Two Executive Second Amendment Actions Available to President Trump

Donald Trump – Second Amendment

U.S.A. -(Ammoland.com)- -What can President Trump accomplish in the wake of the 2018 mid-term elections, with respect to the Second Amendment?

The Democrats, with the aid of their colleagues in the media, have managed to take control of the House of Representatives.

At the same time, the Republicans have gained seats in the Senate, cementing their control there, especially with the retirement of Senator Jeff Flake and the death of John McCain.

Given the new reality, Donald Trump's presidency has gained some potential and lost some potential.

The losses are real. They mean little legislation will be passed.  I do not expect any positive legislative reforms to restore Second Amendment rights to pass in the next two years. The House will work to bog down the executive branch with frivolous investigations.

The gains are real, and can be acted on. President Trump now controls the executive branch more effectively than he has previously.

President Trump can issue executive orders. He has more latitude to pick his cabinet and have his selections approved by the Senate. He can work with his new AG to clarify existing law.

First action:

Many Federal gun free zones are based on interpretation of 18 U.S. Code § 930 – Possession of firearms and dangerous weapons in Federal facilities.

The relevant paragraphs are (a) and (d).

(a) Except as provided in subsection (d), whoever knowingly possesses or causes to be present a firearm or other dangerous weapon in a Federal facility (other than a Federal court facility), or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both.

(d) Subsection (a) shall not apply to—

(1) the lawful performance of official duties by an officer, agent, or employee of the United States, a State, or a political subdivision thereof, who is authorized by law to engage in or supervise the prevention, detection, investigation, or prosecution of any violation of law;

(2) the possession of a firearm or other dangerous weapon by a Federal official or a member of the Armed Forces if such possession is authorized by law; or

(3) the lawful carrying of firearms or other dangerous weapons in a Federal facility incident to hunting or other lawful purposes.

The new U.S. Attorney General can issue an opinion that self defense is a lawful purpose for the carry of firearms under (3). It is hardly a controversial opinion. All 50 states and the District of Columbia issue permits specifically for people to carry firearms for the purposes of self defense.

In spite of the obvious nature that carrying a firearm for self defense is a lawful purpose, expect much wailing in the media about such a move “making us less safe”. Exactly the opposite is the case. Expect some semi-retired judge in a deep blue state, most likely in the Ninth Circuit, to place an injunction on any action based on the opinion. With any luck, such an injunction would be appealed to the Supreme Court.

Second action:

Have the Secretary of the Treasury issue an amnesty for the registration of items requiring a tax stamp under the National Firearms Act (NFA).

When the Gun Control Act of 1968 was passed, the Congress concurrently passed a bill to allow an amnesty for people who had possessed unregistered NFA items. No fingerprints or tax was required.

Fill out a paper form and send it in, and your NFA item was registered.  The initial amnesty was for 30 days in 1968, from October 2nd to November 1st. The law contained a provision for further amnesties at the discretion of the Secretary of the Treasury. They need to be announced beforehand in the Federal Register. From PUBLIC LAW 90-619-OCT. 22, 1968, found on page 1236 of United States Statutes at Large Volume 82.djvu/1278:

(d) The Secretary of the Treasury, after publication in the Federal Register of his intention to do so, is authorized to establish such periods of amnesty, not to exceed ninety days in the case of any single period, and immunity from liability during any such period, as the Secretary determines will contribute to the purposes of this title. TITLE III — AMENDMENTS TO TITLE VII O F THE OMNIB U S C R I M E CONTROL A N D S A F E S T R E E T S ACT O F 1968

I do not believe this statute has ever been repealed or superseded. It appears to be effective law.

In 1968, there was an expectation that amnesties would be a common, regular occurrence to bring unregistered NFA items into the legal fold. No Amnesty has been announced in the last fifty years. It is past time to do so. With the current ruling by the BATFE that “bump stocks” are NFA items, all existing “bump stocks” should be included in an amnesty.

The Secretary of the Treasury should declare a 90 day amnesty for the registration of all NFA items. As a backup, because the BATFE has been transferred to the Department of Justice, the Attorney General should be ready with a duplicate declaration.

Partial amnesties have been pushed in Congress in recent years, for the purpose of registering war trophies brought home by returning veterans.

Some will argue these actions will incite the media to a greater condemnation of President Trump. I doubt the media can exceed its current level of 90% negative coverage of the President.


About Dean Weingarten:Dean Weingarten

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

  • 17 thoughts on “Two Executive Second Amendment Actions Available to President Trump

    1. This has to be one of the strangest articles. I’ve yet read on Ammoland.
      Most odd, is the suggestion about an amnesty for the registration of thus far unregistered NFA affected weapons. Over the years I’ve often thought that the total lack of amnesties is an atrocity. It’s atrocious because it allows the ATFE to nitpick the often undecipherable collection of rulings, and interpretations of rulings to pray upon numbers of gun owners who not only have no wrongful intent in possessing something which is covered by NFA and unregistered, but, who often are not even aware that they are in violation of NFA “Interpretations. Perhaps the most egregious violation of ATFE Authority is “Constructive Possession”, a concept under which many are arrested for mere possession .of a gun part, when no attempt has been made to construct a NFA firearm. How many lives have been ruined using that dubious concept?
      NFA was an entirely political Law. It’s constituent parts often make no sense at all. Any Pistol having a smooth bore?
      A rifle with a barrel length of 15.5 inches is somehow vastly more dangerous than one with a 16″ barrel? Any shotgun shortened into a “sawed off” shotgun, except no the Mossberg, and Remington versions which somehow escape NFA?

      We don’t need to be encouraging people to registering weapons with the federal Government. We need to eliminate NFA as we know it, and to figure out something sensible.

    2. We, as American citizens, have had the right to keep and bear arms since the beginning of our country. No where in the 2nd amendment does is specify the TYPES of weapons. Just because the Founding Fathers didn’t know we would eventually have weapons as powerful as those the government has, doesn’t take away from the fact that we have the right to own them. The gun control debate will never be solved. There is just no way anyone can introduce a legit idea without someone else coming out against the idea. To me, the debate needs to end. An unarmed population is one that will be run over by the government. They are already to involved in our daily lives.

      1. That will NEVER happen because neither McConnoll nor Trump is in favor of it. Anyone who believes I’m wrong is welcome to bet me lunch – – you’ll lose. As a PS, you don’t see the NRA screaming for the Senate to pass it do you? Why do you suppose that is?

        I’ve watched Jeff Knox and vanns40 speak about this in the past and they are both correct.

        1. Oh, I now remember the reason why we don’t want it to go through. It was polluted with the ridiculous Fix Nix.
          S.446 is worthless in my opinion.

    3. Unfortunately the RINO swine, are very much alive and well amongst us. Florida experienced that fact after our Republican friends and Governor Scott were nothing but RINO opportunist after stripping rights from law abiding gun owners after FL last tragic school shooting. Politicians who manipulate gun owners with false claims and promises of
      being advocates for the Second Amendment are even more despicable than those who advocate the outright abolition of our Second Amendment. We are further humiliated by having to always choose the least of evils when casting our ballots. There are few exceptions to those politicians who attack our Second Amendment freedoms, and we must support those true patriots.

    4. Regardless of the arguments for or against either of these possible “actions” on the part of the president, he won’t do anything of the sort.
      To believe e otherwise is self delusion. Just like the belief that the republicans ever had any real intention of passing national reciprocity or the SHARE act.
      It is my belief that Trump is not now, nor will he ever be, a true supporter of the natural right to keep and bear arms. As is evidenced by his orders to the DOJ and the BATFE regarding “devices which increase the rate of fire” for semi-automatic firearms.
      Years ago he openly called for bans on various firearms. I don’t believe for one second that he actually believes any differently today than when he was a democrat who donated money to democrat politicians, including the Clintons.

      And when the democrat controlled congress passes their upcoming gun prohibition infringements (with the bipartisan support of some republicans) I believe that if any such legislation gets to the presidents desk, he will sign it. Especially if it is contained as aa part of another spending bill.

      I would love to be wrong about this but only time will tell.

    5. such an amnesty would also include suppressors/silencers for firearms, too, right? THAT alone would be justification for an amnesty.

      Too bad the law specifially limits any one amnesty period to ninety days. I was thinking, as I read through, Trump should declare an open amnesty for all such “registred” items. Perhaps a second best plan would be to have one for ninety days, then one day of no amnesty (make it a Sunday when fed offices are closed anyway) then start a new one…. how many ninety day plus one amnesties would it take to run out Trumps first and second terms? THen, once it is proven the registration does no good, once we’ve got the House back in 20, repeall the entire NFA travesty of illegal infringements.

    6. Why do we need amnesty from an unconstitutional infringement upon our supposedly “uninfringeable” RIGHTS? We need our FULL RIGHTS restored FULLY!

      1. Agreed, the NFA is an illegal piece of paper, written by fear mongering. Drugs were the problem in the 80’s. Alcohol during Prohibition. Now we just have a bunch of godless swine running around spewing lies to whomever has a blank sheet of paper for a brain.

    7. Actually, NJ does not recognize self defense as a lawful reason for carrying a firearm. So make it 49 states in your article.

      1. Hawaii only recognizes “Right” in extreme cases and permits are ONLY valid in the county in which they are issued and only for one year!

        Further, why would we expect anything pro-Second Amendment from this Administration when they have already failed to carry through on their two main campaign promises: National Reciprocity, Hearing Protection Act AND screwed us on bump stocks which, by the very wording in the prohibition, could well lead to bans on after market trigger assemblies and other gun parts?

        I want to hear one rational thought for trusting this President or the Republicans with maintaining or restoring our 2A Rights and “well the Democrats are so much worse” is not an answer.

      2. Ditto for Maryland – the land of the FREE. Alas, the land of “FEELINGS”; controlled by the DemocRATic communist/muslem party.

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