President Obama To Announce Executive Actions on Gun Safety

Time: 8:42 p.m. CEST

President Barack Obama will announce new executive actions to reduce gun violence and make community safer, the White House said, explaining Obama will speak from the East Room at the White House on Tuesday. The White House announced the possible steps of the President before the new year. Obama met on Monday with several officials, including Attorney General Loretta Lynch to discuss possible changes.

After the meeting, Obama stated that the gun actions his administration will undertake “are entirely consistent with the Second Amendment and lawful right to bear office.” Considering that the Congress, as Obama administration thinks, failed to improve legislation on background checks for those who want to buy or sell guns, Obama explained that his recommendations are well in the legal authority of the executive branch, and are “also ones that overwhelming majority of American people, including gun owners support and believe in.”

In the fact sheet provided by the White House, the Administration is announcing a series of commonsense executive actions designed to keep guns out of the wrong hands through background checks, make community safer from gun violence, increase mental health treatment and reporting to background checks, and shape the future of gun-safety technology.

The administration is aiming to close loopholes in the legislation for obtaining guns. For example, “A person who willfully engages in the business of dealing in firearms without the required license is subject to criminal prosecution and can be sentenced up to five years in prison and fined up to $250,000. Dealers are also subject to penalties for failing to conduct background checks before completing a sale.” In addition, Federal Bureau of Investigation would hire more than 230 additional National Instant Criminal Background Check System examiners to help with processing of background checks.

The President’s budget for fiscal year 2017 will include funds for 200 new Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms and Explosives’ agents and investigators, the White House fact sheet explained.

Obama’s administration aims to close the loopholes into the legislations and prevent at least some of the violent crimes that happened in the United States, almost on a daily or monthly basis. Obama could not change or affect the legislation alone, but he could influence on closing several loopholes, which exists when people try to buy guns online.

“This is not going to solve every violent crime in this country,” Obama said. Still, he added, “It will potentially save lives and spare families the pain of these extraordinary losses.”

The ATF established an Internet Investigation Center (IIC) with federal agents, legal counsel and investigators to track illegal online firearms trafficking and to provide actionable intelligence to agents in the field, the White House explained.

Obama pursued the changes in the law on gun control even after a massacre at a Connecticut elementary school and he appealed and addressed the nation at least after every incident related with guns, especially at the universities campuses and other public spaces. However, even the modest suggestions, sparked confrontations with many of Republicans and gun supporters.

President Barack Obama met with Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, Federal Bureau of Investigation James Comey and Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms and Explosives’ Deputy Director Thomas Brandon on Monday afternoon to discuss announced action to stop gun violence. The White House press secretary Josh Earnest confirmed on Monday’s briefing that Obama would announce the action to prevent gun violence.

“I would anticipate that the President would have an announcement quite soon and that he would discuss some steps his administration has concluded and he has concluded are in his executive authority that would keep guns of hands of people that they should have not them,” Earnest said on Monday. About 30.000 Americans die every year as a result of a gun, Earnest said.

In the radio address published on January 1,  Obama explained the need for unilateral action because Congress had failed to address the problem of gun violence.

“A few months ago, I directed my team at the White House to look into any new actions I can take to help reduce gun violence,” he said in the recorded address. “And on Monday, I’ll meet with our Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, to discuss our options.”

As CNN reported, gun control advocates expect the new action by the President before Obama’s last State of the Union address, scheduled for January 12, 2016.  Jim Acosta talked to the White House spokesman Eric Schultz, who said the President expected to decide on the unilateral action at the beginning of the year.

Republican controlled Congress would need to act and to make background checks universal. Under current Federal law all individuals “engaged in the business” of selling guns to have a license and make background checks on buyers. However, “others who only make occasional sales or are selling firearms from a personal collection are exempted from the background check requirement, ” says CNN.

A group related to Michael Bloomberg, Everytown for Gun Safety,  gave recommendations to the White House, including a test for assessing who can have a license to continue with selling guns. CNN explains, “the group also recommended Obama define a gun in a ‘personal collection’ as having been in the seller’s possession for at least a year.” Obama met with Bloomberg before the winter vacation in Hawaii.



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