Just as President Barack Obama announced that the gun-control task force will have concrete proposals by January on how to reform regulations, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg laid down his own law with a six-point gun-control plan.
In an op-ed in USA Today, Bloomberg, a long time advocate for gun-control reform, spelled out what he believes Obama should push:
A ban on assault weapons:
Banning these weapons and ammunition does not mean there will never be another mass shooting. But these weapons were designed for mass killing, not hunting or self-defense. They do not belong in our communities.
Second, the president's legislative package should fix the broken background check system. Currently, nearly half of all gun sales in the U.S. are conducted without a background check. Criminals, the mentally ill, minors and domestic abusers are all prohibited from purchasing guns, but they all can do so as easily as attending a gun show or going online.
The president's legislative package should make gun trafficking a felony. Gun rights advocates agree that penalties for illegal use and possession of guns should be stiffened -- and so should penalties on those who are engaged in gun trafficking.
Appointing an ATF director:
The president should make a recess appointment to fill the vacancy at the top of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), which has been without a director for six years.
Obama should direct the Justice Department to step up its prosecution of gun criminals who try to buy guns. In 2009, 71,000 people who had been convicted of gun crimes tried to buy guns by lying on their background checks. Yet the federal government prosecuted only 77 of those cases. That's one-tenth of 1%. These are gun criminals trying to buy guns illegally -- and the federal government is letting them walk.
Even more penalty:
The president should direct the Justice Department to crack down on rogue gun dealers. The vast majority of gun dealers are responsible and law-abiding. But a few bad apples help fuel the trafficking of illegal guns. Stepping up enforcement of them would save lives.
I think we'd all agree that these are necessary steps that need to be taken to reform gun-control. We'll just have to wait and see if any of these ideas are going to be a part of the gun-control task force's proposals in January.
SOURCE: USA Today