The White House Is Eyeing Executive Orders to Strengthen Gun Control (With or Without Congress)

by Katrina Pallop

In response to mounting pressure from activists and everyday citizens alike, the White House has finally begun to explore ways to strengthen gun control in America. And as if the mere fact of that isn’t good news enough, the solutions under consideration are executive orders that would not require the backing or cooperation of our immovable Congress.

After Vice President Joe Biden met with the NRA last week, it became abundantly clear that the White House would receive no support from the group with regard to improving gun control legislation in the United States. Undeterred, Biden said that “there are executive orders, executive action that can be taken” on the issue of gun control. 

Mother Jones has compiled a list of possible executive actions that Obama might take, and the White House has indeed spoken of up to nineteen executive orders that they might utilize in order to improve gun legislation in the country—all without having to go through Congress.

Right-wing media outlets are having a collective shit fit over the idea that Democrats might actually move ahead with solutions that Congress can’t block. But it’s unlikely that the President will try to reinstate the ever-controversial assault rifle ban. Instead, the executive orders in question will help to improve legislation and regulation measures that already exist. 

While it’s frustrating that the push for better gun laws isn’t going to be a bipartisan effort, it’s wonderful to see the White House suggesting concrete actions, as opposed to emotional (but ultimately vague) promises. Whether this action is an organic response to our country’s recent gun-related tragedies or a spurred response to groups like the Michael Bloomberg-headed Mayors Against Illegal Guns, there are solutions on the horizon. And that, at least, is something


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