News / USA

    Obama Issues Orders That 'Curb Gun Violence, Not Rights'

    Attorney General Loretta Lynch listens as President Barack Obama speaks in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Jan. 4, 2016, during a meeting with law enforcement officials to discuss executive actions the president can take to curb gun violence.
    Attorney General Loretta Lynch listens as President Barack Obama speaks in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Jan. 4, 2016, during a meeting with law enforcement officials to discuss executive actions the president can take to curb gun violence.
    Mary Alice Salinas

    U.S. President Barack Obama has unveiled a series of executive orders he says will curb gun violence but will not step on the rights of Americans to lawfully bear arms under the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

    Some of the measures, announced by the White House 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.

    After meeting earlier with top legal and law enforcement officials at the White House, Obama said he plans to take his case to the American people to explain the series of initiatives he will implement to tighten federal gun control regulations.

    The president is scheduled to further outline his initiatives during remarks in the White House East Room on Tuesday.

    Obama presented the recommendations discussed during a White House meeting 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.”

    Statement by President Obama on Gun Control Measuresi
    X
    VOA News
    January 04, 2016 10:11 PM
    U.S. President Barack Obama has unveiled a series of executive orders he says will curb gun violence but will not step on the rights of Americans to lawfully bear arms under the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.


    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.

    Background checks

    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.

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

    FILE - Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Dec 3, 2015.
    FILE - Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Dec 3, 2015.

    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.”

    You May Like

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Nguyen Thanh
    January 04, 2016 9:51 PM
    I think gun control laws should be applied in the U.S as soon as possible. This can avoid mass shootings and suicides. Still, it is hard because of public opinion and social culture.

    by: Bob from: USA
    January 04, 2016 8:47 PM
    And just how successful has this administration been in taking guns away from the gangs? I guess priorities don't matter anymore.

    by: Marcus Aurelius II from: NJ USA
    January 04, 2016 10:40 AM
    Outside of the fact that Congress won't support him, President Obama has a problem. Whatever he does will be a violation of the second amendment. Lawsuits will be brought almost immediately. I expect any regulations to be declared illegal by the Supreme Court 9-0. Obama should know that. He'll be able to tell historians that he tried his best. He's building his legacy or excuses depending on how you look at it.

    by: Franklin Stein
    January 04, 2016 7:41 AM
    In the past six going on seven years this country has had more mass shootings than at any other time in its history. Beside radical muslims, mental illness and firearms there is one other thing that these mass shootings have had in common. That commonality is that Obama has been the president. Maybe if he stepped down the shootings would stop. Worth a try isn't it?
    In Response

    by: loveseohee
    January 04, 2016 9:46 PM
    your conclusion is interesting...

    by: Solaris
    January 04, 2016 7:19 AM
    Obama administration has not protected civilians from threats and terrorist danger adequately so that Obama can not deprive Americans from self defense right. It was less than a month ago when we witnessed another terrorist attack on American soil and this executive action will only emboldens terrorist organizations. Obama seems to be determined to make another mistake in his final months in office, up to now his presidency legacy is only Daesh(also known as Islamic State).
    In Response

    by: meanbill from: USA
    January 04, 2016 11:53 AM
    Obama wants to begin banning guns to help prevent gun violence, [but], as a US senator and now as president he has never ever presented any legislation or laws of any kind to stop and incarcerate and execute all the violent criminals that are pulling the triggers on the guns that are killing most Americans with illegal guns? .. Is it because Obama identifies himself with and emphasizes with the race of the majority of the violent criminals that are killing Americans? .. and doesn't want to prosecute any of them? .. while blaming guns for all these violent criminal killings? .. is he a president for all Americans, or is the protector of the violent criminals that he identifies and emphasizes himself with?

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora