The proposal most likely to generate controversy is using executive action to close the so-called gun show loophole, if efforts to pass new measures in Congress do not succeed, according to a campaign aide to Clinton,
On the heels of the nation’s latest mass shooting, Hillary Rodham Clinton will issue proposals on Monday to curb gun violence, including holding out the potential of using executive actions.
Clinton, a Democrat, will announce the new proposals in separate town-hall-style events in New Hampshire, a state with a Democratic senator who has voted for some gun-control measures but where there is a thriving gun and hunting culture.
The proposal most likely to generate controversy is using executive action to close the so-called gun show loophole, if efforts to pass new measures in Congress do not succeed, according to a campaign aide to Clinton, who asked for anonymity to lay out the plans before the candidate does.
Most of the ideas would face a steep battle with the Republican-led Congress, and efforts to pass new gun restrictions in the wake of the murders of 20 schoolchildren and six adults in Newtown, Conn., in December 2012 failed in the Democratic-controlled Senate. Since then, there have been a number of lethal mass shootings, including the most recent last week in Oregon, in which a gunman killed nine people.
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At issue in Clinton’s proposals are the background checks on prospective gun buyers, which are required for retailers at stores. But they are not required at gun shows or over the Internet with private sellers.
Under Clinton’s plan, she would use administrative powers to make anyone selling a substantial number of guns declared “in the business” of firearms dealing, and subject to the same rules as retailers, according to the campaign aide.
It was not immediately clear what the bar for being declared “in the business” would be, or how federal officials would determine whether an individual was selling multiple guns.
And use of executive action in connection with guns is certain to face criticism from staunch supporters of the Second Amendment. It is also likely to be applauded by Democrats who have grown weary of gridlock in Congress.
Clinton will suggest urging Congress to end another loophole, by which people with felony records who should be barred from obtaining a gun can get one if their background check is not completed within three days. That loophole was how Dylann Roof, the accused killer of nine black congregants at a church in Charleston, South Carolina, obtained his weapon despite a felony conviction for a drug arrest.
The aide to Clinton, saying the bulk of gun makers and dealers acted responsibly, added that those who did not should not be immune to prosecutions. And the aide said Clinton would call for expanding the relationships used to define domestic abusers, who are barred from obtaining guns, and would add convicted stalkers to the list as well.
As a senator from New York, Clinton was known as an advocate for gun control. But in her presidential campaign against Sen. Barack Obama in 2008, she sought support from white, rural voters and spoke about achieving a balance between gun owners’ rights and prohibitive measures. She spoke out against “blanket rules” set by the federal government on guns; a campaign spokesman said Sunday that she was arguing against laws that would keep local governments from going beyond federal measures.
Since the Charleston shooting, Clinton has frequently talked about gun control, but her comments have grown stronger. On Friday, a day after the shootings in Oregon, Clinton said she wanted to lead a “national movement” that would counter the National Rifle Association.
“Here’s what the other side counts on,” Clinton said. “They count on really having an intense, dedicated group that scare politicians and say, ‘We will vote against you.’”