President Obama Uses Executive Actions on Background Checks for Gun Purchases

pres-obama1I can just see people reading this headline and jumping to conclusions about, “Dictator Obama violating the Constitution to attack the gun rights of Americans!”  Particularly conservatives who very rarely know the facts about anything related to the president, instead relying on misinformation, lies and fear mongering from the right-wing media.

Any time they see “Obama,” “Executive Action/Order,” “Guns” or any combination they instantly fly off the handle, making complete fools of themselves.  And while I haven’t gone to check out the right-wing sites just yet, I’m sure their reaction and spin of this news is completely ridiculous.

So I figured I’d explain exactly what President Obama’s recent executive actions are and why they’re smart, but really not that big of a deal.  Just “common sense” —  you know, something conservatives don’t often use.

What these executive actions seek to do is reduce the likelihood of those with mental illnesses being able to obtain firearms.

The first one handles a complaint many states have talked about concerning the wording of federal regulations that prohibit people from purchasing firearms for mental health reasons.  States have argued that the wording wasn’t specific enough on who should and shouldn’t be prevented from purchasing some kind of firearm.

The second executive action deals with entities covered by patient privacy provisions, concerning the kind of information they can report.  Though it was made clear that this change does not require the reporting of general mental health nor prevent people seeking treatment from purchasing or owning a firearm.

What both of these actions seem to do is help states better determine who should and shouldn’t be denied access to purchasing a gun, while opening the doors for specific mental health entities to report more serious mental health conditions which might be a cause for concern for any individual who might be seeking to purchase a gun.

These aren’t groundbreaking moves made here by President Obama, but both moves apply basic common sense in hopes of preventing the very real problem of mentally ill individuals who have no business purchasing or owning firearms from doing so.

I’m sure this move will cause some on the left to say it isn’t enough and some on the right to say it’s just more proof that President Obama’s ultimate goal is putting an end to our Second Amendment rights.

But while these moves aren’t huge, I felt a need to report on them in hopes of offering a simple clarification on exactly what they mean, because I’m almost certain there are some on the right who are having a field day making this story into something that it’s clearly not.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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