It wasn't surprising to see John Lott scrambling to Big Government to make a factually challenged case that the Obama administration is an enemy of gun ownership. As the gun lobby's apologist-in-chief, John Lott needed to explain why the National Rifle Association (NRA) refused to meet with the Obama administration, despite agreeing with the policy President Obama laid out in a recent editorial.
To support his assertion that “The Obama administration has been a consistent opponent of gun ownership,” Lott claimed that the Obama administration “enacted a ban on the importation of semiautomatic guns,” then cited an article about an administration action that blocked the bulk sale of surplus military rifles from South Korea.
The State Department's decision blocking the bulk importation of these particular surplus military firearms is not in any way a “ban on the importation of semiautomatic guns.” The importation of semiautomatic guns hasn't been banned, nor do any of the Obama administration policies suggest doing so.
Lott also criticized Obama for a request made by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) citing an out-of-date article, saying that the Obama administration has “also imposed much more extensive reporting requirements on sales of long guns.”
In fact, the Obama administration has not imposed the regulation in question. The proposed regulation by the ATF has been repeatedly delayed by the Obama administration, which most recently rejected the ATF's request to enact the proposal as an emergency regulation. The administration will decide on approval in April, if no further delays occur. If enacted the proposal would require gun shops along the Mexican border to report multiple sales of certain classes of rifles, such as AK-47s or AR-15s, made within a five-day period.
The gun lobby's case against the Obama administration has regularly been short on facts, and it's no surprise that Lott wants to get in on the action. We've debunked Lott's various assertions on background checks and guns shows, and many questions regarding his apparent disregard for scientific rigor, creation of a fake internet persona and allegations that he fabricated survey results have been documented (here, here, here, here, here and here).
You probably won't read it on Big Government, but the reality is Obama is proposing a small, but important, technical fix to the National Background Check System that even the NRA supports.
EDITORS NOTE (4/5/2011):
The photo of John Lott has been changed.