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Joyce Foundation Commends President Obama’s Executive Actions to Protect Communities from Gun Violence


1/8/2016

The Joyce Foundation commends President Obama for the significant steps he announced today to protect America’s communities from the scourge of gun violence. Faced with a Congress unwilling to act and a nation impatient with lack of action, the President is moving decisively to reduce gun violence through executive actions that will strengthen and improve enforcement of existing laws.

One of the most important actions announced today will tighten the private sale loophole which allows many private gun sales to take place without federal background checks on purchasers. In clarifying that certain kinds of private gun sellers must now be federally licensed dealers, more gun buyers will have to undergo federal background checks. In tandem with this move, the President announced plans for the FBI to increase the number of federal background check examiners.

In making the case for narrowing this loophole, the President cited research funded by the Joyce Foundation.  Opponents of sensible gun laws claim they do not reduce gun violence, but research conducted by Dr. Daniel Webster of Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research conclusively demonstrates otherwise. One of Webster’s studies found that a 1995 Connecticut law requiring a permit or license to purchase a gun was associated with a 40 percent drop in gun homicides. In a related study, Webster previously had found that Missouri’s 2007 repeal of its handgun license law was associated with a 25 percent increase in its firearm homicide rates.

Among other steps, the President also called for hiring an additional 200 federal agents and investigators to focus on gun offenses and regulations, and requiring dealers to report guns that are lost or stolen in transit.

Today was a day where Americans could indeed look to Washington for sensible solutions to protect our families and communities from gun violence.

Ellen Alberding, President

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