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Obama Taking Action Over U.S. Gun Laws, Bypassing Congress

  • by: Jeremy Smith
  • (Tue, 05 Jan 2016 01:41:39 Z)

Obama to announce stronger background checks on buyers of firearms in US, in measures to address gun violence

The plans will be announced on Tuesday by the president, despite opposition from Congress to new gun laws. All sellers who operate online or at gun shows will be forced to conduct background checks on potential buyers. Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul said he would fight the executive actions "tooth and nail".

But Mr Obama says his new measures will be within his legal authority and consistent with the Second Amendment, which grants Americans the right to bear arms. And while they will not solve every violent crime in the US, he said they will potentially "save lives and spare families the pain" of loss.

Under the 10-point plan announced on Monday evening by the White House:

  • All sellers must be licensed and conduct background checks
  • States must provide information on people disqualified due to mental illness or domestic violence
  • FBI to increase workforce processing background checks by 50%, hiring more than 230 new examiners
  • Congress will be asked to invest $500m (£339m) to address mental healthcare issues

The president was speaking after hearing recommendations from Attorney General Loretta Lynch, FBI Director James Comey and other top law enforcement officials.