January 16th, 2013
12:30 PM ET
2 years ago

The breakdown of Obama's gun violence proposals

Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama on Wednesday announced his gun violence reduction plans, including 23 steps his administration plans to take unilaterally and several legislative proposals.

He will advocate for reinstatement and strengthening the assault weapons ban, a ten-round limit for ammunition magazines, increasing access to mental health, and requiring a criminal background check on every gun sale.

Obama said he would use "whatever weight this office holds" to get new measures enacted.

The assault weapons ban would "prevent easy access to instruments of mass violence," according to a fact sheet distributed by the White House. It would "get military style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines off the streets," as well as outlaw armor-piercing bullets.

In 1994 an assault weapons ban was passed which outlawed weapons having folding or telescoped stocks, a pistol grip, a bayonet mount, flash suppressor, or a grenade launcher.

The legislative proposals would take action from Congress, and the assault weapons ban is likely to face opposition in both houses.

"To make a real and lasting difference, Congress, too, must act, and Congress must act soon. And I'm calling on Congress to pass some very specific proposals right away," Obama said. "They need to bring these proposals up for a vote, and the American people need to make sure they do."

Obama also issued directives to members of his administration which he says will also address gun violence. The White House provided a list of the 23 unilateral actions the President plans to take. See that White House list below.

Gun Violence Reduction Executive Actions

1. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system.

2. Address unnecessary legal barriers, particularly relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, that may prevent states from making information available to the background check system.

3. Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system.

4. Direct the Attorney General to review categories of individuals prohibited from having a gun to make sure dangerous people are not slipping through the cracks.

5. Propose rulemaking to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun.

6. Publish a letter from ATF to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers.

7. Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign.

8. Review safety standards for gun locks and gun safes (Consumer Product Safety Commission).

9. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations.

10. Release a DOJ report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and make it widely available to law enforcement.

11. Nominate an ATF director.

12. Provide law enforcement, first responders, and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations.

13. Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime.

14. Issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.

15. Direct the Attorney General to issue a report on the availability and most effective use of new gun safety technologies and challenge the private sector to develop innovative technologies.

16. Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.

17. Release a letter to health care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law enforcement authorities.

18. Provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers.

19. Develop model emergency response plans for schools, houses of worship and institutions of higher education.

20. Release a letter to state health officials clarifying the scope of mental health services that Medicaid plans must cover.

21. Finalize regulations clarifying essential health benefits and parity requirements within ACA exchanges.

22. Commit to finalizing mental health parity regulations.

23. Launch a national dialogue led by Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan on mental health.


Filed under: Gun control • President Obama
soundoff (58 Responses)
  1. Bev

    i agree but what about the people who have already bought assault weapons? would they have to turn them in?

    January 16, 2013 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    Not a single one of those things is unconstitutional. NOT ONE. Every one of them falls squarely within the purview of his authoriy and power as Chief Executive. EVERY ONE. Moreover, not a single one of those things comes anywhere close to what the NRA and other gun SALES lobbyists have been demagoguing that Obama would try to do to "take all your guns away." NOT ONE. It's time to be honest about who is being honest...and it's 100% obvious that it is not the unhinged fringe radicals screaming that the only thing that will prevent gun violence is more gun violence.

    January 16, 2013 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    Oh look, a list of 23 things that completely, utterly, 100% inarguably fall within the purview of the Chief Executive's constitutional authority/power and don't even remotely resemble the "they're going to take all your guns away" threats demagogued by the NRA and other gun SALES lobbyists and unhinged fring gun nut radicals.

    There can be no debate about who's actually being honest in this debate.

    January 16, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  4. UsGotRights

    In the wake of the Taft California shooting now they will go for it and write an executive order to ban shotguns and bullies too. Once you ban guns Crazies will start to use knifes like they do in china schools stabbing kids that seems to happen all the time in china. Then they need to ban everything from rocks, sticks, bats, knifes, fists. prosthetic legs in arms, chairs anything that can be used as a weapon. Then they need to write an executive order banning free speech so nobody can complain about it, that is when all of us will be safe? As you can see weapon bans on Mexico is working only 50,000 dead from guns with their ban in place in 6 years. Then we can just ask the bad guys to give back the guns that obama gave to drug lords in mexico and al Qaeda in Libya in Syria. I'm sure they will obey the executive order from the white house. Oh wait maybe not they did kill Ambassador Stevens and his gun running operation in Benghazi that was shipping guns from Libya to Syria. Odd white house trying to ban guns rights in the USA to disarm Americans then behind Americans backs the white house gives guns and tax payer moneys to the bad guys that they used to kill the ambassador in Libya, a US border patrol agent Brian Terry (that was armed with a bean bag gun vs. a real Obama fast and furious gun) and killing infidel Christians in Syria and Mali in their front yards if they have a christian name with USA-Approved obama arms for libya rebels that fell into jihadis hands. So it's OK for the bad guys to own guns just not Americans. Makes you think and scratch your head knowing the Constitution defines treason as specific acts, namely "levying War against [the United States], or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. Keep your rights its all you got, your not getting anymore and after their gone the only right you will have is to Obey.

    January 16, 2013 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  5. Gurgyl

    Pass gun control laws.

    January 16, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  6. PaulG

    Sorry, the government has no business banning semi-auto firearms and magazines as feel good measures. Deal with the root causes that lead to gun violence, keep guns away from criminals and crazies, do the things that will have real impact on gun violence without infringing on our 2nd Amendment rights.

    January 16, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    Oh look...not a single thing he's doing with his executive authority is unconstitutional or can be even remotely characterized as an effort to "take all your guns away." Will CNN and the MSM have the courage to satte the simple fact that the NRA's, gun sales lobby's and unhinged fringe gun nuts' demagoguery abotu executive orders was completely and utterly false? No. No they won't. In fact, in response to this article, they will feel the need to prominentlly broadcast, without a shred of critical thought or analysis, the demagoguery the NRA and other gun nuts produce to mischaracterize all of it. After all, it's only "fair and balanced" if the side that's lying is never called out for it.

    January 16, 2013 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  8. JustAO

    To all those claiming that criminals will always have guns, why not look at faces of all the mass killers out there. None of them had a criminal record, they were middle class, male, and white. Also, the guns they used were purchased legally. The only people who want guns on the streets are those of us who haven't had their family member or friend shot and killed by gun violence. Like most things spouted by GOP legislators these days, empathy or taking sensible measures to enhance the greater good of our society need not apply if profits are lowered and a GOP legislator has not experienced others pain.

    January 16, 2013 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  9. Kentucky Burbon

    Good! So is the NRA saying that the President's children doesn't need protection??? That is sick, simply sick especially considering the threats that this president has received Publicy, not to mention our nations history. This is a sad country, all the cowards running to buy guns, "Red" Nugent comparing these cowards and himself to Rosa Parks, and then one fool even saying that if African's had the right to bear arms there would not have been slavery. These are ignorant people with a racist core. "Red" Nugent could never be a Rosa Parks because what he doesn't know is that she left her guns at home and faced guns and a bigoted group of Nugents without nare bullett. He could never do what she did, because it didn't take guns which her family had plenty, it took something that's missing from the NRA, the GOP and something that Bigots, and racists just dont have... COURAGE! Assult weapons are for War and anyone that feels the need for one in cilvilian life is a COWARD

    January 16, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  10. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    These orders all are within the President's powers and are spot on. Universal backgroud checks should be a no brainer. The action taken on HIPAA is very necessary as well. Gun sellers need to be able to verify whether or not a person is mentally capable of owning a gun and the only way of going about doing that is having access to the person's medical records.

    January 16, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  11. Rudy NYC

    12. Provide law enforcement, first responders, and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations.
    -------------------–
    This will prove to be a disaster. So what happens when a teacher starts spraying bullets because they feared for their life and need to "stand their ground"? Who is going to be held accountable for the friendly fire?

    January 16, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  12. BYRD

    Sorry, the government has no business banning semi-auto firearms
    ..............................................................................................................................................
    The hell they dont..there a ban before so why not again..And I live in upstate new york and work near that maniac shot up the firemen...and I am glad NYS started it first...Before you stout spouting nonsence explain that to the families and loved ones of those firemen that lost their lives...

    January 16, 2013 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  13. ST

    @ Bev
    I have to try to answer your question. Once the law is in place on assault weapons, no one will continue to keep them as it will be illegal.

    January 16, 2013 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  14. Marry

    Someone said: "This is incredible. Thank you, Mr. President! This legislation seems sound, broad and effective. People need to stop thinking of this as a democratic legislation. It's an American legislation for the American people. The interests of ALL went into this, not just the liberals or the conservatives. Amazing. Proud to be an American today."
    I could not agree more!

    January 16, 2013 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  15. otlset

    Gun controls have gradually become more strict and restrictive over the years, yet gun violence has likewise increased over the same time. Any ideas why this is?

    January 16, 2013 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  16. otlset

    Gun controls have gradually become more strict and restrictive over the years, yet gun violence has likewise increased over the same time. Any ideas why this might be?

    January 16, 2013 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  17. GuestAgain

    The IRS cant even leverage federal agencies to determine who is not a citizen before sending out refund checks (to those who dont pay taxes) and we're supposed to believe an added layer of federal administrative incompetence will ensure appropriate back ground checks are conducted....

    January 16, 2013 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  18. Terrie Lynn Bittner

    Rudy NYC–that does not say they are arming schools. It says schools will be trained in how to react to a shooter situation. For instance, lives were saved because someone in Sandy Hook turned on the speakers to the classrooms so teachers were warned. Some teachers hid their students. That's all it says–teach them what to do. It says nothing about giving them guns.

    January 16, 2013 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  19. wwf

    Wow. It is quite evident that Republicans forgot that both Presidents Reagan and Bush favored banning assault guns. Short term memory? Senior moment? Or is it because of a black President. Maybe, just maybe it is because "You can't fix stupid".

    January 16, 2013 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  20. Fedup

    Open your eyes. 1st-The NRA didn't say Obama shouldn't protect his children, what they said was basically that if it's good enough for his kids why isn't it good enough for ours. Answer-his kids are no more important than mine. I will do what is necessary to protect them. Would you yours? Second the whole truth will never be divulged to you by our goverment...no not conspiracy...simply "need to know" Obama's 23 gun laws are baby steps. The real question is what is he leading up to?

    January 16, 2013 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  21. PaulG

    @ BYRD
    The guy was in prison for killing his grandmother with a hammer and they let him out to kill again. A straw purchase, already illegal, allowed for a felon to acquire firearms. This is where the gun owning crowd points when it says enforce existing law. In this case the government of NY failed its' citizens and now they want to punish all because of it.

    January 16, 2013 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  22. Rudy NYC

    Terrie Lynn Bittner wrote:

    Rudy NYC–that does not say they are arming schools. It says schools will be trained in how to react to a shooter situation. For instance, lives were saved because someone in Sandy Hook turned on the speakers to the classrooms so teachers were warned. Some teachers hid their students. That's all it says–teach them what to do. It says nothing about giving them guns.
    -------------------–
    " It says nothing about giving them guns." ???

    Well, I guess that you have not been paying any attention, not at all. I believe the NRA quote, which defined the Republican position on the matter, was this, "The way to stop a bad guy with a gun, is with a good guy with a gun."

    January 16, 2013 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  23. asdrel

    Unless I missed something there is nothing in any of the unilateral executive actions that would outright ban any type of gun currently legal or force anyone to relinguish such weapons. Such actions would require action by Congress, not an executive order.

    January 16, 2013 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  24. Arden Cogar

    Thank you, Mr. President for taking this courageous first step to eliminate unnecessary guns, and gun-related violence, from our culture. Please do not relent in fighting this battle. It is going to be difficult but we, the people, with your guidance and leadership, can prevail.

    January 16, 2013 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  25. Gurgyl

    Entire second amendment is bull. Sheer bs. Pass gun control.

    January 16, 2013 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
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