Obama’s Plans for Gun Safety


Gun control

Shannon Mccarty

President Barack Obama has decided to take executive action to enforce gun control.

After 26 people — 20 of which were children — were killed in the Sandy Hook shooting in 2013, Obama tried and failed to pass gun control legislation through Congress.

Obama is taking the issue into his own hands by ordering executive action to enforce common-sense gun laws primarily focused on background checks.

On Jan. 5, Obama gave a speech to a room full of gun violence survivors, announcing his choice to take executive action.

“In Dr. King’s words, we need to feel the ‘fierce urgency of now,’ because people are dying,” Obama said.

The plan has four major parts with Obama’s focus remaining on keeping guns out of the wrong hands through background checks.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) will require all mediums of business, including Internet sites, to acquire a license and perform background checks.

The FBI is in the process of making the background check system more effective and efficient, which will include the FBI adding 230 new examiners to help process the background checks.

To make sure communities are safe and gun laws are being enforced, Obama has budgeted for 200 new ATF agents and investigators.

The ATF has also formed the Internet Investigation Center to track illegal online firearm trafficking as well as allocating $4 million to strengthen the National Integrated Ballistics Information Network.

The ATF is in the final steps of making it required that dealers who experience lost or stolen guns during shipment must notify law enforcement.

Obama’s plan responds to the concern of mental health by outlining ways to increase mental health treatment, and having those records part of the background check system.

The White House has proposed $500 million be invested to increase easier access to mental health care; the Social Security Administration will make it so the background check process will include this information.

The Department of Health and Human Services will make it legal for states to report information about those mentally ill people who are prohibited from possessing a gun.

Obama’s final goal in his plan is to improve the safety technology of future firearms.

Obama said in his speech that the technology that uses fingerprints to open an iPhone should also be used for gun safety.

The Departments of Defense, Justice and Homeland Security have been directed by Obama to conduct or sponsor research into gun safety technology and find ways to further the use and development of smart gun technology.

All of the information used in this article was received from the White House Press Office.