The Obama administration on Thursday announced two new executive actions on gun control, irritating gun-rights activists in bypassing Congress.
In a statement, the White House slammed Congress for inaction on the issue of gun violence, which has taken a backseat in Washington after a failed, high-profile vote in the Senate in April that would have expanded background checks on gun purchases.
“Even as Congress fails to act on common-sense proposals, like expanding criminal background checks and making gun trafficking a federal crime, the President and Vice President remain committed to using all the tools in their power to make progress toward reducing gun violence,” the White House said.
The first executive action grabbed the most attention, as it attempts to close a loophole that the White House said currently allows felons and others prohibited from obtaining guns to get their hands on dangerous weapons like machine guns and short-barreled shotguns.
As required by law, anyone buying these types of guns must submit to a fingerprint-based background check. The way people get around this is by registering the weapons to a trust or corporation, the White House said. The executive action taken will require anyone buying these guns — including those associated with trusts or corporations — to submit to a background check.
The other executive action announced a new policy of denying requests to bring military-grade firearms back into the United States to private entities.
Obama’s executive actions found him the usual detractors, including the NRA, which blasted both of them in a statement provided to Business Insider.
“The Obama administration has once again completely missed the mark when it comes to stopping violent crime. Requiring background checks for corporations and trusts does not keep firearms out of the hands of criminals,” spokesman Andrew Arulanandam said.
“Prohibiting the re-importation of firearms into the U.S. that were manufactured 50 or more years ago does not keep firearms out of the hands of criminals. This administration should get serious about prosecuting violent criminals who misuse guns and stop focusing its efforts on law-abiding gun owners.”
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