Recently gun legislature in the USA has been put under scrutiny following the shooting in California which left 14 people dead. Gun crime has always been a big problem in the USA, in 2015 alone there were 353 mass shootings. The number of people who die annually from gunfire is so extensive in the US that the death toll between 1968 and 2011 eclipses all wars ever fought by the country. The right for citizens to own guns is protected by the Second Amendment of the US Constitution and fiercely defended by lobby groups such as the National Rifle Association.
Barack Obama has proposed a new executive order on gun control on Monday 4th January this year, aiming to make gun sales easier to monitor, and keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill and people with criminal records. These controls are as follows; requiring all gun sellers to be licensed, and subjecting them to criminal prosecution if not, which could include up to five years in prison. Closing the “loophole” where gun buyers were able to acquire guns without a background check through the ‘gun trust’, a legal entity whereby gun owners were allowed to pass on their weapons to their family members. Another order will be to make gun dealers responsible for reporting missing weapons. There will be more vigorous background checks on those seeking to buy a gun and there will be 500 million dollars invested into increasing access to mental healthcare.
The new proposals do not include some other restrictions that have been discussed recently, including the banning sales of guns to those suspected of terrorist activity, banning sales of automatic weapons and limiting sales of ammunition.
The Republicans have already vowed to fight this executive order. Although most Americans favor stronger gun control, the Republican-led US senate has unrelentingly prevented efforts to increase it through legislature.
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