Editor's note: Updated at 7 p.m. Jan. 16 to include reaction from Congressman Bill Foster.
President Obama spoke to the nation this morning and presented a proposal to reduce gun violence.
Click here to view video of the president's proposal, or click on the video accompanying this article.
"I will put everything I've got into this and so will Joe [Biden]," Obama said in his closing remarks today.
Of particular note in his proposal, Obama called for the following:
- Reinstate lapsed ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines.
- Requiring background checks on all gun purchases.
- Ban armor piercing ammunition.
- Called on Congress to confirm a new director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
- Improve access to mental health services and provide information to mental health professionals who want to report threats of violence.
- Provide incentives for schools to hire resource officers, should they choose to, to step up school security.
Newly sworn-in Congressman Bill Foster, D-11, released the following statement Wednesday night in reaction to Obama's proposal:
The recent gun violence is a terrible tragedy and I have the deepest sympathy for the families who have been impacted.
The executive actions proposed by the Administration demonstrate that the President is listening to law enforcement and giving them the tools they need to effectively enforce the laws on the books. There are many things the federal government can and should do to reduce gun violence and prevent these kinds of tragedies from happening.
We’ve seen a strong example of that in Aurora, Illinois where the murder rate went from 25 murders in 2002 and 2003 to 0 murders last year. This dramatic reduction was due in no small part to the coordinated intervention of the federal government including the FBI and the AFT and local law enforcement officials.
As Congress begins to draft legislation to address this issue, I hope they will look closely at the success in Aurora and find ways to duplicate this partnership in communities throughout the country.
Democrats and Republicans can and must work together to find common ground on this issue to find solutions that protect our Second Amendment rights while keeping guns out of the hands of those who would use them for harm.
Did you see the president's address this morning? Tell us what you thought in comments below. Do Obama's recommendations seem like a common sense approach to you, or are you concerned about the rights of gun owners?