Nov 25 2016

There are two contending issues related to gun ownership: the right to bear arms and the reduction of gun violence. The discussion on issues related to gun ownership is an open-ended debate with no clear-cut winner. For each victim of gun violence, several others are saved by guns protecting them from violence. But one thing is definite; the majority of Americans, including gun owners, believe in the necessity of minimizing tragedies. So how do you find a balance?

In line with the clamor to address gun violence in the country, President Obama and other governing bodies have been issuing a series of executive orders and other legislation.

  • Prevent guns from ending in the wrong hands – The requirement for a background check for people who want to buy guns is intended to keep guns away from those who are not supposed to own one. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is overhauling the system of conducting background checks to include 24/7 processing of background checks. This isn’t intended to overreach the purpose of background checks but instead to more efficiently process the backlog of background checks that are already being submitted.
  • Make communities safer from gun violence – The Attorney General directed federal prosecutors to focus on effective and smart enforcement of existing gun laws. Funding for an estimated 200 new ATF investigators and agents to help enforce gun laws is being pursued in 2017 budgets. Additionally, upwards of $4 million and additional personnel are on the list of desired enhancements to the National Integrated Ballistics Information Network.
  • Incorporate mental health treatment and reporting to the background check system – Reports on the mental health treatment of individuals will now be included as part of the background check system. The Department of Health and Human Services is formulating rules that remove some legal barriers that prevent the States from giving relevant information on people who are not allowed to possess a gun based on mental health considerations.
  • Improve gun safety technology – The Departments of Defense, Justice, and Homeland Security are sponsoring research to improve gun safety technology, especially smart gun technology to minimize gun accidents.

Gun control advocates support these measures adopted by the government through executive orders. However, gun rights activists consider these measures to be restrictions on their constitutionally guaranteed right to bear arms. What do you think?

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