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

  • Toronto boy's death in bicycle fall prompts call for more safty measures

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- The death of a five-year-old riding his bike next to a high-traffic road has renewed a debate in Canada's largest city about measures to protect cyclists, prompting some experts and Toronto's mayor to call for further action. Source
  • Follow the money: Trump-Russia probe seeking financial criminality

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- The Russia-related probes haunting Donald Trump's presidency are being pushed into a dark new realm: the president's political tormentors are now asking questions about the underworld, organized crime, and money-laundering. This recent development been overshadowed by other daily headlines like the latest news about Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner allegedly seeking a secret communication channel with the Russian government. Source
  • Manchester bee tattoos sweep the city in wake of attack

    World News CTV News
    Tattoo parlours in Manchester have been swarming with customers seeking bee tattoos, as Brits get themselves inked to show solidary and raise money for the victims of last week's terror attack. Several tattoo parlours held fundraising drives throughout the week, with all proceeds from bee-shaped tattoos going to the victims of the May 22 bombing at Manchester Arena, which occurred at the end of an Ariana Grande concert. Source
  • Terrifying crash knocks Scott Dixon out of Indy 500

    World News CBC News
    Pole sitter Scott Dixon was knocked out of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday by a terrifying crash that saw his car fly over the car of Jay Howard and land atop the inside safety fence, where it split in two amid sparks and flames. Source
  • Liberals go on attack after Scheer's win of Tory leadership

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    OTTAWA — Even before Conservatives began counting the ballots, the ruling Liberals set out to frame the new Opposition leader as a far-right extremist. Only trouble was, the relentless barrage of email missives from Liberal headquarters in the days and hours leading up to Saturday’s vote were aimed largely at Maxime Bernier, the front-runner and presumed winner of the marathon Conservative leadership race. Source
  • Most Airbnb hosts not registered in Quebec, 1 year after law took effect

    Canada News CBC News
    The majority of Quebecers who list their properties on Airbnb and other home rental websites are not registering with the province, just over a year since it implemented a law regulating them, new data suggests. Tourisme Québec says it issued 967 permits for rental hosts out of 2,244 applications in the year since the law took effect on April 15, 2016. Source
  • Greatly expanded passenger laptop ban being considered in U.S.

    World News CBC News
    Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said Sunday he's considering banning laptops from the passenger cabins of all international flights to and from the United States. That would dramatically expand a ban announced in March that affects about 50 flights per day from 10 cities, mostly in the Middle East. Source
  • U.S. 'might' expand laptop ban to all international flights

    World News Toronto Sun
    WASHINGTON — Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said Sunday he’s considering banning laptops from the passenger cabins of all international flights to and from the United States. That would dramatically expand a ban announced in March that affects about 50 flights per day from 10 cities, mostly in the Middle East. Source
  • Egypt bus attack: Christians 'chose death' over converting to Islam to save their lives

    World News Toronto Sun
    CAIRO — Video interviews with survivors of a deadly attack by Islamic militants on a bus taking Egyptian Christians to a remote desert monastery are painting a picture of untold horror, with children hiding under their seats to escape gunfire. Source
  • Trump slams recent leaks about Russia as possibly 'fake news'

    World News Toronto Sun
    WASHINGTON — U.S. President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and now top White House adviser Jared Kushner proposed a secret back channel between the Kremlin and the Trump transition team during a December meeting with a leading Russian diplomat. Source