A national emergency declaration to build a wall would set precedent

Published February 14, 2019

By Brad Crone

by Brad Crone, Communications consultant and NC SPIN panelist,  February 11, 2019.

Gun control advocates are hoping and praying the President will declare a national emergency to get funding for the Mexican wall.  The folks who are pushing for tighter restrictions on hand-guns and gun access believe that a national emergency declaration by the President will set a precedent that will enable a future Democrat President to use the national emergency declaration as a means to bypass Congress on gun control measures.

While the President wants to build his wall – using a national emergency declaration could truly open Pandora’s box for the NRA and gun rights supporters.

Just imagine this scenario not so distant in the country’s future…a Democrat is elected to the White House, there is a school-yard massacre again and the President declares a national emergency implementing an aggressive gun-control policy regarding private sales, background checks and specific equipment that is currently legal and available in today’s market.

Could you imagine the uproar coming from gun owners and advocates?

Yet, that could happen if President Trump is willing to set the precedent – just like the nuclear option on 60 votes to get to cloture in the U.S. Senate.  At some point in time, that decision by the Republicans will come back to haunt them because it’s not a matter of if, it’s just a matter of time when the Democrats will regain control of the U.S. Senate and they will use the precedent to proceed with their judicial nominees – pointing to the change in rules made by the Republican majority.

In politics the saying about ‘what goes around, comes around,’ is true.  That’s why breaking precedents can have far-reaching consequences and repercussions.

February 14, 2019 at 10:12 am
Richard Bunce says:

One big difference of course... there is nothing in the US Constitution that prohibits the government from building a wall on that border as bad an idea as that might be since an enumerated power of the Federal government is the common defense of the States.