Friday, 08 July 2011

President Prepares to Unveil New Gun Safety Rules

Written by 

The Obama administration is in the process of preparing gun safety measures, just six months after Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot. The proposal is expected to anger both gun advocates and gun opponents, the latter of whom will likely assert that the measures are not bold enough.

The White House has been unspecific about the details, but according to White House spokesman Jay Carney (left), the new safety rules will be made public “in the near future.”

The Blaze explains, “What is proposed is not expected to involve legislation or take on major issues, like banning assault weapons, but could include executive action to strengthen the background check system or other steps.”

Carney said on Thursday,

The president directed the attorney general to form working groups with key stakeholders to identify common-sense measures that would improve American safety and security while fully respecting Second Amendment rights. That process is well under way at the Department of Justice, with stakeholders on all sides working through these complex issues, and we expect to have some more specific announcements in the near future.

The measure is sure to please anti-gun groups, at least to an extent, as they have criticized the Obama administration for not taking stringent enough actions against guns and their owners. Many predicted that the Democrats would use the six-month anniversary shooting of Representative Giffords and six other people in Tucson, Arizona, as an opportunity to push further gun controls.

Two months after the shooting, President Obama wrote an editorial in Giffords’ local paper, the Arizona Daily Star, calling for “sound and effective steps” to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. One measure supported in the editorial involved stricter background checks. A portion of the editorial reads:

Most gun-control advocates know that most gun owners are responsible citizens. Most gun owners know that the word “commonsense” isn’t a code word for “confiscation.” And none of us should be willing to remain passive in the face of violence or resigned to watching helplessly as another rampage unfolds on television.

Anti-gun groups were angered, however, that no such measures were taken by the administration following the shooting. As much of Congress consists of pro-gun advocates, there seemed to be little hope for anti-gun groups.

The Blaze acknowledges the difficulties plaguing the Obama administration in an effort to propose any sort of gun control:

If he moves too far to the left, he risks launching an intense Second Amendment debate. However, if he simply ignores his former proclamations he faces alienating gun rights advocates.

Likewise, Fox News observes:

What remains unclear is just how far out on a limb the president is willing to go on gun control. If he goes too far, the Second Amendment debate could reach great heights as the president battles for his re-election. If he doesn’t go far enough, some in his base may view him as weak on gun laws.

Representative Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) has been a leading opponent to any measures that increase gun control, particularly in the wake of the Project Gunrunner scandal associated with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

During an appearance on Fox News, Issa remarked on both the Bush and Obama administrations’ handling of gun laws:

Under President George W. Bush, U.S. attorneys were even fired for not enforcing guns laws strictly enough. [Under President Obama] there seems to be a ‘don’t bother to enforce at all’ policy, so that disturbs us — that there’s less gun enforcement about illegal gun transactions under an administration that theoretically is more for gun control, and George W. Bush went out of his way to try to help the Mexicans by having a zero tolerance to illegal guns sales that could end up in Mexico.

Though the specifics of the new gun safety measures have not yet been revealed, a number of pro-gun control groups have already praised the administration for its efforts.

Mark Glaze, director of the group Mayors Against Illegal Guns, said, “To prevent the next Tucson, we need a comprehensive background check system, which is what the president called for in April. That said, there are many steps the president can take on his own authority, without new laws, that could make a very real difference.”

The group has recommended enforcing reporting laws, which they contend may have stopped the Tucson shooter from acquiring a weapon.

Please review our Comment Policy before posting a comment

Affiliates and Friends

Social Media