Obama to bypass Congress on gun control measures

WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Barack Obama moved Monday to require all gun sellers to register as dealers -- even those who sell at gun shows and online -- and to run background checks on all prospective purchasers, aiming to curb a scourge of gun violence despite unyielding opposition to new gun laws in Congress.

See Full Article

The president has been looking for ways to work around a Republican-led Congress that has blocked his previous efforts to tighten gun laws in the wake of mass shootings. Obama has accused Republicans -- and some Democrats -- of being beholden to the powerful gun industry lobby and opposing some measures he says a majority of Americans support, including expanded background checks on gun sales. But the issue of gun control bitterly divides Americans, with many viewing any attempt to regulate firearms as a possible infringement on their constitutional rights to own guns.

"This is not going to solve every violent crime in this country," Obama said. Still, he added, "It will potentially save lives and spare families the pain of these extraordinary losses."

Obama's plan to broaden background checks forms the centerpiece of a broader package of measures the president plans to take on his own on gun control in his final year in office. Although Obama can't unilaterally change gun laws, the president is hoping that beefing up enforcement of existing laws can prevent at least some gun deaths in a country rife with them.

Under current law, only federally licensed gun dealers must conduct background checks on buyers, but many who sell guns at flea markets, on websites or other informal settings don't register as dealers. Gun control advocates say that loophole is exploited to skirt the background check requirement.

The executive actions on gun control fall far short of what he and likeminded lawmakers attempted to accomplish with legislation in 2013, after a massacre at a Connecticut elementary school that shook the nation's conscience. Even still, the more modest measures were sure to spark a confrontation with Republicans and gun rights groups that oppose new impediments to buying guns.

"We're very comfortable that the president can legally take these actions now," said Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

Far from mandating background checks for all gun sales, the new guidance still exempt collectors and gun hobbyists, and the exact definition of who must register as a dealer and conduct background checks remains exceedingly vague. The administration did not issue a number for how many guns someone must sell to be considered a dealer, instead saying it planned to remind people that courts have deemed people to be dealers in some cases even if they only sell a handful of guns.

And the background check provision rests in the murky realm of agency guidelines, which have less force than full-fledged federal regulations and can easily be rescinded. Many of the Republican presidential candidates running to succeed Obama have vowed to rip up his new gun restrictions upon taking office.

------

Associated Press writers Eric Tucker and Stacy A. Anderson contributed to this report.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Parents, students speak out against Nova Scotia school closures

    Canada News CBC News
    In the dispute between Nova Scotia educators and the government, parents and students in the province are taking sides — with most opting to stand firmly with teachers. On Saturday, Education Minister Karen Casey announced public schools across the province would be closed to students Monday, deeming the teachers' planned work-to-rule job action "unsafe" for students. Source
  • Death toll of Oakland, Calif., fire rises to 33 [Photos]

    World News Toronto Sun
    OAKLAND, Calif. — At least nine people died in a blaze that broke out during a party in a warehouse late Friday night in the San Francisco Bay Area, according to fire officials. Oakland Fire Chief Teresa Deloche-Reed says at least another 13 people are unaccounted for as of Saturday morning. Source
  • Physician killed, neurosurgeon husband charged with murder: 'How could this all happen?'

    Canada News CBC News
    The last time Mike Sullivan saw his friends Elana Fric-Shamji and Mohammed Shamji for dinner, the Toronto couple — both respected physicians — filled the room with laughter and finished each other's sentences. It was their typical loving, supportive persona, both in life and online. Source
  • Dakota Access Pipeline construction halted near Standing Rock reservation

    World News CBC News
    Standing Rock protesters celebrated Sunday as news broke that construction of the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline near their territory has been halted. Moria Kelley, a spokeswoman for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, a federal agency, said in a news release Sunday that the administration will not allow the four-state, $3.8-billion pipeline to be built under Lake Oahe, a Missouri River reservoir near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. Source
  • Standing Rock protesters celebrate 'big victory' as pipeline construction halted

    World News CBC News
    Standing Rock protesters celebrated Sunday as news broke that construction of the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline near their territory has been halted. Moria Kelley, a spokeswoman for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, a federal agency, said in a news release Sunday that the administration will not allow the four-state, $3.8-billion pipeline to be built under Lake Oahe, a Missouri River reservoir near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. Source
  • Solving the legacy of indigenous sexual abuse: think globally, act nationally

    Canada News CTV News
    Fred Kejick Thomas remembers the exact day -- April 14, 2005 -- when he confronted the uncle who had sexually molested him out on a trap line when he was four years old. After years of being haunted by flashbacks and rage, Kejick Thomas asked police to accompany him on a visit to see his uncle, where he read a letter in Ojibwa to speak his truth. Source
  • Rebels in Aleppo must leave city or face 'inevitable death,' warns Syrian army

    World News CBC News
    The Syrian army on Sunday ordered rebels in Aleppo to leave the city or face "inevitable death," as a series of airstrikes on the neighbouring Idlib province killed at least 50 people, including several children. Aleppo shook from the sound of explosions throughout the day as pro-government forces, including foreign fighters dispatched from Lebanon, Iraq, and Iran, pounded the city's opposition neighbourhoods in the east. Source
  • Trump expands list of candidates to head State Department

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- President-elect Donald Trump is expanding his pool of candidates for secretary of state, raising a question about whether former CIA Director David Petraeus' guilty plea for leaking classified information disqualifies him to serve as the nation's top diplomat. Source
  • Miniature therapy horse on the mend after cougar mauling

    Canada News CTV News
    Six-year-old miniature horse, Rio, is finally healing after a vicious cougar mauling. Rio, a therapy horse, was attacked back in November at a farm in Maple Ride, B.C. The attack by a rare black cougar left him in critical condition, with deep puncture wounds to his face, head and throat. Source
  • Thousands protest corruption, support judiciary in Brazil

    World News CTV News
    RIO DE JANEIRO -- Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets in cities across Brazil on Sunday to express disgust with public corruption and outrage at what they say are lawmakers' attempts to muzzle the judges and prosecutors pursuing those crimes. Source