8 Things You Need to Know About POTUS’ Gun Control Executive Actions

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Throughout his presidency, President Obama has given several speeches to the American public on gun control. But each speech seemingly echoes the former–another senseless tragedy occurred and we as a nation need to do something about it.

Therefore without immediate action, his calls for stricter background checks and support from Congress often fall on deaf ears, making the need for a new strategy extremely evident. That’s why on Tuesday Obama revealed a new plan to combat continued gun deaths–one that sidesteps Congress by leveraging his executive authority.

In the East Room of the White House and surrounded by gun control advocates and gun violence survivors, Obama unveiled a new list of measures intended to progress his gun safety agenda. Here are the eight thing you need to know:

1.) Gun sellers must have a license

One of the biggest things to come out of Obama’s speech is that any individual in the business of selling guns must register as a licensed gun dealer. This requirement would effectively help close a current “gun show loophole,” which allows private sellers who consider themselves to be “hobbyists” to operate off the books. So regardless of whether you sell one gun, or 100 guns, you will have to register.

2.) Expanded background checks

A big concern for most gun safety advocates is the outdated guidelines for background checks used on prospective gun owners. Obama attempted to rectify this with with his expansion of the “gun dealer” definition. Background checks are already required by federal law for firearm purchases, but by making all gun sellers register as gun dealers, those who avoided previous checks under the loophole will no longer be exempt.

3.) He wants to beef up enforcements

If you were wondering how POTUS plans to compel people to register, the answer is in the form of a couple hundred reinforcements. Obama is asking Congress for funding to hire 200 new investigators and agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to help carry out new and existing gun laws.

4.) $500 million for Health Care

The president is also proposing a $500 million investment to increase access to mental health care and mental health information for overseeing background checks. He plans to work with the Department of Health and Human Services to make it easier to convey to states the people prohibited from possessing a gun for specific mental health reasons. There will also be new guidelines added to the background checks that should catch individuals who have disqualifying mental health issues.

5.) Researching Smarter Gun Technology

During his speech, Obama asked the crowd why is it that we can use fingerprints to unlock our phones, but the same technology isn’t used for guns. With accidental firearm injuries and deaths in the “tens of thousands,” developing better gun technology a priority for the administration. Therefore the president is asking for an increase in research and development efforts into “ideas for improving gun safety and the tracing of lost or stolen guns.”

6.) Call for bipartisan support

As always, the president called for support from both Democrats and Republicans, especially those in Congress, to help reevaluate the nation’s gun laws. Unfortunately Republicans are already threatening a budget showdown over the actions, so bipartisanship doesn’t seem likely.

7.) Hillary and Bernie are in

Both Democratic presidential hopefuls took to Twitter to commend Obama on his actions and lend their support. Hillary even vowed to continue to carry the torch if elected and pursue more gun control initiatives.

8.) Obama got emotional

Probably the most impactful part of the speech was a new level of emotion seen from the president as he visibly teared up when talking about the young children shot to death in 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

Some Fox News analysts are already calling the tears staged, but for those of us with a heart, the tears certainly signify a turning point for the president.

Alexis Evans
Alexis Evans is an Assistant Editor at Law Street and a Buckeye State native. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and a minor in Business from Ohio University. Contact Alexis at



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