“I will put everything I’ve got into this and so will Joe [Biden]. But I tell you, the only way we can change is if the American people demand it,” said Obama. “We are going to need voices in those areas and congressional districts where the tradition of gun ownership is strong.”
“It can’t just be the usual suspects,” he continued. “This will not happen unless the American people demand it.”
Let me emphasize that central line again: ……”We are going to need voices in those areas and congressional districts where the traditions of gun ownership is strong“….. FUNDAMENTAL CHANGE !
(excerpt from Huffpo) […] The proposal, which comes at the end of a month-long review process spearheaded by Vice President Joe Biden, is broken down into four key subsections: law enforcement, the availability of dangerous firearms and ammunition, school safety and mental health.
In an effort to touch on all four of those elements, the president recommended:
- requiring criminal background checks for all gun sales (a national registry)
- reinstating the assault weapons ban (under the new definition for assault weapons where all semi-automatics are considered “assault – See Fienstein Bill)
- restoring a 10-round limit on ammunition magazines
- eliminating armor-piercing bullets (also caliber restrictions)
- providing mental health services in schools (and required reporting)
- allocating funds to hire more police officers (federal)
- and instituting a federal gun trafficking statute, among other policies.
The cost of the package, senior officials estimated, would be roughly $500 million, some of which could come from already budgeted funds. Because these recommendations require congressional approval, the administration is supplementing its proposal with 23 executive actions that will be taken immediately.
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 Commission).
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.
19. Develop model emergency response plans for schools, houses of worship and institutions of higher education.
20. Release a letter to state health officials clarifying the scope of mental health services that Medicaid plans must cover.
21. Finalize regulations clarifying essential health benefits and parity requirements within ACA exchanges.
22. Commit to finalizing mental health parity regulations.
23. Launch a national dialogue led by Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan on mental health. (link)
Yes, this is the actual picture, “The Optic”, from today, that Obama wanted to portray.
“I intend to use whatever weight this office holds to make them a reality,” said the president, speaking about his full set of recommendations. “If there’s even one life that can be saved, then we’ve got an obligation to try.”
The approach is so sweeping that what would have otherwise been a headline-grabbing announcement received second billing. The president on Wednesday will nominate Byron Todd Jones, the acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, to take over the post permanently.
In total, the proposal goes beyond what most gun control advocates were hoping for at the start of Biden’s review process, during which he held 22 different meetings with 229 different organizations and 31 elected officials.
“This is a monumental moment. It’s a long time coming and we’re thrilled the president’s putting the full weight of his office behind this,” said Josh Horowitz, executive director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. “We’re ready to push this thing through.”
But putting together ideas is the easy part. Selling them on the Hill will take a bit of legislative craft. (read more)