In late February and with less than one month on the job, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder made a surprising announcement during a press conference dealing with the latest DEA led operation against the Sinaloa drug trafficking cartel. Without giving a concrete date, Holder said that the Obama administration would seek to reinstate the ban on the sale of assault weapons ban that expired in 2004.
Holder said this was one of the very few changes in gun laws that Obama had promised during his campaign. He said it in the midst of a growing outcry from Mexico -- both from the government and the public -- that insisted that 90 percent of the cartel weapons used in Mexico were trafficked from the U.S.
After Holder's announcement, centrist democrats in the House and Senate have pushed the leadership not to pursue reinstating the ban. Along with pro-gun Republicans, these Democrats have denied the notion that U.S. gun culture can be blamed for the carnage in Mexico, a country with very tight restrictions on gun ownership.
On the other hand, a group of lawmakers is asking the administration to fully enforce a different ban regarding the importation of assault weapons which has not been carried out since the Clinton administration.
My instinct tells me this is the course of action that the Obama administration will follow -- considering that it is a law already in the books -- and one that can have some impact on some bulk shipments that arrive in Mexico via the U.S.