United States President Barack Obama is expected by many to soon issue an executive order, which will put more restrictions on the sale of firearms. The order could come by early-to-mid January, and it would require everyone in the business of selling guns to perform background checks. Currently, people who sell guns from their personal collections without a federal license are not required to conduct background checks on their customers.
Many firearms that are in sold in the United States are legally offered by individuals who aren’t technically considered to be firearm retailers. Instead, these people sell guns at weekend exhibitions or from their personal residences. In fact, estimates show that about 40% of all gun transfers in the United States take place without a background check, using the “gun show” loophole. Many have criticized this practice, as it allows some criminals to purchase guns that they otherwise would have been unable to.
But with a year marked by a series of shooting massacres, President Obama has seen enough. The president now wants to fully expand the scope of who is considered to be in the business of selling firearms, in order to make sure that everyone who tries to buy a gun will receive a background check. Many believe that this highly probable executive order will be one of the first major acts in Obama’s final year as president.
While many citizens have already expressed support for this plan, gun-rights advocates are expected to fight the move to the bitter end. The issue is expected to be a hot topic of discussion at the Shooting, Hunting & Outdoor Trade Show (SHOT) that will take place next month in Las Vegas. The exhibition could quickly dissolve into one giant protest.
However, many brick-and-mortar gun retailers will actually appreciate the move by Obama. They have said that they face competition from unlicensed retailers who currently have an advantage because of their ability to make sales without performing background checks.
Many politicians are likely to complain that President Obama doesn’t have the proper authority to make such a decision without getting Congress involved. There could very well be lawsuits from pro-gun lawmakers who are less than pleased with the mandate. And then of course, there’s the NRA, which maintains that any new restrictions on guns bring the country one step closer to bans and confiscation. Expect a heavy outcry from the pro-gun group.
And with a presidential election set to take place next November, the issue will continue to be discussed by presidential hopefuls during the election cycle. The gun debate to continue throughout 2016.