Increased gun control measures would go a long way toward cutting down on America’s homicide rate, President Obama said during a town-hall event on Friday.
“Our homicide rates are so much larger than other industrialized countries, by like a mile,” he said during a speech at Benedict College in South Carolina.
“Most of that is attributable to the easy, ready availability of firearms, particularly handguns.”
But those measures stalled in the Senate.
"We couldn’t get it done at the congressional level, so what we’ve done is we’ve tried to do as much as we can administratively to implement background checks," he said.
Obama said that there are “a lot of law abiding, responsible gun owners” that use guns for protection, sport or as part of a tradition. But he added that upping background check requirements on gun purchasers is a policy that everyone should endorse.
“It is not violating anybody’s rights that if you want to purchase a gun, it should be at least your responsibility to get a background check so we know you were not a violent felon or that you don’t currently have a restraining order on you because committed domestic abuse.”
“Right now, we don’t know a lot of that, it’s just not available.”
Former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.), who was shot in 2011 during a constituent event, joined current lawmakers this week to announce a bill that would specifically strengthen background check requirements to prevent domestic abusers, felons and the mentally ill from purchasing a gun.