Early Tuesday, President Barack Obama tearfully announced executive actions as part of his administration’s attempt to curb gun violence following the latest deadly shooting in San Bernardino, California.
“Every year, 30,000 Americans have their lives cut short by guns,” the president said at the beginning of his speech.
During the address, he called for expanded background checks and the closure of the so-called “gun show loophole,” urging greater restrictions on sales by unlicensed dealers. Obama wants to put a plan in motion that would require any business selling guns to obtain a federal license and to conduct thorough background checks on any buyer.
“Today, background checks are required at gun stores … You pass a background check, you purchase a firearm,” the president said. “The problem is, some gun sellers have been operating under a different set of rules.”
Online, for example, Obama said that anyone can buy a gun online without a background check, no questions asked. He claims that one in 30 buyers of firearms online has a criminal record.
“We know we can’t stop every act of violence, every act of evil in the world, but maybe we can try to stop one act of evil, one act of violence,” he said. “We maybe can’t save everybody, but we can save some.”
“Congress still needs to act,” he added. “Folks in this room won’t rest until Congress does. Because once Congress gets on board with
See the President’s proposed executive actions below.
- All firearms sellers must obtain a license and conduct background checks or be subject to criminal prosecutions, on or offline.
- Background checks will be expanded “to cover violent criminals who try to buy some of the most dangerous firearms by hiding behind trusts and corporations.”
- Background checks will also be made more efficient with the addition of more personnel to process applications and update an outmoded system.
- Two hundred more ATF agents will be enlisted, requiring firearms dealers to report lost or stolen guns on a timely basis, and working with advocates of domestic abuse resulting from gun violence.
- An additional $500 million will be allocated to increase access to mental health care.
- Further research into gun safety technology will be explored; Obama cited a statistic from 2013, during which 500 people lost their lives due to gun accidents.
- Obama called for advancements in research from, and a closer working relationship with, the private sector to update firearms technology.