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Obama Administration Halts Pending Bush Regulations

Friday, January 23, 2009

NRA-ILA has received many recent inquiries regarding the new Obama administration's order to all federal agencies and departments to halt all pending regulations until incoming administration staff can review those regulations.  In particular, members are concerned about the order's impact on the new rule governing the concealed carrying of firearms in national parks.

In a statement issued only hours after Obama took office, the White House said, "This afternoon, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel signed a memorandum sent to all agencies and departments to stop all pending regulations until a legal and policy review can be conducted by the Obama administration."   (You can view a copy of the memo on-line at http://media.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/documents/emanuel-regulatory-review.pdf). 

The tactic of halting pending orders is commonly used by incoming administrations to delay so-called "midnight regulations" enacted by the outgoing president during the time period between the election and Inauguration Day. 

While it is common for an incoming administration to make such an order, it does not appear that this action would affect the new parks rule. 

The orders outlined in Emanuel's memo would suspend or delay three kinds of rules: 

1. Proposed and final regulations that have not yet been submitted for publication in the Federal Register;  

2. Proposed and final regulations that have submitted, but have not yet been published; and,  

3. Final rules that have been published, but have not yet taken effect.  

The new parks rule does not fall into any of these categories.  The rule was published in December 2008, and took effect on January 9, 2009.  To repeal the rule, the new leadership at the Interior Dept. would have to publish a new proposed rule, take public comment on it, and eventually publish a new final rule. 

That action is certainly not out of the question--in fact it would come as no surprise if the anti-gun Obama administration attempts to repeal the rule. Of course, NRA-ILA would strenuously oppose and fight against any such attempt. 

We will continue to closely monitor the situation and report on any developments as they happen.
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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.