Obama weighs executive action on guns


Staff report



WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama’s advisers are finalizing a proposal that would expand background checks on gun sales without congressional approval.

White House adviser Valerie Jarrett says the president has asked his team to complete a proposal and submit it for his review “in short order.” She says the recommendations will include measures to expand background checks.

Jarrett spoke Wednesday night at a vigil for the victims of the Newtown shooting, according to a summary provided by the White House.

After the mass shooting in Roseburg, Oregon, Obama said his team was looking for ways to tighten gun laws without a vote in Congress. White House officials have said they’re exploring closing the so-called “gun show loophole” that allows people to buy weapons at gun shows and online without a background check.

The administration’s move to expand background checks on firearms comes on the heels of the December 2 terrorist shootings in San Bernardino, California, in which 14 people were killed and 21 injured.

While the White House ponders its next moves, a state’s governor is taking steps of his own.

Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy proposed Thursday to use an executive order to ban gun sales to those on federal no-fly watch lists.

The Democratic governor said that his order would make Connecticut the first state to do so and that state officials are working with the federal government to get access to the lists.

“If you cannot fly due to being on a government watch list, you should not be able to purchase a firearm while on that watch list as well,” Malloy told reporters at the Capitol. “This is basic common sense. The American people get it.”

The legislature and Malloy previously enacted gun limits that expanded the state’s assault weapons ban and barred the possession and sale of large-capacity ammunition magazines following the Dec. 14, 2012, shooting deaths of 20 children and six educators at the Sandy Hook Elementary School.

State Police now perform background checks on those seeking permits to purchase guns in Connecticut. Pending federal approval, Malloy’s order will require State Police to cross-reference the names of those seeking firearm permits with government watch lists.

Permits would be revoked for those who already have them but are found on watch lists.

Malloy said those denied a gun permit may appeal to a firearm review board.

President Barack Obama has called on Congress to approve legislation to keep people on the no-fly list from buying guns. Gun rights advocates oppose the proposal because they say it violates the rights of people who have not been convicted of a crime.

Malloy said he is responding to the terrorist attacks in Paris that killed 130 people and in San Bernardino. He said the Republican-led Congress has failed to act.

State officials will determine the “appropriate lists” to be included, whether they are no-fly lists or “some kind of combination of those who should not have weapons,” Malloy said.

Staff report