2013-01-24 / News

Obama unveils plans to curb gun violence

President Barack Obama last week unveiled a comprehensive package of executive actions and legislative proposals to help prevent gun violence, including a call to reinstate the assault-weapons ban. He would also like to impose limits on high-capacity ammunition clips and expand background checks.

“I support common sense and practical steps to help reduce gun violence,” said U.S. Sen. Jack Reed following the president’s announcement. “The president can’t do this all on his own. Congress needs to work on a bipartisan basis to pass common-sense laws to keep our communities safe.”

Rhode Island’s senior senator said that reasonable limitations on military assault weapons, highcapacity clips and armor-piercing bullets are fully consistent with the Second Amendment. In a 2008 majority opinion, Supreme Court Justice Antony Scalia said the right to bear arms is not unlimited.

The president also signed 23 executive actions, which require no congressional approval. Obama’s orders include ordering federal agencies to make more data available for background checks; lifting restrictions and directing the Centers for Disease Control to research gun violence; strengthening penalties for people who lie on background checks; requiring federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations; providing schools with the flexibility to use grant money to improve school safety; and giving communities grants to institute programs to keep guns away from people who shouldn’t have them.

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