NEW YORK –The Obama administration will announce a series of executive actions on Tuesday to combat gun violence in the U.S.
Among other things, the actions would expand mandatory background checks for some private sales. The administration would also provide more funding for mental health treatment, FBI staff and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives agents.
Republicans in Congress and on the presidential campaign trail have blasted any attempt by the White House to crack down on gun rules.
“These are not only recommendations that are well within my legal authority and the executive branch,” Obama told reporters gathered in the Oval Office. “But they are also ones that the overwhelming majority of the American people, including gun owners, support and believe in.”
With Attorney General Loretta Lynch by his side, the President said he planned to roll out the new restrictions, aimed at combating a wave of recent shootings, in the coming days. He will hold a town hall on the topic Thursday that will air on CNN and is expected to make it a focus next week during his final State of the Union address.
After seeing a broad set of gun control initiatives repeatedly stalled or defeated by Congress, White House sources said last week it would pursue unilateral action, likely including some effort to bolster background check requirements for a wide range of sellers, enraging critics who see this as presidential overreach.
“Pretty soon you won’t be able to get guns,” Donald Trump told CNN’s Chris Cuomo Monday during an interview on “New Day.” “It’s another step in the way of not getting guns.”
Ahead of Obama’s meeting, House Speaker Paul Ryan called out the President’s “dismissiveness” toward the Second Amendment as well as Congress.
“While we don’t yet know the details of the plan, the President is at minimum subverting the legislative branch, and potentially overturning its will,” Ryan said in a statement Monday. “His proposals to restrict gun rights were debated by the United States Senate, and they were rejected. No President should be able to reverse legislative failure by executive fiat, not even incrementally.”