- On Monday, President Obama announced plans to go around Congress and institute measures of gun control.
- Among other things, he would close the “gun-show loophole” and increase the FBI’s ability to conduct background checks.
- He will address the nation on Tuesday.
President Obama vowed on Monday to use his executive power to press ahead with an initiative to combat gun violence, including expanding mandatory background checks, promoting smart-gun technology and hiring more FBI examiners.
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The new moves, which will be rolled out over the next few days, are topped by action to close the “gun-show loophole,” in which background checks are not required for sales of weapons at shows and online.
Also, the FBI will hire more than 230 additional examiners and other staff to help process background checks, while the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives will clarify rules stating that a dealer shipping a gun is responsible for notifying law enforcement if it is stolen.
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Meanwhile, a presidential memorandum to the departments of Defense, Homeland Security and Justice will direct the agencies to conduct or sponsor research into smart-gun technology.
That technology is aimed at reducing the risk of accidental gun discharges and improving the tracing of lost or stolen firearms.
The White House also said it planned to ask Congress for $500 million to improve access to mental-health care.
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“This is not going to solve every violent crime in this country,” Obama said after meeting with Cabinet officials. “It will potentially save lives in this country and spare families the pain of these extraordinary losses.”
Obama, who gave few details on the proposal, will formally announce the new gun-control plan at the White House on Tuesday.
“These are not only recommendations that are well within my legal authority and the executive branch, but they are also ones that the overwhelming majority of the American people, including gun owners, support and believe in,” he told reporters.
He added, “The recommendations that are being made by my team here are ones that are entirely consistent with the Second Amendment.”
Under the current law, only federally licensed gun dealers are obliged to do background checks on potential gun buyers. But gun-control advocates say that many gun sellers who sell firearms in informal settings don’t register as dealers.
Attorney General Loretta Lynch said, “We’re very comfortable that the president can legally take these actions.”
Trying to crack down on guns through executive order is expected to draw strong opposition from the NRA and GOP lawmakers. Several Republican presidential candidates said Monday they would reverse the measures on Day One if they become president.