The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Politics

January 15, 2013

Obama's game plan?

(Continued)

Installing a permanent director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The agency has had an acting director for some time.

CAN BE ACCOMPLISHED THROUGH EXECUTIVE ORDER

Biden has identified 19 potential actions the president could take on his own, according to Jenny Werwa, communications director for California Rep. Jackie Speier, who was among a group of House Democrats who met with the vice president on Monday. Among the actions Biden is believed to have recommended:

Ordering tougher penalties for people who lie on background checks; only a fraction of these cases currently are prosecuted. Such a step has support from the NRA, which argues that existing laws must be enforced before new ones are considered.

Elevating gun trafficking to a felony.

Ending limits that make it more difficult for the government to research gun violence, such as gathering data on guns that fall into criminal hands.

Giving schools flexibility to use federal grant money to improve school safety, such as by hiring school resource officers.

Giving communities grants to institute programs to keep guns away from people who shouldn't have them.

ADDITIONALLY

Obama's proposals also are expected to include recommendations to address violence in entertainment and video games. The NRA and other gun-rights groups argue that insufficient mental health care and violent images in the media are more to blame for mass shootings than the availability of guns.

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