The presidential campaign of Barack Obama was largely viewed as grounds for hope from gun control activists and cause for concern from gun rights advocates. Several news outlets even reported that guns sales had increased sharply in anticipation of firearm restrictions once Obama took office, with CNN saying that gun sales had more than doubled in some states.
Until now President Obama's plans for gun control were conjecture, but his administration took a relatively small but significant step towards declaring their firearm policy by releasing a list of priorities on the official Web site of the president, whitehouse.gov. This policy outline addressed gun policy in two areas:
"End the Dangerous Cycle of Youth Violence: Obama and Biden support innovative local programs, like the CeaseFire program in Chicago, which implement a community-based strategy to prevent youth violence and have been proven effective.
"Address Gun Violence in Cities: Obama and Biden would repeal the Tiahrt Amendment, which restricts the ability of local law enforcement to access important gun trace information, and give police officers across the nation the tools they need to solve gun crimes and fight the illegal arms trade. Obama and Biden also favor commonsense measures that respect the Second Amendment rights of gun owners, while keeping guns away from children and from criminals. They support closing the gun show loophole and making guns in this country childproof. They also support making the expired federal Assault Weapons Ban permanent."
Gun violence prevention groups like the Freedom States Alliance have praised President Obama's proposed measures, writing that he "gives Americans a renewed sense of optimism about our future, and that we, as a nation, can come together to solve big challenges, including the epidemic of gun violence that continues to devastate our country."
On the other hand, prominent gun rights organizations like the Gun Owners of America are busy raising the alarm over President Obama's directives, particularly his nomination of Eric Holder to be the next Attorney General.
"Holder supported policies -- during his tenure in the Clinton administration --
that were aimed at driving the nation’s gun dealers and manufacturers out of
business. As part of an Obama administration, he will have even
more power to continue his war against gun owners," wrote the GOA in a recent press release.
It's still far to early to tell what the newly minted Obama administration's policies will mean for gun owners and gun violence in America, but this first official policy list can certainly be seen as a sign of things to come.
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