January 16th, 2013
12:30 PM ET
8 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.

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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. Jerubbaal

    So what has the dictator in chief, according to the right wingnuts, actually dictated: a logical, common sense approach towards the right to bear arms that does not infringe on 2nd amendmemt rights. By the way states do infringe on the right to bear arms. In certain states it is illegal to carry switchblade and bowie knives.

    January 16, 2013 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  2. Lilli

    What's up with all the GUNS? Is our country that unsafe that we need to arm every citizen?? And for the crazies who think that they're stocking guns to defend themselves from the government....pleez...that's beyond crazy!! shhhhh but if the goverment decides to go after your guns....you will LOSE!!! And not to mention the drones that will be flying over you and around your house waiting for you to try and take on the governement .......LOL

    January 16, 2013 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  3. Fair is Fair


    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...
    There has never – EVER – been a ban on semi-auto weapons. EDUCATE YOUSELF as to exactly what a semi-auto weapon is.

    January 16, 2013 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  4. mo

    Mabe we should restrict the access to automobiles, people with automobile related records are still able to drive, and automobiles have killed way more than guns.

    January 16, 2013 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  5. L

    Nothing wrong with what is stated here – most of it's being done already. A lot does trample on the HIPPA laws so that will need updating. Nothing is said about the bans though.

    To the person putting NRA down about the commercial... a normal liberal reaction. First they were stating Obama's kids are protected by guns, so why aren't all children? Has nothing to do with the NRA stating Obama's kids don't need protection. And all politicians and organizations put up commercial bad mouthing each other.... so I guess it's ok unless a conservative does it? Everyone needs to get over themselves – the 2 parties and 100% different and all they are doing is fighting – they are doing nothing that meets the needs of all US Citizens.

    January 16, 2013 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  6. buck

    ["But to go so far as to make the safety of the president's children the subject of an attack ad is repugnant and cowardly."]

    Yet the White House can exploit children for their press conferences and that is some how righteous and noble?

    January 16, 2013 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  7. Tony

    People who argue that every kid should get the same protection as the president's kids should be prepared to answer this question. If the president and members of congress get government-paid health insurance, why can't every citizen?

    January 16, 2013 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  8. Deer Hunter

    To be honest, I think the executive orders can go a long way towards helping this problem. These are going to need some funding in order to have the best effect. Lets see if Congress can now get off their dead butts and get something done. I'm a responsible gun owner, and I have zero interest in AR15's and high capacity magazines. I've even had a few hunting days spoiled by idiots who chose to spend all day burning up ammunition just for kicks. I think it's unfortunate that we have to have this ongoing debate that really takes the attention away from those poor souls whose lives were stolen by a menatlly ill gun slinger. What Adam lanza did was monstrous, but I think we are barking up the wrong tree when we settle for demonizing him. Let the CDC do their research into our culture including entertainment, and psychotropic drugs. Do I care if my Dr. asks me if I own guns? Not really. The Gov should already know I do since I buy a rifle hunting license every year.

    January 16, 2013 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  9. Alberto Aponte

    Thank you Mr President.

    January 16, 2013 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  10. CBP

    Where have all these people been. Are they totally unaware of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School? Children were killed and it is time to make sure that our laws protect all of us. The statements by some NRA leaders have caused an angry response. It is time for those members who can speak about the subject in a reasonable manner to step forward. Nothing can be accomplished until both sides sit down and work out solutions. The leadership at his time is not capable of doing that.

    The NRA statement about the protection of the President's children is a misleading commercial. The protection of the president's daughters is not the issue here. The issue is protecting all of our children and that is what Congress needs to do. This commercial just muddies an already difficult situation.

    January 16, 2013 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  11. Dar

    > 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.

    Not true. Research your facts before you post so you don't look so stupid.

    January 16, 2013 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  12. ST

    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?
    The main reason is: different states with different controls. A lot of guns find their way out to other places. If there was a universal control all over the country, violence could have been lowered much down, if not stopped completely.

    January 16, 2013 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  13. Harvey Tabasky

    The blood of future gun violence victims will be on the hands of Justices Scalia, Roberts, Thomas, Kennedy, and Alito, and those of the NRA. There is no inherent right to carry a concealed weapon, an automatic weapon, a multi-shot magazine, written into the Second Amendment. There is a right to keep and bear arms. If you want to own a gun, keep it in your house, locked up, so you can defend yourself and your property if threatened. Tht's it. If Congress was really serious about gun control, they'd ban all automatic and semi-automatic weapons except for police and military, have a buyback program, and anyone caught with one would face a mandatory 25 to 40 year sentence in federal prison with no chance of parole.

    January 16, 2013 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  14. Sniffit

    "First they were stating Obama's kids are protected by guns, so why aren't all children?"

    Because "all children" are not prime potential targets for people who would want to "get at" the POTUS.

    January 16, 2013 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  15. Donna

    These would more accurately be called Executive Drivel. Nothing but a bunch of baloney. None of this would have made any difference in the Newtown shooting. Nothing but Obama using a tragedy for political gain.

    Did the press ask Obama why Chicago has the worse gun violence along with some of the most strict gun control laws in the country? Oh yeah, that would have undermined the entire baloney show.

    January 16, 2013 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  16. The Other Dale

    Children that themselves wrote to the President to ask for change? Yes, that is righeous and noble. Thanks for pointing that out. The NRA position that a president's children should be openly targeted by people with guns? No, that's pretty desperate and ugly.

    January 16, 2013 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  17. Marty, FL

    President Obama's proposals are reasonable and supported by the majority in America.

    It is past time to enact policies to help reduce gun violence in our country.

    January 16, 2013 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  18. Lynn

    These sound like resonable suggestions. Now lets not let this pull all our attention away from the fact that the President should be #1 focused on what spending can be cut from our budget. We don't need another distraction to the real tough job that needs to be addressed

    January 16, 2013 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  19. Tom Durchill

    The main reason is: different states with different controls. A lot of guns find their way out to other places. If there was a universal control all over the country, violence could have been lowered much down, if not stopped completely.
    Stopped completely huh? What is the color of the sky on your planet? You have no idea what you're talking about.

    January 16, 2013 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    "Rudy NYC–that does not say they are arming schools. It says schools will be trained in how to react to a shooter situation. "

    Actually, it says he will be creating an incentive for schools to use officers via this year's COPS program. It's very much like a program Clinton had going that Bush got rid of, which had these officers functioning primarily like guidance counselors but also capable of addressing a shooting or other violent crisis. It was defunded massively under Bush and eventually wiped out by the GOP in the 2006 budget over Dem objections.

    January 16, 2013 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  21. Where are America's rights

    I am not opposed to gun control. What I am opposed to is how the President made an executive order about it rather than going through congress to pass these laws. There is a reason we have a republic and not a king as a ruler.

    January 16, 2013 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  22. Sniffit

    ""Rudy NYC–that does not say they are arming schools. It says schools will be trained in how to react to a shooter situation. "

    Actually, it says he will be creating an incentive for schools to use officers via this year's COPS program..... It was defunded massively under Bush and eventually wiped out by the GOP in the 2006 budget over Dem objections."

    And, please let me just note: this is world's apart from the NRA's idiotic suggestion that the answer is "armed volunteers in our schools." Not only would the officers Obama is referring to be fully trained public police officers, but the effort is made part of, not instead of, a comprehesive program to better regulate and enhance gun safety via all sorts fo different efforts. The NRA's suggestion would have had us sticking some volunteer gun nut with dreams of heroically saving the childrens and proving that guns are the answer into our schools as the alternative to any other gun safety regulations or measures that we should be exploring.

    January 16, 2013 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  23. kayla

    and the hate keeps on,

    January 16, 2013 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  24. otlset

    It's true, guns are becoming increasingly more violent, and should be even more restricted on a federal level before they start shooting at anyone who gets near!

    January 16, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  25. amf140

    Does his "gun legislation" prevent our government from selling assault rifles to the Mexican drug cartels? That really worked out really well. The hypocracy is so thick with this administration, it's a wonder the White House doesn't float into the Potomac River.

    January 16, 2013 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
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