Obama promises to use ‘whatever weight this office holds’ to push his gun control agenda
By End the Lie
On January 16, 2013 President Barack Obama launched the long-awaited push for gun control in the United States, the largest effort seen in decades.
Obama’s agenda makes proposals like that of Sen. Dianne Feinstein look almost conservative due to its sweeping nature as summed up in his “23 executive actions.”
The 23 points (listed below) are “in addition to laws that Obama wants Congress to pass,” according to CNN.
Reuters reports that this agenda is “the biggest U.S. gun-control push in generations” and that Obama said he will use “whatever weight this office holds” to make sure his proposals become a reality.
Obama presented the plan while surrounded by schoolchildren in what appeared to be little more than an emotional appeal in the wake of the Newtown shooting.
The recommendations have already been criticized by groups like the National Rifle Association (NRA). In a statement, the NRA said, in part, “Only honest, law-abiding gun owners will be affected and our children will remain vulnerable to the inevitability of more tragedy.”
The NRA promised to “continue to focus on keeping our children safe and securing our schools, fixing our broken mental health system, and prosecuting violent criminals to the fullest extent of the law.”
There is already some opposition on Capitol Hill, with Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, stating, “I’m confident there will be bipartisan opposition to his proposal.”
According to The Washington Post, “The Senate plans to begin taking up Obama’s proposals next week, with the House waiting to see what the Democrat-controlled Senate passes first, congressional aides said.”
Aides also reportedly said that the Senate will likely approach the issue point-by-point, “eventually holding up-or-down votes on the individual elements of Obama’s plan rather than trying to muscle through a single comprehensive bill.”
The 23 actions according to the White House are (via The Washington Post)
1. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system.
2. 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.
3. Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system.
4. 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.
5. Propose rulemaking to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun.
6. Publish a letter from ATF to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers.
7. Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign.
8. Review safety standards for gun locks and gun safes (Consumer Product Safety Commission).
9. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations.
10. Release a DOJ report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and make it widely available to law enforcement.
11. Nominate an ATF director.
12. Provide law enforcement, first responders, and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations.
13. Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime.
14. Issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.
15. 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.
16. Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.
17. Release a letter to health care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law enforcement authorities.
18. Provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers.
19. Develop model emergency response plans for schools, houses of worship and institutions of higher education.
20. Release a letter to state health officials clarifying the scope of mental health services that Medicaid plans must cover.
21. Finalize regulations clarifying essential health benefits and parity requirements within ACA exchanges.
22. Commit to finalizing mental health parity regulations.
23. Launch a national dialogue led by Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan on mental health.
Note that Obama has already said he will nominate B. Todd Jones as permanent director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
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