Barack Obama will meet Attorney General Loretta Lynch Monday to discuss plans for introduction of gun controls that would make it harder for “irresponsible, dangerous few” to get their hands on firearms, the U.S. president announced in his weekly radio address released Friday morning. The comments come amid speculation that Obama, who begins his last full year in office Friday, could lay out a series of gun control executive actions as soon as next week.
“My New Year’s resolution is to move forward on our unfinished business as much as I can. … That's especially true for one piece of unfinished business, that’s our epidemic of gun violence,” Obama, who has repeatedly pushed for greater background checks on gun sales, said. “I get too many letters from parents, and teachers, and kids, to sit around and do nothing.”
Over the past few months, Obama has consistently expressed frustration after mass shooting incidents the country, saying it shouldn’t be so easy for people who want to inflict harm on others to get their hands on a gun.
Currently, federally licensed firearms dealers are required to carry out thorough background checks on potential firearm purchasers. However, gun control advocacy groups point to the so-called “gun show loophole,” which allows even unlicensed sellers to sell firearms at gun shows without conducting background checks.
Meanwhile, opponents of stricter gun control, including the National Rifle Association, accuse Obama of politicizing the issue and of “exploiting tragedies to push his failed political agenda.”
However, Obama said, in his address, that a bipartisan bill from three years ago, which required background checks for virtually everyone who buys a gun, was blocked by the Senate despite huge support.
"The gun lobby is loud and well organized in its defense of effortlessly available guns for anyone,” Obama said. “The rest of us are going to have to be just as passionate and well organized in our defense of our kids. That's the work of citizenship - to stand up and fight for the change that we seek.”