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Obama Gun Proposal: Background Checks for All Gun Purchases

President Obama spoke to the nation this morning about his proposal to reduce gun violence; recommends background check for all gun purchases, assault weapons ban.

Editor's note: Updated at 7 p.m. Jan. 16 to include reaction from Congressman Bill Foster.

President Obama spoke to the nation this morning and presented a proposal to reduce gun violence.

Click here to view video of the president's proposal, or click on the video accompanying this article.

"I will put everything I've got into this and so will Joe [Biden]," Obama said in his closing remarks today.

Of particular note in his proposal, Obama called for the following:

  • Reinstate lapsed ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines.
  • Requiring background checks on all gun purchases.
  • Ban armor piercing ammunition.
  • Called on Congress to confirm a new director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
  • Improve access to mental health services and provide information to mental health professionals who want to report threats of violence.
  • Provide incentives for schools to hire resource officers, should they choose to, to step up school security.

Newly sworn-in Congressman Bill Foster, D-11, released the following statement Wednesday night in reaction to Obama's proposal:

The recent gun violence is a terrible tragedy and I have the deepest sympathy for the families who have been impacted.

The executive actions proposed by the Administration demonstrate that the President is listening to law enforcement and giving them the tools they need to effectively enforce the laws on the books. There are many things the federal government can and should do to reduce gun violence and prevent these kinds of tragedies from happening.

We’ve seen a strong example of that in Aurora, Illinois where the murder rate went from 25 murders in 2002 and 2003 to 0 murders last year.  This dramatic reduction was due in no small part to the coordinated intervention of the federal government including the FBI and the AFT and local law enforcement officials. 

As Congress begins to draft legislation to address this issue, I hope they will look closely at the success in Aurora and find ways to duplicate this partnership in communities throughout the country. 

Democrats and Republicans can and must work together to find common ground on this issue to find solutions that protect our Second Amendment rights while keeping guns out of the hands of those who would use them for harm. 

Did you see the president's address this morning? Tell us what you thought in comments below. Do Obama's recommendations seem like a common sense approach to you, or are you concerned about the rights of gun owners?

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Rev January 18, 2013 at 06:22 PM
I need large capacity magazines and accurate semi-auto firearms for the same reason the police and military do, and for the same reasons.
Olddeegee January 18, 2013 at 06:32 PM
REV- Really? Nice levelheaded reasoning. Have a lot of intruders, do ya? Are the "gang-bangers" out to get ya? Are you a licensed authority or even, (gulp) part of a well regulated militia? All of the above? I'll hang up and wait for the voices in your head to tell you what to do next.
Olddeegee January 18, 2013 at 06:35 PM
If the intelligent voters get it right it'll be our business. Your side can't even get together a true electoral slate let alone organize sane laws without lobbying scum that actually do the law writing for the bribed congressmen. You'll all soon be part of a sad chapter in US history.
Rev January 19, 2013 at 05:10 AM
Olddeegee - You never know, better safe then sorry. Yes, I am licensed, as all legal firearms owners in Illinois must be. Per Illinois law we are both members of the Illinois Militia, but that does not matter as the 2nd amendment does not say you must be a militia member to own a firearm. There is no difference between a AR-15 and a hunting rifle, none. Using the same logic that is being used to try to ban "assault weapons" (a made up term) we could also ban cars with spoilers, speed rated tires, 100MPH speedos, etc.. None of the features that classify a weapon as "assault" make the firearm any more deadly, it is all about "looks". Further, as the AWB of 94 showed no discernible effect in overall crime, none. Police, as good as they are, will always respond second to a crime scene, if someone breaks into your home and threatens your family, YOU must be able to defend them, the police can not. Want to ban high capacity magazines? fine I will just buy and carry more.
Ernie Knight January 28, 2013 at 06:15 PM
"Your side"? Who would that be? Are you talking about the 4 million members of the NRA, the 8 million licensed trained law-abiding civilian concealed firearms permit holders, and other like-minded individuals? Or are you talking about the few wealthy anti-gun elitists like Bloomberg and Soros, who are more than happy to trample our rights?

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