Reducing gun violence and protecting our kids

Most gun owners use their guns legally and responsibly, and the President strongly believes in an individual right to bear arms, but we need to take action to better protect our children and communities from tragic mass shootings like the one in Newtown, Connecticut.

Measures Congress Should Take—

President Obama is asking Congress to urgently introduce legislation to:

  • Eliminate loopholes and require background checks for all gun sales
  • Reinstate the prohibition on high-capacity magazines
  • Renew and strengthen the ban on assault weapons
  • Create serious penalties for gun traffickers
  • Get armor-piercing bullets off the streets by prohibiting the possession and transfer of this dangerous ammunition
  • Keep 15,000 cops on the street
  • Further research on gun violence
  • Help schools develop and implement comprehensive emergency management plans
  • Remove restrictions that require ATF to authorize importation of dangerous weapons simply because of their age

Measures the President has Taken — Closing Background Check Loopholes

President Obama is committed to keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and he has signed six executive actions that will:

  • Require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system
  • Address unnecessary legal barriers that may prevent states from making information available to the background check system
  • Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system
  • Direct the Attorney General to review categories of individuals prohibited from having a gun to make sure dangerous people are not slipping through the cracks
  • Propose rule-making to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun
  • Publish a letter from ATF to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers

Measures the President has Taken — Common sense steps to reduce gun violence

President Obama is not willing to wait for Congress to take action to reduce gun violence. On January 16th, 2013 he signed executive actions to introduce 11 common sense measures:

  • Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign
  • Review safety standards for gun locks and gun safes (Consumer Product Safety Commission)
  • Require federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations
  • Release a DOJ (Department of Justice) report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and make it widely available to law enforcement
  • Nominate an ATF director
  • Provide law enforcement, first responders, and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations
  • Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime
  • Issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence
  • Direct the Attorney General to issue a report on the availability and most effective use of new gun safety technologies and challenge the private sector to develop innovative technologies
  • Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes
  • Release a letter to health care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law enforcement authorities

Measures the President has Taken — Making schools safer

At the heart of the President’s proposals to reduce gun violence is a focus on making sure our kids are safe. Through executive actions, President Obama will:

  • Provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers
  • Develop model emergency response plans for schools, houses of worship, and institutions of higher education

Measures the President has Taken — Increasing mental health services

“We will make sure mental health professionals know their options for reporting threats of violence—even as we acknowledge that someone with a mental illness is far more likely to be a victim of violent crime than the perpetrator.” — President Obama

President Obama has moved swiftly to sign executive actions to:

  • Release a letter to state health officials clarifying the scope of mental health services that Medicaid plans must cover
  • Finalize regulations clarifying essential health benefits and parity requirements within ACA exchanges
  • Commit to finalizing mental health parity regulations
  • Launch a national dialogue led by Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan on mental health

How can YOU help — 3 Ways YOU Can Take Action Right Now

  1. Add your name. Show your support for President Obama’s plan to protect our kids and help reduce gun violence in America.
  2. Call the Senate and the House. Make sure your senators and representative knows you support President Obama’s plan and ask if he or she does too. You can use this simple script:

    Hi, My name is [your name] and I’m a voter in your [state or district]. I’m calling to let you know that I support President Obama’s plan to reduce gun violence and want to know whether [name of your senator or representative] does too?

  3. Spread the word. Make sure your friends and family know about the work President Obama is doing to keep our kids and communities safe: Share the President’s plan to reduce gun violence.