Washington: US President Barack Obama is set to announce a series of new executive actions to tighten gun laws for curbing gun violence, one of the country’s most complex issues.
“I would anticipate that the President will have an announcement quite soon where he will discuss some steps that his administration has concluded and that he has concluded are within his executive authority that would keep guns out of the hands of people who should not have them,” the White House Press Secretary, Josh Earnest, told reporters at his daily news conference today.
“There are common sense steps that he can take, using his authority, that do not undermine the constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans, but we have to do something in this country to address the consequences of Congress’ failure to act,” he said.
Obama is expected to sign off on a package of proposals aimed at curbing gun violence and cracking down on unregulated gun sales.
Noting that more than 30,000 Americans are killed by firearms each year, Earnest acknowledged that they are not going to be able to pass a law or take an executive action that would prevent every single incident of gun violence.
“But if there’s something that can do that would prevent even one, why wouldn’t we do it? And that’s the President’s mindset as he enters this meeting with his attorney general and as he prepares to makes some announcements,” he said.
As Obama prepares to issue his executive orders on gun control, Earnest said the President wants to be sure that the recommendations he has received and the executive actions that he carries out are going to stand up in a court of law.
“A lot of work that has gone on has been to ensure that we would have confidence in the legal basis of these actions. I feel confident in telling you now that what the President does announce will be the kinds of actions in which we have confidence that they are within the legal ability of the United States to carry out these actions,” Earnest said.
Obama had taken took nearly two dozen executive actions to tighten gun laws, but left a major expansion of background checks out of the mix.
But after the shooting at a community college in Roseburg, Oregon in October, Obama ordered his staff to redouble the effort to look for ways to work around Congress.