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White House issues new executive orders on gun control

Vice President Joe Biden said Thursday that the administration still intends to work with lawmakers, but they aren’t exactly waiting around for them either.
/ Source: MSNBC TV

Vice President Joe Biden said Thursday that the administration still intends to work with lawmakers, but they aren’t exactly waiting around for them either.

San Francisco police officers carry surrendered firearms during a gun buyback event on August 8, 2013 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

New gun control legislation came to a screeching halt on the Senate floor earlier in the year, so the White House opted to go it alone this time around.

Vice President Joe Biden announced Thursday, two Obama administration executive actions aimed at reducing gun violence, that’s in addition to a list of 23 other restrictions enacted in January.

Biden, who spoke at the ceremonial swearing in of Todd Jones director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said that the administration still intends to work with lawmakers on new gun measures, but they aren’t exactly waiting around for them either.

“The president and I are going to continue to do work with the Congress, to continue to strengthen gun safety laws in this country,” Biden said. “But in the meantime, the president and I – the president’s going to continue to do everything we can within our executive authority to try to reduce gun violence in America.”

He added, “If Congress won’t act we’ll fight for a new Congress. It’s that simple.”

In an effort to keep military-grade weapons off the streets, one new policy will prevent the government from selling or donating old firearms to allies that eventually get re-imported back into the United States via private entities. The government has approved requests to reimport more than 250,000 weapons since 2005, according to the White House. Now—with the exceptions of museums—they will deny these requests.

The Obama administration also wants to ban the practice of registering guns to corporations or trusts—a hush-hush way for felons and others ineligible gun carriers to skirt background checks. Under the proposed regulation, individuals linked to these groups, such as beneficiaries or trustees, would need to pass background checks, just like everybody else.

Gun safety advocates suffered a major setback in April after the Senate rejected a the background checks bill, stalling the growing momentum for increased gun control, post-Newtown.