Obama releases plan for gun law changes


Photo courtesy of CNN

Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama host an event at the White House and unveil a package of proposals to reduce gun violence Jan. 16.

Katelynn Mccollough

President Barack Obama released his plan titled, “Now is the Time,” to reduce gun violence and signed 23 executive actions toward the same goal  in a speech on Wednesday.

The plan focuses on four major points. These include: closing background check loopholes for purchasing guns, banning military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, making schools safer, and increasing access to mental health services.

“We can’t put this off any longer,” Obama said as he began to outline the plan, which was created through recommendations by Vice President Joe Biden and Obama’s Cabinet.

The proposed actions will now make there way to Congress.

Steffen Schmidt, professor of political science, believes that Obama will choose to have the plan first introduced in the Democratically-controlled Senate where he will “have a friendlier audience.”

Schmidt said that it “looks a little iffy” on whether or not the proposed plan will make it all the way through Congress.

“The Republicans in the House are not looking to enthusiastic about all of the proposed gun laws,” Schmidt explained.

President Bill Clinton previously signed into law the Federal Assault Weapons Ban in 1994, which banned the civillian use of certain semi-automatic firearms.

The ban was allowed to expire in 2004.

“We can respect the Second Amendment while keeping an irresponsible law-breaking few from inflicting harm on a massive scale,” Obama said in his speech.

Obama finished the speech by signing his 23 executive actions, which have the full force of law.

“Those [executive actions] are perfectly legal and constitutional,” Schmidt said, but explained that a person can choose to sue the federal government if they do not agree with the actions.

The National Rifle Association responded to the proposed plan by saying that they “look forward to working with Congress on a bi-partisan basis to find real solutions to protecting America’s most valuable asset — our children.”

The NRA also stated that “attacking firearms and ignoring children is not a solution to the crisis we face as a nation. Only honest, law-abiding gun owners will be affected and our children will remain vulnerable to the inevitability of more tragedy.”