In a Q&A with the National Governors Association, President Obama addressed the recent shooting in Kalamazoo, Michigan, the latest heartbreaking incident of gun violence that left six Americans dead this weekend.
After commending local officials and first responders for their swift action in apprehending the shooter, the President called on the 35 governors in attendance to do more to address the recurring problem of gun violence, citing the issue as an area where bipartisan commonsense solutions are needed.
“I’ve got to assume that all of you are just as tired as I am of seeing this stuff happen in your states. So that’s an area where we need to partner and think about what we can do in a commonsense way, in a bipartisan way, without some of the ideological rhetoric that so often surrounds that issue.” -- President Barack Obama, February 22, 2016
While President Obama is committed to using every tool at the Administration’s disposal to reduce gun violence, governors across America can also support important legislation in their states to pass the kind of commonsense gun safety reforms supported by a majority of the American people.
In January, President Obama announced a series of commonsense executive actions designed to:
1. Keep guns out of the wrong hands through background checks.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is making clear that it doesn’t matter where you conduct your business, whether from a store, at gun shows, or over the Internet: If you’re in the business of selling firearms, you must get a license and conduct background checks.
2. Make our communities safer from gun violence.
The Attorney General convened a call with U.S. attorneys around the country to direct federal prosecutors to continue to focus on smart and effective enforcement of our gun laws.
3. Increase mental health treatment and reporting to the background check system.
The Administration is proposing a new $500 million investment to increase access to mental health care.
4. Shape the future of gun safety technology.
The President has directed the Departments of Defense, Justice, and Homeland Security to conduct or sponsor research into gun safety technology.
Danielle Cohen is an intern in the Office of Digital Strategy