The Greatest Weapon Against Gun Manufacturers Could Be The Federal Government’s Buying Power

President Obama has often said that gun laws in the United States have been the ‘biggest source of frustration’ in his presidency. And he has shown that he is not above using his executive authority in the matter, signing 23 executive actions on gun control immediately after the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut.

His frustration, coupled with his willingness to use executive authority relative to gun control, has led four members of Congress (all Democrats) to write a letter to President Obama, asking him to once again use that authority. They believe the President can require gun manufacturers who sell guns to the federal government to implement stricter gun safety measures. These measures would include researching smart guns, and working more closely with law enforcement.

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The President recently signed several measures dealing with federal contractors. These include the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order and an order barring discrimination against LGBT individuals working for contractors. Congressional Dems believe he can once again use the Federal government’s buying power and clout to convince gun manufacturers with which it does business to demand changes.

As the largest single domestic buyer of guns, the federal government is in a position to demand changes from gun manufacturers through the procurement process,” reads the letter from Reps. Chris Van Hollen (Md.), Adam Schiff (Calif.), Elizabeth Esty (Conn.) and Robin Kelly (Ill.).

We should use our buying power to encourage gun manufacturers to research and create smart guns, to regulate the sales of their guns to ensure that they are only sold to reputable and authorized sellers who conduct background searches on all purchases, and encourage manufacturers to work with local law enforcement,” the lawmakers write.

In addition to the letter from the four members of Congress, Obama received a letter from 23 constitutional scholars on Thursday containing a list of executive actions the President could take to help curb gun violence.

If the do-nothing Repubs in Congress won’t act, it looks like the President is going to have to do this one on his own.

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