Obama proposes firearm background check changes - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Obama proposes firearm background check changes

By JULIE PACE, AP White House Correspondent

HONOLULU (AP) - The Obama administration on Friday announced a pair of executive actions aimed at strengthening federal background checks for gun purchasers, with a particular focus on limiting firearm access for those with mental health issues. One proposed rule change aims to clarify terminology used by federal law to prohibit people from purchasing a firearm for mental health reasons. The administration said states have complained that some wording is ambiguous, making it difficult to determine who should be blocked from buying a weapon.

The change also will help states determine what information may be shared with the federal background check system for firearms transfers. The system has prevented more than 2 million guns from falling into the wrong hands, the Justice Department says.

A second proposed rule change would give hospitals and other entities covered by patient privacy provisions more flexibility in the information they provide to the background check system. However, the administration said the rule change would not require reporting on general mental health care or legally prohibit someone from having a firearm solely because they sought treatment.

The White House announced the proposals while President Barack Obama was vacationing in Hawaii.

Obama put forward sweeping gun control measures last year following the horrific elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn. But the toughest proposals, including stricter background checks, fell flat on Capitol Hill, forcing the White House to rely on piecemeal measures that can be implemented without congressional approval.

Several perpetrators of the nation's worst mass shootings have had mental health issues, including Newtown shooter Adam Lanza. However, they acquired their guns in different ways, with Lanza using firearms purchased by his mother when he went on a rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary.

In announcing the proposed rule changes, the White House also called on Congress to again tackle gun control issues this year. However, there's little indication that lawmakers plan to take up the issue.

"Today, we are taking steps to further strengthen the federal background check system. It's time Congress joins us in this effort," Vice President Joe Biden wrote on Twitter. Biden has headed up the White House's anti-gun violence efforts following the Newtown shooting.

Friday's rule changes were proposed by the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services. The agencies must accept and analyze public comments before issuing final rules.

-

Follow Julie Pace at http://twitter.com/jpaceDC

 

  • Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • Texas gang member executed for killing girl, grandmother

    Texas gang member executed for killing girl, grandmother

    Wednesday, April 25 2018 12:55 AM EDT2018-04-25 04:55:40 GMT
    Thursday, April 26 2018 1:23 AM EDT2018-04-26 05:23:56 GMT
    (Texas Department of Criminal Justice via AP). This undated photo provided by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice shows Erick Davila. Attorneys for the Texas death row inmate want the U.S. Supreme Court to halt his scheduled execution this week fo...(Texas Department of Criminal Justice via AP). This undated photo provided by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice shows Erick Davila. Attorneys for the Texas death row inmate want the U.S. Supreme Court to halt his scheduled execution this week fo...
    Attorneys for a condemned Texas prisoner are asking the US Supreme Court to halt his execution for killing a young girl and her grandmother in 2008.
    Attorneys for a condemned Texas prisoner are asking the US Supreme Court to halt his execution for killing a young girl and her grandmother in 2008.
  • Macron resists Trump's 'America first' in speech to Congress

    Macron resists Trump's 'America first' in speech to Congress

    Wednesday, April 25 2018 11:30 AM EDT2018-04-25 15:30:41 GMT
    Thursday, April 26 2018 1:22 AM EDT2018-04-26 05:22:26 GMT
    (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais). French President Emmanuel Macron gestures as he is introduced before speaking to a joint meeting of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, April 25, 2018.(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais). French President Emmanuel Macron gestures as he is introduced before speaking to a joint meeting of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, April 25, 2018.
    French President Emmanuel Macron extolled the "special bond" between the United States and France during his speech in front of a joint meeting of Congress.
    French President Emmanuel Macron extolled the "special bond" between the United States and France during his speech in front of a joint meeting of Congress.
  • Trump lawyer says he'll plead the Fifth in porn actress case

    Trump lawyer says he'll plead the Fifth in porn actress case

    Wednesday, April 25 2018 7:08 PM EDT2018-04-25 23:08:55 GMT
    Thursday, April 26 2018 1:22 AM EDT2018-04-26 05:22:14 GMT
    Michael Cohen appears in front of members of the media after a closed door meeting with the Senate Intelligence Committee last year. (Source: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)Michael Cohen appears in front of members of the media after a closed door meeting with the Senate Intelligence Committee last year. (Source: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

    President Donald Trump's personal attorney says he'll exercise his constitutional right against self-incrimination in a lawsuit brought by a porn actress who said she had an affair with Trump.

    President Donald Trump's personal attorney says he'll exercise his constitutional right against self-incrimination in a lawsuit brought by a porn actress who said she had an affair with Trump.

Powered by Frankly