Obama May Use Power to Change a Gun-Control Rule

He's weighing new rules for high-volume private dealers: report
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 9, 2015 7:27 AM CDT
Obama May Use Power to Change a Gun-Control Rule
President Barack Obama pauses as he speaks about the shooting at Umpqua Community College on Oct. 1, 2015.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

President Obama's next executive action may be to expand background checks for some gun buyers—based on whom they're buying from. Obama, who reacted with emotion to the mass shooting at Umpqua Community College and will visit Roseburg, Ore., on Friday, is "seriously considering" new rules that would force private high-volume dealers to perform background checks on potential buyers, according to the Washington Post. Private dealers who sell a certain number of guns each year would also need to get a license. Nine days before the Umpqua shooting, gun-control activists Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, visited the White House to repeat their desire to see just such a rule put in place. Officials considered targeting dealers who sell at least 50 guns a year back in 2013, but the plan was ultimately put on ice.

The proposed rule change would clarify the federal statute, which notes anyone "engaged in the business" of dealing firearms needs to obtain a federal license and conduct background checks, except anyone "who makes occasional sales, exchanges, or purchases of firearms for the enhancement of a personal collection or for a hobby, or who sells all or part of his personal collection of firearms." Earlier this week, Hillary Clinton said she would take executive action to change the definition of a gun dealer if elected president, per the Post. A rep for the NRA, however, says the proposed change would "ensnare" a widow selling off her late husband's gun collection, for example. "People who repeatedly sell large volumes of firearms are already covered in the current statute," she says. (More Barack Obama stories.)

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