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Obama Just Announced The Most Aggressive National Gun Control Agenda In Decades

By Grace Wyler

January 16, 2013 "
Business Insider" --  President Barack Obama and Vice President unveiled expansive new proposals to curtail gun violence Wednesday, setting off what is sure to be a protracted battle with Congress and the powerful gun control lobby.

The agenda is the most ambitious national gun control push in decades.

It includes 23 executive actions that the White House will take unilaterally to curb gun violence, including restarting federal research on gun violence and improving federal background checks. Obama also called on Congress to pass an extensive package of legislative proposals, including universal background checks to pass a new ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. 

For the full list of executive actions, see here. And here's the full list of proposals

The White House agenda the result of recommendations from a month-long task force led by Biden . But Obama acknowledged that his proposals will face a major uphill battle on Capitol Hill, with the Republican-led House of Representatives unlikely to consider any serious measures to limit gun ownership. 

"There will be pundits, politicians and special interest lobbyists warning of a tyrannical, all-out assault on liberty," Obama said. "The only way we can change is if the American people demand it." 

"The most important changes we can make depend on Congressional action," he said. "They need to bring these proposals up for a vote." 

"This is the land of the free and always will be. But with freedom comes responsibility," Obama added. "We don't live in isolation. We live in a society...we are responsible for each other." 

Obama and Biden made the announcement at the White House, accompanied by four children who wrote letters to the President in the wake of last month's elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn. 

Biden started off the press conference with a nod to the victims of that shooting. 

"We all now have a moral obligation to diminish the prospect that something like this can happen again," Biden said. "The world has changed and it is demanding action." 

"We should do as much as we can, as quickly as we can," he added. "And we cannot make the perfect the enemy of the good."

Here Are The 23 Executive Actions That Obama Is Taking Immediately To Reduce Gun Violence

By Joe Weisenthal

Today, the President is announcing that he and the Administration will:

  1. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system.

  2. Address unnecessary legal barriers, particularly relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, that may prevent states from making information available to the background check system.

  3. Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system.

  4. Direct the Attorney General to review categories of individuals prohibited from having a gun to make sure dangerous people are not slipping through the cracks.

  5. Propose rulemaking to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun.

  6. Publish a letter from ATF to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers.

  7. Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign.

  8. Review safety standards for gun locks and gun safes (Consumer Product Safety


  9. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal law enforcement to trace guns

    recovered in criminal investigations.

  10. Release a DOJ report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and make it

    widely available to law enforcement.

  11. Nominate an ATF director.

  12. Provide law enforcement, first responders, and school officials with proper

    training for active shooter situations.

  13. Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime.

  14. Issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to

    research the causes and prevention of gun violence.

  15. Direct the Attorney General to issue a report on the availability and most effective

    use of new gun safety technologies and challenge the private sector to develop

    innovative technologies.

  16. Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients

    about guns in their homes.

  17. Release a letter to health care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits

    them from reporting threats of violence to law enforcement authorities.

  18. Provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers.

  1. Develop model emergency response plans for schools, houses of worship and institutions of higher education.

  2. Release a letter to state health officials clarifying the scope of mental health services that Medicaid plans must cover.

  3. Finalize regulations clarifying essential health benefits and parity requirements within ACA exchanges.

  4. Commit to finalizing mental health parity regulations.

  5. Launch a national dialogue led by Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan on mental health.



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