On Wednesday, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden formally unveiled a new set of gun control proposals in a speech delivered from the White House. He advocated for Congress to renew the assault weapons ban that was in place from 1994 to 2004, limit magazines to 10 rounds, fund research into the effects of violent video games, and require a universal background check for anyone trying to buy a gun. He also announced 23 executive actions:
- Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system.
- Address unnecessary legal barriers, particularly relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, that may prevent states from making information available to the background check system.
- Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system.
- Direct the Attorney General to review categories of individuals prohibited from having a gun to make sure dangerous people are not slipping through the cracks.
- Propose rulemaking to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun.
- Publish a letter from ATF to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers.
- Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign.
- Review safety standards for gun locks and gun safes (Consumer Product Safety Commission).
- Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations.
- Release a DOJ report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and make it widely available to law enforcement.
- Nominate an ATF director.
- Provide law enforcement, first responders, and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations.
- Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime.
- Issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.
- Direct the Attorney General to issue a report on the availability and most effective use of new gun safety technologies and challenge the private sector to develop innovative technologies.
- Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.
- Release a letter to health care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law enforcement authorities.
- Provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers.
- Develop model emergency response plans for schools, houses of worship and
- institutions of higher education.
- Release a letter to state health officials clarifying the scope of mental health
- services that Medicaid plans must cover.
- Finalize regulations clarifying essential health benefits and parity requirements
- within ACA exchanges.
- Commit to finalizing mental health parity regulations.
- Launch a national dialogue led by Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan on mental
Executive actions differ from executive orders in that they do not carry any force of law, although the establishment media does not seem to understand this, and has used the terms interchangably.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has announced that he will introduce a bill next week to defund and nullify any executive actions by President Obama that overstep the boundaries of the powers of the Presidency, saying, "In this bill, we will nullify anything the president does that smacks of legislation. And there are several of the executive orders that appear as if he’s writing new law. That cannot happen. I’m afraid that President Obama may have this king complex sort of developing, and we’re going to make sure that doesn’t happen."