23 Executive Actions by President Obama for Gun Control

1. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system.

2. Address unnecessary legal barriers, particularly relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, that may prevent states from making information available to the background check system.

3. Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system.

4. Direct the Attorney General to review categories of individuals prohibited from having a gun to make sure dangerous people are not slipping through the cracks.

5. Propose rulemaking to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun.

6. Publish a letter from ATF to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers.

7. Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign.

8. Review safety standards for gun locks and gun safes (Consumer Product Safety Commission).

9. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations.

10. Release a DOJ report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and make it widely available to law enforcement.

11. Nominate an ATF director. (B. Todd Jones, currently acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The ATF has been 6 years without a director.)

12. Provide law enforcement, first responders, and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations.

13. Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime.

14. Issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.

15. Direct the Attorney General to issue a report on the availability and most effective use of new gun safety technologies and challenge the private sector to develop innovative technologies.

16. Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.

17. Release a letter to health care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law enforcement authorities.

18. Provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers.

19. Develop model emergency response plans for schools, houses of worship and institutions of higher education.

20. Release a letter to state health officials clarifying the scope of mental health services that Medicaid plans must cover.

21. Finalize regulations clarifying essential health benefits and parity requirements within ACA exchanges.

22. Commit to finalizing mental health parity regulations.

23. Launch a national dialogue led by Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan on mental health.

Chicago, the New Murder Capital of the United States

Newt Gingrich - Photo: Gage Skidmore
Newt Gingrich – Photo: Gage Skidmore
Newt Gingrich presented a probing newsletter to members of House members questioning the effectiveness of Chicago’s anti-gun tactics and Chicago’s undeserved title of Murder Capital of the United States. A title earned with over 500 gun homicides last year — about 1 for every 5,300 people.

Gingrich asked, Why doesn’t Vice President Biden take his gun commission to Chicago, the murder capital of the United States and a place with some of the strictest gun laws in the country? By way of comparison, New York City had just 237 gun homicides with more than three times the population — only about three gun homicides per 100,000 people.

Chicago had more than 500 gun homicides in 2012, roughly 19 per 100,000 people. This puts the city of Chicago at more than 6 times the national gun homicide rate.

RT News recently reported that Chicago’s murder rate has far outpaced even other notoriously dangerous cities and will most likely be 2013’s US murder capital with 18 murders so far this year. New York City has only seen seven murders through Jan. 7, even though its population is three times as large as Chicago while Detroit, MI, which is experiencing a 20-year murder rate high, was host to six homicides through Sunday.

Yet in Chicago, it is effectively illegal to possess a handgun outside the confines of your own home. (Even taking the gun outdoors on your own property can be illegal.) Long guns face similar prohibitions outside the home or place of business. And if you have more than one gun in your household, only one at a time may be maintained in “operable” condition.

All gun owners must register themselves with Chicago police, allow themselves to be fingerprinted and take a training course on gun use, supervised by police officers, in addition to paying a $100 fee. They must also register each gun individually, at a cost of $15 per firearm.
In addition, a whole assortment of rifles and shotguns are banned completely, including many of the so-called “assault” weapons.

These prohibitions are not new to the city. In fact, for most of the last 30 years, Chicago had even stricter laws than they do today. In 2010, the Supreme Court struck down a ban on all handguns that had been on the books since 1982. The city continues to attempt to restrict guns as much as it can get away with without conflicting with the Court’s decision.

Many media elites, who are wealthy enough that they rarely need to worry about their own personal safety, are saying constantly these days that the U.S.’s gun homicide rate — higher than some cherry picked countries with gun bans — is proof that we, too, need to disarm our population.

But in Chicago, officials have gone as far as they can toward an outright ban and the city has one of the highest gun homicide rates in the developed world.

If the absence of strong gun laws account for gun violence, then how do they explain such significant outliers as Chicago? How many of these advocates for prohibition would feel the same way if they had to live in a place with the kind of lawlessness that is occurring in Chicago, with a murder rate many times the national average?

The Vice President’s commission on gun control ought to start there in the murder capital of America… and the House Republicans should immediately begin hearings on how the gun control laws now being proposed have worked out for the people of the Windy City.

The answer, as last year’s historic gun homicide rate suggests, is not very well.

2012 NICS numbers are in

20130102_1998_2012_monthly_yearly_totalsThe FBI released the numbers for the NICS checks done this year, which includes the crazy month of December. I had heard anecdotal stories from local FFLs of them having trouble contacting NICS and that they had gotten a rarely heard busy signal from the number, so I knew the numbers were high. I had no idea they would skew that much higher than previous months.

Doing some quick math, this entire year was up 19% from last year but that seems on par with 2012 being an election year.

The unbelievable numbers start when you compare December to other months of this year. November was when the election hit and the ensuing rush we all witnessed happened but even still December had an increase of 39% over the already elevated background check numbers of November. If you want to see how December compares to a more normal month, you can roll back to February. That month had the 3rd highest number of NICS checks for the year but stated close to the average of the other months. December dwarfs that month with almost 60% more background checks.

Of course, these numbers don’t paint the entire picture as not every background check results in a sale. These stats do however help explain the wild variances we’ve all seen in the supply and demand of the firearms market recently.

The Premier Chicagoland Firearm Owners Community