Obama signs 23 executive orders, asks Congress to pass gun laws

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[Updated at 12:40 p.m. ET] Reaction to Obama’s announcement is starting to come in. From Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy, whose state was the site of the December 14 school massacre that prompted Obama to examine gun control steps:

“In the hours after the worst of our fears were confirmed, in the midst of the grief and sorrow over the loss of 20 innocent children and six dedicated educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School, there was one question on the minds of people across Connecticut and around the nation: How do we make sure this never happens again? Today the president took the critical first step toward answering that question. The common sense measures he proposed today are something that we should all be able to agree on, and I want to commend him and the vice president for their work on this issue.”

[Updated at 12:22 p.m. ET] The announcement is over, and Obama is signing the 23 executive actions. These orders are in addition to laws that Obama wants Congress to pass. Here, according to the White House, are what the 23 executive actions will do, without congressional approval:

1. “Issue a presidential memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system.”

2. “Address unnecessary legal barriers, particularly relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, that may prevent states from making information available to the background check system.”

3. “Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system.”

4. “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.”

5. “Propose rulemaking to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun.”

6. “Publish a letter from ATF to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers.”

7. “Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign.”

8. “Review safety standards for gun locks and gun safes (Consumer Product Safety Commission).”

9. “Issue a presidential Memorandum to require federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations.”

10. “Release a DOJ report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and make it widely available to law enforcement.”

11. “Nominate an ATF director.”

12. “Provide law enforcement, first responders, and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations.”

13. “Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime.”

14. “Issue a presidential memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.”

15. “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.”

16. “Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.”

17. “Release a letter to health care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law enforcement authorities.”

18. “Provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers.”

19. “Develop model emergency response plans for schools, houses of worship and institutions of higher education.”

20. “Release a letter to state health officials clarifying the scope of mental health services that Medicaid plans must cover.”

21. “Finalize regulations clarifying essential health benefits and parity requirements within ACA exchanges.”

22. “Commit to finalizing mental health parity regulations.”

23. “Launch a national dialogue led by Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan on mental health.”

[Updated at 12:17 p.m. ET] Obama says he acknowledges that Americans have certain unalienable rights, but with those rights come responsibilities, and that Americans are “responsible for each other.” These rights – including those to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness – were denied to victims of high profile shooting such as those at Virginia Tech last decade and the December 14 shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.

Obama called for public pressure on Congress and the gun lobby to push for stronger steps against gun violence, saying “the only way we can change is if the American people demand it.”

“Let’s do the right thing … for (shooting victims) and for the country that we love so much. Thank you. I’m going to sign these orders,” he said.

[Updated at 12:10 p.m. ET] More details on what Obama said about the 23 executive orders he’s poised to sign: The orders, he said, include those that would strengthening background checks on gun sales and expand safety programs in schools.

He hasn’t said what all of the 23 orders would do.

[Updated at 12:09 p.m. ET] Obama says he will nominate B. Todd Jones, acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, as its permanent chief. The agency has lacked a permanent leader for six years.

[Updated at 12:07 p.m. ET] Obama says he will sign 23 executive orders relating to this issue today.

He also will ask Congress to pass laws, including ones that would:

– require universal background checks (background checks on anyone who would buy a gun, whether in stores or at auctions and conventions)

– restore a ban on “military-style assault weapons”

– ban gun magazines with capacities of more than 10 rounds

– tougher penalties on people who sell guns to people who aren’t allowed to have guns

[Updated at 11:59 a.m. ET] President Obama has started to speak, and he’s thanking Biden for his work to recommend gun-control steps in the past couple of weeks.

Obama also is acknowledging four children who are sitting being and to the left of his podium. These children were asked to attend the announcement because they wrote letters to Obama after the December 14 shooting at a Newtown, Connecticut, school.

The nation should be motivated to keep children such as these from harm, he said. “Their voices should compel us to change,” and that’s why he asked Biden to come up with recommendations that the country should execute “right now” to curb gun violence, Obama said.

[Updated at 11:56 a.m. ET] “The world has changed and it is demanding action, it is in this context that the president” asked me to come up gun-control recommendations, Biden said.

Some of the recommendations that Biden’s task force gave to Obama on Monday include executive orders that the president can make without congressional approval, Biden said.

[Updated at 11:53 a.m. ET] Vice President Joe Biden has begun the event with an acknowledgement of the December massacre at a Connecticut elementary school, where 20 children and six women were killed. “It’s been 33 days since (the nation’s heart) has been broken” by the Newtown shooting, he said.

He’s also addressing the Newtown victims’ relatives who are attending the White House announcement.

[Initial post, 11:38 a.m. ET] The moment for President Barack Obama to announce his gun-control proposals is about to arrive.

Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are expected to unveil – around 11:55 a.m. ET – gun control proposals that, according to a source, will include background checks on all gun sales, a ban on assault weapons, and a ban on gun magazines with a capacity of more than 10 rounds.

This post will have details on Obama’s proposals as they are announced. Check this page starting just before noon ET, and refresh often for updates.

The announcement at the White House comes after Biden led a task force to make gun-control proposals, partly in response to a December 14 shooting that killed 20 children and six women at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.


  • John Q. Public

    Pass all the gun laws you want, you ass hole. But your bitch ass better be the one to COME and try to enforce it. The American people aren’t that blind that they don’t see the similarities between Hitler and yourself. Using kids to make your laws look like your doing a good thing. *** get real and ***** (edited by moderator, please use PG language).

  • rj the law

    boy didn’t know we could do that!!??

    yep, see what he puts in this bill to congress. be a 1000 pages or more, and most won’t read it all. if any do. it will be as the ndaa bill, said he wouldnt sign, did, on new years eve, last year.

    people need to look at history over the centuries, this tells you story of the way things go w/ these rulers.

    Power and the law are not synonymous, in fact they frequently in opposition and irreconsilable. Man’s law is inherently evil no matter the noble words pronounced when implementing it. Whereas God’s law, made before the founding of the suns is perfect. Therefore men mindful of God’s law will seek to destroy that government made by man and upheld by venal judges………..Cicero

    A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself within. The essential causes of Rome’s decline lay in her people, her morals, her class struggles, her failing trade, her bureaucratic despotism, her stifling taxes, her consuming wars……..Will Durant

  • Raised Eye Brow

    These are executive orders… not laws or bills…

    “Publish a letter from ATF to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers.”

    Whats wrong with asking the ATF to write a how to guide on doing background checks. You guys are nut jobs, quoting Will Durant and comparing our government to Nazi Germany.

  • dino

    we may be nuts but not sheep like you and others in this county that would take it up the _ _ _ and not say a word just because it's the law or an order. you don't have the balls to understand so i don't expect you to.

  • steve

    the sad thing is no one seems to realize that these laws do not affect criminals, murder is already illegal, pretty sure it still happens regularly.

  • Concerned4USA

    I believe, we as American citizens, should be concerned, very concerned. I do not own an AR, nor would I. However, if this would go through, I guess our country would be perfectly safe!? (Yeah, ok…) If something like this would go through, how about Obama get rid of his secret service? OR if he feels he needs them, give them knives instead? Fair is fair right? This is ridiculous and not the answer. I am not a conspirator, there are way too many confusing facts (fact by VISUAL media coverage of statements from eye-witness, human behaviors, etc.) that surround some very tragic events in our country. I find it despicable that so many jump on a ban wagon that is not based on anything other than opinion of others. We are no longer a UNITED States of America in my opinion. What happened to “OF the people..BY the people..FOR the people? It seems it is now “We the federal government..end of story. Change does need to happen, and this is not one of them. It is a lot of wasted time and money (that by the way, we do not have) on the wrong things. Oh-just a little something that was part of OUR COUNTRY's HISTORY… Gettysburg Address…read it…

  • G19;58

    Love what newyork passed 1 year to sell your 30round clips to out of state wtf would that do nothing and to outlaw a gun called a bushmaster what about all the other ar15s ,a. Ar15 is nothing more than a semi auto not a full auto which is what a assault rifle really is you people need to get your facts straight,more damage can be done with a shotgun shell than 1223shell what about McVey in OKC with fertilizer and diesel fuel seems he blew up a building,I have children and am damn glad I have a gun to protect my family it has come in handy if I didn't have them we could be 6ft. Under ,in a bind would you like somebody with a stick and spoon to come save your ass in a bind or a licensed gun owner to shoot the mf raping your daughter

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