resident Obama is well aware that he faces one of the biggest battles of his White House tenure in taking up the gun control issue, but on Tuesday, he exercised his executive authority and moved to restrict sales of certain kinds of firearms. We already know what his opponents are saying: Second Amendment encroachment, overreach of executive powers and so forth. The Washington Post provided details of Obama’s plan shortly after his announcement:
In an emotional speech, the president said his decision to exercise his executive authority — which has infuriated many Republicans and thrust the issue into this year’s presidential debate — was an effort to prevent further violence and bring the country together on a divisive issue. [...] The package, which Obama presented in the East Room of the White House, includes 10 provisions, White House officials said. One key provision would require more gun sellers — especially those who do business on the Internet and at gun shows — to be licensed and would force them to conduct background checks on potential buyers. Obama would devote $500 million more in federal funding to treating mental illness — a move that could require congressional approval — and require that firearms lost in transit between a manufacturer and a seller be reported to federal authorities. At the president’s direction, the FBI will begin hiring more than 230 additional examiners and other personnel to help process background checks 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Also, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has established a new center to investigate illegal gun trafficking online and will devote $4 million and additional personnel to enhance the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network.
On Monday evening, the president previewed his announcement with a flurry of tweets, one of which declared: “What’s often ignored in this debate is that a majority of gun owners agree with commonsense steps to save lives.” Here’s his last post in that series:
Watch the video here (via NBC News).