Politics

Obama Administration Announces New Restrictions On Gun Ownership

| by Ethan Brown
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The Obama administration is set to propose additional federal restrictions on gun ownership throughout the nation, to be introduced over the course of the next two years. The Justice Department has released a list of over a dozen new gun regulations that the administration plans to enact before the end of President Barack Obama's term.

The first round of new restrictions will be implemented by November 2015, while the second round of regulations will be put in place by the end of President Barack Obama’s presidency in January 2017, according to The Hill. The restrictions are reportedly still being developed by federal agencies.

The new rules, released under the name "Unified Agenda," are targeted for those who have been found guilty in domestic violence cases and who are mentally ill. However, the federal government have yet to release the specifics about the classifications, such as how the laws would define the term "mentally ill," leading to strong opposition from gun rights groups.

“It’s clear President Obama is beginning his final assault on our Second Amendment rights by forcing his anti-gun agenda on honest law-abiding citizens through excessive force,” Luke O’Dell, the vice president for political affairs at the National Association for Gun Rights, told The Hill.

The initial proposed rules would ban ownership of a firearm by anyone who has been convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence case. Mentally-handicapped citizens would not be allowed to own a firearm as well. Gun storage will also be addressed by the new regulations.

One of the most controversial pieces of the Obama administration's proposal involves high-powered pistol regulations. However, the lack of specifics in determining and defining terms thus far is what appears to be causing the most conflict among Second Amendment rights groups.

Michael Hammond, a spokesperson for Gun Owners of America, warned that the new restrictions “could be [someone] who spanked his kid, or yelled at his wife, or slapped her husband.”

The National Rifle Association commented on behalf of those who are mentally ill, with concerns that the Obama administration’s ban would negatively affect the gains the community has made throughout the nation.

“Not only is this unjust and stigmatizing, it creates disincentives for those who need mental health treatment to seek it, increasing whatever risks are associated with untreated mental illness,” the NRA said in a statement.

Many of the gun regulations, however, are in response to President Obama's attempts to curb gun-related tragedies following the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, which left 20 young children dead. Many of Obama's initial attempts to reduce gun violence through new laws were shot down by Congress.

“These tragedies must end. And to end them, we must change,” the President said shortly after the shooting in December 2012.

Sources: The Hill, International Business Times

Photo Credit: PBS, ibitimes.com