President Obama will take his new gun control push directly to the public Tuesday morning, announcing several executive orders that seek to expand background checks and close the so-called gun show loophole.
The moves mark an aggressive attempt by Obama in the final year of his presidency to make a lasting mark on an issue in which he has fallen short despite a number of mass shootings during his time in office. Although Obama has insisted that the orders fall within his legal powers, he is sure to encounter resistance from Congress, which he is bypassing.
A centerpiece of Obama's plan is to place more restrictions on sales by unlicensed dealers, particularly those who sell firearms at gun shows and online. Under the new rules, anyone engaged in the business of selling guns must obtain a federal seller's license and check the backgrounds of all buyers. The measure seeks to distinguish between hobbyists and collectors and for-profit traders who've managed to avoid stringent regulation.
"It doesn't matter where you conduct your business — from a store, at gun shows or over the Internet. If you're in the business of selling firearms, you must get a license and conduct background checks," White House adviser Valerie Jarrett said Monday.
The Obama administration outlined the proposed orders for the press Monday evening, but Obama will announced them publicly in a Tuesday morning speech in which he is expected to be backed by people who lost relatives in mass shootings.
The initiative also includes the hiring of hundreds of additional examiners to help the FBI conduct the added background checks. It also requires gun dealers to notify the ATF when their guns are lost or stolen.
The point of all of this, administration officials said, is to keep more guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill.