President Obama is looking to use executive authority in order to expand background checks and close gun loopholes – specifically the “gun show loophole”, which allows individuals to buy guns before the background check is complete.
The President originally initiated the idea after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2013, but was unable to convince the Senate to pass it. Republicans in the Senate have continued since to block every effort to add new gun control measures. Most recently, a proposal by Senator Feinstein (D-CA) was blocked that would have stopped people included on the anti-terrorist “no fly” list from buying guns. Every Republican except one, Senator Mark Steven Krik (R-Illinois), voted to block the proposed measure.
Shortly after the shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon this October, President Obama seemingly gave up trying to go through Congress and asked his advisers to draft plans for new gun control measures that he could put in place without going through Congress and present them to him for review.
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) October 7, 2015
White House adviser Valerie Jarret stated:
“The president has directed his team in short order to finalize a set of recommendations on what more the administration can do on its own to save lives from gun violence, and those recommendations will include making sure we do everything we can to keep guns out of the wrong hands, including those expanded background checks.”
Obama has consistently asked lawmakers to pass new gun measures, such as the one passed this week in Connecticut that bans individuals on federal terrorism list from buying firearms. He has become increasingly frustrated at his inability to provoke any meaningful change in gun reform, as evident in his anti-terrorism speech this week:
“Congress should act to make sure no one on a no-fly list is able to buy a gun. What could possibly be the argument for allowing a terrorist suspect to buy a semi-automatic weapon?”