Executive Action on Gun Control Expected in New Year
Obama likely to shrink—not close—the 'gun show loophole'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 31, 2015 2:05 PM CST
President Obama is expected to start 2016 with an executive action on gun control.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

(Newser) – President Obama looks likely to begin his final year in office by taking unilateral action on gun control in an effort to reduce shooting deaths, CNN reports. The president is expected to release an executive action on gun control sometime before his Jan. 12 State of the Union address. According to Politico, the main component of the executive action would make the definition of who is a gun seller more specific than someone who sells guns with the "principal objective of livelihood and profit." That means people who only sell a few guns per year or sell their own gun collections could be required to be licensed and conduct background checks, CNN reports. According to Politico, this change would shrink—but not close—the "gun show loophole."

A second part of the executive action would require guns that are lost somewhere between the seller and buyer to be reported, Politico reports. Thieves will target packages addressed to gun sellers in order to get their hands on unregistered firearms. Currently, all reporting of those crimes is voluntary. According to CNN, the executive action could also increase funding to enforce gun laws. While the exact contents of the executive action are still under wraps or being decided, Politico reports it's almost certainly less than what Obama pushed for following the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012. Both increased licensing and mandatory reporting of stolen guns are opposed by gun-rights activists. Obama has taken 25 executive actions on gun control since 2013.