the FBCS through medical professionals. What this tells me is that they want doctors, counselors, psychologists, etc. to "rat" on their patients. This clearly would be a violation of the doctor/patient privilege. So, I guess by legal barriers, they mean doing away with this privilege. I know for a fact that the State of Idaho has in our Idaho Rules of Criminal Procedure, a doctor/patient privilege. I'm guessing every other state has this rule, as well. My opinion is that they are asking that the doctor/patient privilege have an exception if the medical professional believes their patient may be dangerous. Again, this is vague and ambiguous.
No. 3: "Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system." What "incentive" would be offered to a state to "rat" on its citizens? The word "improve" would imply there are already incentives for state to share information about private citizens to the FBCS. Vague and ambiguous.
No. 4: "Direct the Attorney General to review categories of individuals prohibited from having a gun to make sure dangerous people are not slipping through the cracks." I am fairly sure that there is already a list of individuals who cannot purchase a firearm, i.e., felons. The key here is what is the definition of "dangerous people?" Is a dangerous person one who is outspoken about gun laws? More vague and ambiguous problems.
No. 5: "Propose rulemaking to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun." This EO causes me some concern. Would the government go so far as seize all guns and then require a full background check on the person before returning them? So, let's say I'm driving down the road and get stopped by the police. I have a firearm in the trunk of my car because I'm on my way to the firing range. I don't have any document showing I am the registered owner of this gun because it was purchased before registration of any kind was required. So, they seize my gun. Now, I have to go through a "full" background check before they will return my gun. That seems like seizure of personal property without cause. Also, remember when the police seized weapons from homes after Katrine hit New Orleans? Hmmmm....raises interesting questions to me.
No. 6: "Publish a letter from ATF to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers." Fairly innocuous, but the details would be in the "published letter."
No. 7: "Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign." Speaks for itself. How much taxpayer money will be used for this?
No. 8: "Review safety standards for gun locks and gun safes (Consumer Product Safety Commission)." Really? This is absurd and a waste of taxpayer money.
No. 9: " Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations." Here is that "Presidential Memorandum" again. So, federal law enforcement, i.e., federal marshals, FBI, are going to waste their time in a criminal investigation to find out where the gun came from?? Don't they do this already? I guess the issue here is maybe they can arrest someone else if the gun was stolen from an unsafe gun safe! (tongue-in-cheek remark!) See No. 8 above.
No. 10: "Release a DOJ report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and make it widely available to law enforcement." Wouldn't this be a part of the DOJ's job already? Why do we need an EO to tell the DOJ they should do their damn job!
No. 11: "Nominate an ATF director." Okay, this is beyond farsical. The President issues an EO to tell himself to nominate an ATF director. This is the height of hypocritical.
No. 12: "Provide law enforcement, first responders, and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations." More taxpayer dollars for "proper training" for active shooter situations. I thought all schools were suppose to have emergency plans in place already. Don't police and first responders do this already? They have practice drills all the time.
No. 13: "Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime." Okay...I don't think the Federal Government has the right to tell a local prosecutor how to prosecute their cases. Are we going to load up our jails now with legal gun owners who refuse to comply with unconstitutional EO's? How would any law enforcement officer have prevented the shooting at Sandy Hook?
No. 14: " Issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence." I heard Mark Levin say today that there are already thousands of research reports floating around about the causes and prevention of gun violence. But, what in the hell does the CDC have to do with gun violence? Are they saying that gun owners have a disease because they own guns? Does everyone who commits an act of violence with a gun diseased? How about MOST people who commit gun violence are just plain evil. I don't know the answer to this question, but is the CDC a federal agency?
No. 15: " Direct the Attorney General to issue a report on the availability and most effective use of new gun safety technologies and challenge the private sector to develop innovative technologies." Again, why do we need an EO to tell the AG to do his job? Can't BHO just pick up the phone and tell Holder to do this? Gun safety technologies: How do you make a gun any safer than they already are? Guns are safe...in the right hands! Remember...guns don't kill people. People kill people.
No. 16: "Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes." What would you do if your doctor asked you if you had guns in your home? I know what I would do! I'd first tell the doctor it was none of his business and then I'd get up, walk out and find a new doctor! You know where this is heading....it is an attempt to get people to spy on their neighbors.
No. 17: "Release a letter to health care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law enforcement authorities." We're back to the doctor/patient privilege here. There might not be a federal law, but there are state laws and rules! I can assure you that if a doctor violated my privilege, he'd get sued. Do you think doctors are stupid that they would risk thousands of lawsuits to do this? Also, why does BHO need an EO to send a letter? Idiotic!
No. 18: "Provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers." I think "incentives" here translates to taxpayer dollars! What is a school resource officer? A security guard? A librarian? A counselor? A person to help graduates find jobs? Need a definition of "school resource office"r and what their duties would be. Shouldn't this be a state and local issue?
No. 19: "Develop model emergency response plans for schools, houses of worship and institutions of higher education." Most schools and universities already have this. But churches? I guess mass murder could happen in a church. Why can't this be left up to the state, local and community services? Is this not the same as No. 12 above?
No. 20: "Release a letter to state health officials clarifying the scope of mental health services that Medicaid plans must cover." What? We need an EO for someone to write a letter! Someone please explain to me what this has to do with gun safety/violence! I don't see any relevance here, but maybe I'm missing something.
No. 21: "Finalize regulations clarifying essential health benefits and parity requirements within ACA exchanges." See my response to No. 20 above. Beyond ridiculous!
No. 22: "Commit to finalizing mental health parity regulations." Parity, taken from the Free Dictionary, means: