Tough road ahead as Obama proposes gun limits today

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Washington: Moving ahead with his plan of imposing measures in order to abate the violence resulting from unbridled usage of guns, US President Barack Obama on Wednesday will launch a slew of gun control proposals, in spite of a tough challenge from Congress, which seems unlikely to approve many of them.

Obama is exhorting the opposition to approve a ban on military-style assault weapons, ammunition magazines holding more than 10 bullets, and along with a requirement for universal background checks on gun buyers.

Out of a host of measures to be announced by Obama today, more than a dozen executive steps would be such that the President himself can act upon them and thus dodge the opposition faced from many lawmakers, but they will be limited in scope.

Gun control sprang back to significance after Dec 14 massacre at Connecticut school which killed 26 innocent people, most of them kids.

Yessterday, New York became the the first state to enact tighter gun restrictions after the Democrat-dominated Assembly passed the bill Tuesday by a 104-43 vote.

The legislation aims to protect New Yorkers by reducing the availability of assault weapons and deterring the criminal use of firearms "while promoting a fair, consistent and efficient method of ensuring that sportsmen and other legal gun owners have full enjoyment of the guns to which they are entitled."

Obama will announce his proposals in a midday event at the White House, flanked by children who wrote to him about gun violence following the massacre of 20 students and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Law enforcement officials, mayors from across the country and supportive congressional lawmakers are also expected to attend.

According to a lobbyist briefed Tuesday, Obama will present a three-part plan focused on gun violence, education and mental health.

The president will call for a focus on universal background checks. Some 40 percent of gun sales take place without background checks, including those by private sellers at gun shows or over the Internet, according to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

The president will call for banning assault weapons and limiting ammunition magazines to 10 rounds or fewer, and also propose a federal statute to stop "straw man" purchases of guns and crack down on trafficking rings. He'll order federal agencies to conduct more research on gun use and crimes, something Republican congressional majorities have limited through language in budget bills, the lobbyist said.

On education, Obama will call for more anti-bullying efforts; more training for teachers, counselors and principles; and providing resources for schools for more counselors and resource officers.

And on mental health, Obama will focus on more availability of mental health services, training more school counselors and mental health professionals, and mental health first aid training for first responders, according to the lobbyist briefed on the plans. The lobbyist was not authorized to discuss the plan publicly before Obama's announcement and requested anonymity.

Obama has pledged urgent action to prevent future mass shootings, and his plan coming just one month after the Newtown attacks is swift by Washington standards.

The president's framework is based on recommendations from Vice President Joe Biden, who led a wide-ranging task force on gun violence. The vice president's proposals included 19 steps that could be achieved through executive action.

Courtesy: Zee News

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