Status of proposals for gun control legislation

AP News
Posted: Mar 12, 2013 5:08 PM

Status of proposals for curbing gun violence announced earlier this year by President Barack Obama:



—A divided Senate Judiciary Committee approved by a 10-8 vote Tuesday a Democratic bill expanding required federal background checks to nearly all gun purchases. The bill, whose chief sponsor was Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., had the support of all Democrats on the subcommittee and each Republican opposed it.

The background check measure would expand the requirement to firearms sales between private individuals, such as those that occur at gun shows. Currently, the checks are required only for sales by federally licensed firearms dealers.

The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence has said that 40 percent of gun sales are conducted with no criminal background check, such as at gun shows and by private sellers over the Internet or through classified ads. Obama said there should be exceptions for cases like certain transfers among family members and temporary transfers for hunting purposes.

— Reinstating the assault weapons ban. A 10-year ban on high-grade, military-style weapons expired in 2004. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., says such a ban might clear the Senate but doubts it could get through the House. A vote on renewing the assault weapons ban in legislation proposed by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., was postponed until Thursday.

— Renewing a 10-round limit on the size of ammunition magazines. Part of Feinstein bill that will be considered Thursday.

— Prohibiting the possession, transfer, manufacture and import of dangerous, armor-piercing bullets.

— Senate confirmation of a director for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The agency has been run by an acting director, Todd Jones, whom Obama will nominate to become director.

— Last Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 11-7 for a measure by Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., to increase federal penalties to up to 25 years in prison for illegal gun trafficking and for those purchasing firearms for criminals or others barred from having them.



— Address legal barriers in health laws that bar some states from making available information about people who are prohibited from having guns.

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

— Make sure that federal agencies share relevant information with the background check system.

— Direct the attorney general to work with other agencies to review existing laws to make sure they can identify individuals who shouldn't have access to guns.

— Direct the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other research agencies to conduct research into the causes and prevention of gun violence.

— Clarify that no federal law prohibits doctors or other health care providers from contacting authorities when patients threaten to use violence.

— Give local communities the opportunity to hire up to 1,000 school resource officers and counselors.

— Require federal law enforcement to trace all recovered guns.

— Propose regulations that will enable law enforcement to run complete background checks before returning firearms that have been seized.

— Direct the Justice Department to analyze information on lost and stolen guns and make that information available to law enforcement.

— Provide training for state and local law enforcement, first responders and school officials on how to handle active-shooter situations.

— Make sure every school has a comprehensive emergency management plan.

— Help ensure that young people get needed mental health treatment.

— Ensure that health insurance plans cover mental health benefits.

— Encourage development of new technology to make it easier for gun owners to safely use and store their guns.

— Have the Consumer Product Safety Commission assess the need for new safety standards for gun locks and gun safes.

— Launch a national campaign about responsible gun ownership.