The following was originally posted as a comment on The Firearm Blog on 08/30/2020

Andrew Johnson 08/29/2020

What guns did Bill Clinton or Obama take away during their presidency?

anonymous 08/30/2020


Explicitly? None that I am aware of.


But a "ban" can be achieved by other means, which Clinton and Obama did employ.


• restrict the supply of firearms


• • e.g. assault weapon ban, CA roster, etc.


• raise the cost of firearms ownership


• • whether monetary cost, transaction cost, friction cost, etc.


• create a "chilling effect" on firearms ownership


• • ambiguous laws, harsh penalties


• • e.g. punishing a gun owner if his firearm is stolen under the guise of "safe storage"


• • e.g., restricting where a CCW permit is valid beyond reason, such as college campus


• • • I've lived and worked in places where getting across town requires cutting across a college campus, or a very large detour around the campus; especially if on foot


• • • such restrictions are especially burdensome for those who take public transportation, and can't leave their gun in their car if entering a 'no CCW zone'


• • "First Amendment analogies, in fact, suggest another doctrine that might apply: chilling effect. Traditionally, violation of gun laws was treated as mere malum prohibitum, and penalties for violations were generally light. During our nation’s interlude of hostility toward guns in the latter half of the twentieth century, penalties for violations of gun laws, especially in states with generally anti-gun philosophies, became much stiffer. Gun ownership was treated as a suspect (or perhaps 'deviant' is a better word) act — one to be engaged in, if at all, at the actor’s peril."


"But with gun ownership now recognized as an important constitutional right belonging to all Americans, that deviant characterization cannot be correct. Regulation of firearms cannot now justifiably proceed on an in terrorem approach, in which the underlying goal is to discourage people from having anything to do with firearms at all. Laws treating fairly minor or technical violations as felonies must be regarded with the same sort of suspicion as pre–New York Times v. Sullivan laws on criminal libel: as improper burdens on the exercise of a constitutional right."


Glenn Reynolds, 'Second Amendment Penumbras: Some Preliminary Observations', 2011, 2012


• • "Here is a list of just some of the crimes NY finds less offensive than owning a standard capacity AR or Glock magazine (a class D felony)"


120.70 - Luring a child | E Felony

121.11 - Criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation | A Misdemeanor

125.10 - Criminally negligent homicide | E Felony

130.20 - Sexual misconduct | A Misdemeanor

130.25 - Rape 3rd degree | E Felony

130.40 - Criminal sexual act 3rd degree | E Felony

130.52 - Forcible touching | A Misdemeanor

130.53 - Persistent sexual abuse | E Felony (repeat child molester, must be caught and convicted in two separate cases before the charges even reach this level)


read the whole list at Michael Z Williamson, 'Just How Vomitous is Cuomo?', 02/17/2013


• interfere with firearms commerce


• • Operation Chokepoint


• • lawsuits against firearms manufacturers


• widen the definition of "prohibited person"


• any other method to disenfranchise citizens from exercising their second amendment rights


In this context, "ban" is simply shorthand for all of the above. And "Clinton and Obama" shorthand for the Democrat Party as a whole.


PS - You may or may not be trolling; and if so, it's a good troll, like a Trump troll. But it is also a legitimate question, and I wish my fellow gun owners would stop acting so triggered (pun intended) every time it is asked.