Beltway Insider: Nation Prepares for Inauguration; Obama Signs Gun Control Legislation

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President Barack Obama, after receiving a comprehensive proposal from Vice President Joseph Biden has signed into law, this week, twenty-three Executive Mandates geared toward addressing gun control in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre.

According to Gallup, President Obama’s job approval, over the past week, again dropped four percentage points, to 48% of those polled approve of his effectiveness as President and those who disapprove of his effectiveness as President again increased by three percentages point to 45%.

Obama Signs Into Law Comprehensive Gun Control Package

One day past the one month anniversary of the Newtown Sandy Hook tragedy Vice President Biden deliver to the president a comprehensive plan to address the issue of gun violence in America.

After spending three weeks in meetings with Entertainment, Business and Industry Executives and the Vice President submitted a plan that contained 19 executive orders. Executive Orders allow the president to bypass the need for congressional approval to sign the mandates into law. Adding four additional mandates President Obama signed 23 Executive Orders into law addressing the issue of Gun Violence, Gun Control and Mental Health.

President Obama has signed 23 executive orders designed to address the problem of gun violence in America. The following are the items addressed as the Gun Violence Reduction Executive Actions.

Background Checks, Accountability and Responsibility

Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system; 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; Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system.

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; Propose rulemaking to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun; Publish a letter from ATF to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers.

Public Safety

Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign.  Review safety standards for gun locks and gun safes (Consumer Product Safety Commission). Provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers. Develop model emergency response plans for schools, houses of worship and institutions of higher education.

Crime, Prevention and Prosecution

Five deal directly with crime, prevention and prosecution and include: Release an DOJ report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and make it widely available to law enforcement; Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations; Nominate an ATF director; Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime. 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. Provide law enforcement, first responders, and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations.

Mental Health and Related Issues

Seven of the 23 Executive Mandates centered on the Mental Health and acknowledged the epidemic of violence. With the signing the following are now law: Issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.

Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes; Release a letter to health care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law enforcement authorities; Release a letter to state health officials clarifying the scope of mental health services that Medicaid plans must cover; Commit to finalizing mental health parity regulations; Finalize regulations clarifying essential health benefits and parity requirements within ACA exchanges; Launch a national dialogue led by Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan on mental health.

While the Gun Violence Reduction Executive Actions fell short of the public hopes, in the wake of the Newtown massacre, by signing into law a total ban on assault weapons as well as those mass casualty accessories including 100 round magazine clips, it is a start and has certainly opened dialogue on those issues.

Inauguration Celebration

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joseph Biden will both be sworn into their second terms Sunday, January 20, 2013. The public swearing in take place on Monday, January 21, 2013 at 11:30am and will be covered by every network. The ceremonies include an Inaugural Parade and usually include countless parties. Due to the current economic situation President Obama has announced there will be only two official Balls, The Commander in Chief’s Ball and The Inauguration Ball. There are many unofficial Gala’s, balls and events celebrating Inauguration of the President.

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Sources: Gallup/Forbes/


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