Obama Rolls Out Biggest Effort Against Gun Violence Since Newtown


The White House has unveiled President Obama's executive actions on gun violence as part of a multiday rollout meant to contain the political fallout and to cast Obama as the voice of common sense in a raging culture war, Politico reports. “These are not only recommendations that are well within my legal authority … but they're also ones that the overwhelming majority of the American people, including gun owners, support me doing,” Obama said. The actions include a more detailed definition of which gun sellers must apply for a federal dealers license and conduct background checks for all sales, in a bid to close the so-called gun show loophole. The administration is also finalizing rules that were stuck in a bureaucratic backlog, including new requirements for reporting guns lost or stolen in transit, and a measure that would allow more mental health records to be submitted to the federal background check registry by removing patient privacy limits.

The FBI is adding 230 agents to process background checks — a 50 percent increase — as it moves toward automating the system. GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump warned that Obama's actions are just another step on the path to banning guns completely and House Speaker Paul Ryan predicting a “dangerous level of executive overreach.” The series of gun-related events this week is one of Obama’s largest pushes on gun control since the collapse of the effort after the 2012 Newtown, Ct., mass shooting. Although Obama has issued more than 20 executive actions designed to curb gun violence, the U.S. has continued to grapple with mass shootings that have resulted in increased gun sales. Obama has a tricky task: convincing gun control advocates that his actions will make a difference, while reassuring gun-owning Americans that he's not infringing on Second Amendment rights and that they should push their members of Congress to pass legislation that would have broader reach.

Comments are closed.