Obama uses executive power to move gun control agenda forward

by Jordy Yager, The Hill  |  published on March 30, 2013

obama

President Obama is quietly moving forward on gun control.

The president has used his executive powers to bolster the national background check system, jumpstart government research on the causes of gun violence and create a million-dollar ad campaign aimed at safe gun ownership.

The executive steps will give federal law enforcement officials access to more data about guns and their owners, help keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill, and lay the groundwork for future legislative efforts.

It is unclear whether the National Rifle Association (NRA) will challenge any of the executive actions in court. A spokesman for the NRA did not return a request for comment.

The moves, which have not been widely touted by the administration, come as Obama ups his pressure on Congress to take action on gun control in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings. The Senate is expected to begin floor consideration of legislation when it returns in April.

Efforts to renew a ban in semi-automatic weapons with military-style features and high-capacity magazines have stalled in Congress. Democratic senators still hope to move gun control legislation that includes tougher background checks, but conservative Republican senators have threatened to filibuster it.

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