Does Obama Really Plan to Ease Weapons Export Rules?

Obama Scratching His Head
Does Obama Really Plan to Ease Weapons Export Rules?

USA –-(“The Obama administration is crafting a proposal that could make it easier to export firearms and other weapons to certain countries in an effort to boost sales for U.S. companies, increase trade and improve national security, according to senior government officials,” Sari Horwitz of The Washington Post reported Wednesday.

“The plan, which is part of President Obama’s overhaul of U.S. export rules, is being debated by several agencies and it could be months before a final rule is proposed, according to officials,” Horwitz writes, adding “At least two federal agencies — the Department of Homeland Security and the Justice Department — have expressed concerns that the changes in the export rules could make it easier for drug cartels and terrorists to obtain weapons and make it harder to stop firearms trafficking.”

Those are key caveats by players who should know. What we can take from them is that in those development months, and in the comment period that would follow, concerns about Obama’s anti-gun record could be defused with phony “pro-gun” spin that would cost him nothing in terms of actual policy change. Attempts to soothe gun owner fears are already being promulgated by media allies, who point to Obama allowing guns in national parks, disregarding that his administration first tried to let the issue die on the legal vine and only signed on because it was a rider to a credit card bill they wanted. Also, we are told, Obama ended the gun ban on Amtrak—similarly, this was part of a larger funding bill, did not allow for permit holders to carry them, and humorously (?), was initially worded in a way that required gun owners to be locked up in boxes for the duration of the trip!

Obama was more forthcoming with his plans in the early days of his administration, but his staff erased his wish list from the White House website.  Fortunately, “The Wayback Machine” Internet Archive has been able to capture administration intent on the gun issue from January 23, 2009:

Address Gun Violence in Cities: As president, Barack Obama would repeal the Tiahrt Amendment, which restricts the ability of local law enforcement to access important gun trace information, and give police officers across the nation the tools they need to solve gun crimes and fight the illegal arms trade. Obama and Biden also favor commonsense measures that respect the Second Amendment rights of gun owners, while keeping guns away from children and from criminals who shouldn’t have them. They support closing the gun show loophole and making guns in this country childproof. They also support making the expired federal Assault Weapons Ban permanent, as such weapons belong on foreign battlefields and not on our streets.

The only thing stopping Obama thus far has been the political realization that to openly pursue “gun control” would be a reelection disaster, galvanizing and motivating some currently-apathetic gun owners to oppose him.  That explains why he told Sarah Brady he’d be doing things “under the radar,”  and those “things” evidently include blocking the import of surplus rifles, creating a new danger on pistol grip shotguns, authorizing his Secretary of State to reanimate the global Arms Trade Treaty, abetting his Attorney General’s “Fast and Furious” misleading/stonewalling of Congress

That latter point makes The Washington Post in general and Sari Horwitz in particular (referred to by Mike Vanderboegh of Sipsey Street Irregulars as “the most politically-reliable Pravda plagiarist the anti-firearm rights crowd has in DC”) being the preferred administration vehicles for trumpeting Obama’s “pro-gun” credentials curious, to say the least. It more than suggests what Obama and his media allies are doing here is trying to defuse accusations that he is anti-gun. They’re trying to take the Second Amendment out of the presidential debate.

“See?” they can challenge, “He allowed guns in national parks and on Amtrak, and now he wants to ease gun exports, so the NRA is just using unfounded scare tactics.”

It doesn’t help that presumptive GOP challenger Mitt Romney, with his miserable, insincere record, was last seen courting fanatically anti-gun New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg for support. Without the requisite fire in supporters’ bellies to usher in a new administration, the president may just get his second term. If he does, and if he no longer has to worry about reelection, he’ll be able to get seriously to work on that agenda his advisers thought prudent to erase from the White House website.

About David Codrea

David Codrea is a long-time gun rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He is a field editor for GUNS Magazine, and a blogger at The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance. Read more at

David Codrea