On Wednesday, President Barack Obama announced his gun control policy reform to the nation.
“This is our first task as a society: keeping our children safe. This is how we will be judged,” Obama said. “We can’t put this off any longer.”
The review process took one month and it was conducted by Vice President Joe Biden. The process was divided into four areas: school safety, law enforcement, availability of dangerous firearms and ammunition and mental health.
Obama recommended that criminal background checks be required for all gun sales. He also recommended reinstating the ban on assault weapons, placing a 10-round limit on ammunition magazines, getting rid of armor-piercing bullets, making mental health services available in schools and starting a federal gun trafficking statute. Senior officials estimate that the package will cost $500 million.
The proposal will be supplemented with 23 executive actions that will take effect immediately since the recommendations require congressional approval. Some of the actions include federal agencies handing over pertinent data for background check systems; giving first responders, law enforcement officials, and school officials with training for active shooter situations and having the Centers for Disease Control to research causes and prevention of gun violence.
“I intend to use whatever weight this office holds to make them a reality,” Obama said. “If there’s even one life that can be saved, then we’ve got an obligation to try.”
Byron Todd was also nominated on Wednesday by Obama to take over the position of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive permanently. Todd was serving as the acting director.
“This is a monumental moment. It’s a long time coming and we’re thrilled the president’s putting the full weight of his office behind this,” said Josh Horowitz, executive director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. “We’re ready to push this thing through.”
Obama said, “I will put everything I’ve got into this and so will Joe [Biden]. But I tell you, the only way we can change is if the American people demand it. We are going to need voices in those areas and congressional districts where the tradition of gun ownership is strong. It can’t just be the usual suspects. This will not happen unless the American people demand it.”
The gun-rights lobby said that it is going to try to block the efforts of the administration announced by Obama.
“It is unfortunate that this administration continues to insist on pushing failed solutions to our nation’s most pressing problems,” the NRA said after it met with Biden last week. “We will not allow law-abiding gun owners to be blamed for the acts of criminals and madmen.”