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UPDATE: Obama Taking 23 Actions Aimed at Gun Violence

UPDATED Wednesday, January 16, 2013 --- 2:27 p.m.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The head of the Republican National Committee is dismissing the gun control provisions announced today by President Barack Obama as an "executive power grab."

Reince Priebus says Obama "paid lip service to our fundamental constitutional rights" -- and then "took actions that disregard the Second Amendment."

House Speaker John Boehner's office is non-committal, but it is signaling no urgency to act on Obama's proposals.

In a statement, the National Rifle Association quickly challenged Obama's proposals. It said, "Attacking firearms and ignoring children is not a solution to the crisis we face as a nation." The NRA says the only people who will be affected will be "honest, law-abiding gun owners" -- while children will "remain vulnerable to the inevitability of more tragedy."

But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says Obama offered some "thoughtful recommendations." He says the Senate will consider legislation addressing gun violence early this year. Reid says the shooting in Connecticut was "the latest sad reminder" that the nation isn't doing enough to protect children and others from gun violence.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Wednesday, January 16, 2013 --- 2:15 p.m.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Proposals for curbing gun violence announced Wednesday by President Barack Obama:

NEEDS CONGRESSIONAL ACTION:

-- Requiring background checks on all gun sales. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence says 40 percent of gun sales are conducted with no criminal background check, such as at gun shows and by private sellers over the Internet or through classified ads. Obama said there should be exceptions for cases like certain transfers among family members and temporary transfers for hunting purposes.

-- Reinstating the assault weapons ban. A 10-year ban on high-grade, military-style weapons expired in 2004. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., says such a ban might clear the Senate but doubts it could get through the House.

-- Renewing a 10-round limit on the size of ammunition magazines.

-- Prohibiting the possession, transfer, manufacture and import of dangerous armor-piercing bullets.

-- Senate confirmation of a director for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The agency has been run by an acting director, Todd Jones, whom Obama will nominate to become director.

-- New gun trafficking laws penalizing people who help criminals get guns.

EXECUTIVE ORDER:

-- Address legal barriers in health laws that bar some states from making available information about people who are prohibited from having guns.

-- Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system.

-- Make sure that federal agencies share relevant information with the background check system.

-- Direct the attorney general to work with other agencies to review existing laws to make sure they can identify individuals who shouldn't have access to guns.

-- Direct the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other research agencies to conduct research into the causes and prevention of gun violence.

-- Clarify that no federal law prohibits doctors or other health care providers from contacting authorities when patients threaten to use violence.

-- Give local communities the opportunity to hire up to 1,000 school resource officers and counselors.

-- Require federal law enforcement to trace all recovered guns.

-- Propose regulations that will enable law enforcement to run complete background checks before returning firearms that have been seized.

-- Direct the Justice Department to analyze information on lost and stolen guns and make that information available to law enforcement.

-- Provide training for state and local law enforcement, first responders and school officials on how to handle active-shooter situations.

-- Make sure every school has a comprehensive emergency management plan.

-- Help ensure that young people get needed mental health treatment.

-- Ensure that health insurance plans cover mental health benefits.

-- Encourage development of new technology to make it easier for gun owners to safely use and store their guns.

-- Have the Consumer Product Safety Commission assess the need for new safety standards for gun locks and gun safes.

-- Launch a national campaign about responsible gun ownership.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Wednesday, January 16, 2013 --- 12:58 p.m.

Rep. Ron Kind on President’s Plan to Curb Gun Violence:

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) made the following statement regarding the President’s announcement today on his plan to reduce gun violence in America.

“We have a responsibility to take care of the safety and security of all of our citizens. We must move forward with a long-overdue discussion but at the same time, we must also listen to the voices of law-abiding, safety-conscious gun owners in America.

“The President today highlighted a number of areas that we need to address to ensure this safety and rein in gun violence in our country. I commend President Obama and Vice President Biden for meeting with stakeholders on both sides of the issue to pursue solutions to reduce and prevent this violence. As a former prosecutor, I agree that we must do a better job upholding the laws that prohibit criminals from having guns and ensuring dangerous people aren’t slipping through the cracks. I support increased school safety initiatives so that our teachers and students are better protected with the help of additional officers and surveillance equipment. And we can and should be enforcing stricter penalties for gun trafficking to stop the spread of illegal weapons across our borders and among our communities.

“As an avid hunter and a representative of sportsmen and women in Wisconsin and across the country, I believe current law should be examined so as to allow law-abiding sportsmen to enjoy hunting but also to keep guns out of the hands of convicted criminals and others who might misuse them.

“The discussion is not over and there is still a lot to do. We must strike a balance between public safety and individual rights to really address the issue of gun violence and put into place reforms that work for and protect all Americans.”

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UPDATED Wednesday, January 16, 2013 --- 12:55 p.m.

Mayor Paul Soglin Statement in Response to President Obama's Agenda for Gun Control:

I support President Barack Obama's plan to make our country safe and to institute these very reasonable firearm controls. When the founding fathers adopted the Second Amendment to the Constitution, they envisioned a well-regulated state militia. They did not envision high capacity firearms in the hands of irresponsible individuals. Most hunters acknowledge that a Bushmaster semiautomatic rifle is neither necessary nor reasonable to take down a deer. Responsible gun owners must regain control of the NRA.

I agree with the President. This time must be different.

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Posted Wednesday, January 16, 2013 --- 11:12 a.m.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama is taking 23 executive actions aimed at curbing gun violence that don't require congressional action, including measures to encourage schools to hire police officers, increase research on gun violence and improve efforts to prosecute gun crime.

The executive actions are part of an overarching package assembled by a task force led by Vice President Joe Biden. The measures come a month after the mass shooting in Newtown, Ct., that killed 20 elementary school children.

Obama is directing the Centers for Disease Control to research gun violence and is seeking rules to ensure that law enforcement conducts background checks before returning seized firearms.

He intends to nominate Todd Jones as director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Jones is the agency's acting director.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama is announcing a $500 million package of executive actions and legislative proposals aimed at reducing gun violence a month after a mass shooting in Connecticut killed 20 elementary school children.

The package includes a call on Congress to ban military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazine and it would close loopholes in the gun sale background check system.

Obama also is signing 23 executive actions -- which require no congressional approval -- including several aimed at improving access to data for background checks. A presidential memorandum will instruct the Centers for Disease Control to research causes and prevention of gun violence.

In addition, Obama will nominate Todd Jones as director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Jones currently is the acting director of the agency.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press


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