News / USA

    Obama Issues Executive Actions on Curbing Gun Violence

    FILE - Shooters practice with pistols at a gun range near Colorado Springs, Colo.
    FILE - Shooters practice with pistols at a gun range near Colorado Springs, Colo.
    Mary Alice Salinas

    U.S. President Barack Obama will discuss his new initiatives to curb gun violence in remarks Tuesday at the White House, as he works to detail to Americans the executive orders he says will not step on Constitutional rights.

    Some of the measures, first announced by the White House on Monday, include expanded background checks, more effective enforcement of gun laws, increased mental health treatment and reporting to the national background check system, and more research into gun safety technology.

    Obama presented the recommendations discussed during a White House meeting Monday with top officials including U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch and FBI Director James Comey.

    “The good news is that these are not only recommendations that are well within my legal authority and the executive branch,” said Obama after the meeting.  “But they are also ones that the overwhelming majority of the American people, including gun owners, support and believe in.”

    One key element of the plan includes requiring any business selling firearms, including at gun shows, to get a license and conduct background checks. 

    “We intend to make this system more efficient and make it more comprehensive,” said Lynch on Monday. “The goal is keeping bad actors away from firearms and also to make it easier for authorities to make sure that the gun laws are properly followed and enforced.”

    Part of the effort includes increasing by 50 percent the number of FBI personnel who staff the national background check system, said Lynch.

    Recent polls show an increase in the number of Americans who support background checks on those seeking to purchase a firearm. Among other actions, the White House is pushing for stricter background checks.

    A new survey by Webster's research center found that 85 percent of gun owners believe there should be background checks for every individual seeking to buy a gun.

    Each year, tens of thousands of people are killed by guns in the United States, including in mass shootings and suicides, committed at far greater rates than in other countries around the world, said the president.

    The Republican-led Congress opposes more restrictions on gun ownership, and any actions planned by the president likely will face legal challenges.

    House Speaker Paul Ryan criticized the president’s plan Monday, saying the underlying cause of gun violence is mental illness, and that the gun control measures advocated by the White House will not stop such attacks. Ryan pointed out that Congress has rejected gun control measures supported by the White House.

    “The president is at minimum subverting the legislative branch and potentially overturning its will,” said the Republican congressman. “The American people deserve a president who will respect their constitutional rights - all of them.”

    But Obama insisted the gun control initiatives he plans are within his power to implement.

    The recommendations are “entirely consistent with the second amendment and people’s lawful right to bear arms,” Obama said. “We have been very careful recognizing that although we have a strong tradition of gun ownership in this country, that even those who possess firearms for hunting, for self-protection and for other legitimate reasons want to make sure that the wrong people don’t have them for the wrong reasons.”

    WATCH: Related video clip

    Obama to Explain New US Gun Measuresi
    January 05, 2016 12:32 PM
    U.S. President Barack Obama will discuss his new initiatives to curb gun violence in remarks Tuesday at the White House, as he works to detail to Americans the executive orders he says will not step on Constitutional rights.

    Chris Hannas contributed to this report.


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    Comment Sorting
    by: Verna
    January 06, 2016 2:52 PM
    I did not see the speech did he comment on sending people that use violence and guns overseas to see what it is like and also did he speak on Indianas lack of gun laws and Dalton Illinois also.

    by: Jack from: Vancouver Canada
    January 05, 2016 10:18 PM
    You may disregard my opinion, as I am a Canadian who has lived in both the United States and Great Britain, but it seems unimaginable to other industrialized nations that people as generous and intelligent as Americans would allow mass murders on such a regular basis. This ideology of holding guns so close and dear to your hearts is one of self destruction. Many years ago, most all industrialized nations made gun control measures a forefront in gun laws. These gun laws have reduced firearm deaths to a marginal amount in ALL advanced nations. I only hope and pray that your wonderful country and people come to the same conclusion.
    In Response

    by: 2brknot2bfree from: WV
    January 07, 2016 8:11 AM
    Perhaps you would prefer to live in Syria?
    In Response

    by: bill from lachine from: lachine
    January 06, 2016 9:14 PM

    I'm also from Canada and I checked the stats and on a per capita basis the US has approximately 4.79 more gun deaths than Canada.

    Also of the 28 richest nations the US has more gun deaths than all the other 27 nations combined....

    by: Fred
    January 05, 2016 9:20 AM
    The gun laws are great but what about penalties for unauthorized possession by criminals, surely this aspect needs inclusion in the new laws. In addition computer verification of no criminal record, should be included, prior to any sale as well as a validity date prior to relicensing. Finally any criminal conviction for serious crimes should include a no firearms authorization endorsement on that individuals Identity Card.
    In Response

    by: Anonymous
    January 05, 2016 1:05 PM
    Don't forget that the last massacre was committed with legally owned firearms. We certainly need penalties, but there are too many legal loopholes for people and that is what Obama is addressing.

    by: Dorothy harris
    January 05, 2016 2:46 AM
    Great idea

    by: Gary Burgess
    January 05, 2016 2:43 AM
    Good less guns less vilonce in this disturb world we live now.a little piece would be the sixty .its gotten far out of hand a little late I would think for it to ever come back to what would be normal.

    by: Caligirl
    January 05, 2016 2:10 AM
    He might as well be Hitler.
    In Response

    by: Anonymous
    January 05, 2016 9:10 AM
    Can you point out the parallel?

    by: Genesis from: Earth
    January 05, 2016 1:21 AM
    Obama is in breach of the Oath he took to uphold the Constitution. He should be impeached immediately. It's the criminals and mentally challenged that should be vetted not Law abiding citizens who do have the right to defend themselves
    In Response

    by: Grace
    January 06, 2016 12:46 AM
    Are you sure you READ the article?
    What Obama is trying to do isn't to take away the right to bear arms from ALL Americans.
    He is just trying to make sure firearms don't fall into the hands of criminals.
    Anyone who wants to have a gun should abide by national gun laws and get it after going through proper background checks.

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