On Tuesday, January 5, President Obama will announce his plans to invoke more rigorous gun control across the country. Through executive actions he will implement expansive background checks and intensify federal enforcement of extant gun laws.
Obama’s official Twitter account broadcasted his intentions on Monday evening:
According to the New York Times, these executive actions are a means of “sidestep[ping] a gridlocked Congress on a divisive issue.” However, President Obama will not execute the far more stringent regulations that he has previously asked Congress to legislate. Were he to do so, “that legislation would have closed loopholes that allowed millions of guns to be sold without background checks at gun shows or in online firearm exchanges.”
These new measures, the Times reports, are far more temperate:
“Mr. Obama will merely clarify that existing laws require anyone making a living from selling guns to register as a licensed gun dealer and conduct background checks. White House officials said the president would note that criminal penalties already existed for violating these laws.
In addition to background checks, Mr. Obama will direct agencies to engage in more gun research, encourage more federal prosecution of domestic violence cases, crack down on gun purchases by corporations and trusts, and request new funding for 200 law enforcement agents and better access to mental health care.”
As expected, Republicans are in a tizzy over these executive actions. On Monday, presidential hopeful Donald Trump lamented during a CNN appearance, “Pretty soon, you won’t be able to get guns.”
Fellow GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz tweeted on Monday a promise to preserve Second Amendment rights:
And Republican candidate Carly Fiorina tweeted Monday evening that Obama’s plan for executive actions is “lawless”:
Obama’s administration does anticipate attempts to prevent these measures for tighter gun control, but the president remains “confident [they] could act within his existing powers.”
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