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RELEASE: CAP Proposes 12 Executive Actions to Reduce Gun Violence

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Contact: Katie Peters
Phone: 202.741.6285

Read the report.

Washington, D.C. — There are a number of actions President Barack Obama can take to prevent gun violence that do not require approval by Congress, according to a new report released today by the Center for American Progress. The report outlines 12 executive actions to strengthen oversight of the gun industry, enhance law-enforcement investigations of gun-related crime, and make it more difficult for criminals to get guns.

“In April, despite overwhelming public support in all corners of the country, Congress failed to pass common-sense legislation to expand gun background checks,” said Arkadi Gerney, co-author of the report and Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. “Passing legislation to expand background checks remains the top priority, but there are many actions the president can take under his executive authority to fight gun crime. Gun-rights advocates often like to argue that instead of passing new gun laws, we should better enforce the ones we already have—these 12 executive actions we are releasing today are designed to do exactly that.”

In January President Obama announced 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. In the report released today, the Center for American Progress urges the administration to take additional actions using its existing authority to both 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.

The 12 recommendations for executive action include:

  1. Develop a risk-assessment instrument to identify denied gun purchasers who are most at risk for future violence.
  2. Establish an alert system for failed background checks.
  3. Conduct background checks of gun-dealer employees.
  4. Verify the validity of a purchaser’s identification document as part of every NICS check.
  5. Require manufactures to put multiple serial numbers on guns.
  6. Expand multiple-sale reporting.
  7. Penalize states that fail to provide records to NICS.
  8. Make disarming prohibited domestic abusers a priority.
  9. Incentivize gun-dealer inventory checks.
  10. Impose tighter restrictions on dealer-inventory liquidations following a license revocation.
  11. Inspect dealer inventories for stolen guns.
  12. Form a joint task force with ATF and the FBI to investigate Internet-facilitated gun crimes.

Read the report: Recommendations for Executive Action to Combat Illegal Gun Trafficking and Gun Crime by Arkadi Gerney and Chelsea Parsons

See Also: 9 Reasons Why Progress on Stronger Gun Laws is Within Reach, by Arkadi Gerney and Chelsea Parsons

To speak with an expert on this topic, contact Katie Peters at or 202.741.6285.


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