President Obama has signed 23 executive orders designed to address gun violence in the wake of the Sandy Point shootings. There have been hundreds of negative accusations thrown online. Unfortunately, there has been precious little examination of the 23 executive orders.
It has been the position of “Gun Rights” proponents that sufficient laws are already on the books… if the administration would simply enforce what exists. The executive orders do exactly what gun rights proponents have been calling for. The President is constitutionally accountable for the implementation of laws already passed by the Congress. He is encouraged to make recommendations that plug gaps. Here are the 23 executive orders President Obama signed:
- Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system.
- Address unnecessary legal barriers, particularly relating to the Health Records that may prevent states from making information available to the background check system.
- Improve incentives for states to share information.
- 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.
- Propose rulemaking to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on individuals before returning a seized gun.
- Publish a letter from ATF to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers.
- Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign.
- Review safety standards for gun locks and gun safes.
- Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations.
- Release a report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and make it widely available to law enforcement.
- Nominate an ATF director.
- Provide law enforcement, first responders, and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations.
- Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime.
- Direct the Centers for Disease Control to research causes and prevention of gun violence.
- 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.
- Clarify that interpretations of the Affordable Care Act. It does not prohibit or require doctors to ask their patients about guns in their homes.
- Release a letter to health care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law enforcement authorities.
- Provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers.
- Develop model emergency response plans for schools, houses of worship and institutions of higher education.
- Release a letter to state health officials clarifying the scope of mental health services that Medicaid plans must cover.
- Finalize regulations clarifying essential health benefits and parity requirements within ACA exchanges.
- Commit to finalizing mental health parity regulations.
- Launch a national dialogue led by Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan on mental health.
Nine of the 23 executive orders signed address information transparency between levels and departments of government. Seven orders encourage discussion of mental health evaluations and dispel clarify interpretations of existing law that have prevented identification of individuals who pose a possible risk to the general public. Three orders encourage distribution within law enforcement of information about weapons swept up in criminal investigations.
Two orders encourage public cooperation with existing law. Single orders encourage additional policemen in schools and review gun safety devices for effectiveness. One order makes a model emergency plan available to potential threat environments as a start to their emergency planning.
The final order suggests that a national gun safety program be supported. The same program is already required of folks prior to using the NRA range. None of the orders address controversial regulations. They are common sense actions which implement existing law.
Americans have a right to own weapons, but some restrictions are reasonable. Others should be open for discussion without name-calling. Opposition for noises sake is half-cocked.