President Barack Obama is considering bypassing Congress with his executive authority and imposing changes in gun- sale rules in the wake of the deadly shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, the Washington Post reported late Thursday. The news comes ahead of Obama’s visit to Oregon later Friday to meet the victims’ families.
Obama is reportedly planning to impose new background-check requirements for those seeking to purchase weapons from gun dealers. Under the proposed change, dealers exceeding a certain number of sales each year will reportedly have to obtain a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and conduct background checks on potential buyers.
Last Thursday, Chris Harper-Mercer stormed his writing class in Snyder Hall at Umpqua Community College, where he shot and killed his professor and eight classmates. He reportedly had a fascination for guns and investigators seized 14 guns that were either with him at the time or recovered from his home.
The current federal statute dictates that people “engaged in the business” of dealing firearms need to obtain a federal license -- and conduct background checks -- but exempts anyone “who makes occasional sales, exchanges, or purchases of firearms for the enhancement of a personal collection or for a hobby, or who sells all or part of his personal collection of firearms.”
In the wake of last week’s tragedy, Obama said he had asked his team “to scrub what kinds of authorities do we have to enforce the laws that we have in place more effectively to keep guns out of the hands of criminals.”
Meanwhile, a protest is planned condemning Obama’s visit to Oregon Friday. A Facebook page called "Defend Roseburg -- Deny Barack Obama" outlines plans for a protest, with nearly 8,000 people “going” to the rally. Organizers emphasized that they wanted a peaceful protest.
“Conduct yourselves like adults. Show the nation and the world a strong force of principled, good, responsible patriots. Represent yourself and the country with excellence because the world is truly watching,” the event description read.
"If you choose to carry a firearm that is your right. Be safe, be responsible. We suggest that you carry a handgun as opposed to a rifle, but again, you have the right to carry what you wish. Whatever you carry, keep it holstered/secure. Show the world that American gun owners are responsible patriots. Look out for each other."
Democratic politicians have called for stricter gun control laws. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said this week that she would expand background checks at gun shows and ban domestic abusers from purchasing guns.