President Obama has pledged additional gun control in the wake of multiple mass shootings dating back over the last few years. On Monday, Obama, despite unyielding opposition from a Republican Congress, outlined a series of executive actions, including expanding mandatory background checks for some private sales and firearms sales at gun shows.
Writes The Associated Press on Jan. 5, via MSN News: “Obama’s plan to broaden background checks forms the centerpiece of a broader package of gun control measures the president plans to take on his own in his final year in office. Although Obama can’t unilaterally change gun laws, the president is hoping that beefing up enforcement of existing laws can prevent at least some gun deaths in a country rife with them.”
“These are not only recommendations that are well within my legal authority and the executive branch,” Obama told reporters Monday gathered in the Oval Office. “But they are also ones that the overwhelming majority of the American people, including gun owners, support and believe in.”
Obama is looking to close a loophole that currently only mandates federally licensed gun dealers to conduct background checks on prospective buyers. But outside of that market, there is an entire industry of gun sales – flea markets, websites, etc. – that are largely unregulated.
“This is not going to solve every violent crime in this country,” Obama said. “It will potentially save lives and spare families the pain of these extraordinary losses,” he added.
Democratic lawmakers applauded Obama’s efforts, as did control groups like the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
“Today, President Obama has taken the bold and meaningful action that Brady and its millions of supporters have been calling for,” said Brady President Dan Gross in a statement on its website. “By making the expansion of Brady Background checks the centerpiece of his executive action, President Obama is not only implementing recommendations we made to the administration, he is taking action that will make us all safer by keeping guns out of the wrong hands.”
According to Gross, Brady background checks “have blocked more than 2.4 million gun sales to prohibited purchasers, saving countless lives. The problem is every day there are thousands of commercial sales where background checks are not required. Thanks to the President’s historic action today that will no longer be the case.”
Hillary Clinton, speaking at a Democratic rally in Iowa, said she was “so proud” of Obama but also cautioned that the next incoming president could simply reverse the legislation. She stumped: “I won’t wipe it away.”
Republicans like Sen Bob Corker, R-Tenn, accused Obama of overreaching with his executive powers. Corker said Obama’s gun control efforts are “divisive and detrimental to real solutions,” adding that he will “work with my colleagues to respond appropriately to ensure the Constitution is respected,” in response to the Obama’s recent gun control efforts.
Obama crying during speech: President Obama breaks down discussing gun control