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.”

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    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?

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