Summary: Obama’s plan to save America from guns


The White House has announced the changes it believes will help curb gun violence in the US, ranging from gun bans to better mental health services.

The plan revolves around four major objectives:

  1. ensuring every gun buyers undergoes a background check, in order to prevent the wrong people from buying firearms
  2. banning “military-style assault weapons” and high capacity magazines
  3. making schools safer
  4. increasing access to mental health services.

Obama can only make federal laws, and many of those only with congressional support. States have their own jurisdiction over gun law, and many have promised to move against Obama’s efforts where possible.

The following is a summary of the points listed by the White House following President Barack Obama’s announcement that he will making sweeping reforms to change America’s gun laws and try to reduce violence there.

Read the explanations of each point in the complete document.

1. Closing background check loopholes to keep guns out of dangerous hands:

Require background checks for all gun sales

  • Require criminal background checks for all gun sales
  • Call on licensed dealers and private sellers to do their part through executive action

Strengthen the background check system

  • Address unnecessary legal barriers that prevent states from reporting information about those prohibited from having guns
  • Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system
  • Hold federal agencies accountable for sharing reliable information with the background check system
  • Make sure dangerous people are prohibited from having guns

2: Banning military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and taking other common-sense steps to reduce gun violence

Get military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines off the streets

  • Reinstate and strengthen the ban on assault weapons
  • Limit ammunition magazines to 10 rounds
  • Finish the job of getting armour-piercing bullets off the streets

Give l aw enforcement additional tools to prevent and prosecute gun crime

  • Create serious punishments for gun trafficking
  • Help communities across the country keep 15,000 cops on the street
  • Take executive action to enhance tracing data
  • Take executive action to help law enforcement avoid returning guns to the wrong
  • Finally give the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) a confirmed director
  • Eliminate restrictions that force the ATF to authorise importation of dangerous weapons simply because of their age
  • Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime
  • Analyze information on lost and stolen guns and make it widely available to law enforcement
  • Provide effective training for active shooter situations for 14,000 law enforcement officers, first responders, and school officials

End the freeze on gun violence research

  • Conduct research on the causes and prevention of gun violence, including links between video games, media images, and violence
  • Better understand how and when firearms are used in violent death

Preserve the rights of health care providers to protect their patients and communities from gun violence

  • Clarify that no federal law prevents health care providers from warning law enforcement authorities about threats of violence
  • Protect the rights of health care providers to talk to their patients about gun safety

Encour age gun owners to live up to their responsibility to store guns safely

  • Launch a national responsible gun ownership campaign
  • Review and enhance as warranted safety standards for gun locks and gun safes
  • Encourage the development of innovative gun safety technology.

3: Making schools safer

Put up to 1000 more school resource officers and counsellors in schools and help schools invest in safety

  • Take executive action to provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers
  • Put up to 1000 new school resource officers and school counsellors on the job
  • Invest in other strategies to make our schools safer.

Ensure every school has a comprehensive emergency management plan

  • Give schools and other institutions a model for how to develop and implement reliable plans
  • Help schools develop and implement emergency plans.

Create a safer climate at schools across the country

  • Help 8000 schools create safer and more nurturing school climates
  • Share best practices on school discipline.

4: Improving mental health services

Make sure students and young adults get treatment for mental health issues

  • Reach 750,000 young people through programs to identify mental illness early and refer them to treatment: provide “Mental Health First Aid” training for teachers; make sure students with signs of mental illness get referred to treatment
  • Support individuals ages 16 to 25 at high risk for mental illness
  • Help schools address pervasive violence
  • Train more than 5,000 additional mental health professionals to serve students and young adults
  • Launch a national conversation to increase understanding about mental health.

Ensure cover age of mental health treatment

  • Finalize requirements for private health insurance plans to cover mental health services
  • Make sure millions of Americans covered by Medicaid get quality mental health coverage.

The above is a summary of the White House document and is not intended as comment or opinion by Sporting Shooter.


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Mick Matheson

Mick grew up with guns and journalism, and has included both in his career. A life-long hunter, he has long-distant military experience and holds licence categories A, B and H. In the glory days of print media, he edited six national magazines in total, and has written about, photographed and filmed firearms and hunting for more than 15 years.

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