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Obama makes executive move on gun control

United States President Barack Obama has used his executive order to announce modest gun restriction measures.

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In an emotional White House speech, he called for a sense of national urgency to address gun violence.

Brianna Roberts has more.

For President Barack Obama, a long and political fraught battle to pass gun control measures appears to have taken an emotional toll.

Mr Obama previously described the failure to tackle gun control as the greatest frustration of his Presidency.

As he announced limited gun restrictions, and reflected on the massacre at Sandy Hook Primary school in 2012, he paused wipe away a tear.

Every time I think about those kids, it gets me mad. And by the way it happens on the streets of Chicago every day.”

The executive actions announced by the President include expanded background checks for buyers, as well an investment in mental health care.

Mr Obama says government departments will also explore development of new technology to improve gun safety.

“If we can set it up so you cant unlock your phone unless you’ve got the right fingerprint, why can’t we do the same thing for our guns? If there’s an app that can help us find a missing tablet – which happens to me often the older I get, if we can do it for your iPad there’s no reason we can’t do it with a stolen gun.”

Drawing on executive powers granted to Presidents in the constitution, most of the actions can be carried out without the approval of congress.

Democratic presidential candidate Hilary Clinton has welcomed Mr Obama’s announcement.

“90 people a day die from gun violence – that’s 33,000 people a year. Homicides, suicides and terrible, avoidable accidents. I know we are smart enough as a country to protect the rights of responsible gun owners consistent with our constitution and to do more to keep guns out of the hands of felons, fugitives, stalkers and for godness sakes, potential terrorists. “

But not everyone has welcomes the measures.

In a Facebook post, the Republican party accused Mr Obama of overstepping his constitution authority to force his policies on the American people.

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush tweeted that he would repeal the actions and protect the Second Amendment.

Gun lobby groups have also condemned the measures.

Executive Director of Gun Owners of America, Larry Pratt says he expects the move will backfire for the Democrats.

“The president and by extension the Democrats are making a big mistake but I wouldn’t want to try to restrain them too much. Every time the Democrats get involved in pushing gun control politically it costs them an arm and a leg. And if they want to go into the 2016 as the champion of gun control be my guest.”

The United States congress has been reluctant to pass any laws restricting gun ownership, facing pressure from gun owners and the powerful National Rifle Association.

Mr Obama’s attempts to introduce expanded background check legislation after a 2012 shooting in Connecticut – failed in Congress.

 

 

 

 

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