Professor Timothy Lytton was interviewed on Radio Sputnik on January 5 about President Barack Obama’s executive action on gun control. In part, the President’s action clarifies who qualifies as being engaged in the business of selling firearms (as opposed to a personal sale). Businesses that sell firearms whether at a store, gun show, or over the internet all must be licensed and conduct background checks. “[The President’s action] is essentially trying to improve enforcement of existing law. So if it is political theater in some degree … it is equally political theater for Republicans to claim this is a major expansion of gun sales regulation and somehow a threat to the second amendment right to own weapons,” said Lytton. “In some sense both sides are trying to use this as a way to take a stand in the gun control battle, but neither side is being straightforward about the scope of this – the President’s action is extremely modest and unlikely to have much impact on preventing mass shootings.”
Timothy D. Lytton is a Distinguished University Professor and Professor of Law at Georgia State University College of Law and a member of the Center for Law, Health & Society. His expertise is in the public policy implications of tort litigation. Lytton is the editor ofSuing the Gun Industry: A Battle at the Crossroads of Gun Control and Mass Torts (2005).