A Question About Tomorrow's Big Gun Control Announcement
Tomorrow, the president will unveil his gun control agenda based on recommendations from Joe Biden (one feels safer already). There are some serious questions about potential threats to Second Amendment rights, and, as John Yoo points out below, there are also questions about how much the president can accomplish by executive order alone.
But I have a more fundamental question: Why is any of this the federal government's business? The Constitution gives Congress no general police power to oversee the registration and use of firearms. The Commerce Clause allows the federal government to set rules for inter-state sales of guns, but that's about the extent of Congress's power regarding civilian use of guns.
One cannot argue that the states are incapable of acting in this area - all states have some form of gun control. While Biden was consulting, the New York Legislature passed the toughest gun control law in the nation.
When conservatives debate about the limits of federal gun control, they have already accepted the premise that this is a valid area of federal policy. Is it?