President Obama announced Tuesday new measures that he said would curb gun violence across the country.
“People are dying,” the president said. “And the constant excuses for inaction no longer do, no longer suffice. That is why we are here today. Not to debate the last mass shooting, but to do something to prevent the next one.”
Obama said his executive action would leverage existing law that requires all licensed gun sellers to carry out background checks of potential buyers. The president wants to make “anybody in the business of selling firearms” register as a licensed dealer. Such criteria would mean more oversight, particularly for people selling guns over the Internet, which could mean more buyers would be subject to background checks.
Obama said the FBI will hire more employees to work on the national background-check system; White House officials have promised that checks will be processed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The administration will also improve the process by which states submit mental-health records to the system, and fund research of gun-safety technology, he said.
“If we have the technology to unlock your phone without the right fingerprint, why can’t we do the same for our guns?” Obama said Tuesday. “If a child can’t open up a bottle of aspirin, we should make sure that they can’t pull the trigger on a gun.”