President Obama is set to use his White House powers to tighten gun control next week, including placing more restrictions on gun sellers, according to a new report.
Obama will use executive actions to expand licensing requirements for small-scale sellers, Politico reported.
Such a change would result in more sellers having to conduct background checks but wouldn’t completely close the so-called “gun show loophole,” which allows for firearm purchases at such venues without a check.
The White House declined a request by Fox News late Thursday to comment on the story.
However, principal deputy press secretary Eric Schultz acknowledged that the president has asked his team to “scrub existing legal authorities” to see whether he can take additional administrative action” and that Obama expects the work to be completed soon.
Schultz also essentially repeated what the White House has previously said about trying to end gun violence in the absence of action on Capitol Hill.
“The president has made clear the most impactful way to address the crisis of gun violence in our country is for Congress to pass some common sense, gun-safety measures,” Schultz told Fox News. “The president has made clear he’s not satisfied with where we are.”
The proposed action follows a recent flurry of gun violence including an allegedly racially-motivated June 2015 incident in which a 21-year-old gunman killed nine people inside the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, in Charleston, S.C., and last month a husband-wife Muslim couple fatally shooting 14 people at a holiday party in San Bernardino, Calif.
The most recent efforts to tighten gun-ownership laws were largely sparked by a 2012 incident in which a gunman killed 20 children and six adults inside Sandy Hook elementary school, in Newtown, Conn.
Politico reports the president is trying to make changes before his presidency ends in January 2017 and before the 2016 White House race further dominates the news and Americans’ attention.
The administration is also expected to impose tighter rules for reporting guns that get lost or stolen on their way to a buyer, according to Politico.
Obama also reportedly will tighten the definition of being “engaged in the business” of selling guns.
Existing law states those who sell guns with the “principal objective of livelihood and profit” have to get a dealer’s license through the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. That means they also have to conduct a background check on buyers no matter where they sell, including online or at a gun show.
Everytown, the pro-gun control group led by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, has reportedly recommended adding to the definition the selling guns in their original packaging and reselling a gun shortly after acquiring it.
Another new, likely requirement is that licensed dealers and manufacturers will have to report to federal authorities guns that are stolen in transit to a buyer.
ATF first proposed the new regulation in August 2014, but the gun industry successfully argued that voluntary reporting program was sufficient.