White House orders new gun control rules

Updated
San Francisco police officers carry surrendered firearms during a gun buyback event on August 8, 2013 in San Francisco, California.
San Francisco police officers carry surrendered firearms during a gun buyback event on August 8, 2013 in San Francisco, California.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The White House Thursday issued two executive actions on gun control—one preventing the re-importation of firearms the U.S. military has donated to allies and another banning the practice of registering guns to corporations or trusts, a practice that allows felons to skip background checks.

Vice President Joe Biden introduced the orders Thursday at the swearing in of Todd Jones as director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Biden said that the administration still intends to work with lawmakers on new gun measures, but they aren’t exactly waiting around for them either.

“The president and I are going to continue to do work with the Congress, to continue to strengthen gun safety laws in this country,” Biden said. “But in the meantime, the president and I – the president’s going to continue to do everything we can within our executive authority to try to reduce gun violence in America.”

He added, “If Congress won’t act we’ll fight for a new Congress. It’s that simple.”

Obama had signed 23 executive orders in January.

In an effort to keep military-grade weapons off the streets, one new policy will prevent the government from selling or donating old firearms to allies that eventually get re-imported back into the United States via private entities. The government has approved requests to reimport more than 250,000 weapons since 2005, according to the White House. Now—with the exceptions of museums—they will deny these requests.

The Obama administration also wants to ban the practice of registering guns to corporations or trusts—a hush-hush way for felons and others ineligible gun carriers to skirt background checks. Under the proposed federal law, individuals linked to these groups, such as beneficiaries or trustees, would need to pass background checks, just like everybody else.

Gun safety advocates suffered a major setback in April after the Senate rejected a the background checks bill, stalling the growing momentum for increased gun control, post-Newtown.

A spokesman for the NRA, Andrew Arulanandam, said the measures were misguided, the Associated Press reported.

“The Obama administration has once again completely missed the mark when it comes to stopping violent crime,” Arulanandam said. “This administration should get serious about prosecuting violent criminals who misuse guns and stop focusing its efforts on law-abiding gun owners.”

White House orders new gun control rules

Updated