by Brooks Hays
Washington (UPI) Jan 3, 2016
Back from holiday vacation, President Obama is preparing to go back to work -- without Congress. Motivated by the rash of gun violence the country has suffered over the last several years, Obama is intent on strengthening America's gun laws.
Obama will make a pitch for public support in an hour-long live town hall meeting, to be held on Thursday evening. The meeting will be hosted by Anderson Cooper and broadcast on CNN.
Mass shooting after mass shooting has offered Obama a number of chances to appeal for the political clout necessary to move gun legislation on Capitol Hill. But there's been little movement.
While Obama may be keen to galvanize popular support among the public, he won't necessarily wait for Congress.
The president has increasingly exercised his executive powers to carry out his domestic agenda -- most recently on climate change, bolstering emissions standards. He's promised to take a similar approach to gun control.
Specifically, the administration plans to require licensing for more small-scale gun sellers who are currently exempt from certain regulations. As Politico recently reported, this would close the so-called gun show loophole and require these sellers to conduct background checks. The White House would also like to strengthen rules on reporting lost and stolen guns.
Those plans have been criticized by Republican leaders and GOP presidential hopefuls.
"It's wrong," Jeb Bush said on Fox News Sunday. "To use executive power that he doesn't have is a pattern that is quite dangerous."
Donald Trump promised to repeal any executive orders on gun control.
"I will veto," Trump told a crowd of supporters in Mississippi on Saturday. "I will unsign that so fast."
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