Obama Administration Has Doubts That Key Hillary Gun Proposal Can WorkPosted: October 7, 2015
Greg Sargent reports: Speaking at a rally in Iowa, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton recalled speaking with parents of victims of gun violence and condemned opposition to gun control laws. (Reuters)
When Hillary Clinton rolled out a series of new gun control proposals this week, one of the most newsworthy and controversial ideas she put forth was a vow to use executive action as president to fix the background check system if Congress refused to act.
But the Obama administration has already taken a long, internal look at the same executive-action proposal Clinton has promised to undertake, and has doubts over whether it can be made to work in practical terms, according to current and former senior administration officials.
The administration is still looking at this idea, in the wake of Obama’s announcement after the Oregon shooting that he has directed officials to “scrub” current laws for further actions the executive branch can take against gun violence, those officials say.
But the administration studied the same proposal in 2013 after the Newtown shooting, in the run-up to its release of a number of other executive actions on guns, and decided against including this particular idea out of concerns about its workability, the officials confirm.
The Clinton campaign has pointed to her vow to use executive action to begin closing the long-discussed private seller loophole — which allows for sales conducted by private sellers to proceed without a background check — as proof of her commitment to acting on gun violence. As a Clinton spokesperson put it: “Her willingness to pursue reforms by executive action if necessary is proof of how urgent a priority this is to her.”
But it turns out that this proposal may be harder to actually implement than it might seem.
The Obama administration has long been in discussions with gun control groups about this idea, according to sources familiar with these talks. The basic idea has long been that a simple rules change — through administrative action — can help close a loophole that is making it easier for guns to end up on the black market or in the hands of criminals….(read more)
Source: The Washington Post
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