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Kamala Harris Doesn't Understand Why Constitution Should Get in the Way of Her Gun Control Agenda
reason ^ | Sept. 13, 2019 | Jacob Sullum

Posted on 09/15/2019 2:49:13 PM PDT by rickmichaels

During last night's Democratic presidential debate, former Vice President Joe Biden admonished Sen. Kamala Harris (D–Calif.) for promising to impose new gun controls by executive fiat if Congress fails to pass the laws she thinks it should. That gave Harris a perfect opportunity to explain how her 100-day plan for gun control can be reconciled with constitutional restrictions on presidential power. The former prosecutor not only conspicuously failed to do so but literally laughed at the question.

The senator's campaign website promises that "if Congress fails to send comprehensive gun safety legislation to Harris' desk within her first 100 days as president—including universal background checks, an assault weapons ban, and the repeal of the NRA's corporate gun manufacturer and dealer immunity bill—she will take executive action to keep our kids and communities safe." Biden interprets that pledge as a promise to ban "assault weapons" without new legislation, something the president clearly does not have the authority to do.

Harris' plan for unilateral action on "assault weapons" is actually more modest than Biden implies. She says she would "ban AR-15-style assault weapons from being imported into the United States," noting that the Gun Control Act "empowers the executive branch to prohibit the importation of guns not 'suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes.'" As Harris points out, "both Democratic and Republican presidents," including George H.W. Bush in 1989, have used that provision to block importation of "assault weapons." But two other parts of Harris' gun control plan do not seem to have any statutory basis.

Harris says she would "close the 'boyfriend loophole' to prevent dating partners convicted of domestic violence from purchasing guns." Under current law, people convicted of misdemeanors involving "domestic violence" are barred from possessing firearms. But crimes against dating partners count as "domestic violence" only if the perpetrator has lived with the victim or produced a child with him or her. Harris seems to think she can eliminate those requirements without new congressional action, but it's hard to see how. Congress has defined "misdemeanor crime of domestic violence," and only Congress can change the definition.

Harris also thinks the president can "mandate near-universal background checks by requiring anyone who sells five or more guns per year to run a background check on all gun sales." Since only federally licensed dealers are legally required to run background checks, such a rule would require dramatically expanding that category.

The problem is that federal law defines a gun dealer as someone who is "engaged in the business of selling firearms," which in turn is defined as "devot[ing] time, attention, and labor to dealing in firearms as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit through the repetitive purchase and resale of firearms." The statutory definition explicitly excludes "a person who makes occasional sales, exchanges, or purchases of firearms for the enhancement of a personal collection or for a hobby, or who sells all or part of his personal collection of firearms." Under Harris' plan, a hobbyist or collector who sold more than four guns in a single year would be required to obtain a federal license and conduct background checks, which is plainly inconsistent with current law.

Instead of explaining the legal basis for the "executive action" she has in mind, Harris made a weak joke: "Hey, Joe, instead of saying, 'No, we can't,' let's say, 'Yes, we can.'" Then she launched into a description of the casualties from mass shootings, adding, "The idea that we would wait for this Congress, which has just done nothing, to act, is just—it is overlooking the fact that every day in America, our babies are going to school to have drills, elementary, middle and high school students, where they are learning about how they have to hide in a closet or crouch in a corner if there is a mass shooter roaming the hallways of their school."

That is not an argument in favor of any particular gun control policy, let alone an argument for the president's authority to impose it unilaterally. "Let's be constitutional," Biden said. "We've got a Constitution." To which Harris replied, in effect, "Constitution, schmonstitution. Why should that get in the way of my agenda?" Even voters who tend to agree with Harris about gun control should be troubled by her blithe dismissal of the legal limits on the powers she would exercise as president.


TOPICS: Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: 2ndamendment; banglist; cmoniwannalayaharris; harridanharris; heelsupharris; horizontalharris; hotlipsharris; isshealegalcandidate; notnaturalborn; notqualified; shortstuffstruggles; sleepingherway2top; williebrownsharlot; williesmattress
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1 posted on 09/15/2019 2:49:13 PM PDT by rickmichaels
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To: rickmichaels

2 posted on 09/15/2019 2:53:19 PM PDT by Travis McGee (EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com)
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To: rickmichaels

What she proposes to do is what Stalin did, and what Mao did, and what Hitler did.


3 posted on 09/15/2019 2:54:17 PM PDT by TBP (Progressives lack compassion and tolerance. Their self-aggrandizement is all that matters.)
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To: rickmichaels

And, effectively, start CWv2.0

“if Congress fails to send comprehensive gun safety legislation to Harris’ desk within her first 100 days as president—including universal background checks, an assault weapons ban, and the repeal of the NRA’s corporate gun manufacturer and dealer immunity bill—she will take executive action...”


4 posted on 09/15/2019 2:54:34 PM PDT by 2banana (My common ground with islamic terrorists - they want to die for allah and we want to kill them.)
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To: rickmichaels

I have a relative who is similarly confused. Every time I mention the Constitution, he gets a look on his face like someone just pee’d in his coffee.


5 posted on 09/15/2019 2:54:43 PM PDT by LIConFem (I will no longer accept the things I cannot change. it's time to change the things I cannot accept.)
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To: rickmichaels

6 posted on 09/15/2019 2:55:07 PM PDT by PROCON (When we allow 'progressives' control of the language, evil replaces Truth)
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To: All
Seriesly, folks, we need to start wrapping this baby up. Donate today. [FReepathon LXXVII]
7 posted on 09/15/2019 2:58:55 PM PDT by onyx
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To: rickmichaels

Kamala Harris: Poster Child of the whole Women’s Movement and women who are in power because they want to compete with men - not because they actually know what the hell they are doing.

Melvin Udall had it right: to write women, “I take a man and take away reason and accountability.”

You think I must hate women, but I don’t. I love women. I hate what so many of them have turned into - some kind of Mary-Shelly Frankenstein monster.


8 posted on 09/15/2019 3:05:08 PM PDT by Jim 0216 (MAGA by restoring the Gospel of the Grace of Christ and our Free Constitutional Republic!)
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To: rickmichaels

It’s genetic.


9 posted on 09/15/2019 3:07:16 PM PDT by dljordan
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To: rickmichaels

Interestingly enough, should that bimbo every try her ideas out, guns will get in the way of her gun control agenda.


10 posted on 09/15/2019 3:08:16 PM PDT by Da Coyote (eh)
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To: rickmichaels

11 posted on 09/15/2019 3:10:12 PM PDT by DannyTN
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To: rickmichaels

I detest her.

She’s silly and extremely mean.


12 posted on 09/15/2019 3:11:26 PM PDT by onyx
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To: dljordan

NO,,,,,,ITS HORMONAL,,,,,,EVERY 28 DAYS MS. HARRIS STRIPS HER GEARS.


13 posted on 09/15/2019 3:12:21 PM PDT by chopperk
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To: rickmichaels

Probably in just e few short years, states like CA and NY will tell SCOTUS to stuff it and will rebel against their rulings.


14 posted on 09/15/2019 3:17:35 PM PDT by umgud
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To: Da Coyote

Interestingly enough, should that bimbo every try her ideas out, guns will get in the way of her gun control agenda.
= = =

Interestingly also, that bimbo talking about ‘gun’ control.

After her history with Willie (what is it with these ‘willies?’)

Implies she knows ‘gun’ control.


15 posted on 09/15/2019 3:18:36 PM PDT by Scrambler Bob (This is not /s. It is just as viable as any MSM, maybe more so!)
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To: rickmichaels

“”our babies are going to school to have drills, elementary, middle and high school students, where they are learning about how they have to hide in a closet or crouch in a corner if there is a mass shooter roaming the hallways of their school.”””

She’s so dumb she can’t see the obvious solution to THAT problem? Even the school kids would be able to tell her what it is!!

Does she have ARMED SECURITY? Why should schools be any different? She’s more important? HA!! Only in her warped brain!


16 posted on 09/15/2019 3:18:50 PM PDT by Thank You Rush
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To: rickmichaels

These people forget that as President, for their swearing in, they must promise to support, and defend, the Constitution of the United States. If they cannot do so, they must drop out of the race. To not do so makes them treasonous. Why does no one call them out on that?


17 posted on 09/15/2019 3:20:58 PM PDT by Real Cynic No More (Make America Great. Prosecute Dems who break the law!)
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To: umgud

California, the Greatest Freak Show on Earth. Get your tickets, get your tickets right here, better yet; get the hell out and stay out.


18 posted on 09/15/2019 3:23:52 PM PDT by Colt1851Navy (What was wrong with Nixon?)
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To: rickmichaels

DemocRats don’t need no steenking Constitution!


19 posted on 09/15/2019 3:28:06 PM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (Everyone who favors socialism plans on the government taking other people's money, not theirs.)
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To: rickmichaels

Commie-la


20 posted on 09/15/2019 3:29:17 PM PDT by BenLurkin (The above is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire. Or both.)
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