No, President Obama isn’t taking away anyone’s guns. But he is making it harder to get one without going through a background check.
On Monday, President Barack Obama met with Attorney General Loretta Lynch to discuss possible ways to bring about gun control without the need of congressional approval. The approach that President Obama looks to take is in the form of an executive order – a rule proposed by the president that does not need congressional approval – that would bring about stricter gun control standards. What does the executive order exactly cover? Here’s our 10-Point Expert on President Obama’s executive order on gun control.
Point 1: Some important primer before diving head first into President Obama’s executive order, the core idea of the federal background check has been to eliminate three individuals from attaining fire arms; those with criminal backgrounds, those who are underage, and those who are mentally ill. The basic backbone of the executive order is to strengthen the federal background check program.
Point 2: At its most basic idea, the executive order revolves around narrowing who can actually sell guns without a federal license through an increase emphasis on background checks. Specifically with the executive order, President Obama wants to hurt for-profit gun dealers who participate in lax background checks. The executive order wants this to be a common conversation at gun shops.
Point 3: The Obama administration has specifically stated that they would not attend to target gun collectors or those who sell locally to friends and family. It’s an important point because many gun rights activists have aired concerns that President Obama’s executive order would do just that.
Point 4: Due to the rise in gun sales over time, a big part of the executive order would be to increase the current staff at the FBI to perform more background checks. The number that is being thrown out there is over 200 new hires, which would be a 50% increase of the current staff.
Point 5: Another way that President Obama hopes to strengthen background checks is by closing various loop holes in which individuals can purchase firearms legally without having to go through the background check process. One particular loop hole that the executive order looks to close is that of purchasing a gun through a company or trust without having a background check. Under the executive order, that wouldn’t be the case anymore.
Point 6: For years some states have blocked the FBI from accessing mental health records through state health privacy laws for background check purposes. But not with the new executive order, Department of Health and Human Services will finalize a rule that would now require states to disclose mental health issues for those individuals wanting to purchase a gun.
Point 7: On top of this, initiatives will be put into place for federal agencies to push for more research on the subject of gun ownership and will fund potential projects into finding ways to make guns safer.
Point 8: The National Rifle Association’s (NRA) take on the executive order is quite simple.
— NRA (@NRA) January 5, 2016
Point 9: Groups like the NRA have alluded to the fact that President Obama’s executive order would actually take away guns from people who currently have them. This is absolutely false. While it would make it harder for some individuals to purchase fire arms – due to the additional provisions in federal background checks – but if you own a gun now, no one is going to take it away from you. The only groups that the executive order specifically targets are gun sellers, because with the new provisions they would have more responsibilities in complying with the background check program and the new measures could cost them potential sales.
Point 10: It’s important to realize that there is a fundamental difference between gun rights and gun control activists on gun safety. For gun control activists, they believe President Obama’s executive order would put less guns one the street, thus curbing gun violence. While gun rights activists believe the more guns there are, safer everyone is because it acts as a deterrent for those individuals that look to do harm. So for groups like the NRA, they look at President Obama’s executive order as nothing more than the federal government infringing on their 2nd Amendment rights.
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