Today, upset that Congress has refused, in his words, to do “something, anything” to stop gun violence, President Obama released executive actions that bring the country closer to his oft-stated goal of “universal” background checks that cover the private transfer of firearms.
The current law is very clear. Only federally licensed gun dealers are required to conduct background checks, and only sellers whose “principal objective of livelihood and profit [is] the repetitive purchase and resale of firearms” are required to obtain a federal license. Anyone “who sells all or part of his personal collection of firearms” is specifically exempted from the licensing requirement.
But that doesn’t matter to Obama, whose actions today will require many sellers to get a license if they sell even a single gun. White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett told reporters that licenses would now be required based on such things as, “whether you sell firearms shortly after they’re acquired or whether you buy or sell in the original packaging.”
In an era when private individuals can set up their cell phones to accept credit cards, accepting credit-card payment for one gun will now make selling firearms your “principal objective of livelihood.”