Did you know that it’s currently possible to buy a gun at a gun show without having to pass a criminal background check?
It’s true and President Obama isn’t happy about it. He announced plans to pass an executive action to tighten gun control laws, including an expansion of criminal background checks on prospective purchasers of firearms.
Obama decided to take action in response to a perceived inability of the U.S. Congress to pass meaningful gun control legislation in the wake of a number of high-profile mass shootings and other gun crimes. Additionally, the Obama administration noticed that gun violence, including gun-related homicides, has risen in recent years.
After meeting with U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Obama, in his weekly address, spoke to the nation about his plans to impose tough gun restrictions through an executive action. Obama specifically called on U.S. citizens “to stand up and fight for the change” he is seeking.
One of the major provisions in the planned executive action is going to focus on closing what is known as the “gun show loophole.” Under this loophole, private purchasers of firearms at gun shows are sometimes able to avoid having to pass a federal criminal background check before completing their purchases.
Although most sellers of guns and other firearms are required to obtain licenses and ensure that background checks are conducted on potential buyers, federal law excludes private sellers from these requirements. That’s because the law only applies to people who are specifically “engaged in the business” of selling firearms.
After the tragic mass shooting in Newtown, the U.S. Senate rejected a proposed bill that would have closed the gun show loophole. As a result, the Obama administration expects to get blowback for bypassing Congress this time around. The National Rifle Association (NRA) has already expressed disappointment that Obama is seeking to pass an executive action after Congress rejected his earlier calls for gun control legislation.
Obama also took the U.S. Congress to task for failing to pass gun control legislation in the aftermath of mass shootings in Newtown, Connecticut and San Bernardino, California. Obama specifically referenced the tragic school shooting in Newtown in 2012 when he pointedly asked, “What if Congress did something – anything – to protect our kids from gun violence?”
To learn more about Obama’s plan to take direct action on gun control, check out the CNN.com article, “Obama, Lynch to Meet Ahead of New Executive Action on Guns.”
If you or a loved one has been charged with illegal possession of a handgun, unlawful possession of a weapon or any other gun crime in New Jersey, you need to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney immediately. The experienced South Jersey criminal defense lawyers at the Law Offices of John W. Tumelty will fight your criminal charges and help you avoid the most serious penalties. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation about your case.