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Barack Obama takes action against US gun laws

Today US President Barack Obama will announce new gun laws.

The president is said to want to widen background checks on buyers of firearms, in a series of measures to address gun violence.

All sellers who operate online or at gun shows will be forced to conduct background checks on potential buyers.

Despite opposition from Congress to new gun laws, the President is firm about taking action.

Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul said he would fight the executive actions “tooth and nail”.

And several more of the President’s Republican rivals said they would erase the measures “on day one” if they win the White House.

However, Mr Obama says his new measures will be within his legal authority and consistent with the Second Amendment, which grants Americans the right to bear arms.

And while they will not solve every violent crime in the US, he said, they will potentially “save lives and spare families the pain” of loss.

Under the plan announced on Monday evening by the White House:

  • All sellers must be licensed and conduct background checks, overturning current exemptions to some online and gun show sellers
  • States must provide information on people disqualified due to mental illness or domestic violence
  • FBI will increase workforce processing background checks by 50%, hiring more than 230 new examiners
  • Congress will be asked to invest $500m (£339m) to improve access to mental healthcare
  • The departments of defence, justice and homeland security will explore “smart gun technology” to improve gun safety

Earlier on Monday, the president heard recommendations from Attorney General Loretta Lynch, FBI Director James Comey and other top law enforcement officials.

He told the BBC last year his failure to pass effective gun laws was his biggest regret.

The Republican speaker of the House of Representatives, Paul Ryan, accused President Obama of “dismissiveness” towards Americans who value the right to bear arms.

“This is a dangerous level of executive overreach, and the country will not stand for it,” he said in a statement.

 

 

 

Source: BBC News http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-35229294 

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