Obama unveils gun violence measures, $500 million package of executive actions and legislative proposals
Wed, 16 Jan 2013 17:43:55 GMT — President Barack Obama is announcing a $500 million package of executive actions and legislative proposals aimed at reducing gun violence a month after a mass shooting in Connecticut killed 20 elementary school children.The package includes a call on Congress to ban military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazine and it would close loopholes in the gun sale background check system.Obama also is signing 23 executive actions - which require no congressional approval - including several aimed at improving access to data for background checks. A presidential memorandum will instruct the Centers for Disease Control to research causes and prevention of gun violence.The executive actions are part of an overarching package assembled by a task force led by Vice President Joe Biden. The measures come a month after the mass shooting in Newtown, Ct., that killed 20 elementary school children.Obama is directing the Centers for Disease Control to research gun violence and is seeking rules to ensure that law enforcement conducts background checks before returning seized firearms. Obama is asking Congress to expand background checks on gun buyers to include private sales and is using his executive authority to increase the information available in data banks in the background check system. The White House calls background checks the most efficient and effective way to keep guns away from dangerous individuals. Obama wants Congress to close loopholes that permit private gun transactions to occur without background checks. The White House says nearly 40 percent of gun sales are conducted by private individuals now exempt from checking the backgrounds of buyers. Obama is also ordering federal agencies to make "relevant data" available to the federal background check system and to remove barriers that might prevent states from providing information, particularly mental health data, for background checks. In addition, Obama will nominate Todd Jones as director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Jones currently is the acting director of the agency. On Tuesday, New York became the first state to pass sticker gun laws after the Newtown massacre. The law calls for a tougher assault weapons ban and provisions to try to keep guns away from mentally ill people who make threats.
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