After a year marred by over 325 mass shootings across the United States, President Barack Obama is expected to start off 2016, his last full year in office, with a series of gun control executive actions. The policy will be released sometime next week when he returns to the capital after his holiday vacation, Politico reported Thursday.
Final touches are being put on the executive actions by the White House, which has been trying to slow the number of gun violence incidents across the country after the deadly incidents in Charleston, Colorado Springs, San Bernardino, California, Roseburg, Oregon, and others. What U.S. residents could expect a requirement to make a larger number of small-scale gun sellers have licenses, in effect forcing them to conduct background checks on purchases. More stringent rules may also come for reporting guns that are stolen or lost on their way to a purchaser.
The battle for more gun control may still face some issues. The proposal to require licenses for more small-scale gun sellers may not close the infamous “gun show loophole,” which enables people to purchase guns without a background check at gun shows and online as well, Politico reported. It could, however, narrow that loophole. The White House, as well as gun control advocates, have tried to focus on the gun show loophole. Congress would also need to step in to make universal background checks a reality, CNN reported.
Critics of Obama's attempts at stricter gun controls have said gun laws don't prevent violence, often pointing to Chicago, which has strict gun laws but which is also scarred by violence. The National Rifle Association, a powerful pro-gun advocacy group, has criticized Obama's attempts at gun control, saying a closer look needs to be paid to school security and the video game industry, Fox News reported.
After the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that left more than 20 people dead in Connecticut, Obama and gun control advocates heavily pushed for stricter firearms laws, CBS News reported. The legislative push would have had far reaching implications for gun ownership, but never made its way through Congress.
— Daniel Marans (@danielmarans) December 31, 2015
"We should never think that this is just something that just happens in the ordinary course of events because it doesn't happen with the same frequency in other countries,” Obama said to CNN after the San Bernardino, California, shootings that left 14 people dead.