President Barack Obama has signed two more gun control executive actions.
On Thursday, the president announced an action which would “close a loophole” and another one that would block the importation of surplus military weapons back into the United States. His newest gun control executive actions are in addition to the 23 prior dictates he has signed since the first of the year.
According to the White House, those who are prohibited from having guns, such as felons and domestic abusers, currently are able to “evade the required background check” and gain access to certain weapons by “registering the weapon to a trust or corporation.” The Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) said last year it received more than 39,000 requests for transfers of restricted firearms – such as short-barreled shotguns – to trusts or corporations. Under the executive action, individuals associated with trusts or corporations would have to undergo a background check before obtaining the weapons.
The order related to surplus military weapon imports states that since 2005, more than 250,000 requests have been approved by the federal government to bring military weapons back into the US. The weapons leave the US when America provides firearms to its allies. Under the new action, those guns may not be imported back to the United States without approval from the federal government. Some exceptions – for instance, to museums — will be made.
The new gun control executive actions were enacted at about the same time Vice President Joe Biden swore in B. Todd Jones as the new Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) director. Biden has been heavily engaged in a series of gun control endeavors since the horrific Newtown school shooting tragedy in December.
A White House release stated, “Today’s executive actions are simple, sensible ways to make our communities safer. But they are no replacement for common-sense legislation to reduce gun violence, which we need Congress to pass.”
“If Congress won’t act, we’ll fight for a new Congress,” Biden said.
The new rules would not require authorization by Congress but would go through an internal agency review process.
The National Rifle Association does not support the Second Amendment related executive actions and said they will not stop crime.
“Requiring background checks for corporations and trusts does not keep firearms out of the hands of criminals,” the NRA said in a statement. “Prohibiting the re-importation of firearms into the U.S. that were manufactured 50 or more years ago does not keep firearms out of the hands of criminals. This administration should get serious about prosecuting violent criminals who misuse guns and stop focusing its efforts on law-abiding gun owners.”
Studies and statistics related to gun deaths in the United States refute claims by gun control supporters. The majority of firearms related deaths in America from 2000 to 201 were due to suicides. Since 1983, 78 incidents have occurred which have caused the deaths of at least four people by a single shooter.
Additionally, a 2007 study published in the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy found that European countries that had higher legal gun ownership rates also had less violent crime.
“Gun ownership spread widely throughout societies consistently correlates with stable or declining murder rates,” the authors wrote. “Whether causative or not, the consistent international pattern is that more guns equal less murder and other violent crime. Even if one is inclined to think that gun availability is an important factor, the available international data cannot be squared with the mantra that more guns equal more death and fewer guns equal less death. Rather, if firearms availability does matter, the data consistently show that the way it matters is that more guns equal less violent crime.”