Obama administration bids to tighten gun controls
THE Obama administration has announced measures aimed at strengthening federal background checks on people seeking to buy guns.
It places a particular focus on limiting access to guns for those with mental-health issues. One proposed rule change aims to clarify terminology used by federal law to prohibit people from purchasing a firearm for mental health reasons.
The administration said states had complained that some wording was ambiguous, making it difficult to determine who should be blocked from buying a weapon.
A second proposed change would allow hospitals and other entities covered by patient privacy provisions to submit additional information to the system for checking backgrounds. However, the administration said the rule change would not prohibit someone from having a firearm solely because they had sought treatment.
President Barack Obama proposed sweeping gun-control measures last year following the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. But the toughest proposals, including universal background checks, fell flat on Capitol Hill, forcing the White House to rely on measures that can be implemented without congressional approval.