EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSEXECUTIVE ORDERS
from Eyewitness News Online
President Signs 23 Gun Control Directives He Says Will Make America Safer
Reported by: Kennie Bass
Videographer: Matt Durrett
Web Producer: Kennie Bass
Reported: Jan. 16, 2013 5:57 PM EST
Updated: Jan. 17, 2013 11:53 AM EST
Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
Surrounded by children who had written him letters urging action in the wake of the Connecticut school massacre, President Barack Obama signs 23 executive orders designed to address gun violence.
Obama says measures like strengthening background checks on gun purchases, limiting high-capacity ammunition magazines and banning certain types of assault weapons will make America a safer place.
"This is our first task as a society, keeping our children safe," Obama said.
Despite the president's moves, he says the actions likely to have the most impact will have to be approved by congress. Right now, that appears to be a longshot, with several GOP lawmakers heavily criticizing Obama's decision.
"If Americans of every background stand up and say enough. We've suffered too much pain and care too much about our children to allow this to continue, then change will...change will come," Obama said.
During his remarks, the president directly challenged the National Rifle Association. He says the members of congress who support the NRA should be questioned by voters about their views.
West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, who is an NRA member, says discussions about gun safety have to include all points of view.
"Everybody should be at the table," Manchin said. "I hunt. I've been an NRA member> I'm a A-rated NRA member, always been supported. I need to know from those people say...wait a minute...this is why I want a clip with more than ten. I might disagree with you but I need to hear from you."
Here is a list of the president's executive orders:
1. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system.
2. Address unnecessary legal barriers, particularly relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, that may prevent states from making information available to the background check system.
3. Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system.
4. Direct the Attorney General to review categories of individuals prohibited from having a gun to make sure dangerous people are not slipping through the cracks.
5. Propose rulemaking to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun.
6. Publish a letter from ATF to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers.
7. Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign.
8. Review safety standards for gun locks and gun safes (Consumer Product Safety Commission).
9. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations.
10. Release a DOJ report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and make it widely available to law enforcement.
11. Nominate an ATF director.
12. Provide law enforcement, first responders, and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations.
13. Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime.
14. Issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.
15. Direct the Attorney General to issue a report on the availability and most effective use of new gun safety technologies and challenge the private sector to develop innovative technologies.
16. Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.
17. Release a letter to health care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law enforcement authorities.
18. Provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers.
19. Develop model emergency response plans for schools, houses of worship and institutions of higher education.
20. Release a letter to state health officials clarifying the scope of mental health services that Medicaid plans must cover.
21. Finalize regulations clarifying essential health benefits and parity requirements within ACA exchanges.
22. Commit to finalizing mental health parity regulations.
23. Launch a national dialogue led by Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan on mental health.
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