President Barack Obama’s bid to assert himself in his final year will begin with long-awaited executive actions on gun control which are expected to be released next week, shortly after he returns to Washington.
The White House is putting finishing touches on several measures in an effort to make progress on curbing gun violence, an issue the president and close aides have found frustratingly intractable, before the race to replace him enters prime time.
Story Continued Below
According to gun industry insiders and others familiar with the proposals, the changes include requiring an expanded number of small-scale gun sellers to be licensed—and therefore conduct background checks—whenever selling a weapon. This wouldn’t close the so-called gun show loophole, though it has the potential to narrow it.
The administration is also expected to impose tighter rules for reporting guns that get lost or stolen on their way to a buyer.
Neither comes close to the stronger gun control measures Obama sought in the wake of the 2012 mass shooting of schoolchildren in Sandy Hook and that he has said he still wants. But with Congress unlikely to approve any new gun curbs before the 2016 election, the measures are in line with what gun control advocates were hoping for before Obama leaves office.
Obama sets trade mission to Germany
By NICK GASS
As with every aspect of the president’s final year, the decisions about the gun actions are being made with a sense of limited time and the 2016 political calendar. Obama will be returning from his Hawaii vacation eager to make a splash; giving an earlier-than-normal State of the Union address on Jan. 12 is central to that strategy. But with the Iowa caucuses taking place on Feb. 1, Obama will have only a short window to act before the primary melee begins to crowd out other political news.
The background check change has been anticipated for months. Obama will tighten the definition of what it means to be “engaged in the business” of firearms sales. Currently, the law says people who sell guns with the “principal objective of livelihood and profit” have to get a dealer’s license through the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives — and therefore conduct a background check on buyers no matter where they sell, including online or at a gun show.
It’s unclear whether a lot more dealers would line up for licenses. But gun control advocates say a better definition would make it much easier to prosecute the sellers who should, but don’t. Only about half of the people who are tried for selling guns without a license are convicted by juries, according to a report from Everytown, the pro-gun control group led by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
In an interview, Everytown officials couldn’t confirm whether the White House was heeding their advice. But, said legal director Liz Avore, “any kind of clarification would be beneficial in this context because right now most sellers and prosecutors are kind of flying blind.”
It’s not clear if Obama has settled on final language yet. But as one of the major proponents of a change, Everytown has recommended adding several factors to the definition—including selling guns in their original packaging, reselling a gun shortly after acquiring it, maintaining a certain quantity of guns for sale or selling more than 25 guns a year — as possible signals that someone needs a license.
House intel committee looks into eavesdropping on Congress
By NOLAN D. MCCASKILL and NAHAL TOOSI
A top gun industry executive defended the current definition, sayin
Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2015/12/obama-guns-gun-control-217234#ixzz3vumEd5G9