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Obama Gun Control Efforts: President's Stance on Firearms

Image: Obama Gun Control Efforts: President's Stance on Firearms
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama light 26 candles, honoring the 26 students and teachers killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, in the Map Rom of the White House in Washington, DC on December 14, 2013. (Saul Loeba/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Sunday, 02 Nov 2014 11:17 AM

President Barack Obama has long been a proponent for additional gun-control measures, especially since the December 2012 elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.

On Jan. 16, 2013, less than a month after 20 children and six adult staff members were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Obama unveiled a plan to "protect our children and our communities by reducing gun violence." The 15-page document outlined the president's objectives with 23 executive actions.

ALERT: Should Obama Have More Control Over Guns? Vote Now

The plan proposes background checks on all gun sales and strengthens the whole system. For one, it would eliminate red tape under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act so states could freely share mental health information regarding potential gun buyers. To foster cooperation, states received financial incentives that grew from $20 million in fiscal year 2013 to a proposed $50 million in 2014 to exchange data on a potential owner's criminal history and mental health record.

Assault weapons would be banned under the plan and magazines capped at a capacity of 10 rounds.

Obama's plan also sought to assist in the enforcement of the laws. It asked for the passage of legislation to close gun-trafficking loopholes laws and establish harsh penalties for so-called "straw purchasers," who pass a background check and then acquire guns for those who are prohibited.

The president also proposed training for "active shooter" situations to about 14,000 law enforcement, first responders, and school officials, and eliminating a stipulation that prevents healthcare providers from reporting threats of violence.

VOTE NOW: Should All Fully Automatic Rifles Be Banned?

A few months after the plan's release, the president's effort to tighten gun laws failed in Congress, despite widespread support.

"All in all, this was a pretty shameful day for Washington," Obama angrily said in his response to the nation. "But this effort is not over. I want to make it clear to the American people we can still bring about meaningful changes that reduce gun violence, so long as the American people don't give up on it. Even without Congress, my administration will keep doing everything it can to protect more of our communities. We're going to address the barriers that prevent states from participating in the existing background check system. We're going to give law enforcement more information about lost and stolen guns so it can do its job. We're going to help to put in place emergency plans to protect our children in their schools.

"But we can do more if Congress gets its act together. And if this Congress refuses to listen to the American people and pass common-sense gun legislation, then the real impact is going to have to come from the voters."

URGENT: Do You Support President Obama’s Plans for Stricter Gun Control? Vote Now

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President Barack Obama has long been a proponent for additional gun-control measures, especially since the December 2012 elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.
obama, gun control, efforts, stance, firearms
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2014-17-02
Sunday, 02 Nov 2014 11:17 AM
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