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From AP, via Talking Points Memo:

The Obama administration on Friday announced a pair of executive actions aimed at strengthening federal background checks for gun purchasers, with a particular focus on limiting firearm access for those with mental health issues.

One proposed rule change aims to clarify terminology used by federal law to prohibit people from purchasing a firearm for mental health reasons. The administration said states have complained that some wording is ambiguous, making it difficult to determine who should be blocked from buying a weapon.

A second proposed rule change would allow hospitals and other entities covered by patient privacy provisions to submit additional information to the background check system. However, the administration said the rule change would not require reporting on general mental health care or legally prohibit someone from having a firearm solely because they sought treatment.

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/...

I'm just loving the flurry of good progressive stuff that's happening so far this year. It's beyond time we started bringing the fight to the lizard people, rather than just reacting to their nonsense.

In the comments, Pluto reminds us of the 23 Executive Actions regarding gun control already taken by President Obama, in the wake of Sandy Hook:

These will remain in effect for the duration of his presidency -- and beyond that if a Democrat is elected in 2016.

January 2013
President Obama laid out 23 executive actions that he believes will help reduce gun violence. Here they are, as released by the White House:

The President is announcing that he and the Administration will:

1. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system.

2. Address unnecessary legal barriers, particularly relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, that may prevent states from making information available to the background check system.

3. Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system.

4. Direct the Attorney General to review categories of individuals prohibited from having a gun to make sure dangerous people are not slipping through the cracks.

5. Propose rulemaking to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun.

6. Publish a letter from ATF to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers.

7. Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign.

8. Review safety standards for gun locks and gun safes (Consumer Product Safety Commission).

9. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations.

10. Release a DOJ report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and make it widely available to law enforcement.

11. Nominate an ATF director.

12. Provide law enforcement, first responders, and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations.

13. Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime.

14. Issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.

15. Direct the Attorney General to issue a report on the availability and most effective use of new gun safety technologies and challenge the private sector to develop innovative technologies.

16. Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.

17. Release a letter to health-care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law-enforcement authorities.

18. Provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers.

19. Develop model emergency-response plans for schools, houses of worship and institutions of higher education.

20. Release a letter to state health officials clarifying the scope of mental-health services that Medicaid plans must cover.

21. Finalize regulations clarifying essential health benefits and parity requirements within ACA exchanges.

22. Commit to finalizing mental-health-parity regulations.

23. Launch a national dialogue led by Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan on mental health.

Originally posted to Animal Nuz on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 11:37 AM PST.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA, Firearms Law and Policy, and Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA).

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Comment Preferences

  •  tell me I'm not dreaming (20+ / 0-)

    this is excellent news, and all they can do is try to defund the BATF. That will be fun to watch!

  •  This is a particularly tough area to legislate. (20+ / 0-)

    Mental health, like physical health, is protected by privacy laws (HIPAA) and undoing those laws open people up to discrimination, probably moreso for mental health issues.
    While it is undeniable that many mass murders are carried out by mentally ill people, the vast majority of mentally ill people are not dangerous.
    How do you determine, beforehand, who is likely to be a problem and who is not? And how do you make that information available for background checks without violating all mentally ill peoples' privacy?
    The answer that seems obvious to me is unacceptable to gun enthusiasts: rigorous evaluation of gun buyers at the time that they go to buy a gun. That way, only those that are actively seeking a weapon have their privacy impinged, it's voluntary in the sense that they opt for the screening by deciding to buy a weapon. The test goes with the territory.
    I have little hope that any meaningful gun laws will be put in place any time soon.
    Even the simplest, least intrusive regulation: Registration of firearms and their transfers, is fought tooth and nail by NRA and their doppelganger RKBA.
    If we can't get that basic measure through, I highly doubt that anything else will fly.
    And it wouldn't matter much if it did.
    With no record of how a gun moves from being an above-board purchase to a crime gun, the gun show and private sale loophole will keep the carnage going.

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 12:05:14 PM PST

    •  The NRA and the RKBA feel like granite, they might (6+ / 0-)

      be surprised at the clay in their sandals.

      Now they have the 2nd (safety net for sloppy) Amendment, and can't be infringed to actually treat their gun like a gun and not a video game controller.

      by 88kathy on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 12:14:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm all for strict background checks (7+ / 0-)

      and closing gunshow loopholes but will wait to read the actual language of the two rules.  

      Your suggestion, however, re: forcing anyone who wishes to buy a firearm to give up a privacy right is pretty much like forcing people to pee in a cup in order to get safety net benefits.  Every gun owner or purchaser is not a per se future violent felon.

      I'm a permitted gun owner who willingly was fingerprinted and submitted to State and Federal checks -- same damned thing I had to become a lawyer.  

      CT has very strict registration laws and regulations.  In fact there was just a major blizzard of paper submissions regarding assault weapons and High capacity magazines.  And, our State Constitution specifically provides for an individual right to keep and bear arms for personal defense.

      " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

      by gchaucer2 on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 12:25:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's either infringe on gun buyers' rights or (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        john07801, ericlewis0, oldpotsmuggler

        infringe on the rights of ALL mentally ill people with this.
        CT's laws are no where near strict enough to prevent criminals from obtaining guns. Illegal guns are as easy to get as cocaine. And often from the very same gangsters.
        Registration and a record of title transfer is the only answer to reducing crime guns. It cuts off the flow of legitimate guns into the underworld.

        If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

        by CwV on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 12:41:09 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sometimes I can't believe what (7+ / 0-)

          I read here.  Ok, then, separate out an entire group with no probable cause for infringement of their rights.   Let's do the same with other rights and privileges, like marriage, having children, driving a car.  Abuses and deaths occur with each of those.

          I'm all for the strictest possible laws re: registration and title transfer.  That doesn't mean that guns will suddenly not be available to gangsters.

          There are already means of reporting individuals who demonstrate a danger to self and others by mental health professionals.  I don't want anyone in the mental health field deciding what constitutes a problematic mental health issue for purposes of reporting to ATF or any other agency.  There are clear guidelines already.  

          For instance, I wouldn't want someone with your mindset determining what is and isn't reportable in order to prevent someone from acquiring a pistol permit or weapon.

          " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

          by gchaucer2 on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 12:55:06 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  From what I can gather, (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ericlewis0, MKSinSA, oldpotsmuggler

            they are looking at making mental health data available to the IBGC system.
            If that's only people who have already been adjudicated, that is a fraction of the potential applicants and not very full coverage AFA checking whether someone is mentally stable enough to be trusted with lethal weapons. I know several people just in my circle of acquaintances in my small town on the CT shoreline who have never crossed the line legally but should not be trusted with sharp objects, nevermind a gun. I'm not a mental health professional or law enforcement, I would never want to be in the position to make those decisions and I doubt that most of the people who are qualified would be comfortable passing that kind of judgement, either pro or con, without some very convincing demonstration. And that will leave a huge gap of people who are semi-Ok.
            As for

            re: registration and title transfer.  That doesn't mean that guns will suddenly not be available to gangsters
            No, not suddenly, but it would dry up the flow of new guns into the crime gun pipeline.

            If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

            by CwV on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 01:10:19 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well, here's a clarification Via HuffPo (5+ / 0-)

              http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

              The first proposed rule change, by the Department of Justice, expands the definition of the statutory term "committed to a mental institution" to clarify that the prohibition on firearms purchases applies to people subjected to involuntary outpatient as well as inpatient commitments.

              The rule also clarifies that “adjudicated as a mental defective” and “committed to a mental institution” include persons who are found incompetent to stand trial or not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect; persons lacking mental responsibility or deemed insane; and persons found guilty but mentally ill, regardless of whether these determinations are made by a state, local, federal or military court.

              and
              The second proposed rule change, by the Department of Health and Human Services, allows certain entities covered by patient privacy protections to submit additional information to the background-check system. The administration notes that nothing in this rule would require reporting on general mental health visits or legally prevent someone from having a firearm just because he or she sought treatment.

              If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

              by CwV on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 01:39:40 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  The thing is, we ALREADY do this with (5+ / 0-)

            marriage and driving.  If you drive, you agree to submit to a blood-alcohol test if you're pulled over.  Even if there was no probable cause for your stop/test, refusal to take the test results in an automatic suspension of your license in every state.  When you get married, you voluntarily submit information to the government that you otherwise wouldn't have to.  In some states, you have to submit to a blood test.  In both cases, you're agreeing to an intrusion on your Fourth Amendment rights in exchange for a privilege from the government.  

            •  And when you register to vote, and when you vote (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              john07801, ericlewis0, Tortmaster

              you volunteer to make your address, you political affiliation, and your participation in elections, a matter of public record.

              Depending on location people can be harassed, boycotted, fired based on public information that can be misused.

              The analogy I'm trying to draw is that exercising my right to vote requires a choice, and I'm required to surrender some privacy to do so.

              In contrast, with mental health/RKBA we demand that the entire population surrender a portion of their medical history for inspection/deposition in a government database, for their entire lives. Even when a) most will never seek to own or use a gun, b) only a small number of people with sever mental illness are violent.

              "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

              by LilithGardener on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 03:12:15 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Why assume "gun buyers' rights" extend to this? (6+ / 0-)

          With due respect, it's not either/or anything. There are obvious difficulties with, for example:
          - medical privacy issues,
          - identifying which kinds of mental illness should constitute a bar to owning or obsessing guns,
          - identifying who is mentally unstable enough to preclude a gun purchase in the first place,
          - following up so that someone who once passed a check to get a gun but becomes unsuitable thereafter cannot lawfully possess one,
          - ... etc.

          These point up how vapid, worthless and diversionary the NRA's argument is that we must address all the mental health issues first and foremost and completely, before we try to regulate or restrict guns.

          None of this argues for doing nothing about mental health. To the contrary, we should be doing much more, but for far broader societal benefits than just regulating guns. This does underscore that addressing gun issues through mental health identification and treatment gives no hope whatever of adequately addressing gun proliferation.

          2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

          by TRPChicago on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 12:57:56 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I know that's how it appears (5+ / 0-)

          to the gun nuts.  They see all potential controls as unconstitutional in their black-and-white world.

          Even if it's only possible to enact small steps at any one moment to stop the carnage, they can, hopefully, lead to better control of illegal guns without igniting the absurd concept of "gun grabbing."

          And universal registration and strict transfer laws are the only way to stop the sale of legitimate guns into the street.

          Guns don't kill people but there's always one there at the time of death.

          by john07801 on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 01:05:44 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  i'm in favor of a waiting period (3+ / 0-)

        A waiting period can reduce a person who may out of impulse wanting to hurt someone to carry out the act.

        It is not a violation for a person to wait a few days before buying a gun and checking out the person's criminal history.  

    •  THIS (3+ / 0-)
      The answer that seems obvious to me is unacceptable to gun enthusiasts: rigorous evaluation of gun buyers at the time that they go to buy a gun. That way, only those that are actively seeking a weapon have their privacy impinged, it's voluntary in the sense that they opt for the screening by deciding to buy a weapon. The test goes with the territory.

      An HR from a member of the RKBA is like an F rating from the NRA
      ---We Shall Overcome (12/3/13)---

      by earlybird on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 01:19:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Preferably "periodic" evaluations (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ericlewis0, sidnora
      The answer that seems obvious to me is unacceptable to gun enthusiasts: rigorous evaluation of gun buyers at the time that they go to buy a gun. That way, only those that are actively seeking a weapon have their privacy impinged, it's voluntary in the sense that they opt for the screening by deciding to buy a weapon. The test goes with the territory.
      In addition, I'd call for firearms owners to require periodic re-evaluation every few years as a condition of continued possession.

      Just because someone might be considered suitable to own a firearm at time of purchase, does not necessarily indicate that they may continue to be in the future...

      "If you are still playing for Team Republican and want to have any honor whatsoever, you need to leave the Republican Party now, apologize to America, and work to remove it from our political system." - Brad DeLong

      by radabush on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 02:30:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  License renewal (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ericlewis0, rubyr

        is mandatory for driving a car, so this would be in line with that.

        "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

        by sidnora on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 03:12:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  AMEN!!! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ericlewis0, doroma, sidnora
    "It's beyond time we started bringing the fight to the lizard people, rather than just reacting to their nonsense."
    el0

    "Southern nights have you ever felt a southern night?" Allen Toussaint ~~Remember the Gulf of Mexico~~

    by rubyr on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 12:16:45 PM PST

  •  Not available yet on (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ericlewis0, IndieGuy, Joy of Fishes

    whitehouse.gov or federalregister.gov.  Anybody have details?

    Politics means controlling the balance of economic and institutional power. Everything else is naming post offices.

    by happymisanthropy on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 12:16:53 PM PST

  •  A reminder of the Previous EAs (8+ / 0-)

    …by President Obama pertaining to gun control. These will remain in effect for the duration of his presidency -- and beyond that if a Democrat is elected in 2016.

    January 2013

    President Obama laid out 23 executive actions that he believes will help reduce gun violence. Here they are, as released by the White House:

    The President is announcing that he and the Administration will:

    1. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system.

    2. Address unnecessary legal barriers, particularly relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, that may prevent states from making information available to the background check system.

    3. Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system.

    4. Direct the Attorney General to review categories of individuals prohibited from having a gun to make sure dangerous people are not slipping through the cracks.

    5. Propose rulemaking to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun.

    6. Publish a letter from ATF to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers.

    7. Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign.

    8. Review safety standards for gun locks and gun safes (Consumer Product Safety Commission).

    9. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations.

    10. Release a DOJ report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and make it widely available to law enforcement.

    11. Nominate an ATF director.

    12. Provide law enforcement, first responders, and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations.

    13. Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime.

    14. Issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.

    15. Direct the Attorney General to issue a report on the availability and most effective use of new gun safety technologies and challenge the private sector to develop innovative technologies.

    16. Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.

    17. Release a letter to health-care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law-enforcement authorities.

    18. Provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers.

    19. Develop model emergency-response plans for schools, houses of worship and institutions of higher education.

    20. Release a letter to state health officials clarifying the scope of mental-health services that Medicaid plans must cover.

    21. Finalize regulations clarifying essential health benefits and parity requirements within ACA exchanges.

    22. Commit to finalizing mental-health-parity regulations.

    23. Launch a national dialogue led by Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan on mental health.

    •  Thanks so much for that, Pluto! (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pluto, IndieGuy, poco, LilithGardener

      Will add to post...

      I ♥ President Barack Obama.

      by ericlewis0 on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 01:39:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  No problem. I stay informed on this topic. (7+ / 0-)

        Incidentally, in mid-December, another announcement came:

        Building on those 23 Executive Actions the President and Vice President Unveiled Last January, here is an update from the White House:

        With the first Senate confirmation of an ATF Director on July 31, 2013, the Administration has completed or made significant progress on 22 of the 23 executive actions.

        Closing a Loophole to Keep Some of the Most Dangerous Guns Out of the Wrong Hands

        Current law places special restrictions on many of the most dangerous weapons, such as machine guns and short-barreled shotguns.  These weapons must be registered, and in order to lawfully possess them, a prospective buyer must undergo a fingerprint-based background check.

        However, felons, domestic abusers, and others prohibited from having guns can easily evade the required background check and gain access to machine guns or other particularly dangerous weapons by registering the weapon to a trust or corporation.  At present, when the weapon is registered to a trust or corporation, no background check is run.  ATF reports that last year alone, it received more than 39,000 requests for transfers of these restricted firearms to trusts or corporations.

        ATF is issuing a new proposed regulation to close this loophole.  The proposed rule requires individuals associated with trusts or corporations that acquire these types of weapons to undergo background checks, just as these individuals would if the weapons were registered to them individually.  By closing this loophole, the regulation will ensure that machine guns and other particularly dangerous weapons do not end up in the wrong hands.

        Keeping Surplus Military Weapons Off Our Streets

        When the United States provides military firearms to its allies, either as direct commercial sales or through the foreign military sales or military assistance programs, those firearms may not be imported back into the United States without U.S. government approval.  Since 2005, the U.S. Government has authorized requests to reimport more than 250,000 of these firearms.

        The Administration is announcing a policy of denying requests to bring military-grade firearms back into the United States to private entities, with only a few exceptions such as for museums.  This new policy will help keep military-grade firearms off our streets.

  •  RI doesn't even report anything (5+ / 0-)

    and state law actually prohibits disclosure of anything to NCIS, because of worries about privacy rights, imposition on harmless people, and also poor wording of the NCIS guidelines. So even if you murder someone and plead not guilty by reason of insanity, or are involuntarily committed for brandishing a gun at someone while ranting and raving, or are involuntarily committed on a finding that you're a paranoid schizophrenic who plans on committing mass murder and mayhem, NOTHING gets sent to the national data base.

    Then there was the Navy base shooter in DC, where police in Newport, RI, were so concerned about his behavior and his reports of "hearing voices" that they notified the Navy -- but nothing went into any data base and he kept his security clearance.

    If the federal regulators can figure out wording clarifications (and pressure on states like RI that refuse to submit any data at all) that will at least get these folks into the data base, that will help a lot. There are a lot of gray areas -- people with vague homicidal or suicidal thoughts, depression with a touch of paranoia, etc. etc. -- but we can at least do better on the not-so-gray ones.

  •  selling guns out of his truck (4+ / 0-)

    Yesterday I dropped off my portable generator for repair at a local tractor sales. A driver delivering to the establishment had a 357 he was selling out of his truck. No background check asked. My son, thinking about buying checked it out and took down the serial number to check if it was stolen before possibly buying it. A seriously mentally ill, or violent felon could have bought the gun no questions asked.

     We need to make some serious gun reform laws that prevent these type of transactions from happening to ensure firearms do not fall into the wrong hands.

    •  1. Universal background checks (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ericlewis0, the Don, WakeUpNeo

      2. All gun dealers must be licensed, either as Federally Licensed Firearms Dealers or within the state where they operate a business. All must be required to keep records of their inventory and records of sales and transfers.

      3. Gun owners must report lost or stolen guns to their local police department within 24 hours.

      4. Police must trace every gun recovered in a criminal investigation.

      5. Guns that are surrendered temporarily when someone is a danger to themselves or others should also be traced.

      Nos. 3-5 will create incentives for safe storage, legal and ethical transfers and sales, and will help to reduce the flow of legally purchased guns into the gray market guns where they are easily disbursed into the black market.

      "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

      by LilithGardener on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 03:23:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The US is a murder weapon mardi gras (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WakeUpNeo

      You won''t see this in any other nation in the world:

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