Obama moves to require background checks for more gun sales

President Barack Obama speaks in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington on Monday.  (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

President Barack Obama speaks in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington on Monday. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama moved Monday to require all gun sellers to register as dealers — even those who sell at gun shows and online — and to run background checks on all prospective purchasers, aiming to curb a scourge of gun violence despite unyielding opposition to new gun laws in Congress.

In a bid to narrow the so-called gun show loophole, the Justice Department’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives will issue updated guidance that says the government can consider someone a gun dealer regardless of where he or she sells the guns, officials said.

Only federally licensed gun dealers must conduct background checks on buyers, and gun control advocates say people who sell guns outside of gun stores exploit that provision to skirt the background check requirement.

Obama’s executive actions on gun control fall short of what some gun control advocates have called for, but were nevertheless sure to spark a confrontation with Republicans and gun rights groups that oppose new impediments to buying guns.

“We’re very comfortable that the president can legally take these actions now,” said Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

In an attempt to prevent gun purchases from falling through the cracks, the FBI will hire 230 more examiners to process background checks, the White House said. The FBI has a computerized system that can process background checks for many in seconds. But in instances where the FBI needs more time, the government only has three days before prospective buyers can return and buy the gun without being cleared.

Obama defended the measures even before they were announced, insisting they fall within his legal authority and uphold the Second Amendment right to own a gun. He planned to announce the new measures at an event at the White House on Tuesday.

“This is not going to solve every violent crime in this country,” Obama said. Still, he added, “It will potentially save lives and spare families the pain of these extraordinary losses.”

Barack ObamaCongressFBIgun controlUS

Just Posted

Dominion Voting Systems, a Denver-based vendor, is under contract to supply voting machines for elections in San Francisco. (Kevin N. Hume/Examiner file)
Is San Francisco’s elections director impeding voting machine progress?

Open source technology could break up existing monopoly

The 49ers take on the Packers in Week 3 of the NFL season, before heading into a tough stretch of divisional opponents. (Courtesy San Francisco 49ers)
‘Good for Ball’ or ‘Bad for Ball’ — A Niners analysis

By Mychael Urban Special to The Examiner What’s the first thing that… Continue reading

Health experts praised Salesforce for keeping its Dreamforce conference at Moscone Center outdoors and on a small scale. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Happy birthday, Marc Benioff. Your company did the right thing

Salesforce kept Dreamforce small, which made all kinds of sense

Former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, pictured with Rose Pak in 2014, says the late Chinatown activist was “helping to guide the community away from the divisions, politically.”
Willie and Rose: How an alliance for the ages shaped SF

How the Mayor and Chinatown activist shaped San Francisco, then and now

The Grove in Golden Gate Park is maintained largely by those who remember San Francisco’s 20,000 AIDS victims.<ins> (Open Eye Pictures/New York Times)</ins>
Looking at COVID through the SF prism of AIDS

AIDS took 40 years to claim 700,000 lives. COVID surpassed that number in 21 months

Most Read