Obama, wiping tears, makes new push to tighten gun rules
Updated: 2016-01-06 02:17
US President Barack Obama announces steps the administration is taking to reduce gun violence while delivering a statement in the East Room of the White House on Jan 5. [Photo/Agencies]
LEGAL CHALLENGES EXPECTED
The U.S. Constitution's 2nd Amendment gives Americans the right to have arms, a right that is fiercely defended.
Obama laid out executive action he is taking to require more gun sellers to get licenses and more gun buyers to undergo background checks.
Under the changes, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is issuing guidelines intended to narrow exceptions to a system that requires sellers to check with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to determine whether buyers have criminal records, are charged with crimes or have mental health conditions that would bar them from owning a gun.
The proposal is "ripe for abuse" by the government, said Chris Cox, an official with the NRA, in a statement, adding that the group will continue to fight to protect Americans' constitutional rights.
Legal challenges to the changes, which are contained in guidance from the ATF, are expected.
The crucial question in any direct legal challenge will be whether the ATF guidance creates new obligations, or merely clarifies existing law.
The more the Obama administration acts as though the guidance has created a new legal requirement, the more legal trouble it might invite, said Lisa Heinzerling, administrative law professor at Georgetown University.
The stocks of gunmakers Smith & Wesson Holding Corp and Sturm Ruger & Co Inc have climbed since the announcement. On Tuesday, Smith & Wesson ended up 11.1 percent to $25.86 a share and Sturm Ruger closed up 6.8 percent at $65.54.
- Obama says US must act on gun violence, defends new gun control rules
- Over 1 million refugees have fled to Europe by sea in 2015: UN
- Turbulence injures multiple Air Canada passengers, diverts flight
- NASA releases stunning images of our planet from space station
- US-led air strikes kill IS leaders linked to Paris attacks
- DPRK senior party official Kim Yang Gon killed in car accident