President Obama today, a month after the Sandy Hook shooting, announced 23 executive actions designed to curb gun violence. He outlined steps to strengthen background checks for gun purchases and a campaign to promote responsible gun ownership.
The 23 actions included requiring federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations, clarifying that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors from asking patients about guns in the home, and incentives for districts to hire school resource officers.
Obama also called on Congress to back an assault weapons ban and restrictions on high-capacity ammunition magazines.
Following the Connecticut shooting and ensuing public debate, the National Rifle Association pushed back "in defense of gun owners."
Here is a statement released Jan. 16, following Obama's remarks:
"Throughout its history, the National Rifle Association has led efforts to promote safety and responsible gun ownership. Keeping our children and society safe remains our top priority.
The NRA will continue to focus on keeping our children safe and securing our schools, fixing our broken mental health system, and prosecuting violent criminals to the fullest extent of the law. We look forward to working with Congress on a bi-partisan basis to find real solutions to protecting America’s most valuable asset – our children.
Attacking firearms and ignoring children is not a solution to the crisis we face as a nation. Only honest, law-abiding gun owners will be affected and our children will remain vulnerable to the inevitability of more tragedy.
Wayne MacDonald, chairman of the New Hampshire Republican State Committee, released this statement Wednesday afternoon:
"The gun laws the President put forward today are not necessary, especially with thousands of gun laws already on the books. What he should be doing is looking to the laws we already have and enforcing those. Now is not the time to undermine law abiding citizens and their constitutional right to bear arms. President Obama has failed to address the real issues. Instead, he has made a power grab, rather than working for common sense solutions that protect our children, our communities, and our fundamental rights."
U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH, 1st District), had this to say about the president's plans:
“I agree with the President’s comprehensive approach to addressing gun violence. I will not and cannot forget the never-ending scenes of families and communities in shock and mourning, and I will not ignore the calls of our citizens to do something to help stop the violence. I support responsible gun ownership because Americans have a right to hunt or defend themselves, and they also have a right to expect to be safe as they go about their daily lives.”
What do you think of President Obama's executive actions and proposed gun control measures? And of the NRA's response? Share your thoughts in the comments field below.