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Idea of the Day: How the President Can Address Illegal Gun Trafficking and Gun Crime

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The U.S. Senate vote on April 17, 2013, defeated a proposal to expand background checks for gun purchases. It was only the first round in the newly invigorated movement to enact common-sense legislation to reduce gun violence in our country. And while the moderate bipartisan proposal failed to gain the 60 votes necessary to overcome a filibuster, a majority of senators voted in favor of this legislation, which has overwhelming public support in all corners of the country. Efforts are underway to gather more support for this legislation and proponents are hopeful that the measure will ultimately be enacted.

In the meantime, there are a number of actions President Barack Obama can take that do not require approval by Congress. The president began this process in January 2013 by signing 23 executive actions to address gun violence in the United States, including measures to ensure that more records are provided to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, nominating a director for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and directing the Centers for Disease Control to resume research into gun violence. We urge the administration to take additional actions using its existing authority both to improve the federal government’s ability to prevent dangerous individuals from acquiring or possessing guns and to enhance law-enforcement investigations of gun-related crime.

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To speak with our experts on this topic, please contact:

Print: Liz Bartolomeo (poverty, health care)
202.481.8151 or

Print: Tom Caiazza (foreign policy, energy and environment, LGBT issues, gun-violence prevention)
202.481.7141 or

Print: Allison Preiss (economy, education)
202.478.6331 or

Print: Tanya Arditi (immigration, Progress 2050, race issues, demographics, criminal justice, Legal Progress)
202.741.6258 or

Print: Chelsea Kiene (women's issues,, faith)
202.478.5328 or

Print: Beatriz Lopez (Center for American Progress Action Fund)
202.741.6255 or

Spanish-language and ethnic media: Rafael Medina
202.478.5313 or

TV: Rachel Rosen
202.483.2675 or

Radio: Sally Tucker
202.481.8103 or


This is part of a regular column: Idea of the Day

For more from the same column, click here