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US Takes Executive Actions on Gun Control

On Thursday, during the swearing in ceremony of the new head of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Vice President Joe Biden revealed that the federal government had closed a loophole in the gun laws. The executive action would prevent procuring machine guns and other U.S. military-style guns that had been sent overseas.

At the White House ceremony, Biden said, “The president and I remain committed to getting these things done,” referring to gun control. “If Congress won’t act, we’ll fight for a new Congress. It’s that simple. But we’re going to get this done.”

Biden said people who wanted to procure banned firearms like machine guns and short-barreled shotguns tried to do so by claiming the status of trusts and corporations. He said that in 2012, the ATF had received at least 39,000 requests from such trusts or corporations that wanted to buy machine guns.

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This allowed individuals buying the banned firearms to avoid background checks.

However, Biden said a new ATF regulation would close this loophole and require gun purchasers posing as trusts or corporations and aiming to import machine guns and similar weapons to undergo background checks.

At the same time, the ATF will be passing another executive action that would prevent U.S. military weapons sold to foreign governments from being re-imported back into the country. Since 2005, at least 250,000 military-style firearms have been brought into the country in this manner. Under the new rule, re-import of such U.S. manufactured military weapons would be confined only to museums and certain other exceptions.

However, gun rights organizations have criticized Biden’s tough talk.

Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America went on record saying, “Evidently he’s been elected king and not president … He’s made it fairly clear that he doesn’t like the 2nd Amendment.”

However, the anti-assault weapon lobby welcomed the executive actions.

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