Jan 16, 2013 No Comments ›› Chuck Biscuits
Excerpted from Fox News: President Obama called Wednesday for a new and tougher assault-weapons ban and a 10-round limit on magazines, as part of a comprehensive plan to curb gun violence that includes 23 steps he took without congressional action.
Already facing stiff opposition from gun-rights advocates and Republican lawmakers, the president called on Congress to pass several major changes to the country’s current gun laws — some of which are already being considered like the restrictions on semi-automatic weapons and high-capacity magazines.
Obama called as well for legislation to bar the possession and importation of armor-piercing bullets and to require criminal background checks for nearly all gun sales. The president, speaking at the White House, said he would use “whatever weight this office holds” to get the proposals passed.
“If there’s even one life that can be saved, then we’ve got an obligation to try,” Obama said. “When it comes to protecting the most vulnerable among us, we must act now. … Let’s do the right thing.”
The president was joined by four children who wrote to the White House about gun violence following the Connecticut mass shooting in which 20 children were killed. Though the administration faced some criticism for involving children in the program, they were positioned off to the side while Obama spoke.
Despite discussions earlier about addressing the pervasive violence in the entertainment and video game industries, the president’s plan did not address those issues in depth. The plan, though, does call for a range of measures to improve access to mental health services and improve safety at America’s schools.
The president, immediately after making his remarks, signed nearly two-dozen executive actions — a step that has stirred objections from lawmakers who have warned Obama not to overstep his bounds.
Unilaterally, Obama on Wednesday directed federal agencies to share information with the federal background check system; proposed new rules to let law enforcement run full background checks before returning a seized gun; ordered the Centers for Disease Control to research causes of gun violence; required law enforcement to trace guns from criminal investigations; and took other steps. Plus Obama is nominating ATF Acting Director Todd Jones to officially lead the agency
The most controversial elements of the president’s plan, though, continue to be the proposals he wants Congress to pass.
The call for universal background checks would extend to gun shows and private sales, with “limited” exemptions for “certain transfers” among family members and other situations. The administration plans to give private sellers guidance on how to run background checks as soon as possible.