President Obama made gun control and anti-gun violence legislation such a priority that the White House has created a special section on the whitehouse.gov website dedicated to the issue.
Below, you will see what the President proposes. The text below comes from the WhiteHouse.gov website. The President’s top priority is:
- “Require background checks for all gun sales”
“The single most important thing we can do to prevent gun violence and mass shootings is to make sure those who would commit acts of violence cannot get access to guns. Right now, federally licensed firearms dealers are required to run background checks on those buying guns, but studies estimate that nearly 40 percent of all gun sales are made by private sellers who are exempt from this requirement. A national survey of inmates found that only 12 percent of those who used a handgun in a crime acquired it from a retail store or pawn shop, where a background check should have been run. ““Congress should pass legislation that goes beyond closing the “gun show loophole” to require background checks for all firearm sales, with limited, common-sense exceptions for cases like certain transfers between family members and temporary transfers for hunting and sporting purposes.”
The President also proposed:
- Strengthen the background check system for gun sales: The background check system is highly efficient and effective; during its 14 years in existence, the system has helped keep more than 1.5 million guns out of the wrong hands. But we must do a better job ensuring the background check system has access to complete data about potentially dangerous individuals.For example, although the number of mental health records available to the system has increased by 800 percent since 2004, a recent report by the Government Accountability Office found that there are still 17 states that have made fewer than 10 mental health records available to the background check system. We need to make sure states and federal agencies are making available reliable information on those prohibited from having guns to the background check system.
- Pass a new, stronger ban on assault weapons: The shooters in Aurora and Newtown used the type of semiautomatic rifles that were the target of the assault weapons ban that was in place from 1994 to 2004. That ban was an important step, but manufacturers were able to circumvent the prohibition with cosmetic modifications to their weapons. Congress must reinstate and strengthen the prohibition on assault weapons.
- Limit ammunition magazines to 10 rounds: The case for prohibiting high-capacity magazines has been proven over and over; the shooters at Virginia Tech, Tucson, Aurora, Oak Creek, and Newtown all used magazines holding more than 10 rounds, which would have been prohibited under the 1994 law. These magazines enable any semiautomatic weapon to be used as an instrument of mass violence, yet they are once again legal and now come standard with many handguns and rifles. Congress needs to reinstate the prohibition on magazines holding more than 10 rounds.
- Finish the job of getting armor-piercing bullets off the streets: It is already illegal to manufacture and import armor-piercing ammunition except for military or law enforcement use. But it is generally still not illegal to possess or transfer this dangerous ammunition. Congress should finish the job of protecting law enforcement and the public by banning the possession of armor-piercing ammunition by, and its transfer to, anyone other than the military and law enforcement.
- Give law enforcement additional tools to prevent and prosecute gun crime: crime In order to prevent and respond to gun violence, we must give law enforcement every tool they need to keep us safe. That includes passing stronger laws to stop those who would put guns into the hands of criminals, keeping 15,000 cops on the street, and eliminating restrictions that keep federal law enforcement from doing its job.
- End the freeze on gun violence research: There are approximately 30,000 firearm-related homicides and suicides a year, a number large enough to make clear this is a public health crisis. But for years, the Centers for Disease Control and other scientific agencies have been barred by Congress from using funds to “advocate or promote gun control,” and some members of Congress have claimed this prohibition also bans the CDC from conducting any research on the causes of gun violence. However, research on gun violence is not advocacy. The President is directing the CDC and other research agencies to conduct research into the causes and prevention of gun violence, and the CDC is announcing that they will begin this research.
- Make our schools safer with new resource officers and counselors, better emergency response plans, and more nurturing school climates: The Administration is calling on Congress to help schools hire up to 1,000 more school resource officers, school psychologists, social workers, and counselors, as well as make other investments in school safety. We also need to make sure every school has a comprehensive emergency management plan so they are prepared to respond to situations like mass shootings. In addition, the Administration is proposing to help 8,000 schools put in place proven strategies to prevent violence and improve school climate by reducing bullying, drug abuse, violence, and other problem behaviors.
- Ensure quality coverage of mental health treatment, particularly for young people: Though the vast majority of Americans with a mental illness are not violent, we need to do more to identify mental health issues early and help individuals get the treatment they need before dangerous situations develop. As President Obama has said, “We are going to need to work on making access to mental health care as easy as access to a gun.” The Administration is proposing steps to identify mental health issues early and help individuals get the treatment they need before these dangerous situations develop.