President Obama expected to tighten gun control laws

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President Barack Obama is expected to announce in the coming days a new executive action with the goal of expanding background checks on gun sales, people familiar with White House planning said.

Described as “imminent,” the set of executive actions would fulfill a promise by the President to take further unilateral steps the White House says could help curb gun deaths.

Plans for the action are not yet complete, and those familiar with the process warn that unforeseen circumstances could delay an announcement. But gun control advocates are expecting the new actions to be revealed next week, ahead of Obama’s annual State of the Union address, set for January 12.

The White House wouldn’t comment directly on the exact timing or content of Obama’s executive orders. White House spokesman Eric Schultz said that the President expected a set of recommendations on unilateral action to arrive at the beginning of the year.

Plans began to become clearer on New Year’s Day with a White House announcement accompanying Obama’s weekly address that on Monday the president would meet with Attorney General Loretta Lynch to discuss available options.

“Change, as always, is going to take all of us,” Obama said in his weekly address. “The gun lobby is loud and well organized in its defense of effortlessly available guns for anyone. The rest of us are going to have to be just as passionate and well organized in our defense of our kids. That’s the work of citizenship — to stand up and fight for the change that we seek.”

“We know that we can’t stop every act of violence,” Obama said. “But what if we tried to stop even one? What if Congress did something — anything — to protect our kids from gun violence?”

White House spokesman Schultz said Obama was “expressing urgency” for a list of steps he can take on his own after high-profile incidents of gun violence at the end of this year.

“It is complicated. That’s why it’s taken some time for our policy folks, our lawyers, and our experts to work through this and see what’s possible,” Schultz said.

A spokeswoman for the National Rifle Association said the group had no comment. The group previously told CNN that Obama’s “gun control agenda was rejected by Congress. Now, he is doing what he always does when he doesn’t get his way, defying the will of the people and using executive action.”

The group said at the time that Obama had his “wish list of gun control,” in California but “it didn’t prevent the San Bernardino attack.”

“The fact is, the President’s gun control agenda will only make it harder for law-abiding citizens to exercise their right to self-defense,” NRA spokeswoman Jennifer Baker.

Gun control advocates and White House officials say the focus remains on the so-called “gun show loophole,” which allows certain sellers of guns — at gun shows and elsewhere — to avoid conducting background checks before making sales.

Months after the Newtown, Connecticut elementary school massacre that claimed 26 victims, the then-Democratic majority Senate rejected a similar proposal.

Congress would still need to act in order to make background checks fully universal. But advocates and administration lawyers have struck upon a provision in the law that could allow for Obama to expand the background check requirement to additional sellers.

Federal law currently requires all individuals “engaged in the business” of selling guns to obtain a license and conduct background checks on buyers. But others who only make occasional sales or are selling firearms from a personal collection are exempted from the background check requirement.

Gun control advocates say Obama could take action himself by issuing a regulation that provides expanded guidance on who falls under the “in the business” standard.

One group, the Michael Bloomberg-helmed Everytown for Gun Safety, has provided recommendations to the White House that include creating a test for assessing who must become licensed to continue selling guns. Factors would include volume and speed of sales, and whether or not the seller relies on advertising to sell guns.

The group also recommended Obama define a gun in a “personal collection” as having been in the seller’s possession for at least a year.

Before leaving for his winter vacation in Hawaii, Obama met with Bloomberg at the White House to discuss gun control.

Aside from the background check provision, people familiar with Obama’s plans say his new gun control announcement will include new funding for government agencies to better enforce existing gun laws.

17 comments

  • andy g

    It is not about gun control but it is about control.
    What a crock, if obama wanted gun control he would be having people take classes on the proper use of a firearm. And not allow gun free zones, this is where 90% or more of all the mass shootings occur. The best way to stop a bad person with a gun, is with a good person having a gun. Paperwork never stopped a bad person and never will. Let’s get with reality and think, instead for making nonsense laws. We have to many now.

  • Liberty

    Obama has by-passed laws and the constitution time and time again, but everyone is afraid to stand up to him. He won’t stop until he takes everyones guns. The only way you can take over America. Jefferson tells it like it is.

  • Belowme

    If they clean the guns out of the ghetto the shootings/murders will subside 99% if they can keep them out but then there goes the population control and who wants that.

  • Rich

    Obama doing what he always does set up a straw man. There is no gun show loop hole. All licensed dealers must conduct a background check to sell a firearm. Just like that no mass shootings occu rin other countries. When Sweden, Swiss., and Norway have a higher kill per 100,000 population than the US Obama going against the will of the people to overrun the democratic separation of powers. The European Union as a whole have about the same rate as the US. Obama continues to lie, lie, lie, and lie.

  • jim smith

    Re: “But what if we tried to stop even one?”

    You could start by enforcing the laws already on the books and quit allowing people who use a gun illegally to plea bargain away the illegal firearms offense. The feds pass all these laws and then don’t enforce them. Straw purchases and lying on the 4473 form you have to fill out for a background check to purchase a firearm is a felony punishable by 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine – yet in 2010 76142 people failed the background check, 4732 were deemed worthy of prosecution and only 62 were prosecuted. Another thing you could do since most of the gun homicides are caused by gangs or repeat offenders is to advocate for a law that would impose a mandatory death sentence on any recidivist with a violent criminal history that uses a firearm to commit a crime regardless of childhood upbringing, economic impoverishment, mental health, age, IQ or ethnicity.

  • jim smith

    Re: “so-called “gun show loophole

    There is no gun show loophole. This is progressive speak for wanting to pass laws to monitor and control loans, transfers or physical access of firearms, ammunition, or “high capacity” magazines to distant relatives, friends, domestic partners, roommates or other acquaintances you have known for years. You can see this philosophy reflected in the laws passed in OR, CO and WA. Since many of these affected people are single and in a rising demographic, opponents of these laws should publicize the fact to these people that if they have or want to have firearms, they could be inadvertently breaking the law with their living arrangements and be subject to intimidation and entrapment by overzealous and unscrupulous authorities who are aligned with an anti-gun agenda. Also, if you are really worried about gun shows you should change the rule implemented by Bill Clinton’s administration that prohibits anyone wanting to sell guns at gun shows from getting a Federal Firearms License (FFL) without having a storefront. (Google ATF form 5310 FFL application and look at question 18a)

  • jim smith

    Re: “expand the background check requirement”

    Currently, there are only 2 ways to legally sell a gun in the US to a private citizen. One is a private sale between individuals (typically like between family and friends) or by a gun dealer licensed with a Federal Firearms License (FFL) from the federal BATF. Only individuals with an FFL can run a background check through the government NICS database of prohibited persons. Private citizens cannot. Note that a person can purchase a firearm online, but the physical transfer of the firearm still must go through an FFL at the seller or an FFL local to the buyer. So if you want to improve the process, you should encourage the federal government to do 2 things:

    1) Allow any small gun dealer to get an FFL without having a storefront. Currently, thanks to the Clinton administration’s effort to reduce the supply of guns, you can’t get an FFL if you want to sell guns only at gun shows (Google BATFE form 5310 FFL application and look at question 18a). As a result someone that wants to sell guns but can’t afford the inventory costs, zoning challenges and overhead of a storefront has to sell illegally or discretely at the edge of the law as a “private individual” and hence can’t run a background check. Rather than throwing these “kitchen table” sellers out of the system like Clinton did hoping they would go away, they should allow them to get an FFL and subject them to BATF rules, audits and oversight like they were before the Clinton administration let political anti-gun ideology get in the way.

    2) Give anyone free, public, anonymous online access to the NICS database. I don’t understand why a federal database of people prohibited from owning firearms can’t be available in the public domain like federal databases for s– offenders. Unlike the s– offender database, the NICS system is really a go/no go process and no useful information has to be displayed to facilitate phishing expeditions for identity theft other than what was already known by the user making the query. It’s certainly no more revealing than the FAA’s pilot and mechanic license query system, which provides more detailed information on presumably law-abiding citizens. Once this system is implemented, you then tell private sellers if you sell or give a firearm to someone and don’t retain documented proof that says you did a favorable NICS check on the buyer, you could be held liable if they commit a gun-related crime. This would effectively close the so-called private sale loophole and still preserve the anonymity of the parties involved the same way the current background check system does now. If a private sale firearm shows up at a crime scene, the BATF follows their current procedure of using the serial number of the firearm to contact the manufacturer and ultimately the last FFL that sold the firearm to a private citizen to obtain that citizen’s name and address from the ATF form 4473 the FFL is required to keep on file. That citizen is then contacted and produces the piece of paper from the NICS background check that identifies the second private citizen who is then contacted, and so forth.

    The real benefit of this proposal is how it can help identify the illusive killer with questionable behavior patterns or mental health issues that is causing so many problems. As it stands now there is no easy, fast, non-bureaucratic method for someone to determine if a suspicious person (client, neighbor, employee, student, etc) is a potential threat to society. If someone thinks an individual could be a threat, a query to a public NICS database would at least tell him or her in a few seconds if the individual could obtain a firearm. Then, armed with that information the appropriate authorities could be notified and they could decide if it was erroneous information or whether to investigate further. As it stands now, if you tell authorities you know a suspicious person they will probably ignore you, but if you tell them you know such a person and by the way according to the NICS database he can buy a firearm, they will probably be more inclined to investigate rather than risk embarrassment later if the worst happens. The same would be true if you see a suspicious acquaintance with a firearm when the NICS query says he’s prohibited from having one. It would also help provide piece of mind and a method for victims of violent crimes to ensure their assailants either on parole or still at large have not been excluded from the database because of some bureaucratic foul-up.
    Other specific public safety issues where it would be useful are:

     allow potential victims to vet known stalkers or acquaintances under a restraining order
     allow gun clubs to vet potential members
     allow shooting ranges to vet suspicious customers
     help prevent straw purchases by allowing FFL’s to vet all individuals involved with the purchase of a firearm as a gift
     allow mental health workers to vet troubled individuals like the Aurora Colorado theater killer
     allow resource officers and school officials to vet suspicious students like the Arapahoe High School killer in Colorado
     allow the family of the mentally troubled Lafayette, LA killer to verify he couldn’t purchase a firearm
     allow police officers to vet anyone they contact – (note the routine background checks performed by police often do not include information about firearms because they don’t directly access the NICS database)

  • Diamondback

    The President has absolutely ZERO legitimate lawmaking power.
    Any rules or regulations issued by him or his criminal admin must be backed up by actual legislation that has been properly passed into law.
    The Supreme Court has already found 22 of his past EOs unconstitutional.
    Do not comply.

  • hatchet

    Hey Libertarian, why don’t you and the party in the house go over to the middle east and employ your beliefs and way of thinking. This is America and if you don’t like it get out! No one is asking you to stay here and frankly me and hundreds of thousand of other Americans would appreciate it if you just dissapeared and we’re never heard or seen again!

  • ricseib

    The hard-left Marxists who infect our federal government plus the MSM media prostitutes who protect them will gleefully lie, falsify, fabricate, slander, libel, deceive, delude, bribe, and treasonably betray the free citizens of the United States..

    Second Amendment foes lying about gun control –
    Firearms are our constitutionally mandated safeguard against tyranny by a powerful federal government. Only dictators, tyrants, despots, totalitarians, and those who want to control and ultimately to enslave you support gun control.

    No matter what any president, senator, congressman, or hard-left mainstream media prostitutes tell you concerning the statist utopian fantasy of safety and security through further gun control: They are lying. If their lips are moving, they are lying about gun control. These despots truly hate America..

    These tyrants hate freedom, liberty, personal responsibility, and private property. But the reality is that our citizens’ ownership of firearms serves as a concrete deterrent against despotism. They are demanding to hold the absolute power of life and death over you and your family. Ask the six million Jewws, and the other five million murdered martyrs who perished in the Nazzi death camps, how being disarmed by a powerful tyranny ended any chances of fighting back. Ask the murdered martyrs of the Warsaw Ghetto about gun control.

    Their single agenda is to control you after you are disarmed. When the people who want to control you hold the absolute power of life and death over your family, you have been enslaved. The hard-left Marxist and Islamists who infect our federal government plus the MSM media prostitutes who protect them will gleefully lie, falsify, fabricate, slander, libel, deceive, delude, bribe, and treasonably betray the free citizens of the United States into becoming an unarmed population. Unarmed populations have been treated as slaves and chattel since the dawn of history.

    Will we stand our ground, maintaining our constitutionally guaranteed Second Amendment rights, fighting those who would enslave us?

    American Thinker

  • teebonicus

    “But others who only make occasional sales or are selling firearms from a personal collection are exempted from the background check requirement.”

    Because they are not involved in commerce, they are private sales. Congress’s authority to regulate sales at retail issue from the Constitution’s commerce clause. There is no federal power delegated anywhere in the Constitution to intrude upon private transactions.

    The Left has abandoned the Constitution’s mandate of limited powers, and ignores those limitations when they obstruct the socialist agenda. This cannot be allowed to continue.

    • Liberty

      Liberals cannot exist without Conservatives to support and protect for them. Conservatives can exist without Liberals.

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