Closing background check loopholes
- (Robert Ray/AP)
- "As many as 40 percent of all gun purchases are conducted without a background check — that's not safe, that's not smart," Obama said Wednesday. "This is common sense. There's no reason we can't do this."
Private gun sales, including those that take place at gun shows, do not require a federal background check. Obama wants to put universal federal background checks in place, closing any loopholes that allow guns to be purchased without one.
"If you want to buy a gun, whether it’s from a licensed dealer, or a private seller, you should at least have to show you are not a felon or somebody legally prohibited from buying one. This is common sense," Obama said. "And an overwhelming majority of Americans agree with us on the need for universal background checks, including more than 70 percent of the National Rifle Association’s members, according to one survey. So there’s no reason we can’t do this."
- The plan also calls for more information on dangerous individuals to be available in the background check system.
Ban military style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines
- (Haraz Ghanbari/AP)
- "Congress should restore a ban on assault rifles and a 10-round limit on high capacity magazines," Obama said Wednesday. "Weapons designed for the theater of war have no place in a movie theater. A majority of Americans agree with us on this and, by the way, so did Ronald Reagan."
Make schools safer
- (New Haven Register)
- Obama wants to add more school resource officers and school counselors, as well as ensure better emergency response plans are in place.
Give police more resources
- The plan calls for giving law enforcement additional tools to prevent and prosecute gun crimes. Obama also wants armor-piercing bullets to be outlawed.
"The administration's proposal includes a call to put as many as 1,000 trained police officers and school counselors on the job," reports the Washington Post.
• New gun trafficking laws that would "impose serious penalties" on those who sell guns to criminals.
• Enhancement of gun tracing data.
• Making information on lost and stolen guns widely available to law enforcement.
Learn more about the specific reforms laid out by the Obama administration.
Increase access to mental health services
- (Getty Images)
- Obama wants to expand mental health benefits in health insurance plans and expand access to mental health treatment for young people. Details include:
• Finalizing regulations that require insurance plans to cover mental health benefits.
• Ensuring Medicaid is meeting its obligations to cover mental health.
• Give states incentives to develop ways to reach young adults. They have "the highest rates of mental illness but are the least likely to seek help," says the White House's executive summary of the plan.
• Provide training for 5,000 social workers, counselors and psychologists who serve students and young adults.
Get more details on mental health reforms.
Appointing an ATF director
- B. Todd Jones (AP)
- Obama said he will be nominating B. Todd Jones, who has been serving as the acting director since 2011, to become the permanent director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The ATF is the federal agency in charge of enforcing gun laws and has not had a permanent director for six years.
Read more about Jones, who is also the U.S. Attorney for Minnesota.