After a brief press conference with Vice-President Biden at the White House on Wednesday, President Obama bucked the conventional wisdom and signed into law several executive actions intended to reduce gun violence in the United States. As we've noted, Obama can't avoid major legislative battles with these measures, but some are sure to have immediate impact. Here's the full list, followed by instant reactions and some more presidential memos from the White House today:
Gun Violence Reduction Executive Actions
Today, the President is announcing that he and the Administration will:
1. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system.
2. Address unnecessary legal barriers, particularly relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, that may prevent states from making information available to the background check system.
3. Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system.
4. 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.
5. Propose rulemaking to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun.
6. Publish a letter from ATF to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers.
7. Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign.
8. Review safety standards for gun locks and gun safes (Consumer Product Safety Commission).
9. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations.
10. Release a DOJ report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and make it widely available to law enforcement.
11. Nominate an ATF director.
12. Provide law enforcement, first responders, and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations.
13. Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime.
14. Issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.
15. 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.
16. Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.
17. Release a letter to health care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law enforcement authorities.
18. Provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers.
19. Develop model emergency response plans for schools, houses of worship and institutions of higher education.
20. Release a letter to state health officials clarifying the scope of mental health services that Medicaid plans must cover.
21. Finalize regulations clarifying essential health benefits and parity requirements within ACA exchanges.
22. Commit to finalizing mental health parity regulations.
23. Launch a national dialogue led by Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan on mental health.
Many gun advocates are already upset with provisions No. 16 and 17, so here's some more clarification on Obamacare and these executive actions. And with the NRA and its new ad campaign — along with local law enforcement — set to being a wave of public reaction (the NRA's response Wednesday afternoon drew heated responses and a video, plus teachers chiming in), here is the full release explaining each directive:
Update (1:20 p.m.): The White House just released several presidential memos related to the executive actions and gun-violence proposals.
Here's is a memorandum about tracking down firearms relating to criminal investigations:
Here is a memo from President Obama to Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius about gun-violence research:
And here is a memo about the National Instant Criminal Background Check System: