President Barack Obama reportedly intends to take action on gun control where the U.S. Congress has been unable to act. According to the Associated Press, the president will enact measures to close a legal loophole that allows felons and other criminals to register weapons to companies rather than to themselves and to increase scrutiny of U.S. imports of surplus military weaponry.
Obama added the two proposals to the slate of 23 steps that White House legal experts determined that the president could take to curb gun violence in the U.S. without the authorization of the gridlocked Congress. The announcement came Thursday, four months after a proposed omnibus gun safety bill was voted down in House and Senate.
The administration is proposing a federal rule that would keep convicted felons and others who would not pass a criminal background check from being able to elude detection by registering weapons in the name of a company or trust. The rule would require every person associated with the trust or business to be fingerprinted and background checked as if they were each purchasing and registering guns separately.
The other measure would put into place a ban on surplus U.S. military weapons re-entering the country in the hands of private citizens. Since 2005, an estimated 250,000 military weapons have been sold to outside agencies and brought back into the U.S., where they sometimes end up on the streets being used against civilian police. The rule would make it illegal for anyone other than museums and a few other government agencies to re-import military grade weapons into the country.
Vice President Joe Biden is set to unveil the new measures in the White House Roosevelt Room on Thursday at the swearing-in ceremony for Todd Jones, the new head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
Raw Story is a progressive news site that focuses on stories often ignored in the mainstream media. While giving coverage to the big stories of the day, we also bring our readers' attention to policy, politics, legal and human rights stories that get ignored in an infotainment culture driven solely by pageviews.
Founded in 2004, Raw Story reaches 5 million unique readers per month and serves more than 19 million pageviews.