Obama may be able to do something on gun control at last: reports

Washington: US President Barack Obama is expected to announce executive actions expanding background checks on gun sales, media outlets reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with White House proposals and planning.

The changes, which could come as soon as next week, would include requiring more small-scale gun sellers to be licensed and to conduct a background check whenever selling a weapon, Politico reported.

Additional measures would impose tighter rules for reporting guns that are lost or stolen on their way to a buyer, the political news website said.

Planning for the action is not complete and the announcement could be delayed, CNN reported. But gun control advocates told the cable news channel they are expecting the actions to be announced ahead of Mr Obama's annual State of the Union address, scheduled for January 12.

A White House spokesman said Mr Obama was aware that Congress was unlikely to take legislative action to reform gun laws as he has demanded.


"That is why he has asked his team to scrub existing legal authorities to see if there's any additional action we can take administratively," spokesman Eric Schultz said.

Mr Obama is on holiday with his family in Hawaii.

"The President has made clear he's not satisfied with where we are and expects that work to be completed soon," Mr Schultz said.

At least 265 children under the age of 18 picked up a firearm and accidentally shot themselves or someone else with it in 2015, according to numbers compiled by the gun control advocacy group, Everytown USA.

That's about five accidental shootings by children each week last year. Of those, 83 ended in death. Forty-one under-age shooters accidentally killed themselves, and other people 42 times. Figures don't include homicides by teens and suicides.

Mr Obama has repeatedly urged Congress to tighten gun laws, with his calls growing louder following the 2012 massacre at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, and again in the northern hemisphere autumn after mass shootings in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and San Bernardino, California.

The day after the San Bernardino attacks, which killed 14 people and injured 21 in December, legislators in the US Senate debated gun control but failed to advance any legislation addressing the violence.

Frustrated with little action from Congress, Mr Obama has vowed to use "whatever power this office holds" to put in place gun control measures via executive action.


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