A loophole that makes it possible for felons, the mentally ill and others that legally may not own weapons has been closed by President Obama today, Aug. 29, through an executive action, the White House announced. A second action prohibits the re-importation into the United States of military weapons that had been sold to foreign entities.
“Even as Congress fails to act on common-sense proposals, like expanding criminal background checks and making gun trafficking a federal crime, the President and Vice President remain committed to using all the tools in their power to make progress toward reducing gun violence.” – White House press statement, Aug. 29, 2013
Current law requires registration for the purchase of weapons such as machine guns and short-barreled shotguns. Individuals that may not legally own these types of weapons, and would be denied a permit, have been able to bypass the law by applying for registration as a trust or corporation. The Department of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms received more than 39,000 of these corporate or trust applications last year.
The action taken today by the President requires that individuals associated with trusts or corporations be subjected to background checks when applying for weapons registration.
A second executive action is aimed at keeping military surplus off American streets. The American government regularly sells firearms to its allies either as military aid or as commercial activity. These weapons may not be resold into the U.S. without government approval.
According to the White House Press Office, since 2005, the government has approved the re-importation of more than a quarter-million guns into the U.S. The Administration’s new policy is to deny requests to bring military-grade firearms back into the country for sale to private buyers. There will be a few exceptions to this action, such as the import of weapons for museum display.
Moms Demand Action, an organization that advocates increased controls on gun sales, is heralding these actions today by the President as much-needed common sense measures.
“Like so many things about our gun policy, it is almost ridiculous to think that these steps were necessary. It is common sense to prevent felons from so easily circumventing background checks, and we should not allow private entities to purchase military-grade assault weapons any more than we should allow them to buy tanks.” – Moms Demand Action
Last January, the President signed 23 executive orders as part of a comprehensive plan to reduce gun violence in the nation.