President urges ban on assault weapons

January 16, 2013

President Barack Obama's $500 million package to curb gun violence calls for a ban on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines as well as mandatory background checks for all gun buyers.

Obama announced his plan Wednesday morning. It is the biggest U.S. gun-control effort in generations, and is based on recommendations from month-long review led by Vice President Joe Biden. The previous ban on assault weapons expired in 2004.

Dallas Morning News reports that the president used his authority to issue 23 orders that do not require congressional approval.

According to the President's report, the plan includes four elements. 1. Closing background check loopholes to keep guns out of dangerous hands; 2. Banning military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and taking other common-sense steps to reduce gun violence; 3. Making schools safer; and 4. Increasing access to mental health services.

"The largely incremental executive steps include requiring federal agencies to make more data available for background checks, appointing a full-time director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and directing the Centers for Disease Control to research gun violence," the Morning News reports.

Reuters reports that the 23 orders also include "lifting the ban on federal research into gun violence, putting more counselors and resource officers in schools and improved access to mental health services."

You can view the President's plan to reduce gun violence here.