Biden to tout administration success on gun violence
June 18th, 2013
06:00 AM ET
1 year ago

Biden to tout administration success on gun violence

(CNN) – Weeks after the mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, last December, President Barack Obama issued 23 directives aimed at curbing the threat of gun violence.

At an event on Tuesday in Washington, Vice President Joe Biden will unveil a progress report that the administration says shows it is on its way to meeting nearly all of the goals from that effort.

The report shows that the administration has "completed or made significant progress" on 21 of the 23 Executive Actions signed by Obama in January.

The mostly administrative steps span several federal agencies and the majority require no approval from Congress, where legislation backed by Obama that proposed stricter gun limits stalled this spring.

For instance, the report touts action taken by the Health and Human Services Department to begin the process of reviewing healthcare privacy laws for any barriers preventing from reporting information about people with health problems that might prohibit them from purchasing guns.

The Justice Department proposed a new rule that would allow law enforcement to run full federal background checks on the owners of guns seized as part of an investigation.

Officers currently are required to return seized firearms, but they are prohibited from running background checks on owners.

In an effort to spur new research on the causes of gun violence, the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council issued a report this month recommending the pressing research questions.

Obama is calling on Congress to provide $10 million to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to conduct gun violence research, an area that has been stalled in recent years due to its political implications.

On a conference call previewing Biden's remarks, a senior administration official said the report represents "significant progress," but the administration continues to hold discussions with members of Congress in the hopes of getting legislation passed.

"These unilateral executive actions are in no way a replacement for concrete legislative action, which is why we're engaged in so many conversations with members of Congress, why we're engaged in trying to strengthen the political dynamics of the situation where we can actually have legislation that will tighten and strengthen background checks," the official said.

Of the two Executive Actions the administration has failed to follow through on, the report predicts one will be fulfilled by the end of the year while the other is held up by congressional inaction.

As part of implementing the healthcare law championed by Obama, the report says HHS will finalize regulations later this year detailing how certain existing group health plans must cover mental health benefits, fulfilling the president's directive.

The last unfinished action may be a bit more difficult.

On the same day he rolled out his plans to reduce gun violence, the president also announced his plans to nominate B. Todd Jones to serve as the permanent director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

"Congress needs to help, rather than hinder, law enforcement as it does its job," Obama said in January. "We should get tougher on people who buy guns with the express purpose of turning around and selling them to criminals. And we should severely punish anybody who helps them do this. Since Congress hasn't confirmed a director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms in six years, they should confirm Todd Jones, who will be - who has been Acting, and I will be nominating for the post."

Five months after his nomination was announced, Jones sat down for a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. It has yet to vote on the nomination.


Filed under: Gun control • Joe Biden
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. John

    23 directives and no hope or change related to gun violence. Typical from this administration

    June 18, 2013 06:26 am at 6:26 am |
  2. Marie MD

    Keep up the fight. The nra rabid bunch will be defeated at some point.

    June 18, 2013 06:31 am at 6:31 am |
  3. Gurgyl

    This nation needs Gun-Ban Laws. Pass universally and then talk. Hats off to NY, CT etc.,

    June 18, 2013 07:07 am at 7:07 am |
  4. dfb69

    And I quote from Uncle Joe himself “Nothing we’re going to do is going to fundamentally alter or eliminate the possibility of another mass shooting or guarantee that we will bring gun deaths down to a thousand a year from what we’re at now,”

    He is a walking gaff machine

    June 18, 2013 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  5. Dar

    For instance, the report touts action taken by the Health and Human Services Department to begin the process of reviewing healthcare privacy laws for any barriers preventing from reporting information about people with health problems that might prohibit them from purchasing guns

    Hummmm, so a person was once put in a psychiatric ward for hormone problems that made them feel scared and confused. The doctors treated that person and all is well now and has been for years.
    Now they want to go hunting but cant because they were once in a nut house and cant buy a gun. Far to many variables in these executive orders that will be used against the American people. It is the Obama way!

    June 18, 2013 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  6. bigdoglv

    Yeah Joe, these things were put in motion, but the problem was never addressed. This has been all about political opportunity and not about public safety.

    June 18, 2013 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  7. johnp40

    Nobody cares. Nobody is listening to Biden,

    June 18, 2013 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  8. PaulG

    Dem gun control is a failed model and will continue to be rejected by free Americans.

    June 18, 2013 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  9. Animal

    Why is the CDC getting money to study gun violence? Gun violence is a law enforcement issue. Research is done to answer a question. What is the question that the CDC is supposed to answer?

    June 18, 2013 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  10. Borderless

    "No progress."

    Should be a fairly short speech, Biden. Thanks for nothing.

    June 18, 2013 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  11. Puke

    Really! What is he going to report on, his gun colelction?

    June 18, 2013 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  12. Guygyl

    CNN do not be idiot in 21st century–publish all. Nation needs gun-ban laws. Hats off to NY, CT etc,.

    June 18, 2013 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  13. Kevin B

    What questions has Joe been asked about the IRS, Bengahzi, and NSA wiretapping scandals? Anything? Are there any journalist left in America?

    June 18, 2013 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  14. JW

    Yet another grab for our rights. Notice in this " reporting information about people with health problems that might prohibit"Well people, if you have cancer you MIGHT not feel you have much to live for so you pick up a gun. It's very similar to the way our Government did the surveillance thing. First let's call corporations "individuals" that way we can write a subpoena to confiscate all the "individuals" documents and monitor ALL that "individuals" phone call. The Government is getting tricky to usurp the Constitution. Open your eyes before it's too late!

    June 18, 2013 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  15. JW

    Well people, if you have cancer you MIGHT not feel you have much to live for so you pick up a gun. It's very similar to the way our Government did the surveillance thing. First let's call corporations "individuals" that way we can write a subpoena to confiscate all the "individuals" documents and monitor ALL that "individuals" phone call. The Government is getting tricky to usurp the Constitution. Open your eyes before it's too late!

    June 18, 2013 09:40 am at 9:40 am |