Reagan Solicitor General Calls Obama Gun Actions “Standard”

by Stuart Shapiro

Amidst the crazy reactions to President Obama’s gun control announcement yesterday comes the sanity of President Reagan’s Solicitor General Charles Fried, as Greg Sargent notes.

“These are either standard exercises of presidential power, or even more benignly, standard examples of the power of the president to exhort the public or state officials to be aware of certain problems and to address them,” Charles Fried, who was Reagan’s solicitor general during his second term, told me today.

Fried noted that some of the provisions are merely “use of the bully pulpit.” What he means is that provisions such as “launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign” and “challenge the private sector to develop innovative technologies” to promote gun safety merely constitute the use of presidential stature to advocate. “If that’s an impeachable offense, then the president has just lost his first amendment rights,” Fried said.

Referring to provision number 11, Fried joked: “Is it an impeachable offense to nominate an ATF director?”

Of course, we should probably dismiss anything Fried has to say.  These jokers would have tried to impeach Reagan.

About Stuart Shapiro

Stuart Shapiro Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels. Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush.

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