President Barack Obama is announcing a $500 million package of executive actions and legislative proposals aimed at reducing gun violence a month in response to a mass shooting in Connecticut that killed 20 Sandy Hook elementary school children.
The package includes a call on Congress to ban military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and it would close loopholes in the gun sale background check system.
Among the initiatives outlined in President Obama's plan include;
- universal background checks for gun sales,
- the reinstatement and strengthening of the assault weapons ban,
- capping ammunition magazines to a 10-round limit, banning armor-piercing ammunition,
- providing schools with resource officers and school counselors,
- putting more police officers on the streets, creating serious punishments for gun trafficking,
- and ensuring that health insurance plans cover mental health benefits.
President Obama also signed 23 executive actions that require no congressional approval.
These 23 executive actions include;
- measures aimed at making federal background check data widely available, accessible, and maximally effective,
- staying ahead of the curve on the newest gun safety measures,
- tracing seized guns and ensuring they don't go back into the hands of dangerous gun owners,
- making sure schools and other institutions are equipped and prepared for the possibility of shooter situations,
- aggressively prosecuting gun crime,
- and improving mental health resources and discourse.