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Univ. of San Diego School of Law

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

What President Obama Can Do to Reduce Gun Violence

President-elect Obama should implement seven tested and proven initiatives that will have an immediate impact on reducing gun related violence, accidents and suicides without affecting the Second Amendment or having any negative impact on responsible and law abiding gun owners.

Of the average 34,000 gun deaths in the US every year approximately 11,000 are homicides, 18,000 are suicides and 5,000 are unintentional accidents. We can change these horrific numbers.

If I were President Obama, one of my first acts would be the immediate implementation the following gun violence prevention initiatives to reduce gun access by children, criminals and terrorists without any undue restrictions on responsible gun owners like myself.

#1 Mandatory criminal background checks for all gun sales

Current Federal law only requires Licensed gun dealers to perform criminal background checks. Consequently in 32 States "private dealers"/individuals can legally sell guns at thousands of annual gun shows, countless flea markets and yard sales, and out of homes, backpacks, car trunks or on street corners without running a background check or asking to see an ID. Only the first gun sale from a "Federally Licensed" gun dealer requires documentation and all "secondary" gun sales are legally allowed to take place without any paperwork or record keeping. As a result, convicted felons and suspected terrorists can and do buy guns simply because there is no background check required or conducted. [Mark Godsey]

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