Who: Steps to Reduce Gun Violence
What: Unveiled by US President Barack Obama
When: 4 January 2016
Why: With an aim to close the so-called gun show loophol
US President Barack Obama on 4 January 2016 took executive action to unveil steps to reduce gun violence. The series of new common sense measures were announced during his White House address.
The executive actions will require more gun sellers to get licenses from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms (ATFs) and Explosives and more gun buyers to undergo background checks. It will help in closing the so-called gun show loophole.
Highlights of measures
• Enhance funding for 200 new ATF agents and investigators to help enforce our gun laws.
• It tightens enforcement of existing gun laws.
• Expand research into gun safety technology.
• It talks about new requirements for reporting guns lost or stolen in transit.
• Increases mental health treatment and submission of its record to the federal background check registry, which removes patients privacy limits.
• The administration also plans to invest 500 million dollar to increase access to mental health care.
During his address, Obama chided lawmakers for failing to enact tighter gun control measures despite a wave of recent mass shootings. He also called on them and American people to find the courage to do more.
Gun Violence in the US
• It is estimated that there are more than 300 million guns in circulation in the United States, more than one per person.
• In the past decade, more than 100000 people have died as a result of gun violence and more than 30000 Americans die from gun violence every year.
• More than 4 million Americans have been the victims of assaults, robberies, and other crimes involving a gun in the last decade.
• More than 20000 children under 18 have been killed by firearms over the last decade.
• More than 20000 Americans commit suicide with a firearm each year.