Ammo Import Ban by EO? … -approval/

I will not comment further.

It just means that the ATF has been granted, or otherwise directed to use the broadest interpretations of their mandates in order to enforce existing laws regarding importation of guns & ammo. True, it may mean that Treasury dept. bureaucrats (appointed by Obama) could decide to be extremely picky now given this “authorization” of sorts, but nothing much should happen, since they are already overburdened, and most foreign ammo imports are fairly benign. Oddball things like .22TCM, foreign M855 (PMC), or steel 12ga slugs from Ddupleks might face scrutiny based on their construction & performance, and guns like the Saiga 12ga autoloaders could be squeezed. Who knows, it’s mostly bluster but it certainly wont help out the cause of gun & ammo collectors.

It has one result though: Driving prices up. Over here in Jurop us active shooters have been paying 5-15 percent more for ammo and certain gun parts (Think AR15) over the last three years. Even if we buy most of our ammo in Brazil, Germany or Sweden and have our custom straight-pull target AR’s built locally, it hurts when Magpul or Daniel defense parts go up 30%.

I read through the original EO and it seems to refer more to exports than imports.


One man’s export is another man’s import. The bigger issue is that he is using EOs to bypass the will of the Congress which is supposed to be the will of the People.


Remember that Bill Clinton cut off all guns and ammunition importation from China when he was president. So evidently it can be done for imports from any other country. As furious as BHO is over losing the first round in the Senate, I wouldn’t rule anything out.

What is “EO”?

Exectutive Order. The USA doesn’t permit Royalty or Dictators, but Executive Orders are the next best thing. The President can issue an EO doing just about anything he wants to, often with the flimsiest of excuses. Conspiricy folks think his biggest one will be to simply cancel all elections and declare himself president for life. It’s one of the reasons so many of us consider the 2nd Amendment (Right to bear arms) to be the single most important part of our Constitution.


Theoretically, an EO is somewhat narrow in scope, and is applicable only to departments within the Executive branch, which the President manages. But as there so many different departments and agencies within the Executive branch that control about everything that goes on within the country, the EO essentially becomes a Federal law that bypasses congress. For example, if the President orders the Homeland Security Department to not enforce certain laws controlling immigration, they will not be enforced. Or if he orders the State Department to cease issuing import licenses for certain items, then the items cannot be imported. About the only way that an EO can be nullified is for Congress to withhold funding to carry out the EO. But that rarely, if ever happens.

During WWII, President Roosevelt issued an EO which resulted in most Japanese and those of Japanese ancestry within the Western US (including those who were US citizens) being rounded up and placed in remote internment camps for the duration. These were not quite concentration camps, but close. So EOs can be very serious business. The EO did not apply to those of German or Italian descent as there were so many of those it could never have been tolerated or enforced. But there were few Japanese in the US (mainly on the West Coast), and virtually none of them was in a position to cause any concern over noncompliance with the EO.

As I understand it, an EO can only be issued in relevance to something that is already covered under federal law and under the jurisdiction of the Executive Branch. The president can’t just pull something out of thin air.

It’s true that the POTUS cannot simply make things up as he goes, but it’s always possible to find some basis for an EO, no matter how ridiculous it may seem later.

The Japanese interrments were based on designating the Pacific Coast as a “military area” from which anyone could be excluded. Of course, not all people were excluded, only certain ones as determined by the POTUS. In the 1980s a commission determined that the EO was probably constitutional but the individuals who had been interred were given reparations. In 1988 the Congress formally apologized.

So, even though the EO “seemed like a good idea at the time” there was little justification for it. Today, parts of our Constitution, such as the Commerce Clause, are used to justify all sorts of actions by our Government that we may look back on someday and wonder how anyone could have thought them an appropriate use of power.