Gun Control: Barack Obama to Announce New Measures
President Barack Obama has taken actions over the US gun control laws by widening background checks on buyers of firearms.
The new measures meant to address gun violence will be announced on January 5 by the president, despite opposition from Congress to new gun laws.
All sellers who operate online or at gun shows will be forced to conduct background checks on potential buyers.
Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul said he would fight the executive actions “tooth and nail”.
Several of his Republican rivals said they would erase the measures “on day one” if they win the White House.
However, Barack Obama says his new measures will be within his legal authority and consistent with the Second Amendment, which grants Americans the right to bear arms.
While they will not solve every violent crime in the US, he said, they will potentially “save lives and spare families the pain” of loss.
Under the plan announced on January 4 by the White House:
- All sellers must be licensed and conduct background checks, overturning current exemptions to some online and gun show sellers
- States must provide information on people disqualified due to mental illness or domestic violence
- FBI will increase workforce processing background checks by 50%, hiring more than 230 new examiners
- Congress will be asked to invest $500 million to improve access to mental healthcare
- The departments of defense, justice and homeland security will explore “smart gun technology” to improve gun safety
On January 4, Barack Obama heard recommendations from Attorney General Loretta Lynch, FBI Director James Comey and other top law enforcement officials.
The Republican speaker of the House of Representatives, Paul Ryan, accused President Barack Obama of “dismissiveness” towards Americans who value the right to bear arms.
Paul Ryan said in a statement: “This is a dangerous level of executive overreach, and the country will not stand for it.”