Social Policy & Politics Program | Policy Memo

The President’s Gun Package: Protecting Rights, Calling for Responsibility

by Jim Kessler, Matt Bennett and Lanae Erickson Hatalsky

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President Obama’s gun package respects Second Amendment rights and it puts the emphasis where it belongs: on keeping guns out of the wrong hands. Gun rights don’t extend to terrorists, criminals, and the severely mentally ill, and they don’t apply to weapons designed for the battlefield. The President’s plan closes dangerous loopholes in the law and gives law enforcement new tools for cracking down on illegal gun trafficking.

This pragmatic and targeted set of proposals omits many of the ideas from the past that have been most actively opposed by gun enthusiasts, such as federal licensing and registration, one-gun-a-month limits, and waiting periods. The President’s package carries not a whiff of gun confiscation, and it is a plan that the vast majority of gun owners will support.

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