- 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 | RECENT: 1996 records show Obama supported ban of all firearms
- 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 health.
The Obama administration's actions are encountering stiff resistance from pro-gun activists especially since it has been disclosed that in 1996 Barack Obama supported a complete ban of all firearms in Illinois. Also, in 2004 then-Illinois state senator Obama supported possible criminal charges against a gun owner even in the act of self-defense in one's own home.
"While reducing gun violence is a complicated challenge, protecting our children from harm shouldn't be a divisive one," Obama said in a Wednesday statement from the White House. "Let’s do the right thing for them, and for this country we love so much."
According to Obama's Jan. 16 proposal, the package addresses four key goals: keeping guns out of the wrong hands, keeping "weapons of war" off the streets, making schools safer, and improving mental health services.
On Tuesday and prior to the president's announcement, the Gun Owners of America (GOA) issued a statement detailing some of the firearms restrictions it believes the federal government plans to impose:
- Up to 50 percent of long guns and up to 80 percent of handguns in total circulation will be affected. The federal government estimates that there are over 300 million privately-held firearms in the United States and its territories.
- A ban on semi-automatic weapons (such as the AK-47 and the AR-15).
- Current owners of high-powered rifles would have to undergo a six-month FBI background check, convey sensitive personal information to a government registry, be fingerprinted, and obtain (as well as pay for) a special license to possess machine guns.
- Requirement to have every gun transaction, including those done at gun shows, to have a Brady Check.
In a Jan. 15 briefing by Jay Carney, the White House press secretary said that it's up to the U.S. congress to make sweeping steps on gun legislation. However, he also told the assembled media that parts of Obama's gun control package will bypass congress and therefore be implemented by executive order from the White House.
Carney said there will be as many as 19 executive orders. On Wednesday, Barack Obama made the announcement surrounded by children, a move aimed at tugging people's emotions given last month's shooting in Newtown.
Implementation of Obama's gun ban is expected to encounter multiple lawsuits at the federal and state levels. Aside from the Second Amendment protections of "right to bear arms," the Firearms Owners Protection Act forbids the government from creating a registry and/or database of gun owners (except in cases where a crime is involved).
According to the law passed by congress in 1968,
No such rule or regulation prescribed . . . may require . . . that any system of registration of firearms, firearms owners, or firearms transactions or disposition be established.
The GOA claims that the ATF has been illegally photocopying Form 4473 (required for conducting firearms transactions) at gun dealerships for several years. Additionally, some pro-gun activists contend that a Brady Check on every gun transaction violates both the constitution and the 1968 law.
There are over one million individuals that have been denied the ability to purchase guns in the past 14 years, according to the FBI. Constitutional scholars contend that such a restriction is unconstitutional per the Bill of Rights.
Earlier this week, Vice President Joe Biden delivered his gun control recommendations to Obama after meeting with victim's families, the National Rifle Association (NRA), and giant retailers such as Wal-Mart in response to last month's Sandy Hook shootings.
On Jan. 15., PBS reported that Obama's gun control agenda will include the following reforms:
- Withhold funding to any state that does not provide the federal government with the names of all the individuals who are prohibited from owning firearms, including those barred from purchasing guns due to mental illness
- Tougher penalties on individuals who lie on background checks
- Elimination of what the Obama administration considers as "loopholes" in the nation's background check system
- Banning high-capacity ammunition magazine clips (a move seen as severely limiting the number of semi-automatic weapons in circulation since only handguns can hold low-capacity magazines)
- Tougher measures for preventing gun-trafficking to organized crime such as Mexican drug cartels
- Assessment of mental health by medical professionals and/or government bureaucrats prior to issuance of a firearms license.
On Tuesday, New York passed the nation's toughest legislation restricting gun ownership in a state where there are over one million firearms in private possession. New York's gun restriction includes:
- A statewide gun registry
- Establishing a uniform licensing standard across the state
- Restricts legal ammunition magazines to a maximum of seven bullets which effectively bans high-powered rifles from the state.
Last month, New York governor Andrew Cuomo, who some pundits regard as positioning himself to be the Democratic presidential nominee in 2016, told the New York Times that "confiscation" of firearms "could be an option".
On Tuesday, the GOA posted on its Twitter account: "The [Second] Amendment isn't about shooting deer, it's about shooting tyrants." The Second Amendment of the U.S. constitution, which is part of the Bill of Rights, states: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
Since December, the NRA has added more than 250,000 members to swell its ranks to over 4.25 million members, according to spokesman Andrew Arulanandam. The NRA has strong pro-gun allies in congress and in state legislatures around the country.
Last week, Wyoming drafted state legislation criminalizing the enforcement of any federal gun ban in the state. Similar legislation is being drafted in Texas. On Jan. 15, an Oregon sheriff stated that any such ban won't be enforced in his county. And Texas congressman Steve Stockman threatened to file articles of impeachment on Barack Obama for violating the U.S. constitution.
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