President Obama will reveal a two-part package to combat gun violence at the White House on Wednesday, according to Politico and The Washington Post: a blueprint for legislation to be passed on to Congress, and a set of 19 executive orders that would go into effect immediately. The White House has reportedly invited several groups that advocate gun control to the announcement, before which the President will meet with the groups to discuss the proposals, which stemmed from Vice President's Joe Biden commission in the wake of the Newtown school shooting.
While the outlines of Obama's package are both bold and clear — he wants to further restrict the sale and distribution of guns, and place harsher restrictions on those who break gun laws — the specifics of his executive orders remain relatively mysterious. The New York Times indicated that the proposals will focus on universal background checks and access to high-capacity clips, as an assault-weapons ban proves not nearly as feasible as certain executive orders. (Update: White House Press Secretary Jay Carney in his daily briefing that an assault-weapons band was among " specific legislative actions that [President Obama] will continue to call on Congress to take.) The Huffington Post reported that Biden also proposed making gun trafficking a federal crime. Even Democratic lawmakers whom Obama met with aren't really sure which areas of gun policy an executive order would affect:
Rep. Jackie Speier, who met with Vice President Joe Biden earlier in the day Monday, said there were “some 19 areas” President would be able to act on immediately through executive orders. [...]
“He didn’t go into detail on what they might be, but suffice it to say, there will be some considered that will not require Congressional action,” she added.
Obama has been much more forthcoming with his wishes for Congress, however:
Obama reiterated the priorities he emphasized shortly after last month’s deadly shooting in Newtown Conn, signaling what may come next. That includes stronger background checks on gun buyers, limiting access to high-capacity ammunition magazines, and a “meaningful” assault weapons ban.
“Will all of them get through this Congress? I don’t know,” said the president.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.