Administration

Final Obama gun review coming ‘in weeks’

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President Obama will begin his final review of new executive actions on gun control within “weeks, not months,” a senior aide said Friday.
 
White House communications director Jen Psaki said at a breakfast hosted by Bloomberg News that the administration is weighing a “range of steps that can be taken as it relates to the people who have access to guns” and “how people gain access to guns.” 
 
She said not to expect any action before Christmas. The president’s State of the Union, in which he is expected to address the issue of gun control, is just four weeks away.
 
Senior administration officials have said congressional inaction on gun control in the wake of a string of mass shootings has been among the biggest disappointments of Obama’s presidency. 
 
Gun violence is “probably the issue that has touched him most personally over the course of his presidency,” Psaki said Friday.
 
If Obama acts on his own to tighten the nation’s gun laws, it would set up a major confrontation with Republicans and gun-rights groups during an election year. 
 
The president has been weighing a number of executive actions on guns following an October mass shooting at an Oregon community college. The effort took on even more urgency after this month’s attack in San Bernardino, Calif., which left 14 dead and 22 others wounded. 
 
Obama has met with high-profile backers of gun control in the past week, such as former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, to get their input on new unilateral actions. 
 
Obama is reportedly considering one measure that would classify more gun sellers as high-volume dealers, which would close a legal loophole that allows many sales conducted online or at gun shows to skirt existing background check provisions.
 
But such a measure would surely prompt a legal challenge from Republicans and groups like the NRA, who argue Obama does not have the legal authority to take such a broad step on his own. 
 
The Department of Justice is reportedly crafting recommendations on how the president could issue new actions that can survive a lawsuit. 
 
Psaki declined say which action the president is leaning toward taking.
 
“I’m not going to take anything on or off the table” she said of potential policies, including closing the gun show loophole and banning people on the government’s no-fly list from purchasing firearms.
Tags Barack Obama Gun control Gun rights
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